Today we welcome Gemma Snow to the blog. She’s the author of several hot romance titles, and she’s here to tell us about her work and her inspirations.
1. Can you tell us about your route to publication?
I always loved romance novels, but I sort of fell into publishing a little bit backward. I’m part of the generation that grew up with FanFiction and I was deeply entrenched in that world of accessible romantic storytelling. Toward the end of college, I decided to try putting up a romance novel myself through the Amazon self-publishing program. It was an utter disaster but it gave me the confidence I needed to start publishing and seriously pursuing this as a career.
2. Do you have a particular place where you like to write, or are you happy writing anywhere?
I’m sure we all have these dreams of a cozy, rainy day writing in our home offices and I do enjoy that aesthetic, but I’ve also learned that it isn’t always an option. The work in progress I just completed was half hacked out on a Google Doc on my phone when I was at doctor’s offices and during the free write time for the classes I teach. That made this book possible, so I have no problems doing it.
3. Your recent series (trilogy), Triple Diamond, is a series of three books about three different m/f/m menages. What do you think appeals to readers about menages? As an author, what challenges do you face writing them compared to a love scene with only two people getting fruity? I know of a menage writer who uses Barbie and Ken dolls to ensure she gets the “logistics” of the love scenes right!
Oh, wonderful question! At the risk of popping up onto my feminist soapbox (always), I think menage holds a lot of appeal because women are so taken for granted in relationships. When you have an M/F/M series–and each type of menage dynamic will vary, of course, there’s more attention on the heroine, both in bed and out and she’s not expected to simply cook or clean or manage the household. A little friendly competition helps.
There’s also the added heat level. I think there are incredible depths to be explored with voyeurism and exhibitionism within a strong relationship and menage definitely makes that easier.
As for the logistics, oh my God. One of the very first books I ever published was called Six is Company. It’s exactly what you think it would be and let me say that I will never go more than three again. It’s like choreographing a dance! Every five minutes I had to do a hand check just to make sure that I didn’t have any third hands floating around. Three is challenging, especially because of pronouns, but after six it’s a walk in the park.
4. How did you end up living in a 14th C castle in the Netherlands? Did the experience tempt you to set a historical there? You’ve had one historical, Captain’s Quarters, published (Good title, I approve of the word “Captain”!) – are planning on writing any more? What differences and similarities do you find between writing contemporaries and writing historicals?
I lived in the Netherlands during college and it was a truly incredible experience. My college owns a castle (I know, I know) about two hours south of Amsterdam and the program was designed so we had Fridays off and time to travel. In fact, we managed to visit something like nine countries and more than fifteen cities in just under four months. I’ve definitely taken inspiration from those trips and those experiences for many of my books.
And historical is one of my favorite genres to write! I currently have an out of print series of erotic historical novellas I’m looking to put out myself and I write steamy Lady Pirate romances under my other pen name Holland Rae.
Every time I think I can decide which genre I like more, I come up with some new story set back or forward in time. Historical has its benefits because there’s already so much built-in tension, and I particularly love writing erotic historical romance because, as Robert Heinlein once wrote, “Each generation thinks they invented sex; Each generation is totally mistaken.” I love exploring these unique and hedonistic relationships within the confines of proper society.
That said, contemporary is far easier to write progressive heroes and heroines. I love writing women in the past that don’t conform to the strictures of the world, but it’s not possible to do quite as much. For instance, in the first book in my novella series, Leather and Gold, we spent weeks trying to find a plausible reason why a duchess would remain a duchess after her husband had died. The logistics are more complex than modern romance, but relationships and love and lust don’t vary that much from generation to generation.
5. Are there characters you’ve written who you miss and would like to revisit one day?
My two out of print series, definitely! Unfortunately, my publisher for both the Full Swing and the At My Lady’s Pleasure series closed in May of last year and I haven’t had the chance to release those books again yet. The Full Swing series is full-length erotic romances set against really fancy backgrounds and I love those characters (hard-won, after like four major revisions). The At My Lady’s Pleasure series is the erotic historical novella set and I have so many ideas. I just need to sort out the logistics for those books. [Note: since this interview, the Full Swing series is being re-released]
6. What plans do you have for future books?
Oooh, so I have the fourth book in the Triple Diamond series coming soon and F/F short set in the same universe to follow. Definitely getting those series back out in the world! I’m also working on a contemporary erotic royals series that I’m hoping to find a home for!
7. What books (fiction and/or non-fic) have influenced you as a writer and also on a personal level?
How much time do you have? I have so many influences on me as a person and a writer! I usually default back to Dracula as being one of the most important books I’ve ever read. I have a distinct memory of reading in bed on a sunny summer day and hiding under my covers because of this book, absolutely shaking with fear and I just thought that was the most amazing thing. Books have this ability to make us physically react, to laugh, cry, shake with fear–get aroused, of course, as I learned later and truly connect us to another world.
The Gothic Romances all hold a place in my heart, anything by Juliet Marillier, who taught me that heroines aren’t valuable despite their femaleness, but because of it. Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom are what I consider the pinnacle of world-building. I was born in 1992, so of course, Harry Potter played a huge role in my life. Outlander is another series I deeply admire and enjoy. And I love the classics (some of them!) Austen, Dumas, Mary Shelley. I’m mostly over those self-pleasuring male stories by Hemmingway and Dickens, but I appreciate their importance.
As for romance, ugh, give me anything by Suzanne Brockmann, Eloisa James, Lisa Kleypas, Laura Kaye, Maya Rodale, Annabeth Albert, Lorraine Heath, Alyssa Cole, Cat Sebastian, so many, many more. I love so many great authors and with romance, it’s always an amazing exploration into the next favorite. (I fell in love with all your and Catherine’s stories!) [Thank you!]
About the author
Gemma Snow loves high heat, high adventures and high expectations for her heroes! Her stories are set in the past and present, from the glittering streets of Paris to cowboy-rich Triple Diamond Ranch in Wolf Creek, Montana.
In her free time, she loves to travel, and spent several months living in a 14th-century castle in the Netherlands. When not exploring the world, she likes dreaming up stories, eating spicy food, driving fast cars, and talking to strangers. She recently moved to Nashville with a cute redheaded cat and a cute redheaded boy.
Visit www.gemmasnow.com to learn more about the author.
And you can find her books at all the usual places where books hang out!