Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Miami Days and Tuscan (K)nights, Gail Roughton

AUTHOR:  Gail Roughton
BOOK TITLE:  Miami Days & Truscan (K)nights
PUBLISHER:  MuseItUp Publishing

Tell me a little about your book.
Miami Days & Truscan (K)nights is a read for those times when, in the words of the friend who actually came up with the final book title, you want to yell, “Calgon, take me awaaaaayyyyy!!!!!”  It’s a fantasy romance in a parallel world.  I mean, hasn’t everybody wanted to fly over the rainbow at one time or another?

What gave you the idea for this particular story?
The Three Stooges.  For real.  When I was five.  Daddy took me to a drive-in movie when I was five.  (Yeah, I’m that old.)  It was a Three Stooges movies, and while I have no actual memory of the movie and don’t, in fact, even recall if it had a “space-travel” theme, ‘cause I guess it could have been a preview of a coming attraction – five was a long time ago.  Anyway, I remember looking up at the stars out of the car window on the way home and thinking that somewhere out there, there was another world.  And that I had a double on it.  Yes, I was really five.  Yes, I’ve always been this weird.

Are you a full-time writer or part-time, and how do you organize your writing time?
I’m a full-time writer who writes part time.  I’m full-time in the sense that something or other is working in my brain pertaining to a plot or a character or a scene all the time.  I’m a part-time writer in the sense that I work a “day job”  9-5.  I’m a paralegal at a pretty big law firm in Macon, Georgia, which is squarely in the middle of the state. So as far as actually getting the words out of my head and onto the screen, I’m a part-time writer.

When did you first know you wanted to be a writer?
I’ve never wanted to be a writer.  I mean, I’ve never thought about it like it was anything I had a choice about or something I could do if I wanted to or not do if I didn’t want to.   I just always have been.

What do you hope readers will take from your writing?
Sheer entertainment and enjoyment, from some of them.  A tear or two interspersed with laughter from a couple of others.  A few chills and thrills from some of them.  A sense that this is a writer who enjoys people.  And knows them well.

Which genres do you write, which do you prefer, and why?
Everything I write is in some fashion paranormal suspense.  Some of it’s darker than others, I’ll admit.  And I actually have a pure country comedy plot brewing in my head that’ll probably shock some folks who’ve read my other stuff.  Then again, maybe not.  I tend to maintain a sense of humor in pretty much everything I write.  Or so I’m told, anyway, and I certainly hope it’s the truth.

What is the toughest part about being a writer and how do you get past it?
The start of a new book. Because the fear’s always there.  The fear that this time, what if the magic’s not there?  What if the magic doesn’t flow?  What if the characters don’t start walking and talking?  In the end, I just start.  And so far, the magic hasn’t let me down.

Is there anything in your story based upon a real life event? If so, tell me about it.
In this one?  Not so much.  In others, I can’t tell you ‘cause I’d get sued.  Or fired.  Or ostracized.  Or all three.

How much is your protagonist like you? How different?
Oh, Lord!  Tess is me up one side and down the other!  One aspect of me, anyway.  All my heroines are.  I mean, who else do you know well enough to know what they’d do in any given situation?  But do note the “one aspect of me” part.  I think everybody’s multi-faceted and has many different aspects to their personality.  So depending on the plot, I take whichever “me” fits it best.

What kind of research did you do for this type of story?
Not a drop.  That’s why I did a fantasy.

What about your book makes it special?
I’d have to defer to the readers for that.

Where can people learn more about you and your work?
I’ve consolidated onto  I’m kind of tech-challenged so the new blogs with multiple pages are much easier for me to work with than trying to handle a website.

Any tips for new writers hoping to write in the genre of your book?
I’d say, don’t write genre.  Write your story.  The one in your brain.  After you get several under your belt, you’ll know what your genre is, if you have one.  You might be a switch-hitter.  Whatever the story is for you, that’s what you write.  Because unless you write from the heart, in my humble opinion, it’s not going to ring true, for you or for the reader. 

What’s in the future for you?
Well, I’m working on the next two books in the War-N-Wit, Inc. series, and hope to have the second in the series out in June or July.  I have a paranormal suspense/crime thriller, Down Home, coming out in September.  After that, I have that dark horror that’s very special to me – and I’ve been told “horror” isn’t the proper label because to some who’ve read it, it’s first and foremost a love story, and yeah, I agree, there’re several very strong love stories in it – but in any event, I’m reworking it to be a two or three parter.  And then I want to do the pure country comedy I mentioned above.  Working title Cream Cheese & Pepper Jelly.  And somewhere in there, I’d like to pull out the third novel I ever wrote and re-work it into something incorporating another story that’s very special to me, working title, Black Turkey Walk.  It’d be real nice to quit my day job with all this in my brain, but I don’t see that happening.  Then again, if I wasn’t out in the world all day, what on earth would I do for characters?

Dedicated career girl Tess Ames is on her way to a working holiday in Jamaica. She thinks. But there’s a door that has other plans. A door to another world. A door that picks and chooses when it opens. And who's allowed to enter. Because those who come through that door are meant to come. Chosen. Selected. For a reason. So instead of eating salt-fish and dancing reggae, she ends up…somewhere else. In a world that runs on magic, portents, omens and the all-important Powerstones. She ain’t in Kansas anymore! Has Tess been thrown to the wolves? Why was she chosen? Ah! That would be telling…

“Jamaica Unicom, this is Alpha Delta Charlie…”

            I was beginning to think there were no other words in the English language. Certainly, it didn’t appear there were ever going to be more by way of a reply.

This was supposed to be a combined business-pleasure trip; a short junket from Miami to Jamaica during which I would add “hostess” to my job description of personal troubleshooter to the CEO.  I’d made similar trips at least ten times in this little Piper Cub during the last two years of my employment with Ramos International, with pilot Ken Hanslett at the controls. We’d become big buddies and I’d always had absolute confidence in him. I still did. It was the gray, clinging, swirling, never-ending fog I didn’t have any confidence in. 

            “Ken, give it a rest. You’re getting hoarse. Nobody’s answering.”

            “Yeah, but you never know, Tess. We need to keep on trying.”

            We’d been flying in this peasouper for over an hour, all instrument gauges oscillating wildly from one side of their respective circles to the other. I’d almost given up looking at them on purpose as the force of my stare obviously wasn’t effective in making them behave. But I glanced back down frequently anyway, in the manner of a passer-by who just couldn’t stop looking at a traffic accident.

            “Ken! Look!”

            I couldn’t believe it. The needles were no longer swinging crazily. And the fog – the fog was lifting and then, almost instantaneously, we were back in the blue, rushing rapidly into flashes of green and brown. I saw thick treetops and rolling hillsides. The plane seemed to skim the tops of the trees on its way down to rolling meadow and my brain screamed in protest.  No way.  We were supposed to be over ocean, not land. We were supposed to be cruising at 8,000 feet, not tree level.


His hands flashed out to the controls and I heard the engines cut out.  Kaleidoscopic colors rushed past. I felt the horrendous jolts of impact before my ears registered the noise, and then there was only the slow swishing sound of the propellers as they revolved ever more slowly into stillness.

I don’t think I was completely knocked out, and fought back to the light through dancing motes of black, wrenching nausea. The plane was at an angle and the impact had been on the pilot side – the pilot side! Oh, my God!

I was lodged far back in the seat and tried to struggle up, panicking at the bonds that held me. I had visions of the plane exploding while we were trapped inside.  Then I realized I wasn’t trapped at all, but still securely harnessed in. I brought my hands down to locate the release on the seat belt buckle. I rose and turned my head.


The pilot side had, indeed, taken the impact. His seat was pushed forward, and he lay slumped over the wheel. My mind tried to shut it out, to deny the obvious, but I couldn’t let it. His chest was crushed. Blood trickled from his lip. No, that wasn’t right. Not from his lip. Down his lip, coming from his mouth. I lurched forward, moving too fast, and the body of the plane shifted its balance. I sat still.
“I won’t think,” I told myself. “That’s easier. Much easier. Just for a minute.” And I lay back against the seat and let my eyes shift out the window and look out at a vista that couldn’t possibly exist on any island in the Caribbean Ocean. I was looking at trees native to the deep hardwood forests of the Northern Hemisphere. The sunlight was wrong; subtly different, redder, rawer, newer. 

Then my eyes shifted to Ken and I knew I couldn’t avoid thinking about it, the very thing Ken and I had joked about on different flights across this same stretch of ocean, flights ending with normal, happy landings.

I’d flown through the Bermuda Triangle and come out alive on the other side, with a dying pilot and a wrecked plane.


  1. Two of my favorite ladies together...what more can one ask for? I love Gail's writing and hers coming here and sitting a spell while they chat around me is a rare pleasure. Well Done both of you...and Gail, you've written another winner here...just like War-N-Wit, Inc. Yes one and all Gail is truly here to stay giving us stories that stay with you long after you've moved on to the next MUST read on your e-reader.

    1. Ah, but Lin, you're prejudiced! You love me! Love you, too, darlin'!

  2. Suzanne de MontignyMay 16, 2012 at 4:55 PM

    I love reading paranormal. And I love writing it too. I agree that you have to write from the heart about what you know. And I'm sure your magic will keep coming through.

    1. Hey Suzanne! I think we all need some hint of the paranormal, some "magic" in our lives and that's the root of the human fascination with it. Thanks so much for stopping in!

  3. Love the cover, Gail. Love your photo and your top and your storyline. Try saying that 10 times!

  4. Hey Joylene! I love that top too! As to the photo, one does what one can with a co-worker with a good camera and the parking garage! Got to break down and get a "professional" picture one day! My heroine's eyes in the cover sort of remind me of one of the opening shots of Sarah Michelle Geller in Buffy the Vampire Slayer -- you just know -- whoever's messing with her's 'bout to be sorry!

  5. Well now I see where the WarNWit comes from (lawyer stuff) I am half way done with that and so far it is fabulous! This book also sounds terrific!

    As always...great interview

    1. Hey Penny! My other favorite Penny! Girl, when are you coming to guest on Flowers on the Fence? Do I have come out there and kidnap you? So good to see you!

  6. Glad everyone could stop by for a visit. Lin thank you for your kind words. Gail look forward to having you back again for your next release.

    1. And speaking of favorite Pennys and Flowers on the Fence and kidnappings, I don't believe you've been over to Flowers on the Fence either, hmmmm?

  7. Great interview, Gail. I especially like this question and your response.

    What about your book makes it special?

    I’d have to defer to the readers for that.

    I hope I can remember to say that. Short and sweet.

    1. Hey John!!! So glad you dropped in! And thank you for the compliment! Lord knows, our books are our kids. We don't see them the way others do so it's kind of hard for us to analyze 'em!

  8. Interesting interview and story, Gail! Loved your advice to not write in a specific genre. My books never quite fit into any of those drawers. :-)

    1. Hey Edith! So glad to see you! No, for years I'da sworn I didn't write genre at all, I'm pretty much all over the board. But I have discovered I do have that core at the center of every book. So far, at least. Next time? Who knows?

  9. A little late to offer my congrats on another entertaining blog post, but I just had to say I loved the first in War N Wit and can't wait for more. You are a gifted storyteller. Too bad you don't have many plans for the future!! LOL..You go, Girl!!!!

  10. Hi Gail Hi Penny *waves* I'm late...dangit:( BUT, loved hearing your unique answers Gail...Penny gives great interviews.

    I didn't know much about Miami Days...and now it is also on my TBR list *grins*

    It's always nice visiting with MuseItUp sistas:)

  11. I know, right? Are there really folks with too much time on their hands? Would they sell it, you think? Love you, girl!

    1. Hey Kay Dee! Blogger jumped in and put my reply to J.Q. under your comment, but the same applies, love you too girl! I don't know how unique my answers are but I do hate to be predictable!