Gemma HallidayToday I welcome Gemma Halliday, who talks about her first mystery novel “Spying in High Heels”, which takes you to L.A’s mysterious fashion world!

Hi Gemma, would you like to introduce yourself to your readers?
Thanks for having me Veronika! Hi everyone, I’m a new author with my first book, Spying In High Heels, coming out in August. It’s the first in the High Heels Mysteries series, featuring shoe designer turned amateur sleuth, Maddie Springer. And while Maddie and I are both short, blonde, slightly neurotic yet highly fashionable California girls, I will staunchly deny any rumors that it’s autobiographical.🙂

I always have my Astrology question: what is your sign? Do you match your sign’s description?
Oh, I love astrology! I actually once worked as a 900 number psychic astrologer. I’m a Sagittarius. And, yes, I’m a typical archer girl in a big way. I love to meet new people, travel, and am brutally honest enough to find myself sticking my foot firmly in my mouth on many an occasion.

If you could describe yourself with three words, it would be…
Fun, friendly, workaholic.

Now, please, tell us more about “Spying in High Heels”, which will be released in August 2006…
In Spying In High Heels Maddie’s boyfriend, a prominent L.A. attorney, goes missing, and, due to a very late monthly visitor, Maddie is desperate to track him down. What she runs into instead is a twenty-million dollar embezzlement scheme, a sexy cop, a porn star, a pair of Russian contortionists, and a dead body that make her missed period seem like the least of her problems. And all of this while helping her mother plan a kitchy second wedding and post-menopausal bachelorette party. It’s a fun, fast paced story with lots of action – a great summer beach read!

Do you plan a sequel?
Yes! I have three more High Heels books in the works. The next installment, Killer In High Heels, takes Maddie to fabulous Las Vegas and is due to hit bookstores in March 2007.

Maddie is a shoe designer and she loves shopping. Do you share her love for shoes and clothes in general?
Hi, I’m Gemma and I’m a shoe-aholic.🙂 Yes, I love the clothes. I can’t claim my closet is filled with quite the array of designer labels that Maddie’s is, but I’m a sucker for a half-priced pair of heels.

Did you work in the fashion world before?
No, I actually worked in film and television. Which was really fun because I got to play dress-up every day. I think my favorite was working on the set of the movie “Buddy”, where I got all dolled up in vintage 1920’s clothes. Two hours in hair and make-up, but it was so worth it.

There is a “cop” in your story, did you meet some of them, took notes…?
Actually, most of my police jargon has come from the wives of officers. I met a few of them locally and they were fantastic about disclosing the day-to-day of living with a police officer. They were great women and, let me tell you, those ladies are tough cookies.

The usual “writing question”, how do you work? How do you react to the writer’s block?
I generally write about 4 hours a day, depending on deadlines. I’m a big plotter. I like to know exactly what’s happening before I sit down to write a scene, so I usually do a detailed outline of my books first. Things tend to change as I go, but at least I have a general roadmap of the story.Writer’s block. Blech, hate it. Yes, I’ve had my share of that pesky demon. I generally do something totally non-writing related to get my mind off my characters for a while. Go for a walk, read a book, try on some shoes.

Do you have an advice for young writers?
Just keep writing! The more you write, the better you get at it. Some days I’m sure I’m writing pure dredged, but if I just keep writing, generally something semi-brilliant will eventually come out of it.

I looove your website and bookcover. Did you choose them yourself? Is it important to work with an illustrator/designer?
Thank you! The website I designed myself, with the help of my amazing computer guru brother. I love the old Hollywood feel, so I tried to do a kind of modern take on that. The book cover was all the art department at Dorchester. They do a fabulous job with all their covers, and this one is no exception. Wow, was I overjoyed when I saw it. Wait until you see the cover for Killer In High Heels. It’s going to be fabulous!

And now the nothing-to-do-with-books question : You’ve just found 100 $ in your pocket, your plans?
New shoes, of course!

“Tea or Coffee?”

Saturday evening. Going out or reading a book ?Go out.
Holidays. Beach or Mountains ?Oh, tough one. I grew up in the mountains, so love that. But I have to say, I’m a beach bunny at heart.
Country or City ?Oh a little of both. Which is what I love about where I live. It’s got a small town feel, with tons of wooded areas and hiking trails, yet I’m just minutes from San Francisco and all the benefits of a big city.
Watching a movie. Comedy or Drama (or something else ?) ?Comedy all the way.
Shy or Easy-going ?Easy-going.
Serious or Funny ?Funny. (I hope!)
Traveler or not ?Traveler.
Sporty or not ?Hmmm… does shopping count as a sport?
The Leader in the group or not ?Hmm… depends on where the group’s going. I sometimes like to meander in the back and take the scenic route.

“Favorite…”

TV show: Seinfeld
Movie : White Christmas
Book (and by the way, what are you reading during your free time ?) ? : I have to pick just one?! Hmmm… I’ll go with a classic then. Gone With the Wind.
Music : 1950’s bebop & crooners
City : Los Angeles
Favorite place to write : My bedroom, Starbucks, the park… just about anywhere.
Quote or motto : Never give up, never surrender. Okay, I stole that from “Galaxy Quest”, but it’s such a great line.

Thank you, Gemma!
Gemma’s website http://www.gemmahalliday.com

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