Author Interview: Gail Olmstead / Landscape of a Marriage



JMR-Welcome to the Books Delight, Gail. Tell our readers where you live, what you do for fun and what does the perfect day look like?

GWO- Thank you for having me! I live on a lake in Massachusetts and I love to spend time on the water- kayaking, boating and sailing. A perfect day would be a warm and sunny one, spent with my husband, two adult children and our friends- boating, barbecuing and sitting around a firepit talking and laughing.

JMR-What’s your favorite historical time period? Why?

GWO-I really enjoy reading books set during WWII. My parents lived through that time and I wish I could ask them about some of the things I have been reading. I never enjoyed studying history in school, but a good historical novel brings events alive for me and inspires me to want to learn more.

JMR-Who is your favorite historical figure? Why? If you could ask them one question, what would it be?

GWO-  It would have to be Eleanor Roosevelt, wife of U. S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt. I would ask her which of her roles- wife, mother, First Lady, writer, civil rights activist, diplomat - brought her the most personal satisfaction. She lived an amazing life despite a number of personal challenges and much loss. What an inspiration!

JMR- How did you come to be a writer? Do you have a writing background?

GWO- Until I published my first book Jeep Tour seven years ago, all of my writing was business-related: memos, reports, advertising copy and scripts for radio and TV commercials or academic in nature: journals, articles, etc. I had no idea how enjoyable fiction writing could be!

JMR- Gail you’ve published multiple contemporary romance novels. What inspired you to write a novel set in the past?

GWO- My husband is related to landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted. I was always interested in him, but when I found out that he married his late brother’s widow Mary, adopted her three children, had four more children and was married for more than 40 years, I thought- now there’s a story that I would want to read! And although it takes place 150 years ago, Fred and Mary faced challenges in their relationship that are quite relevant today- balancing the needs of family with professional goals, maintaining a close relationship during long periods of separation, dealing with grief and loss... to me, these themes are timeless.

JMR- Would you consider your new book a romantic historical or a historical romance?

GWO- I would call it a romantic historical. Although the central focus is the relationship between Fred and Mary told from her point of view, there is a good amount of detail on their work and family life and Mary’s personal journey.

JMR- Gail, tell us about your new book, Landscape of a Marriage.

GWO- Landscape of a Marriage is the story of Olmsted and his wife Mary. What began as a marriage of obligation blossomed into a passionate union full of challenges, joy, love and loss set against the exciting backdrop of the second half of 19th century America. It is based upon real people and true events and it chronicles Mary’s journey and personal growth over a period of more than 50 years.

JMR- Did you visit New York City for your research? Where did you feel closest to your characters?

GWO- I have spent countless hours enjoying Olmsted’s parks in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Boston, Asheville, NC and Springfield, MA, just to name a few. My husband and I went to Fairsted in Brookline, MA a few years back, where the Olmsteds lived for many years. Fred ran his landscape architecture firm from there as well. We toured the grounds and the main house and studied prints of his designs. I could picture the family there, working hard and enjoying their time together. It’s a National historic Site and worth a visit.

JMR-What projects do you have in the pipeline? Any you going to write more historical fiction?

GWO- I am working on a couple of ideas... one has a legal theme and the other is historical. Both are on the back burner for now, so we’ll have to see which one really grabs my attention.

JMR- Tell our readers how to find you on social media and the web.

GWO- Sure thing! My website is







JMR- What question were you hoping I’d ask but didn’t?

GWO- What is the most important thing you have learned since you began writing and publishing? I would have to say that I’m constantly amazed at the generosity and support that I have found with other writers such as yourself. I learn something new every day from connecting with my peers. What a wonderful and welcoming community!

JMR- Thank you, Gail for talking with us today! Good luck with your new book. Readers, I have included a link to Gail’s book on Amazon. Be sure to check it out. 


  1. Thank you for sharing my thoughts with your followers Jean!


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