Dayne Gearner Interview

Thank you Dayne for taking the time for an interview

1. Congratulations on Marriage 101 and To Marry A Millionaire. Was Marriage 101 your very first book to have published? It looks intriguing. How long from beginning to end did it take to write it?

Thank you very much. It's an honor to be asked to participate in this interview. Yes, Marriage 101 was my first book to be published. I completed my first manuscript in 1999, and I was offered this contract in 2005. So, it took six years of book proposals and rejection letters to get to this point. I conceived the plot for Marriage 101 about four years ago, and I thought about it for those four years. When I finally sat down to write it, the writing part went quickly. I wrote the actual manuscript in 22 days--which is the quickest I've ever completed a project. Marriage 101 is actually the fourth manuscript I wrote.

2. How did it make you feel when you received your very first contract? How did you receive the news? Was it by e-mail or phone? What did you do to celebrate?

I was thrilled and excited when I heard the news. I had submitted the manuscript to All Romance Books, and they had emailed me that they received the manuscript and would get back to me. Two days later they sent an email and said they'd like to offer me a contract. I had to read the email about three times to make sure my eyes weren't playing tricks on me. I picked up the phone to call my Mom and Dad. Dad was out, but Mom answered the phone, and she was actually more excited than I had been. Being able to share the moment made it that much sweeter. I said, "Mom, I'm a published author!" We whooped and hollered a lot! Later that night, after my Dad got home, he called me and said, "Hello, author!"

3. It seems you have many talents? How big a part does your music play in your life? When did you realize you were ready to fulfill your dreams of becoming a musician and songwriter? Do you find it easier to write songs or books? Would you like to tell your fans about any screenplays you have written?

Thank you for your kind words. I love creativity in all its forms, be they books, music, movies, etc. I find creativity in craft projects such as sewing, quilting, crocheting and cross stitch. It carries over into cooking. I love the process of creating something that didn't exist before. Music is a huge part of my life. I was a musician before I was an author. Music has such healing power and it has the ability to take the listener to a place he or she has never been before. I started trying to write books in 1989, and it took me till 1999 to figure out what worked for me. I read a lot of books by authors, about how to be an author. It was a very long process to figure out how to get the book to come out of me. It takes a lot to pull a book out of a human being. But when I finally figured out what worked, the process became much faster and easier. To give you an example, I am 5 feet tall. I can't sit at a regular desk for very long, because my feet don't reach the floor. If you want to find out about exhaustion--then sit for an hour when your feet don't reach the floor. So, to fix that problem, I write on a laptop computer on my lap, in an easy chair. Another example is that most writing instructors will tell you to write every day--be it in a journal or on a project. I tried that, but it doesn't work for me. I came to the conclusion that I am not a writer every day. I wait until the writing is there inside of me, and when it is, I write.

As for the comparison between writing songs or books, there is no comparison. One is not easier than the other. They are different, and each fulfills a different part of me.

I write screenplays that I consider "uppers". I don't want to see a film about horrible people doing horrible things to each other. I like films that are engaging and diverting and entertaining. So, I write screenplays that I would enjoy seeing as a film. I write stories that are comedies or stories that are about people in a certain situation, and then we get to see them manage that situation.

4. Would you like to tell your fans something they never would have guessed about Dayne Gearner? Do you have a most embarrassing moment you would like to share with them? If you could describe yourself in three words, what would those words be?

Hmmm...something people would never have guessed about Dayne Gearner. My friends will already know this, but I love automobiles and motors.

Most embarrassing moment? There are many.....

Back in my days as a librarian, the boss was running around getting everyone ready to go to a meeting. I didn't know what the meeting was about, but myself and one other co-worker weren't invited. The co-worked needed to go upstairs and do some work, so he asked if I was okay watching the front desk by myself. I said I was. Well, about five minutes before the meeting, the boss came rushing to find me, and ordered me to go to the meeting. So, it was an inconvenience, but I had to call my co-worker down from upstairs to watch the desk, (all the while wishing I had been invited earlier, so we could have managed our schedules better). The boss and I walked back down the long hall to the meeting. He asked me, "You work on your own cars, don't you?" I said I did. He said, "What do you think of Brand XYZ car repair manuals?" As we turned the corner to go into the meeting, I said, "Personally I don't think they're any good." I ended up saying that right in front of the sales rep for Brand XYZ car repair manuals. The boss was really unhappy with me!

To describe myself in three words. It's always hard to choose, isn't it? I guess I'd say: Creative; Loyal; Complex.

5. How deep is your passion for automobiles? Which type of movies do you enjoy? Romantic ones? Horror? Action?

I love automobiles, as I said earlier. My family and I have almost always had an old car to work on. In the mid-80s, we got into race cars. Earlier this year, we got our first convertible.

I love movies that tell a story. I love movies about people. I like romantic comedies, intelligent comedies, drama, foreign films, etc. Then there are the movies that defy genre, and I seem to like those best.

6. Can you give a glimpse of what your future holds? Do you have any new projects you are working on? Do you base any of your characters on people you know or have met? How many titles did you think of before you ended up using To Marry A Millionaire, or did you have the title in mind before you started writing?

I'm not certain what my future holds, but I will try, with every ounce of my being, to build a career in books and music. This is what I want to do. It's what fulfills me the most. I long for the day when all of my working time can be devoted to books and music.

I always have new projects. I am currently writing the second novel in a mystery series, with about four more books planned in that series. I have conceived a new idea for another mystery series. I am actually writing another romance novel set in Branson, Missouri. I have a sci-fi book in the works. I have several screenplays in planning stages. One is a western/thriller. A co-writer and myself are working on an intelligent comedy set in South America.

I don't base characters on anyone I know.

To Marry the Millionaire was the first title I considered for that work, and it's the title I ended up using. At the time I dream up a project, I dream up a title, and it's usually the end title of the work.

7. What would you tell your readers would be a perfect day for Dayne Gearner? What makes you happy? I see you have many interests. Do you have time for any other hobbies? What do you do to relax?

A perfect day for Dayne Gearner...would be a day when I have complete freedom to spend that day as I choose.

What makes me happy? Lots of things. Creativity, of course. Talking with or spending time with my friends or family. Knowing that the people I love are safe and happy.

I have time for many other hobbies. There's so much to do and see and explore out in the world. It's rare that I get bored, because there is always, always something wonderful to go experience. I love to travel and see new things. I have some television shows that I follow. A few years ago, I found a wonderful teacher who taught me to dance. It goes without saying that I love football! I'm learning Italian. The list goes on and on.

The thing that relaxes me the most is to get in my car and head down an open road.

8. Did a reader ever make a comment to you that just blew you away? For those who havenít had the pleasure of reading your work, how would you explain your style of writing? Do you think all romance books should end with happily ever after?

I haven't really had one reader make a comment that blew me away, but I have had readers read the same work, and have such diverse opinions that the disparity blew me away. Each reader was able to see a subtext in my work and they had completely different reactions to the same thing. That was pretty cool.

I hope that my style of writing will draw the reader in. I hope that it will make them forget their real lives and real problems, just for a short while. For that time they are reading my work, I want them to have a small peaceful oasis. Then they can go back to the real world.

Although my books end with a happy scene, in my mind, the characters are aware of the journey it takes to find a happy relationship. In real life, it's not about the happy ending, it's about the journey.

9. How long have you been writing? How do you write? Do you write with pen and paper or directly on the computer? Do you have any hours set aside for just writing? When do most of your ideas come to you? Do you have any advice to offer aspiring authors?

As I said, I started trying to write in 1989 and completed my first manuscript in 1999 (going through many different projects during that time). I write on computer. Part of the problem in the early years was that my brain went faster than my fingers. That's why I can't write in long hand. I had to actually get my typing up to about 90 wpm, in order to sustain the flow.

Ideas fly at me all the time every day. There are so many ideas out there that I will never have time to write. For me, the difficult part is not finding ideas, but finding the time and energy to execute those ideas.

I am so unworthy of giving advice to aspiring authors. The journey is different for each person. I guess the one thing that led me to getting published was perseverance. If you truly believe you have the gift and ability to write, don't give up--ever.

10. When you wrote your very first book, what part of it did you find the most difficult to write? What part was the easiest? With your writing, do you have someone you turn to for advice?

I'd say the most difficult part of the first book was to develop the characterization of the protagonist. I knew what she'd do during the book, but I had to know so much about her personality. I thought about it for years. I don't know that any part of the book was easier than anything else.

I don't really turn to anyone for advice. I have a couple of writer friends, and we have talked about writing and publishing over the years. One of these writing buddies, Debora S. Davis, published her first book in 2002, titled January 3rd 1/2. So, she's been a few steps ahead of me, and we've had a lot of good conversations about writing over these years.

11. Of all your accomplishments, which one are you most proud of? Who is your biggest supporter? How can your readers get in contact with you?

Even though I love writing and I love being an author, I was a musician first, and I'm most proud of being a musician. My parents are my biggest supporters and fans. I could not have done any of this without them.

I love to hear from my readers. You can reach me at my website

Feel free to make any comments--good, bad or ugly. I'd rather have an honest opinion than a diplomatic answer.

12. Is there anything else you would like your readers to know about Dayne Gearner?

Just that I'd like to say thank you for everything. It's been an amazing ride.

Thank you so much for taking the time for the interview. We are all looking forward to hearing more out about you and your future releases. Happy writing. Annette Newell

Thank you, Annette, for taking the time to do this interview. Best wishes in your own writing.