Interview with self published author Gemma Colling

Tell us a little bit about you, the person behind the books:

Ok, well my name is Gemma, and I am on the verge of turning thirty.  I live in a small town in South Wales and I have been writing for as long as I can remember.  The first thing I ever completed was a selection of Fantasy Children’s Stories for my sister when she was little.  There was a six year age gap and that was the only thing she would keep quiet for! 

Since growing up a bit (only a bit!) I moved into writing short stories and eventually what we like to call Chick Lit.  I won a short story competition run by my school when I was sixteen and a year and a half ago decided to dig out that story to see if I could make it into a full length novel which I did.

When I am not chained to my desk either writing or working my boring nine to five job, then you can probably find me either at the gym, the local shoe shop or in the nearest Starbucks due to my Cappuccino addition. 

I am currently single and not looking unless Robbie Williams or a comic called Larry Rickard knocks on my door and then I will make exceptions!


Please give me a description of your book: 

The story is predominantly about an English Barrister called Evelyn and an American called Jack.  They both have complete opposite views on the world but suddenly meet during the boat race on Hammersmith Bridge where The Second Lamppost From The Left (book title) is said to be a crucial marker during the race.  I wanted to combine my love of the two favorite cities London and New York and I wanted to show their friend’s view of their relationship to.  Knowing that they belong together but just needing a little shove in the right direction.  There is an underlying plot of Jack trying to save his business from going under but mainly the plot is about the long distance romance that takes place over the year between the two main characters.


Why did you decide to self publish?  Or, why didn’t you go into traditional publishing?

I decided to self publish after being battered by constant rejections and snotty nosedness about chick lit.  Some submissions I sent didn’t even get read and then others were just followed by generic replies.  I even had one reply that told me to consider getting another career as I was no good at this one.  It was only with encouragement did I decide to self publish and let people who actually read and buy books decide for themselves.


How did you self publish? 

I self published through Createspace and Kindle after joining the Authonomy website.  I found the process quite daunting at first considering I am no techhead by any stretch of the imagination.  I edited myself which was a long, hard and frankly daunting task.  I had written this book and now I had to effectively pull it apart.  But through three months of perseverance I got there and now my book, my own words are listed on Amazon for all to see.


What are some good things about self publishing?

The good thing about self publishing for me is not the royalties or anything like that, it’s the fact that they are still my words and no one has messed around with them.  In the editing process the only person I had to please was myself and not an outside agent or publisher.  I was happy with my work and hopefully other people are to.


What are some bad things about it?

 I do think self published authors get a bit of a raw deal.  They are stamped with the stigma of “they weren’t good enough to be published traditionally” which I think is a total untruth.  It could be that you just want full creative reign over your work or in my case, it was the fact that I was totally beaten down by constant and sometimes frankly horrible rejections by the publishing houses.  I also think Self-Pubbed authors need more promotion.  There are undiscovered gems out there is a world dominated by “celebrity authors”.


Do you have any advice or suggestions for those thinking about going into self publishing?

I would say think long and hard about it, whether your book is ready and indeed whether you are ready.  Just because the book is published doesn’t mean you’ll be famous overnight.  It’s a long hard slog but there are rewards at the end when you see your words finally in print. 

Buy Gemma’s Books! <- UK Kindle addition <- US Paperback addition <- US Kindle addition


Can’t get enough of Gemma?  <- Website <- Twitter <- Facebook  <- Blog on Blogger 


One comment on “Interview with self published author Gemma Colling

  1. I read “Second Lamp Post From the Left” while on holidays. Gem’s characters come to life on the page the story moves along at a good pace. It’s a nice, light read – perfect for the beach, or even just a rainy day at home.

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