I’m so pleased to introduce our newest Femme, Tina Gabrielle, a historical romance author who has published with Kensington and is now contracted with Entangled. Tina, as one of my first NJRW friends, I wish you a warm welcome! Let’s help our readers get to know you.
Tina Gabrielle: First I’d like to thank the Femmes for inviting me to join them. It is an honor, and I’m happy to have such good friends!
I’ve been an avid reader since I was a young teen, but I didn’t start out as a good reader. English was my second language, and I grew up in a very ethnic Armenian household. My mother spoke four languages, and I remember starting kindergarten speaking very little English. It was a challenge! All through grade school I struggled with reading and writing, and I vividly recall being pulled out for speech therapy. It wasn’t until I was a teenager and our family took a summer vacation in the Poconos that I discovered a love for books. I was the youngest of three sisters and my oldest sister had a summer romance with another vacationing teen and my middle sister had a fling with one of the waiters. My parents were out with friends, and I was left alone in the hotel room. I was bored and picked up my sister’s historical romance, a spicy western. I was hooked! Thereafter, I started reading every romance (and popular fiction novel) I could find in my local library. I was too young to be reading some of these romances by today’s standards. My family had no idea what I was reading, they were just glad I was reading.
Years later, I started writing my own stories. I wrote my first book when I was sixteen. I remember typing furiously on the family computer, only to get frustrated when I was interrupted by one of my sisters. I thought the book was the greatest ever written, a Jackie Collin’s spin off, and believed it was my ticket to instant fame. How little did I know!
JB: I recently read (and loved!) your title In the Barrister’s Chambers. Besides your beautiful writing, one of your strengths, I feel is how you pull in rich historical detail and fun facts so smoothly. Did your own background in law teach you to research? Do you love the research or dread it? And where and how do you find most of your information?
TG: I write Regency period historical romance, and I do enjoy the research. But I struggle with not letting the research take over to the point that I stop writing the book. I do a lot of initial research, then start the writing process. If I reach a point in the book that requires more research, I stop briefly to get the facts then continue writing. I don’t want to interfere with the flow of the story.
I learned how best to research in law school. “In The Barrister’s Chambers” is a Regency romance about four sexy lawyers and the women who wreak havoc in their chambers and steal their hearts. I had to do a ton of research about the criminal law system during the Regency as well how barristers lived and even what their chambers looked liked back then. I also have courtroom scenes in the book, but I based much of the emotions and facts on my own personal experience. This was the fun part of writing the book. I have worked as a patent attorney and NJ Deputy Attorney General trying hearings and working on trials. I used these real life experiences to write the courtroom scenes and put those feelings on the page. I had to be careful not to dump all my research into the book but to weave the historical facts with the fun, spicy romance. It was a lot of work, but so much fun to see the book finally published!
JB: I know for a few years there you were snatching writing time while the kiddos napped. What is your schedule like these days? However do you manage to keep producing such great books?
TG: Writing with children is never easy. I write because I love it, and I can’t imagine not writing. I wrote my first four books when my kids were in preschool or half-day kindergarten. I remember dropping them off, running back home and writing as much as I could before having to return and pick them up again. I also struggled with both of my parents passing away and caring for my father who had battled with cancer. Writing was my escape.
My kids are only a few years older now, but I still never feel like I have enough time. Do moms ever? My house is never spotless and there is always dirty laundry in the hamper, but I’ve learned not to sweat it!
As for my current schedule, I work a part time day job and write at night or when the kids are in school. I’ve never had a set schedule or a precise daily work count. I stick with long term goals of when I need to have the next book finished.
JB: After four books with Kensington, you found yourself searching for another publisher, which, unfortunately, seems to happen to many authors. I was so pleased to see that you landed on your feet very quickly. How did you accomplish that? What advice do you have for other authors who find themselves in the same situation?
TG: Switching publishers is never easy for a writer. I know authors who have left publishers only to return to the same one a few years later. I’m fortunate to have sold a two book deal to Entangled Publishing for my next Regency historical spy series. My agent, Stephany Evans of FinePrint Literary Management, is wonderful. She sold the series very quickly to Entangled. As for advice to other authors, that’s a hard question! I would recommend finding an agent who loves your work and who is professional and returns your emails and phone calls. This is no easy task, I know, but it will certainly help the author to have a supportive agent on your side.
JB: Tell us about your new series with Entangled Publishing? Do you foresee sticking to Regencies?
TG: I write Regency historical romances because I love them. I enjoy a hero in a well-tailored coat, snowy cravat, and gleaming Hessians. No sweat pants and flannel shirts. Men dressed well! And it must have been exciting and romantic to have been taken for a ride around Hyde Park in a gentleman’s curricle (the ultimate Regency race car). After all, who doesn’t love a sexy Mr. Darcy? Whether it’s the clothes, the titles, or the lifestyle?
The first book “In the Crown’s Secret Service” series is titled, “A Spy Unmasked.”
It’s a sexy romance about a spy and top safecracker and a lady on a mission to bring her father’s murderer to justice. Think James Bond in the Regency!
I don’t have a cover or release date yet, but I’ll be sure to post more when I do.
Thank you again to the Femmes. I’m excited to join the group!
You can find Tina at