Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Meet Children's Author Gail Truax

Carpinello's Writing Pages welcomes Gail Truax who writes stories for children.

First, a bit about Gail:

Gail Truax was born in Rugby, Tennessee, which was founded by Thomas Hughes, the author of Tom Brown's School Days. Rugby was the last English settlement in America. At the age of eleven, Gail’s family moved to Kokomo, Indiana, which is the birthplace of Norman Bridwell, author of the Clifford the Big Red Dog storybooks. Gail began telling stories at the age of six to her nephew. The tradition continued with her children and grandchildren. The Greymalkin stories began as a way to entertain her granddaughters. Seven years later, they still request the stories.

Why did you pick to write books for children?

I do not think of myself as an author, but as a storyteller. For as long as I can remember, I have told stories to friends and family. As a child, my friends and I made up stories and acted them out to amuse ourselves. This is what my granddaughters and I do now. One story can take three or more hours to complete as we add dimensions to the play-acting. The fact that these stories are now in written form is just an extension of this type of earlier imaginative play telling and acting.

What types of books do you like to read?

I read a lot. The family closeness and core values of Louisa M. Alcott’s Little Women spoke to my soul. The Diary of Anne Frank raised my consciousness, introducing me to the ugliness of war, hate, and discrimination. Max Lucado, Billy Graham, and Joyce Meyer help keep me grounded while Dave Ramsey and Suzy Orman help keep me solvent. On a different note, some favorite fiction authors are (in no particular order): Maeve Bunchy, Cheryl Wilson, Agatha Christie, Rex Stout, Janet Evanovich, Taylor Caldwell, Mark Twain, Charles Dickens, Michael Williams, R.B. Claque, Steve Harrison, Bill Noel, and William Shakespeare. Historical books, fiction, and non-fiction often grace my reading table. In non-fiction, my preferences run to biographies, autobiographies, and travel.

When you are not writing, what do you like to do?

My husband and I stay busy with our grandchildren. We also like to travel, with “visiting every state in the union” and “exploring England, Ireland, Scotland, and Wales” on our bucket list. Painting and creating various 'works of art' with the grandchildren also fill my days.

Tell us about Greymalkin, the Queen’s Cat and how the story came to be.

My wonderful little granddaughter was grumpy one day, an unusual occurrence for her, and said, “Nana, I’m bored.” “How about if Nana tells you a story?” “OK,” she replied. That inauspicious exchange was the beginning of the Greymalkin stories, which continue to this day. One big change now, however, is that I start the story but the two granddaughters finish it. It is so much fun to hear the different twists and turns the stories take as the girls tell them. No, they do not stick to “my” storyline.

Here's a peek at Greymalkin, the Queen's Cat:

Greymalkin and the princess are best friends and help each other in and out of many adventures.

Greymalkin and the Birthday Surprise is the story of how the princess and Greymalkin meet and become companions. Their immediate bond is hampered by the question of whether the princess will be allowed to have Greymalkin as her pet or only be able to visit him in the barn. The resolution to that dilemma makes an endearing story of the love shared between a child and her pet.

In Greymalkin and the Baby Dragon, the princess is now the queen leaving Greymalkin to go exploring by himself. Going for a simple walk in the woods leads him to a lost baby dragon who turns out to be the child of a very dangerous mommy dragon. Greymalkin thinks this problem through and finds a way to help the baby dragon and not upset his very protective mother.

Have you written other books? If so, tell us a bit about them. 

At different times in my life, I have kept journals, but never shared my stories with anyone other than family and friends until 2013.

What is next for your writing? Are you working on a new story?

There will be a third Greymalkin story, Greymalkin and the Heroic Rescue, late in 2015 or early 2016. After that, there will be additional single Greymalkin stories, with a collection of stories planned for the future.

What advice do you have for other authors?

Do it.  For years I hid my writing away and did not share it with anyone. It was a pleasant surprise to discover that other people, not just my friends and family, also enjoyed my stories.

Anything else you want readers to know? 

Many people ask why his name is Greymalkin. When Izzy said “Yes,” I knew the story would be about a cat. With that decision made, I recalled hearing many years ago (50 or so) that Winston Churchill had a cat named Greymalkin. Since I am an admirer of Winston Churchill, it was only natural to name the cat Greymalkin. While I have been able to verify that Winston Churchill did have many cats, I could not find any of them with the name Greymalkin. The second most common question is, “Why do you spell his name with an ‘e’?” Greymalkin is a British Blue cat and the British spelling of the color gray is grey.” Greymalkin and the princess are best friends. In their many adventures, they discover they can always depend on each other.

Where can readers find you and your books?

Pinterest for free coloring pages
Amazon Greymalkin and the Baby Dragon
Amazon Greymalkin and the Birthday Surprise


  1. I truly admire storytellers. I will have to look for the Greymalkin books. Stopping by from the Kid Lit Blog Hop.

    1. For whatever reason, the internet ate Gail's response:

      Tiffiny, Thanks for the kind words. People tell me they love the illustrations...which was a must for me. I wanted the child to feel as if they were in a magical land. Gail

  2. Replies
    1. For whatever reason, the internet ate Gail's response:

      Annette, Two tiny words but they changed everything. I still pinch myself sometimes and wish I'd had more confidence in my writing. Take care, Gail

  3. Great interview! Being one of Gail's oldest friend's, I have enjoyed hearing her stories and helping her proofread Greymalkin as well as her writings for school and such. She also writes some poetry. Some day, perhaps, she will publish some of them, too!

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Sheryliea and sharing with us!

  4. Thanks for sharing with #WhatToReadWednesday. We hope to see you back again this week!