Studioenp: Silence or noise when writing?
Gabriel: Although I don’t actively listen to music, I can usually hear a tune or two. Somewhere, in the back of my mind, there’s always something playing. More often than not, I try to imagine what my characters are listening to, as that influences their mood. I think it best to look from their perspective than my own when I’m writing about what they do.
Studioenp: That’s a great way of using music while writing. We imagine it brings you closer to who your characters are. What’s your latest release?
Gabriel: Because I’m simultaneously releasing the full Great House trilogy, I would say just that, as one work. The Young Mistress is really the vanguard and first to be available, yet it seems fitting that they are all out together.
Studioenp: Brilliant for those readers who don’t like to wait between releases. How did the plot come about for it?
Gabriel: In 2001, I watched Eyes Wide Shut. I wanted to create something more representative of the BDSM Community and crafted a play. It’s more of an update on My Fair Lady or Pygmalion than anything, the kind of journey we are all familiar with. At the prompting of a friend to write erotica, sometime in 2014, the play became part of a book, as The Young Mistress was written.
Studioenp: Brilliant! How long did it take you to write it?
Gabriel: The first novel took a year or so, even though I already had much of the over-arching story. The lives of the characters, day to day, needed to come to life. The third in the trilogy, A Broken Thing, took just over three months, even though it’s by far the largest at 175 thousand words.
Studioenp: Wowsers! Quite the wordcount there. What’s next on your writing list?
Gabriel: I’m currently writing a prequel in the form of short episodic novellas. Set eight to ten years prior to the trilogy, it has a different emotional texture. It’s been good to visit my characters again, as they became good friends, but it’s in a time before their personal tragedies and can be quite haunting.
Studioenp: Ah, sounds like it’s a really good read. Are you a plotter or panster?
Gabriel: Strange as it might seem, I’m both. Before I write, I spend several months thinking through the plot, getting to see moments that must happen and knowing the journey or quest. When I’m ready, I sit with a blank page, imagine the characters and begin. I write whatever they do and say, even if it isn’t immediately obvious that it’s part of the story. It’s about their lives, their reactions to situations and involvement with each other. I write word by word, chapter by chapter, following them about their business.
Studioenp: Those parts that aren’t always obvious tend to become obvious later on, don’t they? Amazing how the mind works, kind of knowing things before you do. What is your go-to form of procrastination?
Gabriel: Although I’m an online gamer and spend much of my time playing, it’s because it distracts me from the pain I endure in daily life. I am disabled, which is why I have so much writing time. Even when playing, I’m still writing, seeing the characters and hearing their conversations. I don’t believe in writing to prove I’m a writer, so unless I have something to write, I don’t. I can’t see the point in putting myself under pressure, trying to squish words out of my mind when they aren’t ready. It sets up negative responses to not writing every day, rather than writing when something is ready. ‘Think twice, write once’, to hijack a phrase.
Studioenp: Yes, forcing words out isn’t a good pastime. Your method sounds like it works best for you, so go with it! How many hours per week do you write?
Gabriel: When I’m actively writing, I have difficulty concentrating, so I don’t look at how long it takes me. I start at the beginning of a new chapter and do my best to keep going. It’s a distraction from being in pain, but generally, that gets in the way and my concentration is lost. If I don’t write many words or I can’t sit at it for as long as I did yesterday, I don’t let it stress me. I’m quite forgiving of my body, as there’s no point falling out with myself for what I can no longer do.
Studioenp: Hugs to you. What an amazing outlook you have. What’s one genre you’ve always wanted to write but haven’t—and will you ever write it?
Gabriel: I have many projects I’d like to write; Sci-Fi, Horror, Thriller and Ghost Story. Some are very mature and others are around five or six chapters. I don’t feel that there is a genre I can’t tackle, as I believe I’m a storyteller. I don’t have anything ‘sword and sorcery’ or ‘dragon queen’ related, as I do think those have been done so beautifully in recent years.
Studioenp: What’s the best book you’ve written?
Gabriel: My writing is getting stronger as I learn my craft. To date, I would say that the best is the last in the trilogy, A Broken Thing. Having said that, I do feel that my current work is certainly on a par, if not technically better. One thing I do believe, is that my best work is still yet to come. I don’t know which genre it will be in or in what way it will feel better than the rest of my writing, but I am sure there will be a good reason for it being so. I think that’s partly why I continue to write.
Studioenp: Some authors say their best book is the next one. Em can certainly understand that. Well, we wish you all the best on your writing career, and here’s to your next best book!
Dear readers, please help yourself to the abundance of lemon meringue pies on the table over there. If you don’t like those—a bit tart, aren’t they?—why not scoff a few pieces of rocky road cake? Grab a drink—tea, coffee, or hot chocolate—and indulge in the following excerpt!