Bizzlinkzz: Today I’m very pleased to be interviewing Author Gloria Antypowich, from Horsefly British Columbia .

Bizzlinkzz:When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

Gloria: I`ve always had a flair with words. Once when I was in high school I got caught in the washroom with some other girls who were hanging out there to skip a class. The punishment was a 1000 word essay. I was ticked off because I had been there for legitimate reasons, although I did stop to talk a bit longer than necessary: so I wrote a sarcastic essay. The teacher gave me an A+ for it and commented on my writing skills. My mother saved it and in later years put it in one of her scrapbook photo albums.

About the same time, I wrote a short fashion article and submitted it to the Western Producer. They published it and I received a cheque for $2.49. I was thrilled, but I didn’t think about being a writer.

When I was a young mother, I had a small stack of articles that I hid in the closet in my daughter’s bedroom, but I didn`t try to publish them, it was just an outlet.

A few years after we moved to Horsefly, I started to seriously consider writing. I was in my early thirties, and working outside the home when I went to my first writers conference in Regina, Saskatchewan. I had also wanted to check out the `Cypress Hills`because that name sounded so romantic to me. Although I had planned to go by myself, my husband Lloyd didn’t want me to drive that far on my own. At that time he was a rancher/log truck owner, so he took time off to go to the writers conference with me. We also toured through the Maple Creek, Cypress Park area and I made notes for research for the series of books that I am publishing now.

I also attended  the Romance Writers of America (RWA) conferences in Dallas and San Francisco during the next couple of years. I wrote the first version of Hearts At Risk during that time. Vanessa Grant introduced me to an agent, who read the book and took me on. She submitted it to Harlequin and they replied that they had too many books that were ranch related at the time. Because the book didn’t get snapped up immediately, I lost the support of my family. I let my feelings get hurt and shelved the project for thirty years, until I decided to publish Hearts at Risk in 2011, after my husband and I had retired. I published You Can Run in 2012, and then my writing got sidetracked.I started to reinvent my career in 2014. It’s been a hectic eighteen months!

Bizzlinkzz: Where do you get your information and ideas for your books?

Gloria: I think like a writer all the time. I talk to everyone—people I don’t even know and ask them all kinds of things. Recently I met a lady who works at a copper mine in the Yukon, and I immediately thought about what a cool career that would be for a female in a book. I asked her a lot of questions about her job, wrote down the name of the mine where she works and it went into a file on my computer.

But sometimes a conversation that I overhear in a restaurant triggers a thought, or something I read in a magazine, or hear on the news. The background for the hero in my fourth book was generated by a conversation I had with my son twenty- five years ago,before he got married. The incident stayed with me, and years later I talked with him and his wife, and another incident that happened to an acquaintance of theirs came up. I wrote down the man’s name, and searched Canada’s 411 pages, found his name and cold called him. I explained who I was and why I was calling and he was happy to talk to me. All of this was research, to give me a feeling about how my character might feel in a given situation.

For book three, a conversation with a woman who had acted as a surrogate for her sister left me in awe. I knew I wanted to write a book that included surrogacy. I researched on line and read about a woman with infertility issues, and discovered Mayer-Rokitansky-Küster-Hauser syndrome (MRKH). I read related posts, where people explained how they felt about having the syndrome. I was fascinated! I had never heard of it before, but I decided this would be perfect for a heroine. Then I spent weeks researching surrogacy in Canada and the US. I followed two blogs about people who were actually documenting their journey through surrogacy. These were real people, their posts were authentic. What a window of opportunity for me! This was all research, but it gave me insight, so I could write with authenticity.

I also buy ebooks about the topics that interest me, or if I have to, I’ll buy a real book. I do most of my research online: the internet is full of information. It is like putting together pieces of a puzzle.

Bizzlinkzz: How long does it take you to write a book?

Gloria: It takes me a good six months for the first draft, but then I rework it and do a rewrite, and edit it.

Bizzlinkzz:   What do you think makes a good story?

Gloria: I believe a good story captures the reader’s imagination and helps them emotionally connect with the characters… At this time my books are set in “western romance” genre, but I think they are more than that. I believe a book can be set in any situation, but if the characters and the way they react are compelling, people will enjoy the read.

Bizzlinkzz: How many books have you written? Do you have a favorite?

Gloria: Basically I have written four books. But I published the first two, and then my writing career was put on hold. After that, I had Jen Blood at Adian Enterprises assess the four books. She suggested that I rewrite Hearts at Risk and rebrand my writing. I took her advice and now I will be releasing the first two books, along with two more as the Belanger Creek Ranch Series.

Frank and Colt are characters from my first book (The Second Time Around) and I feel like they are my first child. I love The Second Time Around, but for me writing Full Circle (originally titled You Can Run) was like playing the piano by ear! The book just came to me, flowing from my fingertips, onto the computer, like a movie was playing in my mind. I didn’t do much research for it, except to explore Swift Current, Saskatchewan and learn more about it on the internet. I fall in love with all my characters, but I think Full Circle, Book Two of the Belanger Creek Ranch Series is my favorite.

Bizzlinkzz:Are there any authors that inspired you to write?

I would have to say that my love of reading inspired me to become a writer. However, some authors that come to mind are: Janet Dailey, Linda Lael Miller, Bev Petterson, Nora Roberts, Danielle Steel, Stacy Eaton, Vanessa Grant ….and so many others that I can’t think of right now. I also read Wilbur Smith, John Grisham, Clive Cussler, Stephen King, Jim Giammatteo, John Betcher, Claude Bouchard, Lorne Oliver, R.E. Donald, Dan Brown and more recently Mathew Peters.

On the other end of the spectrum I also read Graham Hancock, Robert Bauval and Zecharia Sitchin.

Bizzlinkzz: What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

Gloria: I am a voracious reader. I have over 800 books on my Kindle and I have read most of them. However, I seldom read during the day. I love to spend time with family and friends. I am not physically fit, I but love to go for a ride through the forest on the quad. I love to spend a day on the little lake close to home. We have a small old boat with an electric motor that we take out there —the silence and the magic of nature is wonderfully relaxing. I like all kinds of music from Meat Loaf to Zamfir, or simply recordings of nature sounds playing in the back ground. I love to play a game of cards and sip a glass of wine. I treasure days that I can spend sitting side by side with like-minded people, on the computer, not even having to speak, simply being together. And when I am pushed, I’ll do the housework!

Bizzlinkzz: When are your books coming out?

Gloria: The first two, The Second Time Around and Full Circle, are already formatted for ebook at Kindle KDP and Createspace for paperback version. The launch is planned for May 8th, just before Mother’s Day!

Finally, What writing advice do you have for other aspiring authors?

Gloria:Keep doing what you love to do! Don’t let other people’s influences stop you. Keep writing! Don’t give up…and remember it’s never too late. I’m 71! Everything happens when it is meant to.