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 outdoor adventures with her family. She has taught adult Christian ed classes for over 30 years, and is a member of the Wordsmiths Writers.
Interview questions posed by Lorrie Domin for her blog.
Tell readers a few things about yourself.
I spent 28 years writing news releases, newsletters, speeches, you name it. All that time I was also writing on my own. One day I picked up a manuscript that had been in a drawer for ten years. It made me laugh and cry, and I decided to get serious about publishing. I’m also 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?
Yes! My sister gave me a five-year diary when I was about nine. That started me on a life-long journey of regularly recording my thoughts. I love reading, writing and research.
What book or article are you currently working on or just released?
My third novel, Amber’s Choice, was released in July 2019. It’s based at Cottonwood Creek, where marriage is in style, families are strong, and the lonely find friendship. Amber McLean’s calling and greatest desire is to return to Cottonwood Creek and Kelly Jorgenson, the man she loves. But will her fast-track career and family obligations force her to decide between her calling and her career? It’s a sequel to my first book, By the Banks of Cottonwood Creek. I also have a historical novel out called Secrets of the Dark Closet.
What advice do you have for young writers?
Read in the genre in which you want to write. Also, write regularly. 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.
Do you write in silence or with background noise/music?
Generally, I need silence. However, in spite of liking contemporary Christian music, it’s been old hymns, such as This is My Father’s World and Be Still my Soul, that have given me breathless moments of inspiration at decisive times when writing.
What do you want your readers to take away from your books/writing?
In By the Banks of Cottonwood Creek and Amber’s Choice, the characters face real life issues, such as tragic death, sexual harassment, and pressure from society. They are trying to live out their Christian faith through it all. I hope the stories encourage readers to remain strong in their faith.
Where do you get your inspiration to write?
I am a prairie girl at heart and I look forward to quiet times when God can speak to my heart. I just found a wooded area a few miles from my home that I expect to become my secret place to spend time with the Lord.
At the end of the day, the Bible is my book of choice and biggest inspiration. My blue-covered copy is underlined, filled with scraps of paper and showing signs of hinge fatigue. Each underlined verse is an “a-ha” moment that makes me want to seize the nearest person and say, “Look at this!”