Stars in Her Eyes: Author Q&A with Gail Daley

Mar 14, 2020 | 2020 Articles, Fantasy & Fangs, Sarah Peterson-Camacho

by Sarah A. Peterson-Camacho

When it comes to the imagination, the sky’s the limit for Gail Daley. With three science fiction and fantasy series underway, the Central Valley author feels as much at home exploring distant galaxies as she does creating memorable characters who leap off the page. Kings River Life spoke with Daley about inspiration, genre bending, and writing’s biggest rewards.

KRL: What is your writing background?

Gail: I am chiefly self-taught; my only experience with writing classes was back in high school. However, I edited the school newsletter. (I also write and edit an online newsletter called Local Art Events.)

Gail Daley

KRL: Did you always want to write?

Gail: I suppose so. I’ve always ‘told stories’ to entertain myself and my family.

KRL: What was the first piece you ever wrote?

Gail: I wrote a prose version of Lewis Carroll’s The Jabberwocky. Over the years, I started various novels; I even had one that I wrote on my lunch hour at work, on floppy discs. (I lost that one when I changed jobs suddenly.)

KRL: What genres do you write in?

Gail: I write fantasy and science fiction mostly, but I include elements of mystery and suspense as well.

KRL: Who are your favorite authors, and your favorite novels? Whose work inspires you the most?

Gail: My list of favorite authors changes constantly. I am an omnivorous reader; I read sci-fi, fantasy, mystery, westerns and historical fiction.

If I had to pick favorite novels…In the western genre, I like both Louis L’Amour’s books about the Sackets, and John S McCord Baynes Clan series. In suspense, I like most books by Nora Roberts (I have almost all of the JD Robb series). In cozy mysteries, I like Amanda M. Lee’s Winchester witches, but also Georgette Heyer’s and M.M. Kaye’s period mysteries. For straight Sci-Fi, I like Anne McCaffrey’s Dragonflight books. I also love Edgar Rice Burroughs, Andre Norton, Gayla Drummond, and Ilona Andrews.

KRL: What are your novels about; what can you tell us about the protagonist(s) journey?

Gail: I currently have three series: the Space Colony Journals (seven books), the Magi of Rulari (two titles), and the St. Antoni Series (one published, and second in the process of being written).

The stories all have a central theme: family, love, and doing what is necessary to survive with your integrity and dignity intact.

KRL: What is your writing process? How do you conquer writer’s block?

Gail: I tend to jump around in a book when I’m writing, because sometimes a particular scene just demands to be written, even if it is out of sequence. It does mean that I have to go back in, and consolidate those scenes to make the story coherent.

If I’m experiencing difficulty in getting my head in a book, I do two things: I go back and reread what I’ve written from the beginning to see where I went off the rails; and sometimes it helps to get a visual picture of the main characters, so I do some cover designing.

KRL: What was your journey to publication like?

Gail: The journey was slow; I didn’t publish my first book until I was over 55. I wrote, mind you, but I didn’t finish a book until I was an old lady.

KRL: Do you have any advice for beginning authors?

Gail: Don’t give up. Don’t be discouraged. Learn all you can about how to make your work interesting and coherent.

KRL: What writing projects are you working on now?

Gail: Right now, I’m working on finishing the seventh book in the Space Colony Journals, Quantum Light. I’ve put it on Draft2Digital’s site, and I’m waiting for copies to be ready so I can proof the print copy.

I’m also semi-writing the second book in the St. Antoni series, The Enforcers. Unlike the other two series, this one I’m determined to keep as close to reality (no spell casting, telepathy, etc.) as possible. (All of these elements appear in the other two series). I have been doing a lot of research for it; it’s a murder mystery, so before I can write it, I have to figure out how the murder happened, and how to leave clues to the killer without spoiling the plot!

KRL: What is the most rewarding thing about writing?

Gail: The most rewarding thing is being able to live for a while in a universe you created, with the friends you are writing about.

You can learn more on her website.

You can use these links to purchase some of Gail’s books on Amazon. If you are blocking ads you may not be able to see the links.

Sarah A. Peterson-Camachois a library assistant with Fresno County Library, with a Bachelor’s in English and a Bachelor’s in Journalism from California State University, Fresno. In her free time, she makes soap and jewelry that she sells at Fresno-area craft fairs. She has written for The Clovis Roundup and the Central California Paranormal Investigators (CCPI) Newsletter.

Disclosure: This post contains links to an affiliate program, for which we receive a few cents if you make purchases. KRL also receives free copies of most of the books that it reviews, that are provided in exchange for an honest review of the book.


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