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Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Interview and Giveaway War-N-Wit, Inc. by Gail Roughton

What inspired you to become an author?

I wouldn’t exactly describe it as being “inspired”.  Being bored might be a more accurate description.  At the time I actually started writing my first novel (which will never see the light of day in present form, possibly the characters and some semblance of the plot might show up in a future book) I was working in a one man law office and there were times when there was absolutely nothing left work-wise to do. I’d read myself current with all my favorite writers, so I started writing a book. 

Do you title the book first or wait until after it’s complete?

That varies, and I’ve done both.  Sometimes a title’s actually inspired a book and it’s certainly shaped the plot of some of my books. But I also have books that’ve waited a looooong time for the right title.
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

No, I’m not presumptuous enough to think anything I write has a “message” of great import.  I write stories. I want them to entertain readers, not to preach, teach, or depress.  As a reader, I read fiction for entertainment. I think its whole purpose is to provide entertainment and I think a fiction writer’s purpose is to write books that do that.

Is the book, characters, or any scenes based on a true life experience, someone you know, or events in your own life?

Yes and no and I think that’s true with all writers.  Nothing’s based on any one thing, one person, or one event, of course.  We pick and choose.  We take a little of this and that, here and there, now and then, and turn it into something else altogether. And if we’ve done it right, the reader feels he’s been vacationing somewhere else with some really cool people.

If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?

Stephen King, who probably gets tired of having writers say, “Everything I needed to know about writing, I learned from Stephen King.” (And probably frequently exclaims after reading such writers, “Oh, hell NO, you did NOT!”) And in fact, no, I didn’t learn everything I needed to know about writing from him, and I’ve learned a great deal from other writers I admire tremendously, too, like Robert Parker, who is an absolute master of dialogue. But I do think King is an absolute master story-teller who lets nothing get in the way of the story. 

What is your current “work in progress” or upcoming projects?

I’m always working on another story, even if I’m not actually to the writing stage of it.  I’ve always got a couple of plots simmering over in the corner of my brain, waiting for one of them to come to boil.  Right now, I’m actively writing a paranormal thriller, a rather dark one, titled Black Turkey Walk.  I’ve got another War-N-Wit plot brewing but I don’t know when I’ll start it.  Definitely not until I finish Black Turkey Walk, that’s gotten interrupted a couple of times already for other projects.  I’ve got what I term a “real-life country comedy/drama” on simmer, too, one I hope will make readers laugh in one chapter and cry in the next, the way real life does.  I’ve learned not to give myself deadlines, though.  They hinder rather than help and I’m pretty sure they make the characters mad and send them into hiding, which really puts a crimp on the creative process. 

Can you share a little of your current work with us?

Be careful what you ask for.  You might get it.  Okay, a few lines from Black Turkey Walk:
Two months later, Turkey Creek, Georgia…

“Whatcha’ got there, boy?”

Justin Kirkland leaned over his beagle. Cletus was the best damn hunting dog in the county but he was bad about dragging bits and pieces of deer carcass into the yard. And from the smell of this, ol’ Cletus scored big this morning.

Cletus thought so, too. He scrambled up and backed away, jaws clamped tightly around his find.
“Don’t be stubborn, boy, let me see what you got there.” Justin held out the slice of cheese he’d grabbed from the fridge when he’d noticed Cletus huddled over his find and snapped the wrapper loose. Cletus loved cheese even better than he loved tracking a scent. Sometimes the snap of a cheese wrapper coming off a piece of sandwich cheese could even pull him back from one of the trails that circled the house if he heard it soon enough. “Swap, whatcha’ say? You goin’ to make yourself sick as dog one day with that mess you keep pulling outta the woods and I sure don’t wanta be sittin’ in the vet’s office this afternoon! No offense intended or anything.”

Cletus dropped his find and snapped at the cheese. Justin swooped down and scooped up the discarded treasure with a thick plastic trash bag. He’d learned the hard way to scoop quick. And that sometimes it wasn’t a real good idea to grab barehanded.

“Damn, boy! That’s ripe! Squishy, too. Sure glad I caught you ‘fore you got too far in, but you’re staying outside for a while anyway, not taking any chances on havin’ to clean up after you.” Justin glanced down. “Holy shit! Oh my God!

Justin threw the garbage bag down. He gagged and fought the reflex. He had to get Cletus inside, couldn’t risk him grabbing that and taking off with it. He scooped the beagle up, ran for the back door and tossed Cletus in. Then he leaned over the back porch railing and lost the battle with his gag reflex. All over Emma’s azaleas.

Do you have to travel much to do research for your books?

Oh, that’s funny!  Because honestly, I’m not a good traveler, don’t like to travel and don’t do it very often.  I much prefer day-trips or at most over-nights.  But oddly enough, after The Coven was published, which is now the first part of War-N-Wit, Inc. – MeanStreets, quite a few folks asked me how many times I’d been to Daytona Bike Week.  And the answer is never. There’s this wonderful thing called the internet.  You can visit anywhere, usually with plenty of video footage available.  That being said, I’m a small town/country southern girl (you’d never guess that from the little excerpt I threw in from my current work-in-progress, would you?) and I tend to write what I know, so honestly, I don’t really need to research much for my books, not even the crime thrillers.  See, I’ve been in a law office for almost forty years as a paralegal, during the course of which I’ve met some unbelievable folks who know a whole lot about a lot of things most folks are better off not knowing.   And even better, my son-in-law is a K-9 drug interdiction officer with the County Sheriff’s Department who probably hates to see my name come up on his phone.  I even dedicated one of my books, Country Justice, to him because I picked his brain unmercifully throughout the writing of it.  And will undoubtedly do the same with this current work in progress, which is actually the second novel in the Country Justice series.  I didn’t set out to make that a series, by the way.  It just sort of – happened.  Things just sort of happen with me a lot.

Do you have any advice for other writers?

The world’s not holding its breath, just waiting for your next novel. Lose any ego you’ve got and lose it quick.  Ego prevents you from listening to the pros, the ones who’ve already been there and are doing that, and not listening prevents you from learning.  Nobody has ever written or will ever write the perfect book.   Nothing you’ve ever written or ever will write can’t be improved.  Never think you know it all.  You don’t.  What’s more, you never will. Always be the best you can be today, which, if you’re learning as you write and not just congratulating yourself on what a wonderful writer you are, is very likely better than you were yesterday. But never think you can’t be better tomorrow. Because you can.

Witch Resurrected
War-N-Wit, Inc.
Book 1
Gail Roughton

Genre:  Paranormal Romantic Suspense

Publisher:  Books We  Love, Ltd.

Date of Publication:  September 21, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-77145-314-1

Number of pages:192
Word Count: 63,858

Cover Artist:  Michelle Lee

Book Description: 

Ariel Anson thinks she has her life in order. She’s young, smart, and beautiful, even if she doesn’t believe the beautiful part. She’s a paralegal with a great career and a fiancé who’s a CPA. You just can’t get any steadier than that. Then she meets private investigator, bounty hunter, process server Chad Garrett.

What does War-N-Wit, Inc. stand for anyway?

Warlock and Witch? For real? Oh, yes! For real.

Her life as she knows it is over! Instead of organizing corporate documents and pleadings, she’s chasing bail jumpers and taking down serial killers. And investigating secret societies. Like Resurrection.

Not everyone can join, just the elite few who remember their past lives. Only the Seer knows if those memories are truth or fabrication. There’s just one problem. The new Seer is missing in action. War-N-Wit’s new assignment is a blast from the past! But whose past?

Available at Amazon

Excerpt Witch Resurrected

The chill in the air made it perfect for a hot tub dip on a February evening while twilight merged into full dark. I hadn’t seen the back of the house on the quick tour, but the hot tub nestled under a little roofed alcove, patio furniture placed invitingly along its long length. Risers of steam spouted like geysers above the surface. Thor settled down beside the tub. I slipped into the end facing out onto the deck, submerging slowly so my naked body could adjust to the heat. Finally, I leaned my head back and sighed. Magic Man thought of everything. Soft lighting glowed from small spotlights placed around the little enclosure and a skylight in the alcove roof streamed mingled moonbeams and starlight down onto the surface of the water.

The water rose higher as Chad settled against the other side of the tub. He smiled and entwined his legs with mine. I smiled back and closed my eyes for a moment, savoring the heat of the water and the feel of his skin, creating another type of heat. Touch wasn’t enough. I needed to look at him looking at me.

I opened my eyes. And screamed.

Chad’s head whipped around and my shoulder protested the sudden movement in echo of his. The healing bullet wound was still very tender. It didn’t slow him down any, though. He turned completely in the tub at the speed of light, backing up against me and covering me from sight. Thor, issuing continuous low growls, moved threateningly forward.

A short man in a gray three piece suit stood in the alcove opening. There was even a watch chain attached to the vest button from its pocket. 

“Could you call your dog off, if you please?”

“Who the hell are you?”

“Hedgepath. Oliver Hedgepath.”

“Thor. Guard.” 

Thor moved closer, the growls still rolling from deep in his chest.

“I believe I asked you to call your dog off, not—”

“There’s another word that’ll have him going straight for your throat. Want me to say that one?”

“No, I don’t believe I’d care for that.”

“How the hell did you get in here?”

“The gate was open.”

“Bullshit. How’d you get this far without Thor knowing it?”

“I suppose the wind was right.”

“Bullshit. Why are you here?”

“You told me never to call your number again.”

“Exactly. So why are you here?”

“I have to speak with you. Which would be easier were you not both cavorting in a state of undress in—” The disapproval in his voice was palpable.

Chad half-rose. “Man, I am in my own hot tub with my own wife on my own deck in the middle of a hundred fucking acres!” 

I shrieked and grabbed him around the waist with both arms to pull him back down and against me. He was the only cover I had.

Mean Streets
War-N-Wit, Inc.
Book 2
Gail Roughton

Genre: Paranormal Romantic Suspense

Publisher:    Books We Love, Ltd.
Date of Publication: October 17, 2014


Number of pages:194
Word Count: 58,274

Cover Artist: Michelle Lee

Book Description:

Daytona Bike Week. Biker’s paradise. The perfect place for Chad and Ariel Garrett to take a few days off and relax with Chad’s buddy Spike and Ariel’s little sister Stacy.

But nothing ever goes as planned with that magical duo. Trouble just stalks them like a black cat. A missing agent riding with an outlaw biker gang, a call from Chad’s past, and War-N-Wit, Inc.’s riding again, with romance blooming in the midst of danger. From Daytona, the crew heads back to Vegas and another family wedding. Spike and Stacy are ready to say “I do!” In the Tunnel of Love Drive-Thru at the Little White Wedding Chapel in Vegas, of course. It’s become a family tradition.

But what’s supposed to happen in Vegas just refuses to stay in Vegas. And you’re not going to believe this side-trip!

Available at Amazon
Excerpt for MeanStreets

We didn’t wake up till almost ten the next morning.

“So—in the last twenty-four hours, Chad’s been arrested, we almost had to sleep on the street, we’ve had beer baths and pillow fights, and we’ve prevented a homicide by boobs. What’re we goin’ to do today?” I asked over breakfast.
“Baby girl, if I didn’t know better, I’d say you weren’t really enjoying Bike Week.”

“Well, it’s been a new experience, I’ll give it that.”

“Let’s ride the Loop,” Spike suggested. “Give the girls some fresh air and a little sanity.”

“That’d be nice,” Stacy said. “The Loop?”

“A twenty plus mile run around the area. Great ride, great scenery. Very peaceful. You can’t come to Bike Week and not ride the Loop. It’s a law. And this time of day, it might not even be real crowded. Lots of folks still sleeping off last night.”

“Sounds like a nice change.”

We picked up the Loop at its start at Granada Bridge in Ormond Beach and ran down John Anderson Drive. Then we ran into an outdoor Cathedral of overhanging branches. It was glorious. Blue sky peeked through green. No other riders in sight. Peace on earth. Right up until the moment Spike swerved and the Harley Road King came so close to hitting the pavement my heart almost stopped. Chad turned in a half circle and came back around to the Dark Angel.

Spike straightened it up and came to a stop just off the road. His foot hit the kick-stand harder than a place kicker desperate for the winning field goal. He flung himself off the seat and charged into the middle of the road.

“What the fuck, man! You crazy? Just standing there in the middle of the freaking road?

I looked at Chad. Chad looked at me. We looked back at the road again for confirmation. Nope. Nobody was there. Stacy flung herself off the bike and raced to Spike, grabbing one of the arms he was flinging wildly for emphasis.


“Help? Buddy, you got a mighty peculiar way of asking for help! I have a lady on the back of that bike, she’d have been hurt if I’d had to lay that bike down!”

“Spike, calm down!”

“He coulda gotten you hurt, Stacy! Anybody that stupid, I’m not worried about him getting hurt, woulda served him right!”

“Spike, you couldn’t have hurt him. He’s dead.”

“No, he’s not! He’s standing right there—” Spike broke off. “He is standing right there. Isn’t he?”

“For you and me, yes. For Chad and Ari, nope, they can’t see a thing.”

Spike looked over at us, eyebrows raised.

“Guys? C’mon, you see him! Don’t you?”

Chad laughed. “Nope. But that’s okay. Because I can finally tell you—Welcome! To the world of magic! Always knew sooner or later you were gonna turn it loose. Guess our own little private coven’s growing.”

About the Author:

Gail Roughton is a native of small town Georgia whose Deep South heritage features prominently in much of her work. She’s worked in a law office for close to forty years, during which time she’s raised three children and quite a few attorneys. She’s kept herself more or less sane by writing novels and tossing the completed manuscripts into her closet.

A cross-genre writer, she’s produced books ranging from humor to romance to thriller to horror and is never quite sure herself what to expect when she sits down at the keyboard. Now multi-published by Books We Love, Ltd., her credits include the War-N-Wit, Inc. series, The Color of Seven, Vanished, and Country Justice. Currently, she’s working on Black Turkey Walk, the second in the Country Justice series, as well as the Sisters of Prophecy series, co-written with Jude Pittman.

Another War-N-Wit plot always seems to be brewing on the back burner, too, whether she’s actually trying to brew one or not, and usually boils quicker when she’s trying not to brew one at all. 

Twitter: @GailRoughton

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