Award-winning author, Gail Pallotta, is a wife, mom, swimmer and bargain shopper who loves God, beach sunsets and getting together with friends and family. She’s been a Sunday school teacher, a swim-team coordinator and an after-school literary instructor. A former regional writer of the year for American Christian Writers Association, she won Clash of the Titles in 2010. Her teen book, Stopped Cold, was a best-seller on All Romance eBooks, finished fourth in the Preditors and Editors readers’ poll, and was a finalist for the 2013 Grace Awards. She’s published short stories in “Splickety” magazine and Sweet Freedom with a Slice of Peach Cobbler. Some of her published articles appear in anthologies while two are in museums.
"Stopped Cold is filled with emotion, strong characters, teenage romance, adventure, danger and the intricate workings of modern day high school studies and sports." --Larry Hammersley, Author
Welcome back to my blog, Gail. For those who enjoy a bit of mystery, this book has it. Stopped Cold is being reintroduced with a new cover and publisher. Please tell us about your book.
The theme of the book is: You don’t have to be number one for God to love you. It takes place in a small mountain town, but things aren’t what they seem in peaceful Mistville, North Carolina.
Margaret McWhorter enjoys a laid-back Freshman year in high school flirting with Jimmy Willmore, swimming and hanging out with friends—until that day. Her brother, Sean, suffers a stroke from taking a steroid. Now he’s lying unconscious in a hospital. Margaret’s angry at her dad for pushing Sean to be a great quarterback, but a fire of hatred burns inside her to make the criminals pay.
Looking for justice, she takes Jimmy and her best friend, Emily, through a twisted, drug-filled sub-culture. A clue sends them deep into the woods behind the school where they overhear drug dealers discuss Sean. Time and time again they walk a treacherous path and come face to face with danger. Even the cop on the case can’t stop them from investigating. All the while Margaret really wants to cure Sean, heal the hate inside, and open her heart to love.
This book has a wonderful message for teens. Where did you get your inspiration for this novel?
As a young adult I saw lots of heartache in several instances when people weren’t number one. Sadly, the drive pushed some of them to destructive behavior. I could only imagine the pain they must have gone through and how their God-given talents were wasted simply because they weren’t “the best.” The fact that God gave us all a gift or gifts to use for Him kept rattling around in my head until I decided to write about it. When I thought of being number one, even though we can win everything from a pie-tasting contest to a spelling bee, sports came to mind. As a young person I loved Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys and wanted to write a mystery. I pondered how to connect a sports story and a mystery and steroids came to mind. When I researched steroid use, one of the main reasons given for taking them was a desire to excel in athletics. This rounded out the book for my theme.
What kind of research did you do for this book?
To learn about steroids I used the Physician’s Desk Reference in the library and several online sites. I also interviewed a couple policemen.
My daughter was a U.S. swimmer, and I swim laps, but I checked the local papers and heat sheets for up-to-date times for specific events and asked several people associated with the sport to check out the swimming scenes.
You did a lot of work, Gail. Did you put real experiences from your research in this story?
Oh yes. To name a few, the scene where the doctor explains steroids to Sean and Margaret’s mom reflects my research in the Physician’s Desk Reference book and the online sources. The entire character of Joe Garrett, the undercover cop, comes from talking with the police. The technical information about swimming shows up at every swim meet.
That’s awesome. You have a new young adult novel that was just released this week called Mountain of Love and Danger. Please tell us about it.
Mountain of Love and Danger is a novella. It’s a retelling of Jack and the Beanstalk and will be book number four in a series with four other authors. In it Jack Greenthumb’s having fun—a different day—a different girl to ride around in Fairwilde Kingdom. Then Dad’s attacked and beaten up. The family farm’s destroyed and Jack’s true love, Gwendolyn Bante, kidnapped. A giant-sized criminal holds her captive atop a mountain accessible only by helicopter. Jack launches an undercover operation that reveals Gwenie’s whereabouts, but reaching her is a dangerous expedition even for a champion rock climber. A Greenthumb Acres employee plants a miraculous seed from Heaven at the base of the mountain for the rescue. Suspense and danger mounts as Jack makes the perilous climb. When he reaches Gwenie, they must escape then face a treacherous descent. Mountain of Love is available at Smashwords and Amazon.
Thank you, Gail, for this wonderful interview. Gail is giving two e-books away. If you have a preference which book you want, let us know in your comment.