Kink Goes Paranormal With "Magically Kinky" Author Gianna Simone


Claimed by the Enchanter Cover

Paranormal category Golden Leaf Finalist

By Elizabeth Shore

Hello Sexies! We’re chatting up paranormal and historical BDSM author – and fellow Golden Leaf Finalist! – Gianna Simone. She’s stopped by to tell us why she loves the dark side of romance, why listening to a nun is a good thing, and how not to get burned by a publisher. 

Elizabeth Shore: Thanks for stopping by, Gianna! Let’s first talk settings. I love the twist you give on traditional BDSM stories by generally placing yours in either a historical setting or making them paranormal. What made you decide to go those routes?

Gianna Simone: Basically, I like to break rules! lol It’s true – I have a bit of a dark side to my own preferences, and sometimes those types of things don’t work as well in a contemporary modern mindset of BDSM. And part of it harkens back to the “bodice rippers” of the 70’s and 80’s – so many of those books contained a lot of elements that I incorporate into my stories – though I must make it clear, the heroes don’t brutalize a woman just for the sake of violence. My heroes, while they take what they want, make sure their partners enjoy the encounter.

ES: As all men should. 🙂
But even if you do go historical, you throw us another intriguing curveball by giving us Vikings! Or Medieval! No traditional English Regency for you. Tell us more about your choice for the unique settings.

GS: I like settings that are raw and real and gritty and dirty and… well, you get the picture. The women in those times had to be very strong, just to survive, and talk about it being a man’s world in those eras! Actually, though, the Vikings respected women and didn’t discourage them from being as strong and brutal as they were, which is rather different than many “civilized” cultures of the time. I also like those kinds of settings because there is very little of the modern “noise” that comes between the characters. No cell phones, internet, etc. When you have nothing else to focus on but the other person, things take a much more intimate turn. The only thing that matters is the here and now and all the accompanying emotions.

ES: No cell phones – no rude talkers! Sounds good to me. Tell us … when you start developing a new book, do you think first about the characters or about the plot?

GS: It’s characters all the way. I think of a hero, or a heroine first, then put them into a situation that can be quite life-threatening at times. Not all of them are dealing with such dire circumstances, but basically, the worst thing that could happen to them happens. And now they have to deal with it and all the crap that accompanies it.

ES: Your writing journey is an interesting one. What made you first decide you wanted to write?

Gianna Simone

Gianna Simone

GS: It seems I’ve been writing my entire life! In 4th grade, I had a teacher who would cut out a small magazine picture and staple it to a lined piece of paper. You could write a story about that picture for extra credit. I must have done 5 or 6 a week! By the time I hit middle school, I was writing fan fiction, though I don’t think anyone had a label for it then. But you name it – Starsky & Hutch, Kiss and Bruce Springsteen (see the evolution there?) In freshman year in high school, I wrote my first completed novel. My English teacher, Sr. Maureen, read it and said I should get it published. Damn, I should have listened to her! So I’ve been writing pretty much forever. I found RWA (thanks to a fan letter I sent to Brenda Joyce!) in 1993 and haven’t looked back.

ES: I wrote a post last week questioning whether it’s ever time to quit. Luckily for us, you haven’t and the result is some really great books. But I know it took a long time before you got published and I think other unpublished authors could take inspiration from your story. Could you talk a little bit about what you went through.

GS: You know what? I almost DID quit. Until recently, I worked full time, so the writing had to take a secondary role for a while (kids suck a LOT of time! And energy!). But things changed as my children got older and I could dive deeper again (fan fiction helped get the juices going again). But I hit a ton of brick walls – things would look great, then they’d crash and burn in spectacular fashion. Even had a publisher tell me not to submit again. They said I wasn’t a good fit for them, but it was basically “we don’t want to see anything from you again.” Ouch! Everyone I knew, including several I’d been “in the trenches” with, around me was selling. And I was having door after door slammed in my face. Not long after, a friend posted a comment on another friend’s blog. And it was clearly about me and it was harsh and brutal and made me think “why the hell am I killing myself here when even my friends are slamming me?” I literally said at that point, I’m done, I just can’t do it anymore. I had one more place I’d taken a shot at on a whim and promptly forgot about. Turns out, they snatched me right out of the jaws of defeat!

EM: Wow. And you said the Vikings had it tough! So you survived everyone, including “friends” telling you to give it up but you persevered and finally got published. But wait – there’s more! Because once it happened, you had a tough time with a publisher who eventually went out of business. That had to have been difficult.

GS: Be careful what you wish for, right? Bottom line, I’ve learned to do much better research. There are some things going on right now in the publishing world that are just blowing everyone’s mind, and I’m glad I didn’t have to go quite that far. I had high hopes and I also had some doubts about where I landed, but I looked at it as a chance to get out there, and this publisher was getting noticed. I found out some things later on that would have raised a few red flags if that info was available. And there was the typical and expected “implosion,” followed by inexperienced management (as in NO publishing experience whatsoever) that told us they knew better how to work the business. Yeah, they’re out of business now.

ES: I know you’re legally bound by how much you can say, but is there advice from that experience you can pass along?

GS: Do your research – if enough people are raising questions and sharing issues, then be wary. Where there’s smoke, there’s fire. Don’t be afraid to speak up and ask for changes to contracts. If the people running the business are truly running it as a business, they will work with you. And don’t be afraid to walk away from something that seems wrong to you – in this business, you have to cover your back. I’ve been lucky ever since, my current publishers respond to me and work with me and do what they can to help me promote my books.

ES: What gets you in the mood to write? What’s on your desk at all times?

GS: I work best in the mid-morning to early afternoon and late at night when everyone else is asleep. Don’t need much more than to get my ass in the chair and start reading a few paragraphs of wherever I’m picking up. As for what’s on my desk – clutter!

ES: Finally, tell us what’s up next for you.

Warrior's Vengeance CoverGS: I’m starting work on the second book in my Vikings series, and I also have a few pages of the next book in the Bayou Magiste Chronicles, set back around the time of the Spanish Inquisition, but that’s more of a general outline than a real story. And I have a few other ideas percolating that I’m either drafting a scene or writing notes so I’ll be ready to get going when I have those two in good shape. I tend to work on more than one project at a time, I’m a Gemini, so all my personalities are screaming for time!

Being a fellow Gemini, I completely understand! Thanks so much for spending time with us, Gianna. And best of luck in New Jersey!!

You can get hold of Gianna’s books here.

And find her here:

www.giannasimoneeroticromance.com

http://giannasimone.blogspot.com

https://www.facebook.com/GiannaSimoneRomanceAuthor

Or via Twitter: @Gianna_Simone

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11 Comments

  • Wendy S. Marcus
    October 8, 2014 at 9:03 am

    You two are so funny! I’m so happy for both of you Golden Leaf finalists and I can’t wait to celebrate with you at NJ RWA!!!

    • Elizabeth Shore
      October 8, 2014 at 12:09 pm

      Heh, fingers crossed, Wendy! And feel better!!

      • giannasimone
        October 8, 2014 at 1:15 pm

        I’m crossing everything, though my eyes are starting to hurt! lol

    • giannasimone
      October 8, 2014 at 1:14 pm

      Thanks Wendy! Win or not, it’s going to be so much fun!

  • Sue Ellen
    October 8, 2014 at 9:22 am

    Great interview ladies. Can’t wait to see you both kick some butt at NJRWA.

    • giannasimone
      October 8, 2014 at 1:15 pm

      Thanks Sue Ellen – from your mouth to…. No matter what, though, I know we’ll all have a blast!

  • Madeline Iva
    October 8, 2014 at 11:04 am

    What a great interview!

    I’ve been reading up a lot on Vikings — and (as someone with Swedish roots) we’re do for a make-over. A lot that was written about vikings was written by catholic clergy–their arch rivals. Did you hear they’re taking a much closer look at some of the viking burials in northern Europe. Archeologists at first just assumed the skeletons buried with shields and swords and armor were all male–but it turns out that 40% were women! This opens up a whole new world of understanding their culture…

    I too loved the intensity of those 80’s – 90’s romances. So glad to hear someone’s out there keeping that bodice-ripping flame alive!

    • giannasimone
      October 8, 2014 at 1:22 pm

      Thanks Madeline! So many books today are so careful to avoid that label, but I take great pride when someone compares my books to those bodice-rippers! 🙂

      There’s so much mis-information about Vikings out there. Their shieldmaidens were just as fierce and brutal as the male warriors – women were not consigned to only the traditional roles, though they did that too. It was a fairly equal society as far as men and women were concerned. Combined with the fact that their culture was an oral one not a written one for the most part, and that the Catholic Church unfortunately destroyed a lot of the physical evidence and artifacts of their culture, we’re left with very minimal information to build upon. Interestingly, though, the church had no qualms about appropriating aspects they liked – so much of our modern Christmas celebrations and traditions come from the Vikings – the trees, the Yule log, and the exchanging of gifts, leaving hay out for the gods’ horses, the list goes on and on.

      And they didn’t wear horned helmets either! lol

  • Kat Attalla
    October 9, 2014 at 7:26 am

    Good luck next week at the conference. My fingers will be crossed that you will be taking home the Golden leaf award. Nice interview.

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