Interview with Robynn Gabel

Published 2018-04-20.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
It was a little story about a donkey who ran away from the farm and had a lot of different adventures. I started daydreaming about what it would be like to travel to all the different places I saw in the National Geography magazine my mother got every month.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
One would be the first love story I ever read in Junior High called "Mara, Daughter of the Nile." I loved the interplay between the characters. Also it was set in Egypt which I have always been interested in. Next would be the "Lord of the Rings". Tolkien had a fabulous writing style and fantasy was new to me. Sir Conan Doyle forever won my respect with his character "Sherlock Holmes". I considered his ability to write plot twists and mystery to be unsurpassed to this day. Dumas's "Three Musketeers" had just the right balance of adventure, loyalty, morals and romance. And "The Wolf and the Dove" by Kathleen Woodiwiss is what got me hooked on reading romances as a young adult and drove my desire to write romance.
What do you read for pleasure?
I have stayed with romance, adventure, mystery and history. Every now and then I will stray and go on a personal journey of introspection and find books that delve into our psych or spirituality. Otherwise, about anything.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
Sadly, I tried to use a Kindle, but I read for long periods of time or sporadically. Never could find a device that would hold a charge long enough or be charged when I needed it. I am an old fashioned paper book reader.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
Facebook. Paid advertising and word of mouth.
Describe your desk
My desk is nice and clean. Large wooden beast with many cubby holes to store research books and notes. But that is not where I write. It is just a holding space for all my ideas. I love my laptop and the ease of which I can choose where I sit and write.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
My family was nomadic. As a child I went from Ohio to California. Then from there to Colorado, Wyoming and Idaho. We constantly traveled as gas was cheap and it was entertaining. I learned history by actually vising sites and museums. Of course if the scenery was boring there was always a trusted book at hand to mentally travel through. I always wondered about the lives and stories of the people who died or lived in the places we visited and heard about. It gave me a world wide view that I use as a canvas to paint in words, the backdrops of many stories.
When did you first start writing?
When I first scribbled "I love you, Mom" on the bathroom wall in lipstick. But actually writing stories started in a Creative Writing class in High School. I had a teacher who encouraged me to take all my long sentences and prose and turn it into stories. Then when I retired, I took that box full of notes scrawled on napkins and backs of envelopes and started using it to fill in stories.
What's the story behind your latest book?
It's been thirty years in the making. I came across an interesting book on Vikings in the library and found them to be mysterious and wild. I started researching and discovered their uniqueness.

Out of that came Norse Hearts, a historical romance set in 760 AD, before the wild men of the North made their mark in history by raiding an English monastery at Lindisfarne and becoming known to the world as Vikings.

Einar, a well-seasoned Viking warrior, begrudgingly follows his Jarl’s order to kill an unsuspecting bride on the eve of her wedding, while raiding a small church in the little Britain town of Seletun, on the River Ouse. Not finding the riches promised there, he decides to take a few captives to help with the loss of profit, including the woman he was sent to kill.

Seraphina, the landowner’s daughter, finds herself trapped in a nightmare. Taken by a man she considers uncivilized, she fights to get back to her betrothed and the lands that are hers by birthright. Caught between a conniving fiancée and the fierce warrior who wants to settle a debt and restore his honor, Seraphina will have to decide where her love and loyalties lie.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I had read for years how hard it was to get a traditional publisher to review your work. I felt I could write, but I knew it would take a stroke of luck to get published. Meanwhile I had to work at something I knew would pay. But I kept my writing dream, hoping someday I would pursue it. When I stumbled across Bookrix and found indie authors talking about the new industry revolution through Amazon, I knew my time had come. I jumped in and learned the ropes. Now I have accomplished my life dream of creating quality stories.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
It has given me an outlet to release my creations upon the world, and libraries. It is great to be in a community that is supportive and constantly coming up with new ideas to get books out there for authors.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author or publisher.

Books by This Author

The Heart of Elvis
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 32,820. Language: English. Published: April 6, 2013. Categories: Nonfiction » Biography » Autobiographies & Memoirs
As a child, I dreamed of someday riding a spirited Arabian. I had no idea that a dependable little Missouri Fox Trotter (nicknamed Elvis) had other plans.
Windswept Hearts
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 85,510. Language: English. Published: August 6, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Contemporary, Fiction » Romance » Western
Anna, a recent college graduate, inherited a cattle ranch and is faced with a tough choice. she’s a city girl, and running a cattle ranch isn't what she wants. A lot of repairs need to be done so she hires Steve, a local handyman. The summer's adventures include a deadly wildlife encounter, a shadow from her past, and a possible change to future plans.