What Were You Before
1. What were you before you became an author? Did this influence your choices as a writer?
I worked as a journalist for several small-town newspapers in Montana and Wyoming, plus served as a freelance writer for regional publications. While in college, I studied journalism, creative writing, and communications, and prior to that, I wrote poems and stories as a youngster. Writing has been in my blood most of my life, and when I released my first book in 2007 and began attending book signings and library readings, I was JAZZED!! Sharing my work with others, even virtually as I do mostly know, stirs a heartfelt joy within me.
2. Are you genre specific or general? I don’t mean major genres but subdivisions or romance, mystery or paranormal.
Currently, I write clean, contemporary, western romance. I call my series the Pet Rescue Romance series as I weave pet rescue and adoption into the love story. That topic, pet rescue and adoption, is one of my passions, so I’ve chosen to weave my two primary passions (writing and animals) into my romance stories. I’ve also written for children, which is the genre I first chose as an author. I’ve written inspirational pet books for kids, weaving life lessons (such as friendship, courage, and perseverance) into my children’s stories. I’ve also created Christian devotions for dog lovers and I’ve been published in seven editions of Chicken Soup for the Soul.
3. What is your latest release?
My new release is My Montana Love. It is the sequel to my first Pet Rescue Romance book Rescue Road. The new book moves the love story of my two primary characters from Rescue Road five years in the future as they prepare to celebrate their anniversary. A health crisis arises, which, among other issues, tears at the fabric of their relationship. The book is set in southwestern Montana, a beautiful area near Yellowstone National Park in which I once resided.
4. What are you working on now?
I’m preparing another story for the Pet Rescue Romance series titled In the Shadow of Mount Moran. This will be a holiday book set in the Grand Teton National Park/Jackson, Wyoming area. The story brings a very minor character from Rescue Road into the spotlight after she experiences a challenging divorce. Of course, there’s dog rescue involved plus a budding romance with the foreman of the dude ranch she visits during the holiday season. I expect the book to release the first of November.
5. Does your reading choices influence your choice of a writing career?
Not particularly. I’m a big fan of the Longmire series, written by Wyoming author Craig Johnson. He writes crime drama set in the state in which I live, and though a bit of romance is woven into pages of some of his books, the focus is the crime and how Sheriff Longmire and his team solve it. I read a lot of historical romance but don’t write in that genre. I do enjoy picking up a book by Annie Rains, Roxanne St. Clair, Kris Bock, Linda O. Johnston, Casey Peeler, and Eliza Boyd as well – many of them weave animals into some of their romance stories.
6. Where can we find you?
My website is www.gaylemirwinauthor.com, and my author Facebook page is https://www.facebook.com/GayleMIrwin. I’m on Twitter as wyoauthor1, and I’m dabbling with Pinterest (with hopes to learn more this year): www.pinterest.com/gaylemirwin. My Amazon Author Page can be found here: amazon.com/author/gayleirwin