Welcome to another holiday interview! Today Gemma Juliana is sitting in the hot seat and sharing a little about her writing journey.
Thanks for inviting me to the blog, Debora!
If could choose your own superpower, what would it be?
Teleportation, so I could satisfy my desire to travel anywhere in the world that calls to me. Perhaps it’s why I love to give my characters mystical powers whenever possible.
How did you get started writing? Did you always want to be a writer?
I always preferred writing to math at school and always made up my own stories. I started writing in earnest while expecting my first son thirty-one years ago. I’m sorry to say I didn’t stick with it when we suddenly moved to Europe. I got swept up in our business and child-raising and didn’t get back to writing until a decade ago. One of my few regrets in life is that I didn’t stay serious about it way back then.
What genre(s) do you write in and why?
I enjoy creating worlds, and a sprinkling of the paranormal ends up in my stories. They’re suspense with light paranormal – witches, ghosts, psychics, magical powers. I’m not into werewolves, zombies, vampires or devils. My dark characters are utterly human usually.
Tell us about your current release.
I have two holiday novellas available. Autumn Masquerade is a tribute to the Halloween and Thanksgiving season and the cycles of life. I was inspired to write about a gifted psychic woman who learned at a young age to hide her psychic gifts and ability to speak with ghosts. Her mother feared her powers and rejected young Anna until she abandoned her essence. Fast forward two decades, and Anna is a professional woman climbing the corporate ladder. Her boss, Richard, is a handsome widower carrying a load of guilt because his wife lost her life on a jet he hired. A series of events places Anna in the position where she must be the psychic at a masquerade ball. Richard will be there. Can she successfully disguise herself, or will he know her? The ghost of his wife decides Anna is the perfect person to deliver a message to him.
What inspired your latest book?
Autumn Masquerade was my desire to honor the spirit of gratitude, acceptance, loss and balance that autumn represents. Halloween is when the veil between the worlds is very thin. The story presented itself to me as I contemplated that sacred time of year when stillness makes it possible to reflect on our lives.
Where do you get the ideas for your stories?
Anywhere and everywhere! Sometimes from a news story and other times from things that happen to me or my friends. Usually I take a thread and weave a tapestry from it.
What advice do you have for other authors wanting to self-publish?
Stop thinking about it and do it sooner rather than later. It’s an exciting world with a tremendous number of sharing and caring authors all helping each other get ahead. Love this!
What was the hardest thing you’ve found in the process of self-publishing? What was the easiest part of self-publishing?
It was hard to press the publish button for the first book, but it became easier. Now I’d say the biggest problem is making enough time to write at a steady pace and not allow promotion and marketing to consume too much time. Finding the balance… The easiest thing is learning from others and sharing what I’ve learned. Launching books becomes easier. There’s a lots of joy on the indie publishing loops. It’s contagious! Isn't it? You are absolutely right!
Do you believe there is still a stigma attached to the idea of self-publishing? And how to combat any negativity you come across?
There was a stigma attached to self-publishing but it is very much in decline. Writing for profit is a business, and quite frankly anyone can learn this business as well as any other business. I love the control I have over what genres I write, choosing an editor, cover creation, release dates, price points, promo and everything else. I waited a long time to finally write and now I can move at my own pace. There is room for both traditional and indie publishing and each has merits. In a perfect world each boosts the other.
What’s next for you?
Thanksgiving! Then, once I’ve recovered from my favorite feast, it’ll be time for revisions on a wedding novel (first in a new series) that recently came back from the editor. It should be available in the spring. It’s a story that’s near and dear to my heart.
Would you prefer to live in the mountains or near the ocean? Why?
I’d love to live near the ocean again. I love the moods and emotions of the water. I lived near it for much of my life and miss it these past fifteen years. I do love mountains too, and in my ideal world, I’d have both. I’ll just have to write a place with both!
What's your favorite food?
Pasta, pasta and more pasta. However, I eat surprisingly little of it these days. Potatoes, too. I’m trying to retrain my taste buds to love salad but they are not easily swayed.
What's your favorite time of day?
Twilight, when there’s magic in the air and one can reach through the veil. There’s nothing like a vibrant sunset.
How you do unwind after a stressful day?
An aromatherapy bubble bath, and possibly some rich chocolate and a glass of merlot. A good laugh will always get me to unwind! I think we're twins :)
Thanks for having me visit, Debora! I wish you and your readers a healthy and Happy Thanksgiving!
Connect with Gemma
GemmaJuliana.com | Twitter | facebook
Buy Gemma’s Books on… Amazon * Barnes & Noble * Kobo * Apple * SmashWords
Amazon Author Page: Gemma Juliana
GEMMA JULIANA is a multi-published author who lives in an enchanted cottage in north Texas with her handsome hero, teen son and a comical dog. She loves making new friends and hearing from readers. Exotic coffee and chocolate fuel her creativity. Buy Gemma’s books on Amazon.