I'm Bloggin' Today: With Claire Gem
I am sitting down today with Claire Gem who has big news to share! Hi, Claire thank you so much for joining me today to sit down and chat about your big news. Could you tell us a little about yourself?
Hi there Andi! I am the author of six romance novels in the genres of contemporary and supernatural suspense. Writing is a passion for me, one that completes my “other half.” During the day, I work in scientific research. Early mornings, nights, and weekends, I write emotionally intense romance novels.
Now, I know you have some big news you want to share.
Yes, and I’m very excited about it! InDtale Magazine (www.indtale.com) was founded in 2012 to help bring together the “new age” of indie (self-published) and small press authors and their readers. Since then they have grown a network with over 60,000 readers, and 15,000 Facebook and Twitter followers. They have their own annual Author-Reader Conference in Burbank, CA every October. That’s where they award the now-prestigious RONE (Reward of Novel Excellence) Award. There are three phases: first, the book must be read and reviewed by one of InDtale’s professional reviewers. Every book earning a 4.5 out of 5-star rating or higher moves on to the next level: public voting.
My book, SPIRITS OF THE HEART, earned a 4.5 star rating and a fantastic review, and so has made it into the second round. Now I need votes to take me to the finals.
SPIRITS OF THE HEART is the third one down in the first category, Paranormal Long.
That is so exciting and such an honor you made it this far. We all have to help Claire out and vote! You write unique romance novels could you tell us a bit about your books?
I have two main series, one is traditional contemporary romance, and the other combines a romance, set in modern times, only with decided Gothic elements: ghosts and hauntings. What makes my books different, I believe, is that I try to address real-life issues in my stories. In THE PHOENIX SYNDROME, my heroine goes permanently deaf. In my newest release, my hero is epileptic. In SPIRITS OF THE HEART, the hero, Miller, is the child of an alcoholic father whose drinking ended up putting his younger sister in a nursing home. Miller drinks and fears he will become just like his father. There is a ghost story as well, but part of the theme is that Miller is haunted by his father’s addiction.
I love that you pair these genres together to make something so special. Could you let us know more about the book that is in the finals for the RONE?
SPIRITS OF THE HEART is set in my hometown, where there still exists the defunct grounds of a mental asylum that operated in the late 1800s up until about 1976. My own father, who suffered from alcoholism, was actually a patient in that facility more than once when I was a child. Thus, it always haunted me. Now, with crumbling, abandoned buildings, it seemed the perfect place for me to set a ghost story—and, perhaps, to exorcise my own ghosts.
In SPIRITS OF THE HEART, Miller Stanford is a nighttime security guard for the grounds, which still houses a homeless shelter as well as an addiction treatment center. Laura Horton, an addiction counselor, becomes his unlikely roommate in the house sitting on the edge of the old campus. They both begin to see the elusive figure of a little girl, Greta, who claims to be searching for the spirit of her father, once a patient in Talcott Hall. Greta, of course, is a ghost.
SPIRITS OF THE HEART was released with two different covers—the first has an actual photograph of Talcott Hall peeking through the leaves of a tree. The second cover is spookier-looking, but still features Talcott Hall in the background.
That does sound spooky! To me, it’s always creepier (and kinda sad) when it’s the ghost of a child. I know you have a couple of blogs, could you let us know more about those?
My main blog is called Haunted Pathways, where I host guest authors who write paranormal and supernatural romance, as well as explore all things unexplained and spooky. The other blog is called Emotional Journeys and focuses on contemporary romance authors and novels.
What is your current work in progress (WIP)?
My current WIP is the second in my contemporary series, Love at Lake George novels. It’s called ANCHOR MY HEART and is the story of a marina owner who is being sued by a client who had an accident in one of his rented boats. The heroine works for the law firm that will represent him.
What is the best piece of advice you have received as an author?
“Read your work out loud. It’s the only way you can catch every typo, every awkward sentence, every repeated phrase.” This came from Debbie Gilbert, owner of SoulMate Publishing, who published my debut novel, PHANTOM TRACES.
That IS great advice Claire, I always just read over my mistakes when I’m working. Thank you so much for joining me today and good luck! I hope you will all help Claire:
Help this book get the recognition it deserves!