Author Interview: Gem Sivad
Would you be kind enough to introduce yourself to us? Hello, my name is Gem Sivad. If you’ve seen me on twitter, Face Book or a romance loop, it was probably a quick glimpse only. I lurk, say “hello” to the few peeps I know, read the daily updates from others, enjoy from a distance, and remain silent for the most part.
In my personal life, I also have hermit tendencies and live in a country setting near a small unincorporated town with a population of about five hundred (give or take a wild turkey or two). I love the people in my life but books have always been my best friend.
How long have you been writing? I wrote my first book in the third grade. It was five pages long, an epic tale of a girl and a horse. By the time I turned thirteen, my sagas had expanded to include a cowboy. I signed my first western romance contract in 2008.
We’d love to know a little more about your book. What is it about? Five Card Stud is the story of Sam McCallister, a bounty hunter—crude, semi-illiterate, and lethal. To him, women have one purpose and that’s to appease his seemingly limitless carnal appetite. He catches outlaws for the rewards and spends his money on whiskey, whores and cards—until he meets a woman he can’t have— lady gambler, Eden Pace.
At first, Eden is oblivious to Sam’s interest but when he persists in following her from town to town, she sees him as a tool she can use in her pursuit of her husband’s murderer.
Sam, a man who thought he’d never love any woman, finds himself enthralled by the lady gambler. Eden believes she’ll never love again, having buried her heart with her husband. But, when she rediscovers passion in Sam’s arms it changes to an unequivocal love binding them together.
I see that you love to write Historical Fiction. How often do you research for your stories? How hard is it to do research for this type of genre? I call it whimsy because half of my time is spent reading fascinating information about survival in the nineteenth century Old West. In writing historical fiction, every detail has to be validated, right down to types of ladies undergarments.
For example, in Five Card Stud, Eden extracts a whale-bone stay from her corset to use in rescuing Sam McCallister. For that scene I had to research corsets, stage coaches (she was underneath), derringers, bullet trajectories and fainting.
When did you first come up with the idea for your story? I knew in Wolf’s Tender (Charlie Wolf McCallister’s story) that his cousin, Sam McCallister—a card playing, cynical, handsome-as a-fallen-angel, bad boy—would have to have his own book.
Do you have a cover available for your book? Yep. I really like the cover by artist, Syneca, of Ellora’s Cave. It’s subtle, capturing Eden’s strength and Sam’s intensity.
Tell us a little more about your characters and the setting of your book. Five Card Stud was recently named a 2012 EPIC AWARD Finalist. The reviews have been mixed—but it’s clear Sam McCallister and Eden Pace are hard characters to forget. Readers either hate them or are so enthralled, they suggest movie stars to play their parts in a *cheeky grin* someday film. Right now, Josh Holloway and Katie Holmes are the actors leading in votes.
Which one of your characters is your favorite? I’m fickle in that I always love best, the one I’m with.
What inspires you the most to write? I don’t call it inspiration. I think of it as compulsion rather like a rat’s need to gnaw in order to keep its teeth from growing through its skull. That’s how writing is for me—a necessity.
What’s your favorite book? I have some favorite authors but of recent books I’ve read, my favorite is Iron, by PG Forte.
Do you have any recommendations for books that you think the blog’s readers may enjoy? In western erotic historical, I’d recommend (besides my own) Sara McCarty’s early Promise series at Ellora’s Cave and romance author, Linda Howard’s Angel Creek.
When thinking about writing new material, do you outline your story or do you just go with the flow and see where it takes you? I begin with an idea and see if I can write a loose structure, pursuing the thread to an ending. When I’m satisfied that the story will work, I go back to the beginning and start detailing, giving the characters personalities and motivations consistent with my plot.
Frequently after my hero and heroine emerge, they take over the story’s direction, diverging from my charted path and taking me to new territory. For that reason, I can’t claim to be either a plotter or a seat-of-the-pants writer.
Do you have any tips, or thoughts, that you would like to offer to the blog’s readers? My books are gritty, explicit and often raw. If you like alpha males, intelligent females, swift justice and blatant seduction, check out my Eclipse Heat series @ Ellora’s Cave.
Thanks for having me today. I’ve enjoyed discussing Sam, Eden and their story, Five Card Stud.
Where can we find you on line?
So there you have it, everyone, a lovely interview with a very lovely author, Gem Sivad. We hope that you’ve enjoyed learning more about her. I wish her the best of success with her book, and with those to come.