Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Real Life and Writing Books with author Norma Gail

Real Life and Writing Books

with author Norma Gail

Write what you know is the mantra we hear. However, sometimes the story God lays on your heart is not 100% familiar in every way. I am celebrating the third birthday of my debut novel, Land of My Dreams. The story bears some similarities to my life. A woman meets the love of her life while struggling with heartbreak. My husband is European, so I know the experience of becoming part of a family who thinks very different from my own. However, I’ve only been to Europe twice and only once to his homeland. Each of us goes through times when we struggle with God. Each of us has doubts. Each of us must learn to overcome personal struggles in the strength of the Lord. Each of us longs for love.

Then comes the unfamiliar part, I set Land of My Dreams in Scotland. That’s a long way from my New Mexico home. As Bonny Bryant, the main character says, “Scotland is about as similar to New Mexico as water is to dust.” I have visited Scotland and many of the events in the book relate to actual experiences we had during our time there. 

Our day at the Highland Games was as far from summer as I can imagine, cold and very rainy:
The weather felt like autumn, but the hearty Scots appeared to be enjoying their summer weather, ignoring the constant drizzle punctuated by periods of pelting rain.
“Thanks for suggesting the rain suit. I’m not used to this.” She smiled at the sight of children in sleeveless shirts and shorts and a dapper-looking older couple strolling along in their tartans, licking ice cream cones and declaring it “a lovely day.”
Bonny regarded the varied group of contestants gathering on the track, already dripping wet. The rain was coming down in buckets. “They’re going to run up that mountain in this?”

My favorite memory created one of the most romantic scenes in the book. Standing atop Grant Tower at Urquhart Castle on Loch Ness was a moment I will never forget. We shared the small area on the ruined rampart with a group of Italians only interested in photographing themselves. I leaned on the railing, imagining Nessie popping up below and my husband pointed to a magnificent rainbow, arching from one side of the loch to the other:

“Come see this.” Kieran and Bonny stood atop Grant Tower at Urquhart Castle, overlooking Loch Ness. For her, it was a place of poignant memories. He pointed to a rainbow arching from one side of the loch to the other as she moved into the crook of his arm. “Now, down there.”
She stood on tiptoe and looked to where he pointed, at the base of the tower.
“Step onto that ledge and I’ll steady you.”
The warmth of his hands around her waist contrasted with the chill wind. She shivered and leaned close enough to hear the stubble on his chin scratching against her raincoat. “The rainbow enters the water at the foot of the tower. Another fifty feet, and it would form a complete circle. Amazing.”
His arms tightened around her. “No more so than the woman in my arms.”
She kept silent. Did he feel it? What could be more romantic than a rainbow all their own?

A piece of my heart remains in Scotland to this day. However, it lives springs to life through my characters, Bonny Bryant, a feisty American college professor running from loss, and Kieran MacDonell, a Highland Games hunk of a sheep farmer fighting his own dark struggles to win her heart. Land of My Dreams spans the distance between New Mexico’s high desert mountains and the misty Scottish Highlands with a timeless story of overwhelming grief, undying love, and compelling faith.

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Little did I know that our anniversary trip to Scotland would turn into a contemporary Christian romance about the land that lives in my heart to this day. Memories of multiple circles through traffic round-abouts; eating haggis after a cold, rainy day at the Highland Games; climbing every stairway in every castle we visited; and a 15-minute stop overlooking Loch Garry noted for its similarity to a map of Scotland, were the material necessary to make my dream of becoming a published author come true.
I invite you share my excitement by visiting my blog for the Land of My Dreams Birthday Celebration Contest, featuring Amazon gift cards, free books, and the Grand Prize of a Scottish Tea Gift Box. Visit http://www.normagail.org/land-of-my-dreams-celebration/ and enter to win on one of the Rafflecopters at the bottom. The contest ends on May 5th.

About the Author:
Norma Gail is the author of the contemporary Christian romance, Land of My Dreams, winner of the 2016 Bookvana Religious Fiction Award. A women’s Bible study leader for over 21 years, her devotionals and poetry have appeared at ChristianDevotions.us, the Stitches Thru Time blog, and in “The Secret Place.” She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Romance Writers of America. Norma is a former RN who lives in the mountains of New Mexico with her husband of 40 years. They have two adult children. If you’re interested in connecting with me, I invite you to follow my blog, join me on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Goodreads, or Amazon.


  1. Thank you for hosting me today, Ruth! God bless!

    1. You are very welcome! I enjoyed reading this book a while ago and hope others will enjoy it now.

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