Interview with G. G. Galt

What's the story behind your latest book?
It all began when my daughter wanted me to write a story suitable for family reading. She was sick and like any parent, her wish was my command.

It was then that the Love Boxes Series was born, and later the Paradise Series (my most recent). The majority of these stories take place in Northern Michigan. The tale was originally for her, but ended up being for my son, as well.

I think the kids liked them because they bore a resemblance to their own lives. It was a joy having them involved. And when they began getting protective of my heroine Fancy, I had no doubt a new member joined the family. We even fought over her––what she might have done under certain circumstances ––things they'd argue she’d never dream of doing. We grew to love her as she did her Uncle Ted and all his stories from long ago.

Eventually, I would read parts of the story to them and find myself crying––then I knew I was past the point of no return. Bottom line? If no one ever liked the Love Boxes Series all that much, the memory of my children enjoying the adventure with me would be sufficient. This and the hope my books will honor friends who rightfully deserve a place in my local history are satisfying to me.
From what do you draw when you write?
Regarding my fictional stories, I think my inspiration originates from a desire similar to the one I feel when I'm singing. I want to please, entertain, be appreciated and admired, but most of all to express myself while honoring all I love and respect. When it comes to the poems and tributes, they almost always originate from the dark side of love––grief, hurt, anger, and sorrow. Then too, some of my writing comes about when a light bulb goes off––as I become aware of a truth, not previously recognized. All the writing ultimately comes from my love of romance, travel, genealogy, business, history, art, music, antiques, and old houses.
When did you first start writing?
My first attempt was in orange crayon at age three or four. I endorsed R. L. Stevenson’s, “ The world is full of a number of things, I’m sure we should all be as happy as kings.” My serious work began in eighth grade. I plagiarized a published poem to qualify for membership in a writing group. In defense of myself, I didn’t fully understand all the word implied. Looking back, I think the teacher caught on quickly, but was wise enough not to embarrass her tender young student who had shown an interest in serious composition. Thankfully, she let me join her club of students who ranged from the seventh to the twelfth grade. After that everything I created was original.

Before I left her influence, I had poems published in local publications and national anthologies. That was exciting, but the biggest thrill happened not with a poem, but because of a reply to a letter I wrote. It came special delivery in the middle of a high school current history class. To the teachers delight and my amazement, there was a personal response to a thank you letter I sent to the Commander and Chief at the White House––the President of the United States of America.

Among other letters I particularly treasure, is correspondence from First Lady Barbara Bush, who commented on “your favorite and mine,” the 1937 children's books––My Book House––the twelve-volume set containing hundreds of stories by well-known authors and complimented by beautiful full color illustrations. I credit the volumes––a gift from a relative––as inspiration for the illustrated books I am creating today and the children's historical fiction I hope to do in the future.
What are you doing here?
Five years ago I went into emergency for something minor and was admitted. While I was there I got a hospital staph infection and nearly died. I decided to do what I had always wanted: take time off and write. Today I contribute to my blog <gigigalt.com> and have published two series: Love Boxes, and Paradise: Northern Michigan Love Stories. Forthcoming are Paradise 5, and Paradise 6. I have no intentions of ever "working" again––at least not in the normal sense of the word––I’ve heard it said if you love what you do, it isn’t work.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Life without limits––being able to escape and be anything I want––go anyplace in the world, possible or impossible.
What do your fans mean to you?
You could ask, what does it mean to paint pictures and have a public who likes them? Without an audience, most of us would lack inspiration; we'd be playing to empty seats in sterile auditorium devoid of heart and soul. Does the tree make noise when it falls in the forest if no one is there to hear it? Maybe, but it is not nearly as much fun. Do I love and appreciate fans? Yes, with all of my heart. There is no lack of talent in the world, but there is of fans, people who truly appreciate the work of others. God bless them, and especially those who can find it within themselves to bestow words of kind appreciation.
What are you working on next?
I have a new series I am in the process of editing. Now I need the courage to submit them to the publisher. We live in an age that demands perfection from the get-go. The frustrating truth is I never live up to my own standards. My biggest occupational hazard has been fear of mistakes. It kept me from publishing. However, thanks to Smashwords, I can keep going back and editing each story until I get it right. When I finally understood I got unlimited times to screw up, it was a happy day––a huge load off of my shoulders. Now I can act without fear. I have often thought that God set life up like this, but it hadn’t occurred to me Mark Corker had done the same.
Who are your favorite authors?
Oh boy, that’s a hard question. I think last time I looked at Good Reads I had 350 books recorded. I have 750 to go! Popular authors today? I have to say I’ve grown fond of books I might have passed on ten years ago––maybe even consider in questionable taste. Today I’m loving most of the New York Times Best Selling Novels: Dan Brown, Danielle Steel, Rachel Gibson, Ayn Rand, Catherine Anderson, Jackie Collins, Nora Roberts, Robin Carr, Stephanie Laurens, and others. I think they are amazing writers. They entertain and transport me to another world.

In non-fiction I have a slew also. I call them my transformational books: Ray Kurzweil, Eckhart Tolle, Wayne Dyer, Michio Kaku, Will Bowens, Suzanne Summers, and Mark Coker, come to mind. There is little I don't like, but I tend to stick with The New York Times Best Sellers.

I also read stories friends write to be supportive––end up being surprised at how good they really are. I'm seldom disappointed As Ken Keyes, the author of Handbook to Higher Consciousness said, “Everything in life is perfect, either for my growth or my enjoyment.”

Today, I can say I truly love authors. They have made all the difference––been best friends through good times and bad. More than anything besides my family and friends, their books have brought me joy and centered me––given me a cornucopia of ideas and concepts from which to consider and apply to my life as I see fit.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
What inspires me to get out of bed each day is my aching back and hunger pangs. I wake up hungry for a good farm breakfast––fresh squeezed orange juice, crisp bacon, sunny side up eggs, Yukon Gold fried potatoes, and homemade bread toast with raspberry freezer jam. I get hungry just thinking of it. It is indeed a favorite, but because of the calories, I settle for two cage free pastured eggs fried in coconut oil or Glutino Crackers and Philadelphia Cream Cheese and Cherry Jam made with Stevia.
Where did you grow up? How did this influence your writing?
I grew up in what is commonly referred to as “God’s Country” where our only enemy is snow––and even that was turned into an asset––one of the finest ski resorts in the North America. Little Traverse Bay, in The Tip-of-the Mitt of Michigan, is one of the best spots in the world to be born and raised.

Little Traverse Bay is not only blessed with natural resources, but noteworthy citizens as well. Ephraim Shay of locomotive fame made a fortune with his patents and settled in Harbor Springs. He and other industrial giants such as the Ford’s, the Goodyear’s and the Wrigley’s––the movers and shakers of the late 1800s and early 1900s came north by steamship and train to escape the summer heat.

They built lavish summer homes on Harbor Point, while across Little Traverse Bay; members of the Bay View Association were building gingerbread cottages, and establishing their Methodist Camp Meeting Grounds. Celebrities of the day such as Helen Keller and William Jennings Bryant were guest speakers and contributed to the growing cultural awareness. The community is often compared to Martha’s Vineyard, because it looks like it, and is also part of the Chautauqua movement dedicated to educating its members and the public.

The area has long been a magnet for historical icons of every description. Mark Twain spent a summer, and possibly more, at the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island in 1888 where he lectured on his already famous books, “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer” and “Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.” Pulitzer Prize Winning Author and Historian Bruce Catton and MIT’s Claude Shannon–––the most important mathematician of the 20th century––were both born in Petoskey. I was surprised to learn Claude was the first to discover information, words, pictures, and sounds, could be broken down into a series of 0’s and 1’s and transmitted over a wire.

Nobel Prize winning author, Ernest Hemingway, although not born in Petoskey, spent his summers at the family cottage, from the age of three or four. It’s where his Nick Adams Series originated. The author’s sister “Sunny,” and other distinguished locals, including Irene Gordon and Dr. Benjamin Blum, and the Epsilon Jass Band, crossed the threshold of my family’s former cottage on Little Traverse Bay––to entertain and to be entertained. Most of this happened long before my relatives became part of its history, however, the cottage is still referred to by younger and older generations as Ten Gables, as I understand, the name given by Louis Seelbach.

As a kid, I was fascinated by the thought that only a few cottages away from the Seelbach’s, a young Irene Gordon had walked out her door to go play tennis with her equally youthful friend, Ernest Hemingway. And that furthermore, I had touched the hand, which had touched the hand, of Hemingway himself. “How cool is that!” I asked my friends. (I felt that way too, when I met his nephew and namesake.) I'm such a groupie!
How did your father influence your writing?
My father always had a story to tell, about everyone and the towns they came from––robust stories that made me laugh and appreciate my surroundings and the people in them. My imagination was constantly stimulated. I’ll give you a few examples––snippets––I’m saving the rest of it for future books.

1. During prohibition, women walked up and down outside the Mackinac Island’s Grand Hotel with baby carriages filled with bottles to thwart the government agents watching for smuggling.

2. In the 1930s the Purple Gang out of Detroit raced around in their twenty-eight foot “Baby Gar-Triple Cockpit Rum-Runner” transporting booze in from Canada to Harsen’s Island to keep the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island in liquor.

3. Once upon a time when a woman couldn’t pay her hotel bill, Ray Brown, the owner of the Ramona Park Hotel, accepted the Baby Gar-Triple Cockpit Rumrunner, in lieu of cash. Al Capone would have smiled over that one! As head of the Chicago Outfit, he thought of himself as a businessman. Everyone knew he gambled at the Ramona Park Hotel and Casino outside of Harbor Springs, but what some people don’t know, is he made a point of keeping out of the way of the vicious Purple Gang. By mutual agreement with them––Capone’s Chicago Outfit, took everything west of US-31, and the Purple Gang, everything to the east. When you think about it, that agreement, no doubt saved Lake Charlevoix, and the area from Little Traverse Bay to Sturgeon Bay, a lot of grief. Just the same, it had to have been sweet revenge to some, that the Purple Gang’s Rum-Running Boat ended up floating in Al Capone’s territory.
What kinds of other writing have you done?
I’ve written articles for newsletters, blogs, and magazines. Writing commercial copy for brochures, booklets, and product packaging, has been something I have also enjoyed. Then there are the inevitable tributes when loved ones and friends die––I’ve done that all of my life––except once there was so much to say I was lost for words.
Published 2014-02-06.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Paradise 4: A Love Story from Cross Village to Mackinac Island
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Series: The Great Lakes, Book 4. Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 14,770. Language: English. Published: January 1, 2014 by Gemini Press Books. Category: Fiction » Romance » Fantasy
SWEET ROMANCE: Legend had it Native American ghosts stood guard fifty miles either side of Devil’s Elbow on M-119. Whether true or not, since 1968, armed property owners and caretakers were suspicious of trespassers and didn't hesitate to protect their families and pricey retreats. Between them and the redneck militia’s watchful eye, the area was once again considered safe. But was it really?
Paradise 3: A Love Story from Harbor Springs to Sausalito
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Series: The Great Lakes, Book 3. Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 7,540. Language: English. Published: August 24, 2013 by Gemini Press Books. Category: Fiction » Romance » Contemporary
SWEET ROMANCE: This Paradise 3 Romantic Travel Fiction takes place in two beautiful resort areas: Northern Michigan and California. Follow Kate to meet her friend Picasso only to have that romantic encounter interrupted by an Earthquake. As one Goodreads Reviewer said: "G.G.'s romance and passionate prose makes you feels as if you are there."
Paradise 2: A Love Story from Harbor Springs to Cross Village
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Series: The Great Lakes, Book 2. Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 7,850. Language: English. Published: August 19, 2013 by Gemini Press Books. Category: Fiction » Romance » Contemporary
A SWEET ROMANCE: She thanked him and said goodbye, he did not stand up. Instead, he excused himself—said his back was acting up from sitting so long. God forbid she'd see him bent over like an old man. He didn't feel old. After spending a few hours with such a lovely woman, he was pumped and inspired to go back to the gym and get in shape––find someone again to call his own––a reason to live.
Love Boxes 4: The Bay View Cottage
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Series: Love Boxes, Book 4. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 26,920. Language: English. Published: July 25, 2013 by Gemini Press Books. Category: Fiction » Romance » Contemporary
A SWEET ROMANCE: She felt like a kid again. Her female companions couldn't help but remark. “Look, girls,” she said, “he's younger than me by five years––l see him as a little brother. There's nothing more going on between us than friendship.” “You think so?” said the oldest and wisest among them, “from the look in his eyes and yours, that's not what I'm seeing.” Fancy blushed and turned away.
Love Boxes 3: The Twilight Zone
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Series: Love Boxes, Book 3. Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 6,090. Language: English. Published: June 30, 2013 by Gemini Press Books. Category: Fiction » Romance » General
SWEET ROMANCE: Beyond The Mitten––across the Mackinac Bridge––is Michigan's Upper Peninsular. Kate, Fancy's cousin, commutes monthly from Mackinaw City to Michigan Tech in Houghton. After she leaves I-75 near Sault Ste. Marie, she travels east on M-28 through the forested woodlands, boggy swamps, and tiny villages along Lake Superior's shoreline. Here she escapes––leaves her worldly cares.
Love Boxes 2: The Vacation
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Series: Love Boxes, Book 2. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 17,730. Language: English. Published: May 10, 2013 by Gemini Press Books. Category: Fiction » Romance » Short stories
SWEET ROMANCE: "Persistence is the basis of all success. Thank you for getting me to stop and read. I'm so pleased I did. When you are able to tap into a common memory, then you have an audience. You do it in such an interesting way that I'm sure people will want to share the Love Box Series with others. No doubt, you will have success. Thank you!” Northern Michigan Review
Paradise 1: A Love Story from Petoskey to Harbor Springs
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Series: The Great Lakes. Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 12,330. Language: English. Published: May 5, 2013 by Gemini Press Books. Category: Fiction » Romance » General
A SWEET ROMANCE: Kate Middleton is a recent graduate from Kendall Art School in Grand Rapids. She’s praying for a break––dreams her photography will someday make her famous. When she gets the chance of a lifetime to assist Grant Goodriche in Harbor Springs, Michigan––she goes for it. And who wouldn't? A Fortune Magazine spread aboard a yacht on Little Traverse Bay doesn't come along every day.
Love Boxes
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Series: Love Boxes, "The Prequel". Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 22,280. Language: English. Published: April 19, 2013 by Gemini Press Books. Category: Fiction » Romance » Contemporary
Fancy Ford is a little darling in pig tails, but the grandson of the lady next door thinks she's a spoiled brat. Every year her parents spend the summer at the family cottage in Charlevoix, Michigan. The story begins in 1991 as Fancy waits on the dock for her Uncle to come sailing through the Pine River Channel. What she can't know is her life is about to change forever Fifty photos are included.