Coffee Time Romance has the pleasure of speaking to erotic romance author, Gemma Snow. Thanks so much for granting us this interview. Please come in and enjoy a cup of hot Java, and some delicious baked goods. The readers are anxious to learn about Gemma.
It is so good to have you with us today. Before we begin our interview, is there any special news that you would like to share with your readers before we begin?
Thank you so much for having me! I would love to! I recently released a new contemporary erotic romance novel, The Lovin’ Is Easy and I actually have a historical erotic short, Leather and Gold coming out at the end of October, so it’s been busy and exciting!
When you wake, how does your day begin?
Ha-ha, you’ll cringe! My boyfriend works in New York, so we’re usually up together around 5:30ish. Then it’s Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest and just for fun, Duolingo. (I’ll never give up the ghost, even at 9 years of studying Italian!)
I like reading the paper over breakfast and coffee, so some days I’ll go for a run early and come back and do that or I’ll do that first and then head to a yoga class.
It’s important to me to start early, so when all the social media nonsense is out of the way, I head to the ‘office’ (my desk next to my bed) and start tackling the writing, editing, blogging and promotion for the day. I also freelance write and work for a startup company, so time management and a good routine is essential.
I believe you have a new release, Seduction en Pointe that is part of a series. Why not tell the readers about this new set of books?
I’d love to! So Seduction en Pointe is the first book in the Full Swing series. It’s set in Paris, starring Isabelle, my haughty ballet instructor, and Nicco, my bad boy television star who’s been sent to Paris to get his act together. The rest of the trilogy focuses on the other two heroes of The Queen Anne’s Revenge, the historical pirate television show that Nicco stars on, and the women who fall for them, accept them and help them become better people, (just as my heroines grow and evolve throughout their stories!)
The series has a high heat level, but it’s there for a reason. In Seduction Nicco and Isabelle are bother performers, grappling with the fact that every aspect of their lives is in the public eye, even the really gritty stuff, (and they both have some pretty gritty stuff). They start to explore some of their desires, and realize that performance, sexuality and eroticism all go hand in hand. Similarly, book two is about themes of control and power, in relationship to strong, responsible, capable characters.
Also, who doesn’t love an erotic Paris affair, right?
Was there anything special that gave you the idea to compose these stories?
This is quite a saga, actually. The Full Swing series started a short erotic novella about two years ago. It was published as one scene between the three couples–who have since changed–all based around this television show. Well, the publisher went out of business, and I got the rights to my story back. Working with my wonderful editor from the original book at a different press, I realized that there was a lot more potential for Seduction than just an erotic short.
It went through four major revisions. Originally it came in at 35,000 words and then it came in at around 82,000 words. It was kind of a mess to wade through, and Rebecca, my editor, was so patient and creative the whole time. The final book is around the 75,000 word mark, and I think it just hits it right. Isabelle and Nicco told me they wanted a better story, and I’m so grateful that the first press closed, because they deserved one.
What would you say is the best time of the day to write?
Time waits for no muse! I jest. I write when I can write, to be honest. I’ll give myself chunks to complete and weave them in between other projects, so I can get in an hour of writing and then an hour of promotion, so on and so forth. It also depends on the story, because some come easily and some require more research and the like. I do have gorgeous light in my room, though, so I’m always happy to write during the day.
While composing your stories, and characters, is there something special you have nearby that keeps you in tune as you write?
I realized the importance of a character sheet. It’s not fun or sexy to write down the details, height, eye colors, la la la la, but neither is it fun to waste an hour looking for them in an old draft, so if I’m composing a brand-new character in a brand new first draft, I’ll keep the details in an easy to access folder so I don’t have to waste time.
That being said, I’m a journalist, so composing characters is a ton of fun for me. I love thinking about sitting down to interview my characters in different ways, and sometimes I even have them interview each other! This can give me straight answers–what in your past made you become a copy–but it also helps me determine physical traits, ticks, actions and attitudes, which all help create rounded characters.
Gemma, what does your work station look like?
I try, honest! No, my actual work station is quite clean. I have an ancient old Mac that I use for post it notes, a couple of photographs and pen holders, so that I have room for my laptop and a notebook or notes if I need. Sharp right and you’ll see stacks of papers, notebooks, electronics, tickets, all of it, so that’s a bit of a mess, but as long as it’s out of sight… Mostly, I just love all the light that comes into the room, the rest is just a bonus.
Do you prefer to start with an outline when you write or just go with the flow?
Plotter here! I’m usually working on several books at a time, and I really need to know what’s going to happen next in all of them or I’ll waste time on a project that I can’t afford to waste. The really fun part about working on a series though is that you get to play with characters and places that have already been introduced.
For instance, The Lovin’ Is Easy is book one in the Triple Diamond series, starring Madison Hollis. Book two, which is currently in edits, is based on her sister Lily, so I get to have the sisters chatting and eventually all the men chatting/roughing each other up as well (the Triple Diamond series books are all ménages, so the pronouns can get a little complicated!)
What is your favorite part of being a writer? What do you like the least?
I love telling stories. Being a writer means that everything you take in, smells, conversations, the shape of a tree, it all has the potential to go somewhere, into a story or a line of dialogue or an aesthetic. Looking at the world feels purposeful and exciting and I just love that.
I do have a lot hate relationship with editing, specifically when I have to go in and make major changes to a story to add to the length. Editing from the inside out, like with Seduction can be hard, but it’s usually worth it.
Of all the genres to read, which do you prefer to read the most?
Well, you know I love romance! I read romance all the time, and it varies. Right now, I’m reading Suzanne Brockmann’s Troubleshooters series because I’ve been going back and forth between that, Jill Shalvis, Maya Banks and Peggy Jaegar. Outside of romance, (is there anything??) I’m really into nonfiction right now, and I’ve been reading a lot on feminist theory and climate change science, so it’s a wide range.
If you could travel to any place in the world, where would you go for some rest and recreation?
Secret time! When I’m feeling stressed, I look at long term villa rentals in southern Italy. (I also look at castles for rent.) It’s a fun little destresser and I’ve convinced my boyfriend that we’ll live there for a few months when we get on our feet. I also just found out that my family is from Sardinia and that’s just about the most beautiful place on earth. Most days though, my rest and relaxation would be a pile of a books and a day when I don’t have to do anything.
Can you describe your most romantic getaway?
I’ve had some pretty romantic trips! My boyfriend and I are coming up on four years in November (eee!) and we spent our first Valentine’s Day at an adorable B&B in Marblehead, MA. We were totally snowed in, and it was just this lovely little getaway. We also spent some time in San Diego last summer and both fell completely in love with it, so we’re hoping to move there at some point (maybe even before Italy!) Obviously, the dream here is Italy.
What would a carefree day be like for Gemma, if she could have anything to her liking?
You tease! I have a massive to be read pile, so I would love to spend the day cozied up with snacks and read all day. But I know I’d end up just working. Probably a day in New York City, first the Met and then the Museum of Natural History, lunch in Central Park, visit some book stores, maybe a show at night, that sort of thing.
Finally, any last thoughts you would like to leave with our readers?
I love chatting with people who love books! Even if you haven’t read mine, I’d still love to talk about what makes you tick and why you enjoy reading–as a writer and a reader, talking about writing is my favorite thing! If you have read my books, thank you so much for your support and love, and I hope you continue to enjoy them!
Gemma, thank you so much for sharing time with us today. I wish you the best with your series, and all your wonderful books. And I would love to visit the Netherlands, the next time you are there, think of me.
Thank you so much for having me! And we’ll go together next time!