Gwynne relaxes best when she is near—but not in—the water. She loves boating and would spend hours fishing daily if she could. Oddly, she never learned to swim, and she always wears a lifejacket when boating or fishing. Her bedroom faces a river, and if she didn’t work, she would spend a lot of time sitting in the bedroom gazing at the water and the passing boats. Moving water, she thinks, is soothing and relieves stress.
Gwynne Forster is national best-selling and award-winning author of twelve novels of general fiction, thirty-five romance novels, one e-book of short stories, and six novellas. All of her mainstream novels and several of her romance novels have been featured in Black Expressions Magazine. When Twilight Comes, her first mainstream novel, was featured on the magazine’s cover, and it also remained on the Essence Magazine list of best sellers for several months.
Among her many awards and forms of recognition, Gwynne is proud of her election in 2006 to the Affaire de Coeur Magazine Hall Of Fame, the Lifetime Achievement Award given her by Romantic Times Magazine in 2007, and her selection by Harlequin to participate in its Warm Hands, Warm Hearts project with the St. June Children’s Research Hospital.
She is formerly chief of (non-medical) research in fertility and family planning in the Population Division of the United Nations in New York and served for four years as chairperson of the International Programme Committee of the International Planned Parenthood Federation (London, England). These positions took her on official business to sixty-three developed and developing countries.
Gwynne sings on her church choir, loves to entertain, and is a museum hopper, gourmet cook and avid gardener. She enjoys classical music, opera, jazz and blues. Visit her website for more details on all of the books: www.gwynneforster.com
BPM: What are you most thankful for today? What does all your books have in common?
GF: I am most thankful for Jesus Christ in my life and for the health and well being of my family and myself.
GF: My books have different themes, but everyone of them demonstrates the importance of loyalty and common decency and the rewards of reaching for a higher goal. Website: www.gwynneforster.com
GF: I write full time. I get up around seven-thirty and usually write from nine to about four Mondays through Fridays. Important errands may interfere with the schedule, but that’s basically it. I write after dinner for about two hours, unless my husband and I are going out or have guests. I often write on Saturdays after I’ve finished my shopping and errands. I don’t write on Sundays. I work in my office, and I don’t listen to the radio unless there’s a program of Mozart music.
BPM: What do your do when you’re not writing?
GF: In the summer, I’m an avid gardener. I love music—opera and classical music, classical jazz, blues, some Sinatra/Nat Cole type popular songs and a couple of old fashioned country singers. I enjoy entertaining at small dinner parties and consider myself a rather good cook. And, of course, I read.
BPM: What does your family think of your writing?
GF: My family consisted of my now deceased husband and stepson. Both were very proud of my success as a writer and read all of my books. Although my husband was an academician and not a computer expert, he would create my fliers, brochures, and bookmarks and did an elegant job of it.
BPM: Mrs. Gwynne please tell us about your latest release, Fire Down Below. I’m proud of you for publishing you own book too!
GF: Fire Down Below deals with the strengths and frailness of relations among family members, friends and couples. If you want spine tingling drama, passion, triumph, vengeance, love, erotica, family turmoil, or dreams of a simple life, you want to read Fire Down Below. Try it today!
Fire Down Below contains four short stories and one long novella. In the first story, a woman who knows her husband is crazy about her over-plays her hand, and her husband’s reaction stuns her, as it will stun the reader.
The next tale is about a woman who believes previous surgery has left her incomplete as a woman and unable to enjoy love-making. Her surgeon’s advice encourages her. She falls in love with a man who cherishes her, and she is never again the same. It is a tender story that will tug at the reader’s heart.
In another story, a psychiatrist departs from his own professional standard and takes a sex-starved married female client to bed, ostensibly to demonstrate technique. She wants and demands more, and on her terms, finally resorting to blackmail. What they experience entraps him, and he has cause to remember his father’s long-ago advice, that his penis and the problems it can cause could ruin his life.
The novella tells of the slow disintegration of a once upscale family when the father, an arrogant man who overestimates his own worth, loses his job. Chickens come home to roost when the verbally abused, browbeaten wife comes into her own, rising like a Venus from the sea. In the turmoil, the son, scorned and rejected by the father, triumphs, and the daughter whose father spoiled and pampered her heads toward a life of destruction.
BPM: Are your characters a portrayal of real people?
GF: Not at all. Something about a person may give me an idea, but I invent my characters.
BPM: Who did you write Fire Down Below for? Is there a message in your book that you want readers to grasp?
GF: I wrote it for my readership. I thought that the women and men who have read my novels over the years would enjoy a frank discussion of some of the problems common among people of African descent. I’m not sure you’d call it a message, because I make it a policy not to preach to the reader. My first agent told me that it is a writer’s duty not only to entertain, but to inform. I’ve taken that advice seriously, and in every book that I write, whether mainstream fiction of a romance, I include some worthwhile information as a part of the story.
BPM: If you could change one thing you from your road to publication, what would you have done differently?
GF: I wouldn’t have written a romance as my first book. I write mainstream fiction, and some of my books have won awards, but they are always judged as romances, because reviewers associate me with romance. And when they complain about something, it’s usually what distinguished mainstream women’s fiction from a romance.
BPM: What two pieces of advice would you give to aspiring writers?
GF: Don’t be disappointed by rejections. When you get one, clean up the manuscript and send it to the next editor on your list. The appraisal of fiction is, in some important aspects, highly subjective.
GF: Learn English grammar, and cultivate an extensive vocabulary so as to express yourself precisely as you intend. Write each day and, if possible at the same time. Try not to get a habit of procrastinating, and don’t rewrite until, say, you’ve at least written a chapter. It’s best to rewrite after you finish a first draft. Nothing worthwhile comes easy. Join a writing group such as the local RWA group and attend writing conferences whenever possible. Remember: if you write a page every day, at the end of a year you can have a book.
BPM: Thank you Mrs. Gwynne for joining us today! Readers you can find out more about Gwynne Forster and her books at: http://www.gwynneforster.com
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