FOWP Spotlight Interview! Featuring Gabrielle

Those of you who have been following the blog have probably clicked on our bio page to see who we are. But, come on, we all know we’re more than a posed photo and a blurb. We’ve all got families and lives, too. 

I’d like to get to know each of our blog contributors better and decided to start with Gabrielle because we’ve recently swapped some pages and she’s just an overall cool lady!


Alright, Gabrielle. Our readers can take a look at your bio to find out about you, sure, but I’d like to know more.

Gab: I’m excited to spend time with you, Kristi!

What’s the best thing about where you live?

Gab: Well, I’ve been in the Pacific Northwest for about twenty years now and I love it here. Drive for a day in any direction and you’ll find yourself in a completely different environment, and all of them beautiful. We’re in a small city, but sandwiched between Seattle and Portland, so there’s always lots to do. West is the ocean and to the northwest is the rainforest. Head east and you’ll hit the Cascade mountain range, then the desert. The smell of sagebrush in the rain is a joy. I love the rain, and we’ve got lots of that. There are huge evergreen trees everywhere, and there’s nothing better than watching the Rainier volcano bloom in the sunset. I adore living in the Northwest.

What’s the last book you read?

Gab: A Snicker of Magic, by Natalie Lloyd. That had been on my list for a while! I also recently read Kraken, by China Mieville. That one gets my weirdest apocalypse story evah award. Loved it though.

Last Song you listened to on repeat:

Gab: Water Song by Takenobu, but I listen to rain all the time and it’s great to write to. If it’s not raining, I’ll often put rain on my computer, or cat purrs.

TV show you’re obsessed with currently: Vikings.

Dinner is on the stove, but the best first line for your WIP pops in your head and if you don’t write it down NOW, you’ll lose it forever…What do you do?

Gab: Oh, I burn dinner. No question. We have dinner every night, but best-ever-first-lines don’t happen every day. Luckily, my family loves me.

You’re packing a bag of books for a desert island, which 5 books make it in the bag? I’d try and bring a variety. My plan would be to memorize them and then tell other stories–prequels and sequels around the fire to all the other survivors. That way, they definitely don’t feed me to the giant spiders, or whatever, as a sacrifice. So, yeah. Gotta have some variety:

The Hills is Lonely by Lillian Beckwith, because it’s funny as all-get-out, and sweet, and it will pick you up out of any funk.

Jane Eyre, because hello, gorgeous classic.

I’d be hard pressed to choose between The Diamond Age, by Neal Stephenson, and American Gods by Neil Gaimin. Both are dark and rich and complex.

Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy, by Karen Foxlee for awesomeness, and a setting that just won’t quit.

The Night Gardener, by Jonathan Auxier for the scary stuff.

The Bartimaeous Trilogy, by Jonathan Stroud because I love it and that it all. But leaving his Lockwood books would be sooo hard.

I know that’s not five. If my bag’s too heavy, the sunscreen and jeans are out. I figure I’m going to end up in leaves and leather eventually.


Your writing journey in numbers:

6 manuscripts (maybe 7, depending on what I count) before offer of rep.

5 years in the query trenches

100s of queries sent

Multiple offers

Your current WIP in five words:

Strongarm sisters fight, plus dragons

What’s next for you?

Well, I’m just about done drafting the WIP. That will need to go in front of CPs, and then my agent, for edits. I’m also really looking forward to being a mentor for Pitch Wars!

Let me just say, I’d love to get stuck on an island with you as my storyteller/entertainment! You could really help me amp up the stakes of my own stories. I’m so excited for Pitch Wars and to see this WIP (btw, it’s on my computer NOW and I’m just loving it so far!)
Photo on 3-19-15 at 1.23 PM #2KRISTI WIENTGE is originally from Ohio where she grew up writing stories about animals and, her favorite, a jet-setting mouse. After studying to become a teacher for children with special needs, she spent several years exploring the world from China to England, teaching her students everything from English to how to flip their eyelids inside out before finally calling Singapore home. Now, all her adventures revolve around her four children and within the contemporary MG books she writes. Her debut middle grade novel KARMA KHULLAR’S MUSTACHE will release from Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers in summer 2017. You can find her on Twitter.

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