An Interview with Gemma Juliana

Please help me welcome Gemma Juliana to my blog today. Gemma will be giving away a Smashwords coupon for a copy of The Amulet to one lucky commentor so be sure and leave a comment.

Hi Cindy,
Thanks for hosting me as your blog guest today.

The_Sheikh's_Spy_2How did you get started writing?

I’ve always been a writer, but the first time I wrote a romance novel for publication was during my pregnancy with my first son in 1982. I joined RWA and typed the manuscript on our typewriter. The pages each had a carbon copy attached. I still have the manuscript! It was packed away for over two decades and I haven’t had the courage to actually read it again yet. At that time I submitted it to Silhouette and received a lovely personal rejection letter, filled with insights on how to make the story better – and that I should resubmit it. I was discouraged, and following the birth of my son and our move to Europe, my writing career got shelved for two decades! One of these days I’ll drink some red wine, eat a box of chocolates, and read that old manuscript. Who knows, maybe it can be revamped.

Has your muse always known what genre you would write and be published in?

My muse is overloaded. I have an overactive imagination and am constantly plotting stories in multiple genres. My focus has been a sheikh romantic suspense series and the fourth title launches in September. Then I will turn my attention to some of the other stories in my head and get them onto the computer to make room for new ones. I love writing magical paranormal stories (fairies, witches, ghosts, magical items) and also intend to write historical gothics, cozy mysteries, and children’s stories. At least one legal suspense/thriller is waiting patiently to be told. It may become a mini-series. I also have a contemporary series about brides and billionaires coming soon. The Bridal Gift launches in October. I’m way behind on launch dates!

Tell us about your current series/WIP.

The series I’m expanding is Sheikhs of the Golden Triangle. The first titles launched earlier this year are The Sheikh’s Spy, followed by The Amulet which is the prequel to the series, and Christmas Spirits, a holiday novella. The Sheikh’s Crowning will launch in September. I’ve always loved being transported on a magic carpet to the exotic and dangerous world of powerful alpha sheikhs and the fiery spirited women who try to tame them. A mysterious amulet provides an endless, timeless chain of magical intervention in this series, which takes place in several kingdoms that surround the famous Golden Triangle. The countries are fictitious and I’m having a blast creating these worlds.

I enjoy shorter reads these days, so all my titles are novellas instead of full length novels. The first longer story will be The Bridal Gift, at over 50,000 words.

How has your experience with self-publishing been?

Exciting! I love the freedom self-publishing offers. I was discouraged over the years by the amount of time it took to hear back from publishers. Then it was a form letter – nothing like that first gem of a letter I received back in 1982 – saying ‘not what we are looking for at this time’. Self-publishing allows total control of creativity, content, cover, plotting, and most important – timing! Promotion is time consuming, but is essential.

Where can readers find your books? Print/Ebook?

They can scroll down and find direct links below, or visit my website at where there are links to them on Amazon, iTunes, Nook Press, Smashwords and Kobo. I plan to make them available in print late this year or early 2014.

Do you have any words of inspiration for aspiring authors?

I encourage anyone who dreams of being an author to make it a reality. Don’t fear that indie publishing will be too difficult or that you won’t know what to do. There are many loops filled with generous authors who are very giving of their experience and knowledge. Do your research, keep writing and plunge in! If you prefer to go with a big publishing house, grow a thick skin and be persistent until you succeed. You shouldn’t put it off. I wasted two decades and could have built a thriving career much earlier if I hadn’t given up back in 1982. It wasn’t a conscious decision to give up either, so much as an ‘I’ll get back to this later” attitude, and later didn’t happen for over twenty years!

Christmas_Spirits_2How likely are people you meet to end up in your next book?

It’s not so much people… snippets of conversations, facial expressions, viewpoints, plot points from real life dramas… those do end up in my books. Many upcoming books include situations my friends and family have experienced or been exposed to… fictionalized, of course!

What are you reading now?

Some old, some new. I’m reading Sea of Secrets by Amanda DeWees which is a fascinating gothic, Whiskey Sour by Liliana Hart and Sea Swept by Nora Roberts. Yes, I love the sea. One of my upcoming novellas is To Kiss A Mermaid, will be the second novella in the To Kiss A… series (first title in the series launched in April, To Kiss A Leprechaun.

Are you a full time writer or do you have a “day job”?

I write daily but also have many day jobs as a stay-at-home mother, bookkeeper to our small business, homeschooling parent, amongst half a dozen other obligations. I guess above all I’m a juggler. Sometimes my writing goes on the back burner in order to get other things done. Then I remind myself that my writing is equally as important as those other things (most of the time).

If you could go anywhere for a secluded writing intensive week, where would it be?

I’d rent a chalet in the snowy mountains with a scenic view of forests, lofty peaks and a charming ski village with magical town lights at night time. Perhaps even an icy lake complete with ice skaters. It would be a luxurious chalet with soft lighting, music, aromatherapy, catered meals, hot wines, hot chocolate, and a deep bath tub. A state-of-the-art computer set up would be in front of the large picture window with the million dollar view.

Excerpt from The Sheikh’s Spy © 2013 Gemma Juliana

“I haven’t got a million dollars handy right now, Sheikh Mahjub.” Rick Green’s mouth twitched. As electrifying as the situation was, he wanted to laugh. It was one of the catchiest phrases he’d ever spoken.

The high stakes private gaming room in the elegant Riviera casino was fraught with tension. Silence hung as heavy as the mega-sized crystal chandeliers overhead.

“A debt is a debt. You play, you pay.” The man’s English was impeccable, though the accent was thick. “Blood, jewels or money. Nothing less. What collateral do you have?” Sheikh Mahjub bin al Burindi’s cold black eyes studied Rick.

A nerve twitched in Rick’s cheek and his Adam’s apple bobbed as he swallowed and stared at the bearded figure sitting opposite him.

Rick’s starched white shirt was open at the neck, his silk tie hung loose. His blond-haired, blue-eyed boy-next-door appearance belied the fact he had just gambled hard and lost more money than he could hope to earn in the next thirty years.

“I have no collateral, at least not here. Back home I have a condo and a car. . .”

The sheikh stood abruptly. His long robes brushed the carpet. “I’m not interested in your car or condo. I live in a palace, you fool. I want cold hard cash.”

“I guess you’ll have to contact Uncle Benito and beg him to bail you out,” Rick’s sister Olympia finally spoke. She’d sat and watched their poker game and verbal exchange for the past hour, looking paler with each passing minute. Uncle Benito? They had no uncle.

“Who are you?” Sheikh Mahjub’s gaze shifted to her. “His wife?”

For once, Rick regretted Olympia’s beauty. Alarmed, he swallowed hard as he saw the sheikh’s eyes study her long slender legs before traveling over her black cocktail dress to her fine high cheekbones and long dark hair. Light bounced off her chestnut highlights as she moved her head. She clutched a glittering evening bag with white knuckles.

“She’s a hooker I just picked up for the night,” Rick interjected before the woman could speak. “She’s got nothing to do with me or this situation.” He turned to her, his eyes urgent. “Get lost. Clearly there won’t be any partying tonight.” He flicked his hand in a dismissive gesture.

“Rick, this is no time to crack a bad joke,” she rebuked him, sliding off the barstool and standing on black spiky heels.

She turned to Sheikh Mahjub, intensity blazing in her translucent aquamarine eyes.

“I’m Olympia Green, Rick’s sister. His word is good. He will get the money and pay you.”

“Forgive me if I’m not quite as convinced as you’d like me to be.” The sheikh’s gaze traveled the length of her, and his eyes undressed her as they roamed.

“There’s no other solution,” Olympia replied in a calm tone. She tried to refrain from looking at the man’s four henchmen, standing behind him, ready to spring into action at even a hint of trouble.

“Of course there is,” Sheikh Mahjub declared in a tone that brooked no objection. “Your brother has two weeks to pay his debt. He’s forfeited you as collateral, so you will come and stay in Burindi until he arrives with my money, gold or diamonds.”

GEMMA JULIANA lives in a little cottage deep in the heart of north Texas, where she lives with her very own alpha hero, a charming teenage son, and a magical dog named Rosie. She loves crafting stories of love and intrigue with a touch of magic and mystery. Gemma loves to hear from readers!

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8 thoughts on “An Interview with Gemma Juliana

  1. Hi Cindy,

    Thanks for having me visit today. I’m traveling so wasn’t able to get online earlier.

    Hi Rose, you are welcome to visit at the chalet for some hot chocolate anytime!

    Edie, Thanks for stopping by!

    Hi Linda, isn’t self-publishing the greatest? Thanks for commenting!


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