Interview: Gerry Bartlett

NRR:Can you share with us how you got started into writing?

GB: I’ve always been a reader and have loved romances since I read “Gone With the Wind” in junior high school. Didn’t find that ending satisfying and decided that Rhett would come back to Scarlett. I always have to have my happily ever after. One day I decided to try my hand at writing my own romances, with characters that I could relate to. My dad bought me my first computer, my husband encouraged me and years later(more than I want to admit), I finally sold my first book, a romantic suspense, not a vampire in sight.

NRR: Readers adore your character, Glory. How were you inspired to write her? 

GB: I’d sold two of those romantic suspense novels and a Regency historical when the market changed. I was struggling to sell another book. My best bud Nina Bangs, who was doing very well with her paranormal romances, dared me to write about vampires. I wasn’t sure I wanted to, but decided the only way I could was to create a character I could relate to. So my vampire has a weight issue—she was bloating when she was turned over four 
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hundred years ago(and, hey, I’m always bloating). And now she’s stuck that way. It gave me an insight into her personality because I figured vampires were humans before they got their fangs. Lucky for me, lots of fans relate to her struggles as a woman, with her boyfriends, earning a living and trying to stay independent.

NRR: You have quite the knack for making readers laugh out loud with your books. Is there one scene in this series that still makes you laugh when you think about it?

GB: I laugh a lot as I write scenes. Which makes my dog think I’m crazy. Sometimes a phrase or sharp comeback just tickles me. I have a scene in my August, 2011 book that I just wrote that cracked me up. In REAL VAMPIRES DON’T WEAR SIZE SIX, Blade and Glory are helping a fledgling vampire get even with a man who’d tormented the fledgling. While the bad guy is squealing for mercy, Blade calmly looks at Glory and says, “He’s taking this better than I thought he would.” Guess you had to be there, but it just made me laugh. I hope my readers laugh where I laugh, but humor is so subjective. One person’s laugh is another’s not so funny. In my opinion writing for the laughs is way harder than the dark stuff. I can crank out angst all day long but pain over the funny scenes.

NRR: If you could collaborate with any author who would you pick and why?

GB:  That’s a tough one. Each author has her own voice and I’m pretty strong willed. I’d love to be in an anthology with a number of New York Times bestselling authors. That’s a great way to expand your audience. To name just a few: Kerrelyn Sparks, Janet Evanovich, Nora Roberts, J.R. Ward, Sherrelyn Kenyon. Any of those would be fabulous.

NRR: Would you rather be stuck under the mistletoe with Jeremy Blade or Rafael Valdez?

GB: Rafe. I’m all about the sense of humor and in human form he’s so hot. Of course my secret crush is Israel Caine, also known as Ray. I know he’s not a long term good bet for Glory, but he’s just so sexy. I’ve had a hard time keeping Glory away from him. Love Blade and I know he’s Glory’s soulmate, but he’s just so, um, ancient. With that conqueror thing going on. Too intense.

NRR: Can you tell us a little about Real Vampires Have More To Love?

GB: I had a lot of fun with this one. Glory’s supposed to be on her own, having told her guys that she’s ready for some alone time. Doesn’t work out that way. First, Rafe Valdez, her former bodyguard is now a hot guy and her roommate. He’s making moves on her and is too tempting. Then Blade and Israel Caine are back in town. Her best friend, Florence da Vinci is Bridezilla with fangs and the wedding celebration includes a shower given by a mermaid and the hottest bachelorette party ever. Did I forget to mention a demon out to pull Glory over to the dark side? And then there’s the reappearance of an old enemy to complicate things. Glory’s got her hands full and it’s no wonder that her relationship with Blade goes off the rails. I really had to struggle to find the happily ever after for this one.

NRR: What can fans expect to see from you in the coming year?

GB:I just finished the manuscript for REAL VAMPIRES DON’T WEAR SIZE SIX, which will be out from Berkley in August, 2011. This is book 7 in the Glory St. Clair series and the demons are back with a tempting offer. With a new fledgling vampire to mentor and a disastrous love life to get back on track, Glory’s out to prove once again that size doesn’t matter.

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