Interview with Pauline Gallagher

What are your five favorite books, and why?
1. The Power of One (set in South Africa during Apartheid). It illustrates in that one person can make a difference even against terrible odds. This is what I hope to achieve on my website the idea of making a difference to lesbians lives.
2. Wuthering Heights. Emily Bronte painted the Yorkshire moors with their mist, loneliness and darkness of soil. This loneliness and a certain darkness lives in the souls of Heathcliffe and Catherine. His love for her defies everyone and it extends beyond her death.
3. Rubyfruit Jungle by Rita Mae Brown. It's light and comedic. It was the first 'happy' lesbian story that I read.
4. My Antonia: by Willa Cather: lesbian writer who won a Pullitzer Prize. She tells stories of the hardships of living a prairie life. Her narrative is rich and strong and it deals with the issues of love and hate, death and life, and hope and despair. Her characters jump out of the pages. I'd recommend any of her books.
5. Sing You Home by Jodi Picout. Two lesbians battle a local right-wing Church, but it's much more than that - Jodi, as in all her novels, presents realistic sides of all issues.
How do you approach cover design?
I like to think of a cover design as a movie poster. The images and colors should grab the reader's attention.
I had my own ideas for two of my book covers and the artists used them. However, a third artist ignored my ideas and presented a wonderful cover of Jazz: Jet Setting Carpenter. Now, this is one sexy book cover that I had nothing to do with. So my idea would be - give some ideas, but tell the artist/designer to come up with their own.
What do you read for pleasure?
At the moment I am building my webpage My goal is to provide the best history of lesbians and to blog the achievements of all remarkable women. My categories are political, social, spiritual, humorous, inspirational and religious (the latter category reveals the latest activities of homophobes. I try to keep a balance in presenting blogs - don't want too much heavy stuff!

While this may not seem like pleasure reading, I am finding great lesbian women (in many countries) and I want this blog to celebrate all my rainbow sisters.
I am thrilled when I read about an outstanding South African lesbian soccer player, or talented European lesbians, or the triumphs of Asian LGBT communities. I just found out the success of the LGBT in Mongolia.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
Believe it or not - I do not have an e-reading device.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
I have been using my webpage to present samples of my stories prior to their publication. I have also published the fantastic covers that were made for me by professional designers.
I comment often on newspaper sites and leave my site where that is possible.

Now that the three ebooks: Jazz: Jet Setting Carpenter, Lt. Dee: Army Nurse, Vietnam, and Jo of the Outback are being put on shelves (April/May 2014) I will be researching market strategies.
Describe your desk
My desk is anywhere that I can place my laptop. My wife and I like to travel, so my desks have consisted of cafe tables, plane seats, and beds in hotels.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in England and Ireland. At the age of 14 years, I lost my father to cancer. I was bullied at school for being Irish and a Catholic.
I think that both incidents made me sensitive to the loss of life and unkind behavior. My earliest happiest memories of school were of receiving great comments for my story writing. But, I remember in math classes being bored with a question such as "If a train leaves point A travelling at x speed while another leaves Point B travelling at Y speed. Where and when on the map will they meet?" I thought the question was boring. In my imagination, I saw the train with murderers, thieves, pretty women, etc. I was already hatching a story like "Murder on the Orient Express." I grew up in a village and as a tomboy I played soccer and cricket with the boys. I loved nature. I think I am still a tomboy at heart and I come alive in nature.
When did you first start writing?
I wrote poetry as a child. I wrote great stories and teachers would ask me to read them to the class.
I was hopeless in math.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
To conceive of an idea and give it 'life.' Redrafting and editing are joyful because ideas must be worked over constantly. I remember that Hemingway in "The Old Man and the Sea," commented that he had reworked a paragraph 99 times until he got it right. There is no greater joy than getting a paragraph right or improving plot, setting or characterization. A book is like a garden, it has to be weeded constantly, nourished and "Oh the joy" when it blooms.
The same joy came when I worked back and forth with designers for three book covers. We worked back and forth until it presented them in their full humanity. It was like dressing the kids up for a party - they just had to look good!
What advice would you give to new writers?
First, let me get established as a good writer and for that I need readers' suggestions and criticisms. So, always graciously accept criticism, but never let it dash your hopes.
Write what you know and research what you don't know. Give the reader a ride for his/her money. I have had a lot of fun researching single engine planes, luxurious sportscars, nursing procedures in a war zone, and life in the Australian Outback. Become as much of an expert as you can. Research how to write a good - setting, characterization, plot. Study how to write emotions, facial details. Keep your sentences 'crisp.' Use a thesaurus - keep verbs strong. Use the movie format of starting in the middle - going back to the beginning -and having a realistic ending. I have so much to learn that I feel guilty in giving any advice on writing. I just hope this is interpreted as good intentional help - Do contact an expert and that's NOT me.
Published 2014-04-19.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Jazz: Jet Setting Carpenter
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 49,350. Language: English. Published: June 25, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Gay & lesbian fiction » Lesbian
Jazz, with Halle Berry looks and hit television show, uses the London lesbian scene as her personal bedroom. Enter “Fearless Fiona” daredevil reporter who asks Jazz to renovate her exclusive home. Both are aware of their mutual, sizzling attraction. Has Jazz finally met her match? Catch a glimpse of Gay Paris in the 1900s where rich lesbians entertained and naked nymphs danced around trees.
Lt. Dee: Army Nurse, Vietnam
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 53,760. Language: English. Published: April 20, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Gay & lesbian fiction » Lesbian
vietnam,1968. minutes off the plane, lt dee witnesses coffins being loaded onto a plane. her next job is to declare cause of death in a morgue as the doctors are busy in surgery. follow dee as she heads to a hospital unit surrounded by jungle. in surgery dee sees the savageness of war and the courage and kindess of doctors and nurses. dee falls in love and both women find ways to discreetly meet
Jo of the Outback
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 34,620. Language: English. Published: April 20, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Gay & lesbian fiction » Lesbian
Set in Australia, Mexico and the USA, Jo's life as a lesbian stock hand in the Outback, changes when she is assigned to rescuing tourists from a broken down bus. Donna, a beautiful Aboriginie wins her heart and Jo accompanies her on an incredible journey through the beauty of Outback, Australia. Each woman shares her life story and culture as they fall deeply in love.