September 29, 2016

Gayle Trent - Cozy Mystery Author Spotlight and Interview

I am going to be hosting a number of cozy mystery authors on my blog for the next two months. If you have not had the pleasure of enjoying a cozy mystery I encourage you to do so. The cozy mystery industry as a whole is in danger of being lost as the publishers are ending a number of series. Please note that not all series I will be sharing are in danger. There are many that will be continuting on as normal. I just wanted to do my part to make everyone aware of this genre as a whole. 

Today I will be showcasing Gayle Trent

About this author:
Gayle is a Southwest Virginia based author who is working on the Daphne Martin Cake Decorating Mystery series. The first book in the series, MURDER TAKES THE CAKE tells the story of Daphne Martin, a forty-year-old divorcee who returns to her fictional hometown of Brea Ridge, Virginia to start her life over. She has left behind an ex-husband who is in prison for an attempt on Daphne's life, a dingy apartment and a stale career. She has started fresh in a new home with a new career, Daphne's Delectable Cakes, a cake-decorating company Daphne runs out of her home. She is thrilled to be living closer to her beloved niece and nephew, although being close to other family members brings up lifelong resentments and more than a couple complications. Daphne is also reunited with childhood friend, Ben Jacobs, a full-fledged HAG (hot, available guy). Daphne's business hits a snag when her first client turns up dead.
Cake Decorating Series

Where to follow this author:

Myrtle Crumb Series

When did your love of writing begin? 
I think I've always loved telling stories. My mom says that when I was a toddler, I would tell them stories beginning with, "Once up a time." :D

What made you chose this genre? 
I love solving puzzles, and I've always enjoyed mysteries. I like to see if I can figure out the killer before the author gives the revelation. I feel satisfied when I do, but I'm happier if I can't and the author is able to surprise me.

Do you have a scheduled writing time, place and/or routine? 
 I write at my desk every day. I generally go through my email to see if there are any fires that need to be put out immediately, and then I write.

What do you do to get over writer's block? 
I typically do a "what if" scenario when I'm stuck. For example, if I was stuck while writing one of the embroidery books, my "what if" list might look like this:

- What if Sadie comes to visit?

- What if a new customer comes into the shop who has information that can be either a clue or a red herring and advance the plot?

- What if Ted brings lunch and gives Marcy some information that will later play a role in her solving the case?

As I'm making the list, something will usually jump out at me, and I'll know what I need to do.

What was it like to get your first publishing contract? 
I was happy, excited, and nauseous. I'm serious. The thought of people actually reading my work made me sick! I was so afraid nobody would like it! LOL!

How has the publishing/writing world changed since you first started writing? 
I believe self-publishing has become a much more viable option than it was when I first began writing. Now even successful traditionally-published authors are striking out on their own and self-publishing books that maybe their publisher doesn't want to take a chance on.

You write about strong female characters. Are they modeled after anyone? 
My grandmother was definitely the strongest woman I've ever known. She was amazing, and I miss her every day. I strive to be like her.

When you are not writing what do you like to do? 
I love to read, of course, and I enjoy binge-watching shows on Netflix with my daughter. We watched Gilmore Girls, and we're really excited about the upcoming movies. My son and I enjoy Shark Tank...although my husband has asked him to please stop letting me watch the show because I want almost everything the entrepreneurs pitch! :D

Do you have any advice for beginning authors? 
Keep at it, and don't let yourself get discouraged. It's so easy to lose hope after getting rejection after rejection after rejection. But if you'll notice, almost every successful author has a "this-book-was-rejected-a-bazillion-times" story. :)

Do you have a favorite author or book you would like to recommend to your readers? 
If you haven't read Watchers by Dean Koontz, do. The man is a master storyteller. I love so many of his books, but that one had me weeping for the "villain."

Please tell us five random things about yourself

1) I have a Great Pyrenees who is my best friend, therapist, sounding board, and unofficial food taster!
2) One of my favorite movies is called Tucker and Dale Versus Evil. If you have a dark, kinda warped sense of humor, you'd probably like it too.
3) I have a stationery addiction--I can't pass up notebooks, pens, journals, planners, note cards, or sticky notes on sale!
4) I have a website called Empowering Authors to Grow Their Readership (
5) After writing about Nellie Davis's aromatherapy shop for the embroidery mystery series, I really became interested in essential oils. Research can lead to some really cool things!

Embroidery Series as Amanda Lee

What I learned about this author:
She uses a what if scenerio when she gets stuck by writer's block. Her advice to beginning authors - keep writing no matter what. Dean Koontz is a favorite author of hers. Like myself she is a stationery addict. You can never have too many pens, notebooks or journals right?. What did you learn about her?

Stay tuned for the next author.


  1. Love her books. Thanks for helping cozies!!

  2. I love notepads and pens, too. School shopping makes me happy!