Gayle Larson Schuck is a North Dakota native. A graduate of Bismarck State College and the University of Mary, she worked in public information and development for 28 years. When she isn’t plotting her next scene, Gayle enjoys gardening, reading and walking. She has taught adult Christian ed classes for over 35 years, and is a member of the Wordsmiths Writers. 

Author Interview

A friend made me a sunflower cake like the one in Cottonwood Dreams

Tell readers a few things about yourself.  I’m a wife, mom and grandmother who reads three or four books at a time, gardens, likes to go on nature hikes and loves pretty china. In other words, I’m normal, except…I write.

Did you always want to write?  My impossible dream was to write novels, but it took a lifetime to get there. As Winston Churchill said, “Never, never, never give up!”

What is your most recent book?  Grace Like a River, Essays from the Heartland was released in 2022. It includes dozens of my blog posts and some unpublished personal essays that I wanted to preserve in book form.

What is your contemporary Christian series about?  The characters are in their twenties. Cottonwood Creek begins with Kelly Jorgenson, a big city guy, moving to Cottonwood Creek to be a pastor. In Amber’s Choice, Amber McLean’s fast-track life forces her to decide between her calling and her career. In Cottonwood Dreams, Brianna Davis dumps her San Francisco career and moves to North Dakota to run a B&B and check out local good guy, Tiny Winger.

What other books have you written?  Secrets of the Dark Closet is a historical novel based on the secrets my grandmother took to her grave. This is the book of my heart.

What do you want your readers to take away from your books/writing?  My characters face real life issues, such as abuse, tragic death, sexual harassment, and pressure from society. They’re trying to live out their Christian faith through it all. I hope the stories inspire readers to remain strong in their faith.

Where do you get your inspiration to write?  My favorite place of inspiration is along the Missouri River or any quiet place where God can speak to my heart.

What books do you enjoy reading?  Gentle reads in Christian fiction and cozy mysteries are favorites, but I read rather widely. Nothing beats a compelling biography. And the Bible is my daily read.

Does anyone in your family read your books?  I like to think so.

Do you have other writers in the family?  Two of my grandsons write. I expect them to far exceed me.

Have you ever traveled to research for a book?  We made two trips to Iowa when I was writing Secrets of the Dark Closet.

What’s your favorite writing snack or drink?  Coffee in the morning, tea in the afternoon, chocolate anytime.

If you were to write a spin-off about a side character, which would you pick?  Tiny Winger is such a hoot. He could have his own book.

What advice do you have for young writers?  Read in the genre in which you want to write. Keep a journal, write for the school newspaper, take writing classes, and reach out to other writers. With those “writes” you can’t go wrong.

If you had to describe yourself in just three words, what would those be?  Blessed by God.