Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Interview With Author Gayle Trent aka Amanda Lee

Today we are pleased to bring you an interview with best-selling writer Gayle Trent. She is the author of the Daphne Martin Cake Decorating Series published by Bell Bridge Books and the soon to be released “Quick and the Thread” written as Amanda Lee.

Tell us about your new book coming out. Is it part of a series?

It is the first book in a new series. The Quick and The Thread is coming out on August 3, 2010; and the second book in the series, Stitch Me Deadly, is scheduled to be released in January of 2011.

The new book takes place in Oregon, but you live in Virginia. What
prompted you to use Oregon for your setting?

The editor actually requested that the book be set on the Oregon Coast. Even though I've never been to Oregon, I jumped at the chance to write the series. It took quite a bit of research, but I had a lot of fun learning about Oregon.

The trailers on your site (www.gayletrent.com) are great fun. Did you help make them?

Thank you! I did make the trailers for The Quick and The Thread and Dead Pan. The incomparable Deborah Smith made the trailer for Murder Takes the Cake.

I notice you’re using the pen name Amanda Lee for the new series. Why choose a pen name instead of your own?

Once again, that was at the editor's request. It has its pros and cons. While I'd prefer to have the one identity (Gayle Trent), it's also kind of liberating to have an "alter ego" to hide behind. :)

I understand your earlier series was published by a small publisher, Bell Bridge Books. Can you tell us about that experience?

That was a wonderful experience. Both Debra Dixon and Deborah Smith are fantastic to work with. Both are writers themselves (Deborah Smith refers to herself as a recovering NY Times Bestselling Author!), so they have a special empathy for their authors.

How did you feel when you got the call from Robert Gottlieb wanting to be your agent?

At first, I thought it was a scam. In fact, I called his office to alert them that somebody was sending out e-mails using Robert's name! LOL! When I spoke with the secretary, I said, "I'm thinking this probably isn't legitimate, but I received an e-mail from Mr. Gottlieb telling me he is interested in representing me." But when I told her my name, the title of my book and that it had been having some success on Kindle, she confirmed that he did indeed want to talk with me. It was thrilling. A little scary, but in a good way!

Has publishing with a bigger press been a different sort of experience?

Yes, it has been. At times, the entire process can be a little overwhelming. With small presses, you write the book, you work on edits and then you wait for the final product. With larger publishers, you're thinking about book three even while marketing book one and writing book two. You have periods of silence followed by a flurry of activity. I'm becoming adept at time management. :)

Will you continue to publish your first series with Bell Bridge?

Simon and Schuster has bought the rights to the upcoming book Killer Sweet Tooth and to Murder Takes the Cake. Bell Bridge will still be selling Dead Pan and the e-book version of Murder Takes the Cake.

Would you advise new writers to consider small presses?

Definitely, especially if you can write for a terrific company like Bell Bridge. I think small presses give authors the opportunity to grow and learn. Then if the larger publishers come calling, they'll be better prepared. If the larger publishers don't come calling, they'll still have a wonderful venue for their work. It's a win-win.

Anything you want to add?

I'd just like to mention that I'm having a contest during the month of June in which anyone who pre-orders The Quick and the Thread will be entered to win a $50 Amazon gift card. Details are available at http://www.gayletrent.com/2010/05/contest-announcement/.

Thank you so much for inviting me to meet your readers!


  1. Interesting interview. Gayle Trent seems to be in a perfect place to explode with her writing.

  2. Thank you, Carole! Fingers crossed. :)

  3. Thanks for the interview, ladies! I have a submission in to Belle Bridge. It looks like a great small publisher. Good luck with the future projects, Gayle!

  4. I adore Gayle's writing and look forward to reading the new book.

  5. A very interesting interview! Thanks.

  6. Fascinating! Thanks for the interview.

  7. Gayle, congratulations on your success! Great interview, ladies!