Author Interview-Lilly Gayle
As my 100th post, I’m excited to welcome fellow, Wild Rose Press author, Lilly Gayle. I’ll be over at her blog today. Stop by and say hi!
What inspired you to become a writer?
When I was in the eighth grade, my teacher gave us an assignment: Write a short, 3 to 5 page story using all of your spelling words. The entire class groaned. I smiled. I could do that. I'd been writing stories in my head since the day I played hooky to watch the very first episode of Young and the Restless. So, I started writing…and filled up an entire spiral notebook. The teacher asked me to condense it down to the required word length, but she encouraged me to keep writing. And I did. Until I graduated from high school and went off to college. Life got in my way for years, but I shared my secret desire to write with my husband and in 1995, he bought our first computer and told me to stop dreaming and start writing. Gotta love a man who listens to the important stuff. As for the small stuff, well that's another story. Lol!
Who are your favorite romance characters (besides your own?)
Dean Koontz's Christopher Snow from his books Seize the Night and Fear Nothing. Snow is the main character and suffers from Xeroderma Pigmentosum. The story is a paranormal suspense with romantic elements and I fell in love with Snow. Forced to live in a shadowy world because of his rare skin condition, Snow witnesses a series of frightening events that force him to confront his fears as he investigates the dark secrets hiding in the shadows of Moonlight Bay.
Tell me what inspired this story.
Dean Koontz's character, Christopher Snow. He suffers from XP- a rare, genetic DNA disorder in which the skin is ultra-sensitive to UV light and the ability to repair the damage is deficient. Patients exposed to UV and sunlight suffer from disfiguring burns and skin cancers. While reading the book, I started investigating the disorder and got an for a vampire novel. Then I saw a re-run of Universal Soldier with Jean-Claud Vandam and Dolph Lundgren and the idea came together in a rough draft.
How do you balance your day-to-day commitments with your writing life?
Not very well! I still work a day job. I a radiologic technologist with a certification in mammography. I usually, work 9-10 hours, four days a week, but we've been so swamped lately, I've been putting in 11 hour days. Then there's writing, promoting, blogging, home and family obligations. Sometimes I can't keep up! And I've got two WIP's I need to finish! Any advice on how to write faster or find more hours in the day? Lol!
Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?
As a mammographer and breast cancer survivor, I want to remind women over forty to perform monthly self-breast exam, visit their doctor for an annual clinical breast exams and ask the health care provider to schedule a yearly mammogram if you haven't already had one. When I was diagnosed in 2007 at age 47, I had no family history, no symptoms, no lump, and no clue. I can't tell you how shocked I was to see the film and know—even before the doctor read my films—that that tiny, spiky white glob next to my chest wall had all the film characteristics of an invasive cancer. And I was right.
In 2007, 70% of all new breast cancers were diagnosed in women with NO family history. Last month, I was at a mammography seminar in Richmond, Virginia and learned that number has now risen to 80%. The increase in new cancer diagnoses is most likely related to early detection due to the increased sensitivity of digital mammography. Some government agencies want women to wait until age 50 before having their first mammogram because along with an increase in cancer diagnoses there's been an increase in biopsies with negative results.
As a woman who's had two negative biopsies and two positive ones, despite any anxiety I may have felt, I'd rather have a negative biopsy any day of the week than miss an early cancer diagnosis. Early detection can mean the difference in curing the disease and treating. Thanks to screening mammography and early detection by biopsy, I'm now a five year survivor and am considered cured. So, I don't advice taking chances. Start getting screened at age forty. Had I waited until age 50, I wouldn't have lived long enough to have my first mammogram.