Thursday, December 8, 2011

Gemma Halliday Author Interview

Book Nerd Interview

Gemma had a hard time figuring out what she wanted to be when she grew up. She worked as a film and television actress, a teddy bear importer, a department store administrator, a preschool teacher, a temporary tattoo artist, and a 900 number psychic, before finally selling her first book, Spying in High Heels, in 2005 and deciding to be a writer.

Since then, Gemma has written several mystery novels and been the recipient of numerous awards, including a National Reader's Choice award and three RITA nominations.

Gemma now makes her home in the San Francisco Bay area where she is hard at work on her next book.
Social Media

Tell us your latest news.

My latest news is that my new books, FEARLESS IN HIGH HEELS, is available for Barnes & Noble Nook and is sitting at #16 on the Barnes & Noble bestseller chart. I’m thrilled, shocked, and very grateful for all of the fabulous readers that have purchased this title.

Where were you born and where do you call home?

I was born in the San Francisco Bay Area, which is where I currently live. I spent short stint in Los Angeles in my twenties, but this area has always felt like “home” to me.

What is your favorite food?


How long have you been writing?

I started writing with publication in mind in 2002.

What genre are you most comfortable writing?

I prefer mysteries of some sort – though some of my mysteries are more humorous and others are more action/adventure.

Who or what has influenced your writing, and in what way?

Just about everything influences my writing! I’m a huge believer in stealing from your own life to make your character’s come to life. Just about everything in my books is taken from something I, or a friend or family member, has actually experienced.

When did you write your first book and how old were you?

I finished my first full novel in 2002. But I wrote a series of picture books when I was 11.

What do you like to do when you're not writing?

Read, spend time with my family, shop!

What does your family think of your writing?

I’m sure they sometime wish I kept regular work hours, but they always get a kick out of it when they see my books on bookstore shelves.

Which is your favorite of the books you have written?

Oh boy, that’s like asking me to pick my favorite child. I enjoy them all for different reasons, but SPYING IN HIGH HEELS was the first book I ever had published, so that one will always have a special place in my heart.

What was one of the most surprising things you learned in writing Deadly Cool?

That I am way more immature than I thought I was.

How many books have you written?

I’ve written 10 books for adults and 2 for teens/tweens.

Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say?

I am lucky enough that I do get mail from readers on a regular basis. Most of the time they want to tell me about their experience reading my books, which I absolutely love!

What were your feelings when your first novel was accepted/when you first saw the cover of the finished product?

Shock, disbelief, the screaming for joy. I wrote 6 full novels before finally selling lucky number 7, so it was a long time coming for me to see one published.

If you gave some of your characters an opportunity to speak for themselves, what would they say?

Oh, wow. I think they’d have a lot to say Most of my books are written in the first person, so my characters do the speaking. They’re a chatty bunch. ;)

Is Deadly Cool part of a series?

Yes! The second book in the series, SOCIAL SUICIDE, will be out in the spring.

Have you based any of your characters on someone you know, or real events in your own life?

I do this all the time. In fact, I wrote my son into the book SOCIAL SUICIDE.

How do you develop your plots and characters? Do you use any set formula?

When I’m, writing a series, I try to keep a similar pace to the plots of all the books. But I don’t necessarily have a set formula for writing them. As far as the characters go, they pretty much develop themselves. We start out as strangers at the beginning of the book, but by the end, I know them pretty well. 

Who is your favorite character in this book, and why?

I think Hartley has a lot of me in her, so I’m partial to her.

What was your favorite chapter to write and why?

I love writing the really tense scenes. The emotional impact is fun to develop.

If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in any of your books?

If I let myself think about it, there are always small tweaks I want to make. But in general, I try to separate myself from the book as soon as it’s published. It’s too late to worry about changes, so time to move on to the next book. 

What are your current projects?

I just released the 6th book in my High Heels series, FEARLESS IN HIGH HEELS, so I’m taking a short break now before diving into my next project, the sequel to this spring’s PLAY NICE.

Which author would you love to co-author a book with?

I’ve often thought it would be fun to blend my High Heels characters with J.R. Rain’s Samantha Moon character. They’re very different, yet both kick-butt crime solving women.

What book are you reading now?

I just finished reading ‘Paradise by the Rifle Sights’ by Leslie Langtry. Hilarious book! I’d highly recommend it.

What new author has grasped your interest?

Amanda Brice’s young adult book CODENAME: DANCER is a fantastic debut!

White wine or red?


Coffee or tea?

Coffee… specifically a Pumpkin Spice Latte with extra whip

What are 4 things you never leave home without?

1. Fabulous handbag

2. Cell phone

3. Pen & paper

4. ereader

Where and when do you prefer to do your writing?

I love to write in a crowded Starbucks.

List 3 of your all time favorite books?

One for the Money

Gone With the Wind

And Then There Were None

What is a movie or TV show that you watched recently and really enjoyed?

I’m kind of hooked on the new Once Upon a Time.

Where can your readers stalk you?



First I find out that my boyfriend is cheating on me. Then he’s pegged as the #1 suspect in a murder. And now he’s depending on me to clear his name. Seriously?

As much as I wouldn’t mind watching him squirm, I know that he’s innocent. So I’m brushing off my previously untapped detective skills and getting down to business. But I keep tripping over dead bodies and I’m still no closer to figuring out who did it. And what’s worse: all signs seem to point to me as the killer’s next victim.

I really need to pick a better boyfriend next time.

Gemma Halliday’s debut, Deadly Cool, was an addictive mystery novel. It was packed with fun twists, turns, and characters that are very appealing but non-irritating. I loved how Halliday showed great effort in leading the characters and then twisting it to something entirely different. Her writing style just made the reading more fun and exciting.

The story was very alluring with all the clues that Hartley uncovers. Halliday’s unique way of making her readers become part of the investigation was something that I truly enjoyed. I occasionally found myself conducting my own investigation when clues are revealed.

Overall, the book enclosed a satisfying surprise. It was difficult to let go  as I was holding on to dear life dying to know who “done it”. It was a mind boggling murder mystery and a complex plot that made it a good “who done it” book.

You can purchase Deadly Cool at these following retailers.
Click LINKS below:

Pre-order your copy of  Social Suicide now at these following retailers.
Click LINKS below:

More by Gemma Halliday

Morning sickness sucks. Which is why fashion designer turned amateur sleuth Maddie Springer has spent the last six weeks being a couch potato and Moonlight vampire movie devotee. But when Maddie's best friends finally convince her to venture out, Maddie stumbles on a dead body of a girl who has been bitten on the neck, and life suddenly imitates art in the most deadliest of ways. Now Maddie is smack in the middle of a murder investigation involving a deadly dance club and a coven of Hollywood "vampires". Not to mention navigating the world of baby showers, diaper genies and Lamaze classes with her LAPD Homicide detective husband who would rather his pregnant wife not continue popping up in his murder investigation. Between the hormones, the homicides, and a flurry of fangs, Maddie and her gang work to track down the deadly truth... before the killer bites again!


This ebook includes a special offer from the author for a FREE gift pack!

You can purchase  Fearless in High Heels at Barnes & Noble.
Click LINK below:

And now, The Giveaway. 
Thank you Gemma Halliday for making this giveaway possible.

1 Winner will receive one Signed ARC copy of  Social Suicide by Gemma Halliday.

***If you're an Author and would like to do an Interview and Giveaway, you can e-mail me at****


  1. Awesome interview :) And thanks for the chance to enter :)

  2. Looks like a fantastic read :)
    Thank you for the giveaway!
    Kel xx

  3. Awesome post!!! I loveeed Deadly Cool! I really really really cannot wait to find out what happens in the next installment!!! :D Thank you for the opportunity!

  4. we dont really have resturants here so im going to have to say mcdonald's lol. thank you for the giveaway :)

  5. Hmmm I seriously can't think of my favourite restaurant, I'd have to say Sydney. Love chinese food. ;D
    This book sounds amazing, thanks for the oportunity.

  6. My favorite restaurants are anywhere I can find good Mexican or Italian food. lol
    Thank you for this giveaway!

  7. Awesome giveaway ! thanks again love:)))


  8. Awsome givaway ;) My favorite restaurant.. well I haven't really got one I like loads and Spain is full of them ^^
    The wolfs library

  9. I am very excited to read this book!! It sounds really good!!! Thanks for the giveaway Jean!!!

  10. Thanks for the giveaway Jean! This book looks very interesting!

    My fav restuarant...Hmmmm...I'd have to say a little place called Cubana. It's a small cuban restaurant and they serve the best cocktails :)

  11. Your blog is fantastic, and I loved the giveaway. Thank you

  12. My favorite resturant is a toss up between Olive Garden and Texas Roadhouse! Thanks for doing another giveaway! You rock!

  13. Fantastic giveaway thank you :) Love the site and I cant wait to read Gemma's books they look awesome :)

  14. Great giveaway, thanks. I like to be spoiled every few years at Emerils in Orlando, FL. It takes about that long to save up for a full fledge, multiple course meal :-)

    your1chef at aol dot com

  15. This was a great interview! And I bought book one, so now I need to read it!! It's gunna be a fun one! My favorite restaurant is this really cool little sushi place in Lafayette LA where I'm from :) it's called Shangri La