Sunday, January 13, 2013

Interview with Gemma James, Author of Ultimatum Book #1 in the Devils Kiss Series.


A couple of weeks ago Ms. Gemma asked me to review her book Ultimatum which is book #1 in the Devil’s Kiss series, and boy was it quite the read.  I liked the book so much that I wanted her to stop by the blog to get more insight about her and her upcoming projects. 

Click Here to read my review on Ultimatum. 


Crystal: Gemma thank you for stopping by I am so happy you were able to join us. I wanted my readers to get to know you better so why don’t you tell us a little bit about yourself?

Gemma: I live in Oregon with my husband and our four kids. I love to drive to the ocean often, even in the middle of the night. I have a weakness for chocolate and Dr. Pepper. I don’t watch much TV, except for the occasional Netflix marathon. I’m also a part-time student, which makes juggling family, writing, and school really difficult.


Crystal When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
 
Gemma: I began writing when I was fourteen. This was long before I owned a computer, so I did it all by hand. I still have every one of those stories, too, lol. This was during a trying time in my life, and I’d discovered the year before how reading could offer a great escape (I couldn’t get my hands on enough Sweet Valley High books). One day it occurred to me that I could write about my own characters. I wrote fan fiction several years later for a while, and then in 2008 I completed a very rough 50,000 words for NaNoWriMo. I view these small events as stepping-stones that got me to where I am today. I’ve been actively pursuing a writing career for eighteen months and have learned a ton from other writers along the way.

Crystal: Why did you choose to write Dark Erotica and do you write in other Genre’s?

Gemma: The dark stuff is the most compelling to me. Actually, anything with dark themes pulls me in. I’m juggling two writing identities now since I began this journey into erotica. I’m planning to self-publish a romantic suspense novel within the next few months under a different pen name. If I’m not torturing the heroine with whips and chains in erotica, then I’m torturing my heroine in mainstream fiction with a painful backstory, a psychic ability that is more scary than helpful, and a serial killer.

Crystal: What Inspired you to write Ultimatum and will this book turn into a series? If so, how many books do you plan to write

Gemma: Actually, I got the idea for Ultimatum after hearing all the hype surrounding Fifty Shades of Grey. I’ve never read the trilogy, but hearing about it was enough to make me curious, especially about what the term BDSM meant. I did some research and realized that I didn’t quite buy the whole set-up. What would make a virginal character willingly put up with that type of treatment? I thought about what it would take for a character to submit to something like that when they weren’t into kink. As a parent, I understand all too well how we fear for our children, and how we’d do anything for them. It was that single thought that sparked the idea for Ultimatum. I like the dynamics of Kayla having a “choice,” but I think most parents understand how consuming a love for a child can be, so in the end it’s really no choice at all. On a fundamental level, Gage is raping her, and yes, it’s definitely morally wrong. But legally, they’re both in the wrong. I don’t think this set-up would have worked as well without her having stolen from him. I’m now working on Enslaved, the second book in the Devil’s Kiss series. Enslaved should be ready for release by the end of January/early February. The third is tentatively titled Retribution, and at this point I’m aiming for a summer release.

Crystal: I agree. I think Gage is smitten with Kayla and this gave him the perfect opportunity to make his move. What makes it interesting is that Kayla is learning a lot about herself in the process. I can’t wait for the next book Enslaved to come out. 

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
 
Gemma: I don’t know if it’s a writing quirk, but I can’t write worth crap without music in my ears. Some of my favorite artists to write by are OneRepublic, Florence +The Machine, and more recently Lana Del Rey. I listen to all kinds of music, and I like to pull the emotion from a song and infuse a scene with it. I also hunt down piano covers of my favorite songs on YouTube.


Crystal: You know I love some of the same Artist you listed. It is something about their music that draws me to them especially Florence and the machine, I love her voice. Well enough about me lol.

 What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?

Gemma: Well, based on some of the reviews I’ve gotten for Ultimatum, I was surprised how the sex scenes were described as hot and erotic. I’m new to writing and reading erotica, and I don’t have a lot of experience at writing such detailed sex scenes. I basically took what was in my head and let the words flow, but I honestly had no idea if they were any good or not.

Crystal : Gemma I have got to hand it to you because the scenes where hot. I would not have had the idea you were a novice at writing Erotica. Based on your book it seem like you had been doing this for a while.

What do you think makes a good story?

Gemma: I think it depends on the person. Just as people have different tastes in music, books are no different. Universally, despite genre or personal preference, I think a good book is one with a compelling storyline and characters, has been through the revision process at least once, and has been edited, polished, and proof-read. A great, outstanding book is subjective to personal taste, and for me it’s a blend of genres, a story that isn’t merely formulaic. Books that get me excited are the ones that keep me up all night because I can’t put them down. They’re the stories that don’t just tell me the story, but put me in the shoes of the characters—the ones I think about long after turning the last page. I’m a lover of romance and HEA, but more recently I discovered how a real mind-bender can leave as much of an imprint

Crystal: I love books that I can relate to, books where I can connect with the character and that can draw you into the story. I completely felt that way about Ultimatum.
 
Can you tell us anything about your up coming projects?

Gemma: I do think people might be surprised with where I’m planning to take the Devil’s Kiss series, though the tentative title of the third book might give a clue to some. ;)

Crystal : Who is your favorite author and what book are you reading now?

Gemma: Okay, this is going to sound completely contradictory! For erotica, I favor Kitty Thomas’ work. For more mainstream stuff, I really love Tracey Garvis Graves and Tammara Webber. I’m also a fan of Sandra Brown. As for what I’m reading now, nothing at the moment, but I just finished Edge of the Past, a YA novel by Jennifer Comeaux. Her work is about as innocent as you can get—no sex whatsoever, yet she’s awesome at chemistry. I think I needed a break from all the smut in my head!

Crystal :Is there anything you would like to say to your readers?
 
Gemma: I’d like to thank them for taking a chance on another unknown Indie! As I’m still fairly new to self-publishing, I’m not flooded with reviews yet, but the few I have gotten have not only meant a lot, but I’ve also found insight in them. I have a thick skin, and I’m always looking for ways to improve my writing.

:) Gemma

Crystal: Gemma, thank you so much for taking your time out of your schedule to interview with me. I wish you the best of luck on your series and I am looking forward to Enslaved's release. I would love to have you back as a guest in the near future. To followers, if you would like to get more information on Ms. Gemma James Please check out her blog  The Edge of Erotica

You can also Follow Ms. Gemma James on  Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads.

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