Interview with Gemma Parkes
When did you first start writing?
I have written all my life one way or another. It started as small poems or short stories as a child and developed into a hobby that I had little control over! I first started writing to sell around 2010.
What's the story behind your latest book?
Fevered kisses started life as a series of short stories hidden away in a folder marked antho’ subs. These were stories that I had written at various times throughout the past year hoping that a submission call would come up that would be suited to one or more of them. You know how it is, a story pops into your head and you just have to roll with it. At the end you think ‘What am I going to do with that now?’ Over time they have been growing in size and gathering dust in the dubious folder which forms part of my WIP section. There are a mixture of stories included in the anthology written with a variety of themes and first and third narrative. Sometimes I write in first person because it’s easier to express my emotions that way, these stories can be exceptionally sensuous, written straight from the heart and encouraging the reader to share in the experience with me.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I'm not exclusively an indie author as I do have work published with various publishers all of whom I would heartily recommend. I do enjoy being free to choose the time and subject of my writing though and I enjoy the process of self-publishing from start to finish. There are benefits in both and I wouldn't choose one over the other.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
Smashwords has given a platform and 'shopfront' for my self-published work. It's easy to keep track of sales and change things like book covers if they are proving unpopular.
What are you working on next?
I have several anthologies that I would like to submit to, whether or not I make the deadlines remains to be seen! I also have a few stories to complete that are sitting in my wip folder. It may be a long summer!
Who are your favorite authors?
Charles Dickens, Anais Nin, Philippa Gregory and D.H. Lawrence (what a mixture!)
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
Usually through recommendations on sites such as 'Goodreads'.
How do you approach cover design?
Choosing covers is extremely difficult and I often wish that I could paint one for myself. I like stylish covers but realise that covers (especially as thumbnails) need to stand out. I also think that this genre demands a certain type of cover, designed to reflect the content.
What do you read for pleasure?
Classics, biographies and Anais Nin!
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
Blog sharing, obviously these wouldn't be possible without the might of Facebook and Twitter, but blogs give you the freedom to sell your wares through examples, excerpts and special features.
Fancy a free book in exchange for a review? Contact me and let me know which book you would most like to read!