Author Spotlight: Gail Olmsted

Who is Gail Olmsted?Gail Olmsted

My first visit to Sedona, AZ prompted me to start writing JEEP TOUR, my first novel.  I fell in love with the red rocks and blue skies. My second novel is Guessing at Normal, a rock and roll love story. I recently released Driving on the Left, a romantic sequel of sorts to JEEP TOUR, based in Ireland.  A hopeless romantic, I am married to the love of my life. I am mom to two young adults and two cats, and I enjoy reading, music and travel.

I am a professor in the School of Business & Information Technology at Springfield Technical Community College in Springfield, MA.  I was the recipient of the Deliso Endowed Chair Award and was recently recognized by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts’s Department of Higher Education as one of “29 Who Shine”.

What motivated you to write your first novel?

A trip to Sedona, AZ with my family motivated me to write JEEP TOUR, my first novel. It was so amazing and so magical that I found myself imagining that it would be the perfect place for a do-over!!

What strange things do you do when you write? Do you listen to music? Watch television? Eat Cheetos?

Nothing too strange, although I have a pair of lucky socks that I like to wear and a favorite coffee mug.

What was your greatest challenge writing this story and how did you overcome it?

With my latest novel Driving on the Left, the biggest challenge was nailing the voices and tone. I switch back and forth between mom Jackie and her 21 year old daughter Becca, and I really wanted each woman to have her own unique voice.

If you could spend the day with one of the characters in this book, who would you choose and what would you do?

I am a rock and roll junkie, so I would go on tour with James Sheridan, bad boy rockstar from Guessing at Normal. That would be epic!

What’s next for you and your writing career?

I am working on a sequel of sorts to Guessing at Normal. I felt like protagonist Jill Griffin had more of a story to tell.

What inspires you? Where do you get your ideas?

The real life story behind Guessing at Normal began when a singer-songwriter on tour checked in to the motel I worked at during college. He later became a major superstar, but at the time, he was just a cute long-haired guy with a killer smile. Relationships of all types inspire me. I love trying to figure out why people are attracted to each other and how some couples just click.

What is something you are not good at doing?

Taking criticism. Seriously, I suck. You would think I would be better at it by now, ha ha!!

What message do you want readers to get from reading the book?

Life is short. Relax, enjoy! Show the people in your life that you love them.

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

Travel, read, knit, hang out with my family, go out to dinner with my husband, have lunch with my girlfriends, shop with my daughter, go kayaking or for a hike.

What are your favorite characters that you have created?

Jill Griffin from Guessing at Normal is my favorite character. She’s quirky and shy but she loves unconditionally.

What is one piece of advice you would give to your teenage self?

Use more sunscreen. Be kind. Stop worrying. Be yourself- no one is looking at you. Spend as much time as humanly possible with your mom.

Purchase Gail Olmsted’s novels


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Connect with Gail Olmsted


Twitter  @gwolmsted






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