Award-winning author Gail Pallotta’s a wife, Mom, swimmer and bargain shopper who loves God, beach sunsets and getting together with friends and family. A former regional writer of the year for American Christian Writers Association, she won Clash of the Titles in 2010. A 2013 Grace Awards finalist, she’s been a best-selling author on All Romance eBooks. She’s published five books, poems, short stories, and several hundred articles. Some of her articles appear in anthologies while two are in museums.
Welcome back to my blog, Gail. Please tell us about your new book, Barely Above Water.
An illness comes out of nowhere and strikes Suzie Morris. Her boyfriend dumps her. She has no living family, and her physician can’t diagnose the malady. Suzie relies on her Christian faith as she faces the uncertainty of the disease, and turns to a renowned alternative doctor in Destin, Florida. She takes a job coaching a county-sponsored summer swim team and is determined to turn the fun, sometimes comical, rag-tag bunch into winners. Her handsome boss renews her belief in love, but learns of her mysterious affliction and abruptly cuts romantic ties. Later he has regrets, but can he overcome his fear of losing a loved one and regain Suzie’s trust?
Where did you get your inspiration for this story?
Ten years ago I grew very ill. After a month of tests, the doctor told me they couldn’t diagnose my malady, so they couldn’t treat me. The last name of a chiropractor a friend of mine had seen ten years earlier kept popping in my head. I ignored it because I needed medical help, not an adjustment, but the name persisted until finally I called my friend and asked about him. He turned out to be David Lee, D.C., Ph.D., C.Ad., now an alternative doctor as well as a chiropractor. I scheduled an appointment, and he started treating me immediately for a toxic substance. Later, a scan at Dr. Lee’s office showed the bacteria for Chronic Lyme disease. Since then I’ve met and heard of many people suffering from Chronic Lyme disease, or an illness that can’t be diagnosed. Their stories touched my heart and inspired me to write Barely Above Water, which gives information about symptoms and treatments for the disease. I wanted the book to be fun as well as informative, so I included a romance and a cute group of youngsters on a summer league swim team.
What kind of research did you do for this book?
Even though I personally have had the alternative treatments mentioned in the book, I read pamphlets and online information about them. Also, I’ve had them explained to me by Dr. Lee and assistants in his office.
Do you consider your female character to be strong and determined or meek yet spirited?
In Barely Above Water Suzie’s so determined to get better she leaves every trace of life as she has known it behind and moves to Destin, Florida, to receive the treatments she needs. Only because she’s strong in her faith can she take the drastic step, cope with the disease and coach the youngsters.
Where can my readers find you online?
I love to hear from readers. My web site is http://www.gailpallotta.com
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/AuthorsandMore
Twitter - Gail Pallotta @Hopefulwords (https://mobile.twitter.com/Hopefulwords)
Thank you, Gail, for this wonderful interview. I read your book and was so impressed with what I learned. Here is my review.
“Suzie's relationship with Matt is adorable. Not only did I enjoy a sweet love story, but I learned about a mysterious illness that I had never heard of before. All the symptoms of the young woman made me want to read on to find out what she had. What could this illness be? I also found out how hard young children have to work to be in a swim meet. This was something new to me. The children are adorable as they interact with both Suzie and Matt. I loved the story and it was very well written!” –Review by Author Linda Weaver Clarke