Sunday, 10 May 2015

Interview with Scottish Author Rosemary Gemmell




Today on the blog we welcome highly talented Scottish author Rosemary Gemmell. It is a real pleasure to welcome a fellow Scot to Bookaholics. Thank you for taking time out of, what I know is, a hectic schedule to join us.

many thanks for inviting me along to your blog Wendy

I am sure the readers would love to hear about you. Could you start by telling us a little bit about yourself?

Now that my two children are well grown up, one with a child of his own, I’m lucky enough to be a full-time writer, although I don’t write full-time hours! I also have a very supportive husband and I reward him by doing some of his admin and proof-reading.

I was a well-published short story and article writer before turning to novel length and I still like the variety of different types of writing, including poetry and children’s. I write historical romance and contemporary novellas with a touch of mythological fantasy as Romy, and tween fiction as Ros. The Highland Lass, published by Crooked Cat, is the first novel under my full name.

I live in the beautiful west coast of Scotland and am inspired by living so near the sea and countryside. I love to share information with other writers and often adjudicate competitions, one of the best ways to learn what works!

In what way are The Highlands important to your story

Although my new novel is called The Highland Lass, it doesn’t take place in the usual highlands of Scotland. The title is significant for another reason. The novel is set in the present and the past and the historical chapters trace the story of Highland Mary, one of Robert Burns’ great loves. The highland part refers to the area of Argyllshire where Mary grew up speaking Gaelic, which gave her a lilt to her voice and earned her that name when she moved to the lowlands of Ayrshire. The other significance is the letter the modern character, Eilidh, find addressed to her late mother, where the unknown writer refers to her as his ‘highland lass’ – all part of the mystery!

What is it about books set in Scotland that would excite the reader?

One of the most popular aspects of Scottish-based books is the wonderful scenery that incorporates mountains, glens, rivers and lochs. The Highland Lass takes the reader on a journey to Argyllshire, Ayrshire, Loch Lomond, Glasgow and Inverclyde with Eilidh trying to discover the identity of her father while researching Highland Mary and Burns. Some readers have said they learned a lot more about this area of Scotland!

Where do you get the inspiration for your fiction?

Anywhere and everywhere, from snippets of news or history to places I’ve visited. My Aphrodite and Adonis series was inspired by a visit to Cyprus some years ago, as it is known as Aphrodite’s Island and I’ve always loved mythology! Some of my short stories were inspired by paintings or photographs. Inspiration is literally all around if you look at it with a writer’s mind.

Which is your favourite character in any of your books and why?

I think it’s still the hero from my very first novel, Dangerous Deceit, set in 1813. Lord Sheldon is my ideal male character: strong, brave and sensitive with a respect for the heroine, Lydia’s, headstrong independence.

When you are not writing what types of books do you read? What would you say was the best book you have ever read?

I read constantly, especially in the evening. I love a variety of genres from historical romantic intrigue, to crime and modern mysteries. I also love philosophical type novels that make me think. I have lots of favourite books but one of my all-time favourites which I read many years ago is Knowledge of Angels by Jill Paton Walsh and I keep meaning to re-read it one day.

What are you working on at the moment? Without giving too much away can you tell us something about it?

I’m trying to finish the third novella in the Aphrodite and Adonis series which I promised the publisher, Tirgearr, some time ago! That’s the priority, but I’m also working on a couple of other novellas in different eras and the first in a Victorian crime series set in my own area. Plus several articles and the odd short story.

Now we are getting personal. What is your favourite food?

Apart from chocolate you mean? I love Chinese food with noodles and the occasional Italian or Indian dish. I also adore salmon.

If you could travel to any one country in the world where would it be and why?

I’ve been lucky enough to travel to many countries already as my husband works in travel. I loved Canada and one of my eternal favourites is Venice. Of those I haven’t yet seen, I quite fancy India (though husband doesn’t!) as I’ve often been fascinated by its culture, colour and noise, through films and books set there.

Who is your favourite author and why?

As with books, I have many! One of my favourites is Sarah Waters and I always look forward to her new books as she is such a wonderful storyteller, no matter where or when the story is set. Fingersmith is one of the best novels for its unexpected twist and turns and I love being surprised like that.

If you ever have a day off from writing exciting books what do you like to do in your spare time?
I love going out for coffee and walks with my husband at the weekend, especially beside the coast. Even during the week, I make sure to meet up with friends now and then over coffee or lunch. I also enjoy visiting interesting places or exhibitions as they often provide inspiration. I love swimming and dancing and both have been neglected recently so I’m aiming to put that right. I can only sit at a computer for so long before I need a distraction. These days, I’m sometimes called upon to look after my gorgeous wee granddaughter who will soon be three and that’s a great delight.

Thank you Rosemary. It has been a real pleasure chatting up with you and getting to know a bit more about you. It would seem that all my guests have one thing in common with me, we all love chocolate. I love Rosemary's Video which accompanies her book.







You can find out more about Rosemary and her books below as well as the links to buy The Highland Lass from Amazon UK and USA

23 comments:

  1. As usual a very interesting interview, Rosemary, covering a wide range of subjects, as well as writing. Some day I shall try books by Sarah Waters on your recommendation. Thank you Wendy

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    1. You are welcome Gwen. I agree Rosemary is a very entertaining guest.

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  2. Great interview.
    I can't find share buttoms to tweet about this. Are they there and I'm just not seeing them?

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    1. Mary, they were there and have disappeared. You take your eyes off a blog for a few minutes and all hell lets loose. I'll go add them again. Thank you for the heads up

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  3. Thanks so much for dropping in to comment, Gwen and Mary it's very kind of you. I can't see them either, Mary, so I just tweeted it myself!

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    1. Rosemary, I'm on it with the share buttons. They've decided to take themselves off for a wee holiday obviously

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  4. Lovely interview, Wendy.
    Great to meet another Scottish author. I was brought up in the West of Scotland, but now live near Edinburgh. The novels I have had published so far have been set in the East, but I have one in the pipeline set in the West, so nice to get a bit of inspiration from Rosemary's writing. Thank you.

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    1. Glad you enjoyed it Christine. Where in the East are your novels set?

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    2. Hi Christine - many thanks for dropping in!

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  5. A fantastic interview - thank you Wendy and Rosemary. xxx

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    1. Really glad you enjoyed it Joanna

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  6. Thanks so much for that, Joanna!

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  7. Great interview. I thought I knew you Rosemary but now I know even more! You do such a wide variety of writing, I'm v. impressed.

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    1. Thanks for commenting, Gill!

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  8. Enjoyed reading this interview, Wendy.

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    1. Thanks for dropping in, Vikki!

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    2. Really glad you dropped by and enjoyed it Vikki

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  9. Nice interview. I really should visit the Highlands.

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    1. Thank you Julia. The highlands are beautiful, although I may be just a tad biased

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  10. Some very interesting questions ...and answers!

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