Friday, January 14, 2011

Inside Jokes

There's nothing better than a contest to kick off the year! Here at Killer Fiction, we'd like to thank all our readers for a fabulous 2010 and kick off 2011 in fine fashion. And what better way to kick off the new year than with free stuff! All the rules for the contest are on the sidebar, so read up and make sure you're entered to win great prizes.


IMPORTANT NOTE: All contest winners will be drawn the weekend following the end of the contest. So if you didn't hear about the contest right away, don't despair - you can still go back to previous blog posts and enter.


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I’m giving away a $25 egift card to BarnesandNoble.com or Amazon.com - winner's choice!  Winners will be notified at the end of the contest period.
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Inside Jokes


One of the questions I get asked the most by readers is were I get my inspiration. My short answer: everywhere. I am a notorious real-life thief when it comes to my work. That’s not to say I steal stories - when it comes to the major plots of my books, that’s all fiction (thank God! I’m so not brave enough to stumble upon real dead bodies.). But the smaller details in my books generally come from my real life. I have my heroines visit the same places I regularly haunt, the characters are given names of people I’ve known, and I often kill off people that cheese me off as a cheap form of therapy. ;) (Changing the names to protect the guilty, of course.)

A lot of this life-stealing in my books comes from the old adage, “write what you know.” It’s so much easier for me to describe places I’ve been to and people I’ve known, and they usually have a more genuine feel to readers, too. Research on the internet can only get you so far, and until my research budget includes trips to Paris and Milan, I do my best to equate the setting and characters in my books to real ones from my own life.

 But there is another reason for my life-stealing. It’s fun. Honestly, I get a total kick out of putting my mom in my story as a minor character, or describing something that my best friend and I did, or (yes, I’ll admit it) even killing off an ex-boyfriend or two. I’ve even been known to giggle out loud while typing up familiar scenes, and the people I know usually giggle when they read them, too, enjoying our inside joke.


'Spying in High Heels' in Poland

Out of all the books that I’ve ever written, probably the most of my own real life was poured into my first book, SPYING IN HIGH HEELS. When my best friend first read it, she laughed and said, “You’ve written a book about yourself!” Without meaning to, I guess I kinda did. The main character, Maddie Springer, is a California blonde, like me, who is often underestimated as “too girlie.” (Something a five-foot tall romance writer who likes to wear pink never experiences. *cough, cough*) Maddie has a major shoe obsession, a minor cash flow problem, and a totally screwed up love life. (Check, check, and check!) Though, at the request of my mother, I have to point out that Maddie’s fashion-challenged and stuck-in-the-80’s mom is NOTHING like my chic mama. She is pure fiction.

In addition to the obvious similarities between some of the characters in the book and the characters in my real life, here are some of the other “inside jokes” that I put into SPYING IN HIGH HEELS:


1) While Maddie dreams of haute couture, she pays the bills by designing children’s shoes. Years ago, while working as a temporary tattoo artist, once of the other artist I worked with designed children’s shoes (most notably the Elmo toddler shoes that were super popular at Marshalls that season). This woman was an incredibly talented artist, and it stuck me as humorous at the time that instead of creating fine art, she was creating shoes to smear peanut butter and mud pies on. So, when I came to picking Maddie’s profession, this one jumped out at me from my memory banks as the perfect job.



'Spying in High Heels' in Germany

2) A porn studio is one of the locations that Maddie visits while investigating a murder. Sadly, this studio is a real place I actually visited. I used to work as film extra (after the tattoo artist job), and was accidentally sent to a porn shoot one time by my agent. Oops. Luckily, everyone realized the mistake before I saw anything that scarred me for life. But the experience left an impression!

3) The character of Maddie’s boyfriend, Richard, is based on an actual ex-boyfriend I once had. Note the word ex. Yeah, I had fun torturing this character. ;)

4) Mrs. Rosenblatt is a psychic friend of Maddie’s mom, who is based on my experience working for the Psychic Reader’s Network (between film gigs). Yes, I actually worked as a telephone psychic. And, let me tell you, it provided me with character fodder for years!

Okay, so you’re all in on all my inside jokes in SPYING IN HIGH HEELS now. So, it only seems fitting that I should make sure you all have a copy of your own to read. From now until Jan 21st you can download a free copy of SPYING IN HIGH HEELS from Smashwords.com in a variety of ebook formats, including ones easily viewed on your home computer. Just enter this coupon code: NJ67R

Happy reading! (And anyone should recognize themselves in one of my books… don’t’ say I didn’t warn ya’! ;) )


~Gemma "Trigger Happy" Halliday


69 comments:

mariska said...

wow, i just downloaded the book :) I can't wait to read it ! Thank You.

Jenyfer Matthews said...

Don't all writer's use things they have experienced / observed in real life in their stories? I know I do. My friend and family were very amused by how much of "me" was in my latest novel ;)

Lucky me - I already have a copy of your book in paperback!

rrshep said...

Your book sounds exciting. Can't wait to read it. Thanks for a great laugh.

saracat said...

It sounds to me like you've lead a more interesting life in a year than I have in my life. I'm looking forward to reading your book.

JoanneR said...

Your life sounds very interesting and varied. Am going to download this book and enjoy the story so much more now, knowing some of the history of the author.
joannereynolds@sbcglobal.net

krisgils33 said...

great blog! thanks for the freebie ebook! I love it!!

Cassy Campbell said...

Thanks for the free read! Your real life sounds like a book. Must be great (or maybe not, I don't know about the whole porn set thing!) to have all of those experiences to draw from in your writing. Sadly, I make everything up...

Cricket said...

Thanks so much for the free read - it's been on my "to read" list, so I'm excited! I think more authors "steal" from their real life than want to admit it. It's all in how you fictionalize it, I think, that makes the story. :)

susanann said...

Another free book to read, I won't have to go to the library. Thanks so much.

petite said...

What an interesting and entertaining post. Love to read this. thanks.

traveler said...

I will be reading this book. thanks for this experience of writing.

Susan P. said...

Thanks for the free download code! Loved your blog post.

Rebekah E. said...

Thanks for the free book. I can't wait to read it.

yvonne said...

Bunches of thanks for the freebie. Just downloaded and am looking forward to reading it and having a good laugh.

Anne said...

I loved this series and passed the books on to my sister.

Thanks for the e-version!

Gemma Halliday said...

You're all very welcome. I hope you enjoy it!!

And... my life is a lot less interesting now that I have kids. ;) Or, more interesting, but in different ways I guess. When I was single, no one ever flushed my keys down the toilet!

~Gemma
(who is going to the locksmith today)

Susan Mo said...

Your life experiences sounds quite entertaining, and your book sounds like a blast to read. I look forward to reading it.

CrystalGB said...

Thank you for the free read. I think it is great that you incorporate things from your life in your books.

panda girl said...

Just love all of your books. I would think using some of life experiences make things interesting especially when friends or family read it and say Gee that sounds like something I did or that sounds like me. LOL

Mo said...

It sound like you have had an interesting and fun work history. I love all your Maddie books. I recently purchased the High Heels Bundle with all the books for my kindle and I will be donating the paper books to my local library.

catslady said...

I love your sense of humor and just downloaded your book - thank you so much!

Anne Lyken-Garner said...

Just stopping by, Robin, to thank you for the visit to my blog.

I hope your e-bundle does great for Valentine's Day.

Kima said...

Gemma - so did you actually work as a psychic at the network or were you one of the non-visionary people. Or, (gasp) is it all not real? Oh no, say it isn't so!

Pardon the sarcasm, but even though I do believe in some extra gifts (how else do you explain those mental nudges we all get now and then), the ones on TV don't really strike me as real.

Thanks for the free book!

hofken said...

Thanks for the free download! It will be fun reading, especially with the "background" you provided.

Cynthia.Richardson@azbar.org

Danielle said...

Thanks for the free download, I can't wait to read it!

Jean P said...

Thanks for the free read. You sound like you have had an exciting life so far, really enjoyed reading your post, it was very entertaining.

Judy T. said...

I enjoyed reading your interesting and very humorous post. Thank you for the free read :)

Jane said...

Thanks for the free download and for sharing the inside jokes.

Judy F said...

I love inside info in books. Makes the books special

Refhater said...

Thanks for the download. Happy Friday!

joder said...

You've had a very interesting career path so of course you're going to use those moments in your stories. Those kinds of experiences lead to a richer, more intriguing and fulfilling storyline. So feel free to keep up the life thefts.

joderjo402 AT gmail DOT com

Virginia said...

You book sounds very cute and i can't wait to read it. Sounds like one that will make you LOL. Will have to check it out.

Tori Lennox said...

I do love this series! :)

Estella said...

Thanks for the free read. I'll enjoy it more knowing some 'insider' info.

Jeanette J said...

Love the inside jokes....telephone psychic hmmm...that must have been interesting

Maureen said...

Thanks for the download! What a fun post.

Jana DeLeon said...

Great post, Gemma! Killing people you don't like in fiction is one of the huge advantages to writing murder mysteries. :)

Judy said...

Thanks so much. Your books look so good. I can't wait to download and read!!

Judy

Gemma Halliday said...

Gemma - so did you actually work as a psychic at the network or were you one of the non-visionary people. Or, (gasp) is it all not real? Oh no, say it isn't so!
Lol! I actually did astrology readings over the phone. I studied both astrology and astronomy in college (separately, of course) and found both very interesting. I found astrology readings to be more for fun than anything else, but it’s always amazing to me when they are spot-on. I’ll be the first to admit, I fit the characteristics of my sign (Sagittarius) to a tee.

~Gemma

Cherie J said...

Great post! It was fun learning about the different things in everyday life that have inspired you to write different elements in your stories.

Diane said...

That is very thoughtful of you. Thank you for the free e book.

David L Rattigan said...

Count me in!

Barbara E. said...

I enjoyed your post and thanks for the chance to not only win a gift card, but also for the download of Spying in High Hells. I'm looking forward to reading it.

TheWaldos said...

I love the idea that you consider yourself a "thief".

What a great way to look at stealing inspiration from pure life.

Thanks for the book!

JC Waldo
castlewaldo@gmail.com

Jenn said...

Loved reading your post. Thanks for sharing your inside jokes. I've read almost all your Maddie books!

dhenry said...

love your story lines and great book covers.

Kammie said...

Oh, what a blast it would be to write about people I know...that's if I could write. lol You must really enjoy writing those stories. Can't wait to read your story.

Sue A. said...

It's so interesting to learn how bits of reality end up in your books. Thanks for sharing.

sonya said...

Thanks for the free read and great blog

robynl said...

thanks for the download; I love humor in books so will look into your writing. thanks.

yourstrulee(at)sasktel(dot)net

wassr said...

I like female crime writers

LMcLendon said...

"There's nothing better than a contest to kick off the year!"

I'm entering now and then going to get my free download. This read looks like an absolute hoot!! I can't wait. Thanks!! :)

Robyn said...

Thanks for the 'inside scoop' and the free download!!! I am hoping to read it this weekend!

coolestmommy2000 at gmail dot com

bison61 said...

thanks for the free download!

tiramisu392 (at) yahoo.com

Rylee Myst said...

I love your books. Thank you for the opportunity for a free one!

Kristi said...

I've read all your books and love Maddie. I keep hoping that I'll see it pop up on tv. What ever happened with that?

slehan said...

It's a great way to use your life to bring life to your characters.
Thanks for the contest (I'll take Amazon, please.)

Kay said...

Thanks, Gemma, for the ebook! I'm looking forward to reading it.

I love that you use real life situations as fodder for your books. I sure have an ex you are welcome to kill off, the more painful, the better! ;-) LOL

keatonkat said...

Wow - thanks for the book - definitely going to give this one a read!

kk

Laura said...

Thank you for the free download!

Countrysunrise said...

Thank you for the free book!! I can't wait to read it!! I also wanted to say that I love people with a great sense of humor! I'm also stuck in a bit of a time warp, but that's out of necessity.

Toystory said...

I was surprized to see your list of gigs... wow, talk about trying a bit of everything!

Margay said...

Sounds intriguing! Will have to download my copy now.
Margay

bettycd said...

Not all authors have the background experiences that you do. I do think the best authors have a range of life experiences to call upon and their books have a depth that readers appreciate

Libby said...

Thank you soo much for the free bppl, I'm excited to start reading it.

Cathy M said...

Your book sounds like it would be a total kick to read, so thanks for the download. Going over to pick it up right now.

Janean said...

I laughed all way through your post. Writing what you know sounds like it is working great for you and I am sure your family and friends get a kick out of seeing themselves in your books. Thanks so much for making your book Spying in High Heels free for us readers and I can't wait to read it! Happy Reading, Janean

Amy S. said...

Great post! I often wondered if an author used their friends and family in books. I so can understand killing the exes off in book. lol

Caffey said...

Thank you dearly Gemma! I have to say, those covers from all over are neat! Sometimes I do look for books too that I can see how they experienced different than me (on deafness) but yours more fun!

cathiecaffey @ gmail.com