By AK Dale
GREENVILLE, S.C. – Growing up on the island of Hawaii and the Pacific Northwest gave eyes of wonder to a younger version of author Gloria Repp.
“I began to take a lively interest in the natural world surrounding me,” Repp said. “The ocean and beaches, the mountains and forests, fired my imagination and gave shape to the stories I was beginning to dream.”
That dream was spurred on by those days spent with her father and his wonderful hobby of sharing tales with his child.
“In one of my earliest memories, I am sitting on my father’s lap listening to a bedtime story,” she said. “His stories were always original, always exciting, and they took me out of my small space into larger worlds of adventure and intrigue and wild creatures.”
It was those gifts of early childhood that would guide her later as she matured.
“They stood me in good stead during the lonely years that followed,” Repp said. “My mother died, our family disintegrated, and I was sent away to school. In books and the stories I wrote for myself, I found delightful companionship, and I learned that the mysteries of nature could be unlocked by study. To this day, a fascination with wilderness and wild creatures pervades my writing.”
Now other than caring for her home, husband, and garden, Repp is a full-time author, if she isn’t reading, hiking, gardening, baking, or working on her photography.
“Even though—and perhaps because—I work ‘full-time as an author, I am constantly torn between the necessity of marketing my work and the desire to reach out to children with the stories that romp through my head,” she admitted. “This tension ratcheted itself into prominence when I became an Indie author. No longer could I depend on my publisher or agent to sell my books. Marketing had to be done by me or there would be no chance of paying my bills, which, by the way, increased as I ventured onto that unstable terrain. I have learned that numerous online entities are happy to separate me from my dollars, often without a significant return, so it is with reluctance that I muddle forward into Indie marketing.”
Her writing, to no real surprise, focuses on spiritual sides of things.
“I write with a Christian world view, and I want my stories for children to be empowering, rather than to deliver a lesson in morality or provide a trivial experience,” she said. “As a child, I lived with fears that towered over me like dragons, and children today face dragons even larger and more frightening. But courage and honor and love still conquer dragons, and my goal is to reflect this truth. My greatest reward is to hear that a young reader has taken something for himself from one of my stories.”
Repp does have tangible business takes on how the industry functions and how some could use them as feelings of rising or falling.
“To my mind, sales and recognition are not indicators of genuine success, but they will affect the breadth of my audience, and for that reason I’m becoming more and more involved in marketing my books,” Repp said. “Although I like meeting new people, I do not enjoy selling or networking or even doing market analysis. Writing blurbs and listing selling points is hard work, and I shrink from promoting myself and/or my books.”
One great irony in Repp’s writing career is that it was born from family, motivated to cultivate by losses within the family structure, and ultimately has survived with the help of family.
“I’m fortunate to have a supportive family,” Repp said. “My children grew up hearing me talk about my current writing projects and were never too busy to give me an opinion. They cheered me on—perhaps because of the family tradition that whenever I landed a book contract, I’d take them out for supper? Whatever the reason, I appreciated their help.”
She hopes to continue working on many projects, including one in particular that tickles her fancy.
“I’ve always loved historical fiction and am fascinated by the effects of cataclysmic historic events on ordinary people,” she said. “Educated as a Canadian, I didn’t learn American history until my college days, and since then I’ve been intrigued by the complicated threads of the American Revolution. I’d like to write about it: not the war itself, but how it affected the lives of families, and children in particular.”
FOR MORE INFORMATION on GLORIA REPP and her WORKS,
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