Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Gail Pallotta's "Stopped Cold"


Cover blurb:
Things aren’t what they seem in peaceful Mistville, North Carolina.
Margaret McWhorter enjoys a laid-back Freshman year in high school flirting with Jimmy Willmore, swimming and hanging out with friends—until that day. Her brother, Sean, suffers a stroke from taking a steroid. Now he’s lying unconscious in a hospital. Margaret’s angry at her dad for pushing Sean to be a great quarterback, but a fire of hatred burns inside her to make the criminals pay.
Looking for justice, she takes Jimmy and her best friend, Emily, through a twisted, drug-filled sub-culture. A clue sends them deep into the woods behind the school where they overhear drug dealers discuss Sean.
Time and time again they walk a treacherous path and come face to face with danger. Even the cop on the case can’t stop them from investigating. All the while Margaret really wants to cure Sean, heal the hate inside, and open her heart to love.
Read an excerpt at http://www.gailpallotta.com/id13.html

1) How did this story come to you? 
As a young adult I knew someone who took drastic measures because she couldn’t live up to “the best” label. I’m not sure if the phenomenon to always be number one has crossed the path of others or not, but I later witnessed more sad events when someone who’d always been the winner wasn’t. After I married, became a Mom, and worked with children, I saw lots of hearts breaking over not finishing first in sports, classes or activities.

Expressions began rattling around in my head. “ Well, we don’t have to be number one for God to love us” and “God made each of us special with a gift or gifts to use for him.” One day I decided to put my thoughts about being number one in a book. I’d always enjoyed Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys mysteries, so I wrote one similar. When I thought of winning, sports came to mind. Steroid use, it seemed pointed to a drive to be number one. From that point I added a lot of research then the mystery and characters. 

2) Tell us about your journey to getting this book published. 
Wow! I could write another book about the New Revised Stopped Cold’s path to publication. I first took a draft of the book to a writers’ conference, where an editor told me it wasn’t right for her list, but it was worthwhile. I should edit, rewrite and not give up on it until it was published. I followed her advice and took it to another conference. There an author told me the book had value and suggested a publisher. I sent it, and they did whatever they do with submissions for a year then returned it with a rejection slip. I put it in a drawer. 

Several years later I joined American Christian Fiction Writers, ran out of material for my critique group, and pulled it out of the drawer. They seemed to like it, so I ran it by my one-on-one critique partner, who worked on it even more and encouraged me to submit it. I sent it to few Christian publishers and an agent. They all rejected it, so I put it back in the drawer. One day I noticed a new publisher looking for Christian writers. I submitted, and she took it. The book started selling online and in bookstores, and I got good feedback. I thought things were going well for Stopped Cold until my publisher shut her doors. I had lined up signings and committed to a festival, but I had no books. The drawer was no longer an option. 

With lots of encouragement I sent Stopped Cold to three publishers, each of whom offered to take it. However, I needed print copies ASAP for my commitments. My critique partner encouraged me to ask if one of them would publish the e-books while I did print books. With the help of a lot of people Stopped Cold is out once again.

3) Tell me three things about yourself that would surprise your readers.  Hmm. 
I’m an Elvis Presley fan. 
I swim several miles in a week
I once chased a large iguana out of a yard and across a field to take its picture 

4) What are you working on now and what’s next for you? 
I’m organizing  promotion for the New Revised Edition of Stopped Cold and finishing a fun novella for Fairwilde Reflections, a series of retold fairy tales my critique group is doing. Two are out, At the Edge of a Dark Forest by Connie Almony and Red and the Wolf  by June Foster.  Coming soon, Mirror on the Fall by Mildred Colvin then mine, Mountain of Love and Danger, and finally Swept Away by Vanessa Riley. 

5) Parting Comments. 
Thanks for having me on your neat blog. I’d like to conclude with a few comments from some who’ve read Stopped Cold

From the Preditors and Editors Readers Poll, where Stopped Cold finished fourth:  

Very compelling with emotions and feelings that have been felt by everyone in their lives at one time or another. Everyone can relate to this book ! Great read for all, especially students and parents !

One of the best books recently published dealing with self-esteem, drugs and the drive to be #1 at any cost. A must-read for the young athlete and the family. 

Stopped Cold is an extremely good book to help teens make right decisions in their life. It is also a very good mystery.

I thought it was great Book I think all young people should read it. Opened my eyes.

This is an exceptional work and tells the truth of today.

Excerpts from a couple of reviews: 

“…follow Margaret’s journey to discover the depth of true character and faith not only in school and friends, but family.” Author and Book Reviewer Lisa Lickel. 

“They…” (the characters) “..are as finely tuned as a lovely stringed instrument, each having a different song to play in the story.” Book Reviewer Barbara Shelton.

6) Where can fans find you on the internet? 
My web site - http://www.gailpallotta.com
My blog - http://www.gailpallotta.blogspot.com
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/AuthorsandMore
Twitter - Gail Pallotta  @Hopefulwords