This month, I caught up with the very lovely G. Clatworthy, author of cosy witchy fiction, to find out more about her writing.
Hi Gemma! Let's start at the beginning - when did you write your first book?
Hi there! I started writing during the 2020 lockdown (my first book was called The Girl Who Lost Her Listening Ears, which tells you all you need to know about lockdown!). I soon switched to urban fantasy and love mixing the magical with the mundane, especially if it involves dragons! I write cosy urban fantasy with slow burn romance sub plots that will always have a happy ending.
When I'm not writing, I enjoy playing board games, drinking tea and eating chocolate.
Why witchy fiction? And zombies?!
I love mixing magic into real life and I live close to the Cotswolds, which is where my Omensford series is set. But really, the characters come to me first and this group of witches came fully formed in Book 5 of my Rise of the Dragons series as a sort of Women's Institute but for witches, and they needed their own series! The main character is Fi, who's a tech witch with a penchant for blowing things up. In book 1 - Bedsocks and Broomsticks - she loses her job, gets roped into 'helping' her mother with the Halloween Fete and becomes suspect number 1 when one of the judges is killed...it's been described as Jessica Fletcher if she worked in IT, lived in an English village and had magic!
Well I was part of a mixed genre anthology (Zombie: Patient Zero) and my readers have been asking about Dot's history for a while so I decided to go back to her vampire beginnings and tell a tale of regency necromance that features zombies.
What made you decide to go indie?
I love being indie because you get so much control over everything and I am a bit of a control freak. I enjoy picking my release dates and writing to my own schedule and engaging with readers about things like covers and character names in a way that I don't think I could if I was traditionally published.
What do you love most about writing?
I love telling stories. That sounds simple, but that's it. The way the words flow when I'm in the moment and how the characters take shape on the page and the way their stories unfold - not always how I imagined them! - it's magical. I love creating worlds unconstrained by the rules of real life and we all need a bit of fun escapism so I'm lucky that it's part of my job.
What’s the biggest obstacle you’ve had to overcome?
I don't know about obstacles, but there are definitely things I've had to work on: learning marketing (still learning), quashing the voice that whispers negative things so that I actually pressed the button to publish that first book. The area I struggle with most is remembering that there are only so many hours in the day because I have so many ideas that I want to write and things I want to do, I have to breathe and tell myself to slow down so I don't burn out.
If you had to write in another genre, what would it be?
Funny you should ask, because I'm working on a cosy fantasy collaboration right now. I can't say any more but I'm super excited and I love cosy fantasy. I always describe my books as cosy urban fantasy so this is a nice next step to turn up the cosy factor - grab your fluffy socks and a cup of tea because it's going to be a delicious winter read!
As a writer, is there a genre you wouldn’t touch with a barge pole?
Never say never but I don't enjoy pure horror and I'm not sure I could write any sexy times books - my parents read my writing!
What do your family and friends think about your writing?
I'm so lucky because everyone is so supportive. My husband is my alpha reader and my family and a couple of my friends are beta readers, they all think it's great that I'm writing and they seem to enjoy it. I've also made some great author friends since starting publishing which is so cool.
Who’s your biggest fan?
I don't know if I could pick just one person, so I'll give a shout out to my patron supporters who are amazing and I have some lovely fans who share memes and pictures of dragons with me in my Facebook group - what more could I ask for?
What are you reading?
I read a lot and often have several books on the go. Right now, I'm reading Rebel Unicorn by Brogan Thomas, Dragonflight by Anne McCaffery and I've just finished Legendborn, which was amazing and Femina which looks at women in the medieval period. I have pretty eclectic reading tastes and I love urban fantasy.
What might readers find surprising to know about you?
People might be surprised to know that I used to do medieval re-enactment many moons ago!
Gemma's latest book, Pumpkins and Popstars is out now. It's Book 4 in the Omensford series and is available here.