Friday, April 19, 2019

This week in The Loft: Author Claire Gem!

Today in The Loft, I welcome author Claire Gem! Claire writes emotional romance, including contemporary romance, women's fiction, and supernatural suspense. She is the author of the Haunted Voices series--contemporary romance with a Gothic twist. Her books have been recognized by the New York Book Festival, The HOLT  Medallion Awards, the National Reader's Choice Awards and InDTale's/Heart Indie Awards. Claire lives in New England with her husband.

Author Claire Gem

S:  Good morning, Claire! Thanks so much for taking the time to chat with me today. 

What should people know about you?

C:  When I write romance with a happy-ever-after, I know what I’m talking about. I’ve been happily married to the same man for over 40 years. They should also know that the reason I write supernatural romantic suspense is because I truly do believe in the paranormal. I believe in ghosts and reincarnation. I believe we all get to come back more than once to have another crack at life—and that sometimes spirits get trapped and can’t leave this realm without a little help.

S:  Forty years! That's quite an accomplishment! 

Do you have an alternative occupation?

C: I work by day in scientific research for Tufts University. Very scientific, left-brain stuff from 7 a.m. to around 3 p.m. Then I switch gears and exercise the right-brain with my writing.

S:  That's quite a switch! Why do you write romance?

C:  Honestly? Because love makes the world go ‘round. I know that’s cliche, but it’s true. At least it has been in my life. And in this day and age of tragedy and sadness, I believe love is the only thing we have to hold onto, to keep us afloat. I like to give my readers hope that there is a possibility for finding your soul mate, and for living a happy-ever-after.

S:  I was recently criticized for allowing my characters an HEA. I was pretty shocked. I think you're right, love is what gives us hope.

Complete this sentence: “When one of my books is released, I . . .”

C:  Freak out that there might be typos, glitches in the plot, or repeated words that I’ve missed. One of my first books was published by a small publisher, and the editor I had hailed from Hell. Plus, she didn’t know what she was doing. It was published with tons of glitches. When I was having the book made into audio, the narrator called me and said, “Uh . . . did you send me the unedited version of this book?” So, I’m uber-sensitive about these things. I actually read my own work—out loud—before I hit “publish.”

Books by Claire Gem

S:  (Chuckles.) I call that "writer's remorse." 

Where do you do your best thinking?

C:  Believe it or not, in the dark. My best ideas come to me in that fuzzy place between awake and asleep. Sometimes I will wake in the middle of the night with a character talking in my head. Some people call that crazy. I call it creativity.

S:  Ah, so many sleepless nights. Some of my best ideas have come in the middle of the night.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?

C:  Aside from raising three amazing children into successful adults? Well, I guess it would have to be my first Haunted Voices novel, "Hearts Unloched," winning the New York Book Festival in 2016. My husband and I attended the awards banquet at the Algonquin Hotel in Manhattan. It was quite a thrilling weekend!

Hearts Unloched: Haunted Voices by [Gem, Claire]

S:  That's quite an accomplishment!

If you could live in any period of time, when would it be and why?

C:  Believe it or not, I would go back to the late Middle Ages, in Western Europe. Belgium, to be specific. I have been fascinated with that time period and that location all of my life, even though I have no known ties there. I love the art, the music, and yes, even the way life was back then--way tougher. I already said I believe in reincarnation. I believe I lived there, in and around the early 1400s, in a past life.

S:  I can understand that. I feel an affinity with the old, old West. When I read a cowboy romance set in the 1800s, something seems so familiar.

If you could “seize the day,” how would you do it?

C:  Ah, Carpe Diem. Yes, I also have a pretty good background in Latin, which I took to as though it were a native language. I was the weirdo who did four semesters of Latin in college. If I could seize the day, for just one day, I would whisk my beloved husband off to spend in the city of Ghent, Belgium. We might even have time to drive to Antwerp, the one city I didn’t get to visit on my trip there about 15 years ago.

S:  A genie grants you one wish. What is it?

C:  I would wish for another 20 or more years—happy, healthy ones—with my husband. He is 15 years older than I am and I live in constant worry I will someday have to go on without him.

S:  (Nods.) That's difficult to think about, isn't it?

What is the best advice you’ve ever been given?

C:  That’s easy, and it came from the head of SoulMate Publishing, Debbie Gilbert. She told me to read it out loud. Wow, was she right!

S:  The first time I did that, I was amazed at how much it improved what I had written. 

What is your favorite day of the year and why?

C:  Why, Halloween, of course! It’s always been my favorite holiday, even before I began writing ghost stories. It’s the ancient Celtic celebration of Samhain, the day when the veil between the living and the dead is the thinnest.

S:  (Shudders.) I guess I'm a bit of a 'fraidy cat. While I believe in the paranormal, more than one ghost has given me nightmares!

If you could have any animal in the universe as a pet, what would it be and why?

C:  I already have Boss Baby Leo, who is my furry muse. He’s a white Persian kitten who sits in my lap while I write—and tries to type a little on his own if I leave the room! Now if I could find a baby dragon, I would definitely adopt him. I’m sure he and Leo would get along just fine.

S:  (Laughs.) Hopefully, there won't be any singed fur involved!

Claire, thanks so much for joining me today!  If you would like to learn more about Claire and her books, please visit--

Next week in The Loft: Author Amber Daulton!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks so much for hosting me, Seelie! Be on the lookout for the next Haunted Voices novel, ELECTRICITY, coming soon. Also, CIVIL HEARTS is coming in audiobook - in production now!