1.09.2008

Gemma Halliday Interview and Giveaway!!!!

















Welcome author of the High Heels Mystery Series, the FABULOUS Gemma Halliday!!!

I had the pleasure of reading an early copy of Alibi in High Heels and it was absolutely fantastic! I read the whole book in one day. Gemma will be answering readers questions in the comments section and she is also giving away the first book in her series, Spying in High Heels, to one lucky reader.

Thank you SO much for coming Gemma!!


Please tell everyone about your series featuring Maddie Springer?

The High Heels series features Maddie Springer, a shoe designer turned amateur sleuth living in L.A. and trying to fight crime, all the while maintaining a very hot on-again-off-again relationship with sexy L.A.P.D. Detective Jack Ramirez. The series is a cross between "Sex and the City" and "Murder She Wrote" – lots of fun, fashion, and dead bodies.

How did you come up with the idea for your series?

I've always loved reading mysteries (thanks Nancy Drew!), but I wanted to do a fun, fresh, younger sort of sleuth than the ones I was finding. I thought about the kind of girl I'd like to read about (one with a fab shoe collection) and, voila, Maddie was born!

Do you know when your series will be coming to TV?

The Spying in High Heels TV show is on hold at the moment due to the WGA (Writer's Guild of America) strike in Hollywood. But, the producers of the show are all really behind the project, so I'm hopeful I'll have good news again when the strike is over.

Who would you cast to play your characters?

I'd actually really love to see some new actors in the lead roles. I think it would be a fun vehicle for new talent. But, as I was writing Maddie, I always had Reese Witherspoon's character in Legally Blonde in mind, so she'd be fab. As for Ramirez – any of those Latin soap opera hunks would do the trick for me.

Do you know how many books will be in the series?

The book I'm working on right now looks like it will be the last in the series, so most likely we'll end it at five. But, I'm leaving things open enough that we can always come back to it if there's a demand for more Maddie.

Do you recommend reading your series in order or do you think it can be read out of order?

I think the romance between my two main characters, Maddie and Ramirez, grows and develops over the course of the series, but you certainly wouldn't be lost picking one up book three or four. Each book is a fresh chapter in Maddie's life, so I try to make them stand alone as much as possible.

Are you working on a book now?

Right now I'm working on the 5th High Heels book, Mayhem in High Heels. In this one, Maddie investigates the murder of a prominent Beverly Hills wedding planner. Lots of fun! I have to admit, though, it's a bit bittersweet for me, being the last in the series. But I'm hoping readers will agree that things are tied up in a nice, satisfactory way in the end. ;)

What is your writing routine?

I generally like to write in the mornings and try to get at least 10 pages a day written. Now, whether I actually do or not is another story… but I try.

How long does it take you to write a book?

It really varies. The shortest amount of time it's ever taken me to write one of the Heels books is 10 days (I don't recommend that!) and the longest is 9 months. Generally, I'm most comfortable with at least 6 months to plot, write, polish.

Do you plot your stories or just sit down and write?

I do plot. For me, the mystery is just too hard to write flying by the seat of my pants. I tend to plot the first few chaps, then write those, then plot the next few, then write those – rinse and repeat. :)

What authors and genres do you read?

I tend to read a lot of mystery and suspense, so some of my favorites are the biggies in those genres – Evanovich, Allison Brennan, Brenda Novak. As far as new authors, I can't say enough good things about Christie Craig. Love her books, and she's just a doll!

Do you love shoes as much as Maddie Springer?

Um… yeah. I do. It's bordering on addiction. Though I don't quite have Maddie's designer dream wardrobe, I seriously covet it.

If you could only have three pairs of shoes for a two month trip, which shoes would you pack?

My red patent leather Mary Janes (my all time favorite pair of heels), my black pointy toed leather boots (very classic), and, since I'm taking the trip somewhere tropical (of course!), sparkly silver flip-flops


How do you come up with the names for your characters?

That's is one of the hardest parts for me. Some of my characters go through several names before I find one I can live with. I think it's a lot like naming your children – you need to pick something you don't mind repeating over and over and over…

Do you pick your titles or book covers?

Most of my titles are ones I've come up with, but I do rely on my editor's input heavily, as she is a brilliant woman. The one I'm working on now, MAYHEM IN HIGH HEELS, was her idea. Clever, huh? As for the covers, that is all the Dorchester art department's work. I LOVE what they've done with each one. I do generally get some input, but, for the most part, I just let them do their thing.


Is there anything else you would like to tell your readers?

Just a big thank you for reading the books, and I hope you enjoy this next one, ALIBI IN HIGH HEELS, coming out in March!

Gemma is answering questions from readers. Feel free to post your questions about her books and writing in the comments section and she will be coming by to answer them.


Visit Gemma's website http://www.gemmahalliday.com

Visit Gemma on MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/highheelsmysteries


Buy book 1 Spying in High Heels here
Buy book 2 Killer in High Heels here
Buy book 3 Undercover in High Heels here
Preorder book 4 Alibi in High Heels here

27 comments:

  1. Gemma & Rachael...I had to stop by and say hi. :) I do have a question for Emma if she has a chance to answer. With the final book for the series being written, will you stay in the genre and write another mystery series, or is there another genre you're interested to write in?

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  2. Great interview, Rachael and Gemma! I do have a question to Gemma: What made you cross the mystery and chick-lit genres, as opposed to a combination of psychological mystery, romantic chick-lit, etc.?

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  3. Gemma I love all your answers to my questions! I LOVE Allison Brennan, Janet Evanovich, and Christie Craig too! :)

    I'm surprised that you're ending the series after five books. I just discovered you, don't end now!!

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  4. Kimberly,

    Thanks for stopping by! I’m looking at branching out into more romantic suspense (less humor, more edge-of-your-seat-action). I’m having a lot of fun with this genre at the moment, so we’ll see where it takes me. But, I’m definitely not abandoning the romantic mysteries all together. I do have ideas for another series brewing, which I’ve actually written a TV pilot for as well, so we’ll see where that goes in the coming months.

    ~Gemma

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  5. Hi T.C.!

    I think what made me want to write chick-lit mystery hybrids were those are two of my favorite genres to write in. I wrote one straight chick lit manuscript that was never published, because it lacked a sort of big “hook”. So, I figured throwing a few dead bodies into my next chick lit would certainly provide a marketable concept, as well as being just really fun to write.

    ~Gemma

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  6. Thanks, Rachael! I’m glad you’re enjoying the series!
    One of the reasons I decided to end it with five books is that it’s very hard to keep the romance fresh and exciting between two characters that have had five books together. I kind of feel like things are still popping with Maddie and Ramirez, so I want to leave them on that high note. I’ve really had a fun time writing the series, and there is always the possibility some of the secondary characters may pop up with books of their own later on.

    ~Gemma

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  7. Hi Gemma! Thanks, great answers. Marta at Vampire Wire posted about you being on my blog today so hopefully more people will hear about it and come. Usually alot of people end up posting when they get out of work later in the day.

    I understand about it being hard to keep the romance going for so many books. I wonder how many books Evanovich will do before she gives us a big shake in the love triangle between Morelli and Ranger. I love her books but I just want something to happen already with them. Maybe Stephanie should get caught cheating on Morelli. LOL

    Did you always plan to end after 5 books or did you just decide this recently?

    What comes after book 5? A new series you said? Anything you can tell us about it?

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  8. Great interview Rachael & Gemma :-)

    Gemma, How does your family feel about having an author in the family? Do any of them read your books?

    Hugssss
    LindaH

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  9. Thanks for answering my question, Gemma! It is a very interesting combination, and often very eventful and, to use your word, hooking. I'll be sure to check into your books - they sound great!

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  10. Hi Gemma, great interview. I have actually never read any of this series yet, but I went and read the excerpts and added your books to my wish list.

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  11. Yes, I would love to see something happen with the Morelli-Ranger thing. Tell me I’m not the only one secretly hoping Stephanie will have a hot scandalous night in Ranger's bed. :)

    ~Gemma

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  12. The last two books were REALLY good. I'm just hoping for a big shake up in that love triangle!

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  13. Linda – I have a funny story about how my grandparents reacted to my writing on my blog. (it’s here if you’re interested: http://killerfictionwriters.blogspot.com/2007/12/gramma-grampa-and-s-word.html ) But, yes, my family are very supportive of my writing. My cousin, Ruthanne, is the first one to go out and buy each book when it comes out, and both my dad and grandfather buy them by the case now. Lol!

    ~Gemma

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  14. Thanks, T.C. & Cathy! I hope you love the books! ;)

    ~Gemma

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  15. Hmmm... not sure that link to the grandparents story came through. Lemme try again:
    go here

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  16. I just read it. Wonderful story. :)

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  17. Gemma, I am so sorry to hear about your lose. Your grandma sounds like a great woman. Great story loved that post :-)

    Hugssss
    LindaH

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  18. Hello Gemma & Rachael!

    I just had to drop by quickly although I'm supposed to be doing my Care plan, hehh.

    Gemma, let me ask you something, for someone who's never read Novak, what book would you recommend to start with? Because I've heard great things about her books but I don't know where to start.

    Great interview, Rachael! :)

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  19. Gemma thank you so much for taking time out of your day to answer everyone's questions.

    I will pick a winner tomorrow afternoon to give everyone a little more time to post.

    It's been a lot of fun and I am so happy to have had you here on my blog Gemma!

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  20. Thanks for answering Gemma. Sounds like your schedule is going to stay very busy. Best of luck with your TV pilot! :)

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  21. Thanks, Linda! I still miss her, but in a way, it’s nice knowing she’s always with me. :)

    ~Gemma

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  22. Wendy –
    I really love Brenda’s Stillwater trilogy, which starts with Dead Silence. I promise, if you read this one, you won’t be disappointed!

    ~Gemma

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  23. Thanks, Kimberly! It's a waiting game at the moment regarding the pilot. I completely support the WGA, so as long as they’re striking, I’m holding out on sending the pilot anywhere. Which could be another 4 to 6 months still! But, as soon as the strike ends, I’m hoping for good things for this series. :)

    ~Gemma

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  24. Enjoyed the interview and this sounds like a fun series!

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  25. Thanks, Gemma! I'll definitely get that one. :)

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