1) What’s your name, and do you also have a pen name?
My name is Ruby Scalera and I write romance under two pen names! Holland Rae is more traditional romance, where Gemma Snow is erotic and non-traditional lifestyles, like BSDM and menage romance.
2) What types of books do you write? (Include aspirations and/or publication history)
Right now I write a little of everything. I've written traditional and erotic contemporary and historical romance--and historical erotic stories are super fun! I love romantic suspense and I'm currently working on my very first sweet romance. WAY harder than I thought it was going to be! The third book in my Montana menage series, the Triple Diamond series, just came out last month and I'm working to republish my historical and contemporary erotic stories that were with a publisher who closed.
In the future, I want to try a little of everything! I have an epic fantasy series idea that I can't let go of, something fun for mystery and a couple YA plans. I'm also a journalist by trade, so I would love to work on some long-form pieces about women's rights and the environmental movement too.
3) What is your strategy for finding time to write and edit?
I'm hyper-organized. If it's not written down, it's taking up space in my brain, so I make lists, on lists, on lists. I also freelance and only teach part-time, so as long as I'm careful with my time management, my days are my own. Since moving into our own place, it's been a little harder to carve out the time I need to write regularly, but I'm trying to create really efficient and sustainable habits.
4) When you’re not writing, what do you like to do instead?
Reading, to start! I'm lucky in that I get to call reading my favorite genre research. I also love to bake and spend time outside. I'm a yogi too, as well as an automotive journalist and startup owner. There's a little art history geek and Italian student in there too.
5) What are some of your favorite movies, tv shows, and books?
Eeek, how to pick!
Favorite romance authors in no particular order: Suzanne Brockmann, Lisa Kleypas, Eloisa James, Laura Kaye, Alyssa Cole, Annabeth Albert, Cat Sebastian, Maya Rodale, oh goodness, so many!
Outside of romance, favorite books: Dracula, the Outlander series, Six of Crows/Crooked Kingdom, anything by Juliet Marillier, Harry Potter, of course.
TV: We're currently binging Outlander, but I loved smart comedies, like Brooklyn-99, Letterkenny and The Good Place. Also, Musketeers (give me hot men in leather, any day) Supernatural, and Riverdale.
6) Where do you want to meet everyone for dinner?
Ooh, give me a fun spot with an outdoor patio and fairy lights. Maybe for genuine Mexican food and sangria by the pitcher and lots of natural plants and mismatched chairs.
7) Do you have any special skills or knowledge bases that writers in our chapter can come to you to learn about for their books?
I have a background in journalism and it's so, so helpful for telling stories. I also lived in a castle in the Netherlands for several months! Also, any questions about cars or racing, I have covered--I've been writing about the automotive industry for nearly a decade now, so that's a fun and quirky background! And I cover a lot on the women's rights movements through history.
8) Is there anything in particular you’re hoping to learn / improve as a member of RWA and MCRW?
I just get so much juice from being around other writers and enthusiasts and I can't wait to get to know everyone during our time here. I'm really looking to expand my ability to market and find readers, so that would be great! Also, trying new genres is better with friends!
9) Tell us an MCRW-exclusive secret!
I'm terrible at keeping secrets, omg. How about this one? The very first romance novel I ever wrote was a fanfiction of my friend and this cute guy she had a crush on with the names (and personalities, lol) changed. Oh, and I totally wrote a self-insert with the cast of the Musketeers. (Out of print now, unfortunately...) I get through my morning run by pretending Alexander Skarsgard and Tom Hiddleston are gently but strongly encouraging me.
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