Gem Sivad is my author name. I began writing romance to escape the tension of my day job and found that I had a natural inclination to write historical novels, and more specifically, stories about women in the Old West. I didn't consider writing fiction professionally until a friend read one of my tales and encouraged me to submit it to an editor. I was shocked when a contract followed. After my first western was released, I wrote another. And then, of course, that led to...well, you get the picture. Readers ask me why I write historical westerns. I answer honestly and tell them the truth. I love to explore the female role in the Old West. A woman's sense and sensuality had to be weapons she learned to use for protection. Writing scenes of wit and hot sex is pure fun.
Q. What draws you to the old West?
A. Women were present and endured the same dangers and hardships as men. How can a story go wrong if it combines action, panoramic history, and erotic romance? At the same time, the women of that time period are finally given credit, long overdue.
Q. What happens to your characters when you’re done writing them? Do they just quietly fade away in your mind of do they hang around and pester you for a while?
A. My characters are so bold, sometimes I quote them as if they were real. The people in my books become like family. I don’t see them all the time, but they are always lurking in my mind.
Q. How long have you been writing? What made you decide to take the plunge and do it professionally?
A. In one capacity or another, I have written all of my life. Several friends who acted as beta readers, encouraged me to submit a manuscript. So, I subbed a western and was offered a contract. I’m very comfortable in the Old West world and love to portray the grit and savagery it took to survive then. I also enjoy being a published author immensely.
Q. Tell me about your muse. What is she like?
A. My muse is Lozen, the Apache warrior priestess. I write continuously while waiting for the fickle spirit to appear and savage most of the words. When she appears, she is beauty. She knows what the characters should say. She knows what gesture, what nuance…without the insight of my muse, my words seem heavy and pedantic. So we have a lot of tension in our relationship, I expect her to come on cue, she prefers her own timetable.
Q. How do you feel about writing sex scenes? What, in your opinion, constitutes a good sex scene?
A. I love writing sexual tension, the scene that makes a reader swallow and squirm or grin silently knowing what’s going to happen next, anticipating it as much as the heroine or hero in the story. I expect the sex scenes to fit the plot and be consistent with the character’s personality. Spicy is good, flaming hot is better.
Q. What do you do about writers block?
Q. Where do you get the information that you use to write your historical westerns?
A. I begin every book with a heavy dose of research first. I like to make sure that all of my historical information is accurate and then place it within the frame of the story so that readers can get a glimpse of life in that time and place. Then I create extensive profiles, going back into the childhood of each character to grow them into real people that become my hero and heroine. From there I add a conflict or situation that has to be resolved, and with all of that, I have the frame for my story. Then I write, adding detail and dialogue until the story reaches a natural end.
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