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.


  1. Lilly, so many women get wrapped up in taking care of their families, they neglect to take care of themselves. Thanks for joining us today & sharing your experience.

  2. Thanks for having me. So sorry I'm late checking in. Life has certainly gotten hectic lately. Hope it slows down some this fall.

  3. Lilly, I hope everything slows down for you! You have had a hectic life these last two years! Glad you have family to help you and a special husband who encourages you to keep writing. Your books are fantabulous, not sure this is a word, but I use it as above fabulous!
    Thanks Mariposa for hosting Lilly!

  4. Take a deep breath and don't forget ti enjoy the ride too! I'm with Rebecca, you're fabulous!

  5. Thanks, ladies! Rebecca is my first cousin once removed and my biggest fan aside from my mom. lol! Thanks Mary and Becky for stopping by. You two are the BEST!!

  6. I love learning more about my friends and fellow you, I loved having assignments in my English class where I could write stories, but
    never believed I'd actually get published!

    Hope your hectic life gets a bit easier for you soon! And ditto what Mary said!

    1. Thanks Lyn! And thanks to the hostesses of for having my back. You ladies are the best!

  7. I remember the first episode of "The Young and the Restless." I didn't have to stay home from school though to watch it. I was a young mother at the time. In later years, my youngest called it "The Young and the Chestless." Great interview, ladies. Loved learning more about you, Lilly.

  8. lol! I really was chestless at the time, Vonnie. lol! Wonder what ever happened to the character who played Elliott. He was the very first character on the scene when the show opened. I think he was a doctor who'd been in a car accident. He was hiding a secret and either had amnesia or was pretending to have amnesia. I watched that show for years. Now, it's been years since I've seen it.

  9. I also read Dean Koontz's Seize the Night and Christopher Snow was an amazing character. I would love to read Embrace the Darkness, especially since that book and Universal Soldier was your inspiration!

  10. Thanks Niecey! Embrace the Darkness is the sequel to Out of the Darkness. My goal is to one day have the talent of Koontz and be able to write characters so unforgettable that fans will remember them decades after they've read the books.


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