17 October, 2014

#Interview :: Gemma Wilford, #Author of The Ruby of Egypt

Gemma Wilford was born in Nottingham, England and grew up in Cramlington, Northumberland, where she still resides with her husband. Her journalistic achievements include being twice runner up in BBC Newsround's Press Pack competitions. 
2011 saw Gemma self-publish her first Children's Book 'The Ruby of Egypt' and she is currently in the editing stages of her first novel, a humourous Chick-Lit recession based book 'Little Miss Pooshoe'. She recently had a short story 'Breaking The Rules' published in the I Am Woman Campaign Anthology Volume Two as well as spooky story 'Lady In Black' featured on GK Adams blog. Gemma documents her publication journey as an author to her blog 'Missuswolf's StoryLand’.
Gemma is a proud member of Melissa Foster's Awesome Support Team #GoTeamPIF.

Visit her at:
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Is there some stories tucked away in some drawer that was written before and never saw the light of the day?
There are plenty of stories tucked away in my study. My parents recently sold their house and with that came the usual clear-out of items collected over the years. I discovered files and journals full of stories. Some half written, some plotted out and some short stories that I have the foundation to become novels. One of my favourites is about a family living in a mining village in the early 1900’s that I started writing when I was 11.

Tell us about your writing process.
I blast a page as fast as I can type with the words that tumble out of my brain, with little regard for spelling or punctuation in my first draft. I have to get the story out there – get it told. I then go back and colour in between the lines in the editing stages, making it pretty by tidying up the spelling, punctuation and grammar and also adding depth to the story and characters.
Being a bit of a daydreamer with my head in the clouds, I used to make stories up in my head as I got ready for school. The story would follow on each day  and sometimes I would write them down.
Oh  – and read. Read, read, read, read and read. It’s so simple, yet so effective. It’s wise to read your own work but more important to read someone elses. There’s so much to be learnt from other writers.

What is your usual writing routine?
Before we moved, it would be heat up a pot of coffee, get snug on our corner settee with the laptop with Jazz FM playing in the background. I would do a few hours a day in-between shift work. Now that we’ve moved, the routines pretty similar but I have a study to hide in now. I’ve since changed my job to normal working hours so I tend to write more on a Sunday morning instead.

Do you read? Who are your favourite authors and how have they influenced your writing style?
I love to read! As above, to be able to write you need to be well read. My favourite author’s are Stephen King, James Patterson and Marian Keyes. They all have unique writing styles; Stephen King tells a good story although (I hate to say it) some endings can be disappointing. He’s influenced me to be conscious of telling a good story. James Patterson’s short, snappy chapter’s make his ‘whodunnit’ crime thriller’s a very easy read. He’s taught me the importance of keeping the momentum in a story and keeping the reader hooked. Marian Keyes pours her heart and soul into her books, making you laugh and cry along with her while dealing with some serious subjects.  She’s taught me how to keep a story lighthearted no matter what the topic. 

What is the best piece of advice you have received, as a writer, till date?
Apart from the importance of reading lots of books, the best advice has been to make time to write every day. Even if it’s a couple of paragraphs, it’s best to get into the habit of writing every day so it becomes routine. 

Can you share with us something off your bucket list?
Running has been my nemesis since I was a child but I one day wish to conquer this and run the Great North Run half marathon.

What do you have in store next for your readers?
I want to focus on the historic novel that I’m ghost writing. It’s based on a true story that is captivating. I don’t want to give too much away due to a privacy contract at this stage but this book has everything. The storyline is incredible and uplifting – it restores faith in human nature at a time when the world has been ripped apart by war. It’s factual, it follows an emotional journey of a strong, single woman raising her adoptive daughter using the world to educate her. Intrigued?? Watch this space!

Is there anything else you’d like to share with your readers?
I have a few writing projects on the go at the moment.
The first one is a recession based chick-lit novel, which I’m currently in the heavy editing stages of.
The second one is a Sci-Fi novel I started as part of NaNoWriMo last November. Unfortunately, I didn’t finish it as part of the challenge but it’s definitely a story that needs to be told!
The third one I’m ghost-writing a historic novel that is set during World War Two.

Children/Young Adolescent Fantasy Adventure

Ruby finds herself being dragged by her over excited and rather embarrassing parents on a sight-seeing holiday to Egypt. Viewing the pyramids is the last thing a fourteen year old girl wants to be doing when she could be basking in the glorious sunshine by the pool instead. Her disappointment soon turns to delight when she curiously follows a black cat inside the Great Pyramid of Giza, where upon entering she is mysteriously transported back in time to Ancient Egypt. Aided by a talking feline. Guided by a dragonfly. Protected by a Falcon headed God. Ruby must embrace an important mission that will not only challenge her ability to amend her stroppy attitude, but will change the purpose of her life forever.

~Chapter Excerpt~

Ruby could feel the walls closing in on her but she couldn’t move; the transmission between her brain and her feet was lost somewhere in between. Oh god, she thought, the pyramid’s collapsing and I’m going to get trapped in here! Panic set in, her breaths becoming shorter, making her gulp for air. There was a gust of wind that sent sand whispering all around, choking her as it invaded her lungs. The light grew brighter as she struggled to maintain her balance against the continuous shaking. She blindly reached with one hand for something to hold onto while keeping the other protectively over her eyes.

The roaring noise grew louder and louder, vibrating dangerously in her ears. She wanted to curl her arms around her head before her ear drums burst against the pressure. A wave of dizziness splashed over her as the room started to spin in an uncontrollable whirlpool.

The last thought that floated around her mind as her consciousness faded was how annoyed her parents were going to be.

~Buy your copy of The Ruby of Egypt here:~
 Amazon US UK