More About Gloria Silk, Author, Artist, Entrepreneur
1. As a mother, wife and non-fiction author (under a pseudonym), and your commitment to volunteering your time to various committees, when do you actually write your fiction?
Although I’m an organized person, in general, there still doesn’t seem to be enough hours in the day or week for all that I do and want to do. But because I do what I love, I try to set realistic goals; write/revise for two hours a morning, four or five days a week, if possible, and do other things like home-related or marketing-related things. And then I try to stick to it.
2. What inspired you to write romance?
As an avid reader since I was eleven years old when I discovered the magic the local library held, I’ve always known I’d be a published writer. I’m a sucker for the happy-ever-after romances. Writing my own novels gives me the chance to play goddess, creating characters that become so real I fall in love with my heroes and root for my heroines and hate the interfering antagonists (even if they happen to be boorish brothers or sisters-in-law, and I won’t even mention the mothers-in-law).
3. What are your stories about?
My novels are about passionate love affairs between interracial couples, for example a poor British girl falls in love with a gorgeous, gregarious hunk from the Hindu culture. They meet in college and their families interfere and break them apart. But of course they meet up again, and sparks fly and complications make everything much worse before they have their well deserved happy-ever-after. Another novel is all about infidelity, infertility and finding strength from within yourself to fight for what you desire.
4. What kind of cultures do you feel attracted to, in your writing?
Although Bollywood has a special place in my heart, I also love music and stories with passion; Spanish, Italian, Israeli, Moroccan, Greek, Portuguese, South American…. anywhere that has strong, emotional history and beauty.
5. What do you hope readers take with them after reading any of your books?
I hope that the reader who likes sensuous, intense love stories and relationship complications, will feel satisfied. That the reader comes away feeling they’ve learned about different exotic cultures. I’m not writing to educate, but to entertain and open up the possibilities of the growing multicultural romances that are prevalent all over the world. More and more all around us couples fall in love with each other despite their cultural differences. Love does not discriminate; it has no borders.
6. Where do your ideas come from?
My ideas come to me through listening to a news story, or a song, reading an article or hearing my friends’ stories about their friends. But sometimes I wake up and a new character comes to me telling me his or her story until I have to write down some notes before it all disappears into never-never-land. My biggest problem is that I have so many different stories I plan to write, I can’t seem to have enough time to read my to-be-read pile of novels. And I adore reading!
7. Do you plan your stories first with an outline or does it come to you as you write it?
Depending on the story, whether I’m starting a fresh one, or revising or rewriting, I usually write an outline, like a working synopsis for my own benefit. Then I research any aspects of the characters or places I plan to write about. Only when the story has formed so well in my mind that I can’t wait to start writing the first draft, only then do I get into the novel proper.
8. Do you know the end of the story at the beginning?
Almost always it comes to me at the time of writing the synopsis.
9. What aspects of your own life are woven into your book?
Many people, even close friends ask me that. There are some small quirks and characteristics of me in any or all the characters, I suppose, to some extent, even the male ones. But on the most part, they are their own fictional people inspired by a combination of many people I’ve met or come across in my life.
10. How do you spark your creativity?
Some days it seems more difficult, especially when I’ve stayed up late with my night pen and note pad. On those following mornings I remind myself to be kind and gentle to my muse and creativity and may switch my work hours around. I may do some errands and then get back to the writing, or transcribing. As long as I’ve got two or three hours of work done during the course of a day, I’m very happy and feel accomplished.
11. Has it been a bumpy ride to becoming a published author or has it been pretty well smooth sailing?
In non-fiction I was published by a large traditional publishing house, with the pitch being accepted on the phone, and the proposal being accepted soon after and the whole process seemed overwhelming but somehow meant-to-be. But in fiction, unlike with many of my writing compatriots, I’ve had the opposite experience. As a spiritual being, I believe I’m where I am right now, because I’m only ready now (craft-wise and emotionally) to being a fiction published author.
12. How many books do you usually write a year?
Because over the past ten years I’ve been writing in combination with other projects and business endeavors I’m not sure how fast I write. But now that I’m focusing on writing fiction without too many other distractions, I think I write one book – from beginning to revised and polished end – in one year. But I have some stories that are already started, semi-finished and ready for the revision stage.
13. What do you like most about being a writer?
The flexibility and the dress-code. I have to be careful not to go on Skype or out on any errands in my PJs. I also love the creativity of the craft of being kept company with the people I’ve created. I’m my own boss, with only the reader on my mind. The reader to please, to entertain. Sometimes I wonder if I’m an introvert or extrovert and as a writer with many writing buddies who agree, we’re all a combination of the two. I can spend a few days embroiled in my story and be happy, and then on the third day I have to leave the computer and get out on a long, long walk. And here’s my favourite, supportive companion when everyone else is out or working in their office:
14. How much research do you do and how do you do it?
In some cases not too much, apart from fact checking, like the historical details of Old Paris, or the flight schedules from one city to another. Other times I have to research a lot about a character’s cultural background if I’m not as familiar as, let’s say, I am with Moroccan Jews, for example. Then I try to make sure I get as unbiased, up-to-date information as I can.
15. What are some words of wisdom for those who would like to be published?
Firstly, join the RWA as mentioned in one of my posts on this site. Then make sure you get the right mentor, or critique group with like-minded, constructively positive and open-minded people. Do not surround yourself with any toxic ‘friends’, life’s too short for that. Be fair in the give and take of relationships, and constantly hone your craft. See my post Practice, Practice, Practice.
Coming soon, answers to these questions!
16. Does reader feedback help you with your writing? Is feedback something that is very important to you?
17. Would you talk about your career background before the writing bug got you?
18. How did your first book idea come to be – and when was that?
19. How long did your first book take to write – what was your process? How has that changed to your later/latest ones 20. Talk about your quest to find the right literary agent?
21. Are you a full-time writer, or how do you juggle part/full-time work with writing? How does it help/hinder your creativity?
22. How long do your books take from conception to final draft? (On average, and if there is a big discrepancy, what does it depend on?)
23. Your family’s support, if you have kids, how old are they? And how supportive were your husband, daughter and friends, etc?
24. Did you worry about/have you had any opposition against those of your books that deal with interracial love?
25. Any lessons learned you’d like to share about any of the above?