*guest post by COTT Sr. Editor, April W Gardner This week, it was my privilege to spend a few extra minutes with author Gail. Gail is one of the blog alliance correspondents at Clash of the Titles. Her husband, Rick, says she’s the only person he knows who can go in the grocery for a loaf of bread and come out with someone’s life story. That’s probably because she inherited her mother’s love of people and enjoys talking to them. Working as an editor and freelance writer, Gail published a couple hundred articles. While some of them are in anthologies, two ended up in museums. In 2004, the American Christian Writers Association named Gail a regional writer of the year. She recently published her first romance, Love Turns the Tide. When she isn’t writing she likes reading, swimming, and getting together with friends and family. Gail wants to write books of faith that show God’s love. She and Rick live in Georgia. Just a couple hours north of me, actually! We’re practically neighbors. :-) Every COTT staff member is a professed child of God. Gail, can you tell us about your relationship with Christ? I can’t remember when I didn’t love Jesus. My father’s father was a minister, so I grew up listening to Bible verses and references to Jesus. But my mother played a huge part in helping me establish a relationship with Christ. At bedtime she said prayers with me and told me stories from the Bible. First, she taught me “Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep,” but even then I had a copy of “The Lord’s Prayer” hanging on the wall above the headboard of my bed. She taught it to me a few lines at a time. We soon started saying it instead of “Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep.” She also told me about the Crucifixion in her own words, explaining how much Jesus had to love me to die for me. She taught me to talk to Jesus, to say the things I was thankful for, to praise Him, and ask for things I needed. I did the same with my daughter. I’m so grateful for the many blessings Jesus has given me and that He’s always there for me. I don’t always get the answers I want to my prayers, but I get the answers I need to fulfill God’s plan for my life. Whenever I’ve needed a miracle, Jesus has supplied one. There are several hymns that touch on how I feel about my relationship with Christ. “What a Friend We Have in Jesus,” and “He Leadeth Me” are two. My daughter recently gave me a CD, Elvis, An Evening Prayer. The first song on it, “His Hand in Mine,” conveys how I feel about my relationship with Christ. It’s an old gospel song written by Mossie Lister. It’s on YouTube. The URL is http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ulTtL_YaC-w Beautiful testimony! A mother’s faith is essential in a child’s life, and you’re proof of that! None of us are perfect though, so what’s the craziest thing you did as a teenager?
I grew up at the foothills of the mountains. At a reunion a few years ago, many of us told our beloved biology teacher how much she meant to us. She replied, “Well, I had to teach biology. There was no one else in town that could.” Teachers were scarce. We had a very old algebra teacher. He couldn’t stay awake during class. Nope. He took the roll and told us to turn to the next chapter and work the problems. Then he pushed back his seat and propped his feet on the trash can. We’d give him about ten minutes, and he was out like a light. His classroom was in the basement with a window level to the ground. In the spring as soon as he started snoring, we went out the window, got in my friend’s convertible (she had the only car) and went to the lake. No way! That’s so funny!! How long were you gone? What is something else people would be surprised to know about you? At age twenty-two when I graduated from college, I packed my clothes in a medium-sized suitcase and moved to a large city with eighty dollars in my pocket. Had no car, no job, and nowhere to live. Wow! You can’t leave us hanging, lol! How did that work out for you? On a slightly more serious note, what is the nearest book to where you’re sitting? I love to read anything, non-fiction, fiction, any genre, Christian and many secular. But the book closest to me, probably because I also write as well as read, is Essentials of English. I’d imagine that covers grammar? Forms of writing? Sounds like a must-have for every writer! What are three things you can’t live without? Faith, family, fun Three very important f’s! Makes me wonder though, when I say the word “fun,” what’s the first thing to pop into your mind? What is the message you most want to convey to readers with your writing? God loves you. Accept His love and let the greatness of it overcome the imperfections of this world. That brings to mind. John 16:33 "These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world." NAS (©1995) Anything else you’d like to add? I was honored when asked to be part of the Clash of the Titles Staff. I love helping to promote Christian books and writers. And we love having you!! *** Get to know Gail better by visiting her website or her blog.