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Read on the books that helped me write The Road Beyond Ruin.
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for my recommendations on occupation, resistance, and the aftermath
This fantastic site has 235 bookshelves on World War 2 and related topics
with more shelves coming soon.

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Click here for Gemma's interview with ManyBooks


My story ideas can be ignited by family history, news articles, studies, and the places I visit. Each book takes months of research, each writing period much the same, and the editing twice to three times as long in some cases, and usually with a goal in mind. That's not to say I might change my mind about characters or pathways a third of the way into the story, but the finishing point usually stays true to my original idea.

Earlier works include Gothic fantasy for young adults. The first drafts for these were written while I was studying creative writing but weren't published until years later. It wasn't a huge creative leap to historical fiction and the human consequences of war. My books have all involved researching places and periods before my time, and both themes are character driven. The idea to write about WWII originated after I interviewed war veterans as part of college assignments in the 90s, but it would be many years before I felt I had the confidence and experiences, and enough research material, to create my characters.

My first historical fiction, Pastel Orphans, was a finalist in the 2015 Next Generation Indie Book Awards. After this book gained great reviews on Goodreads, Amazon, Kirkus, and the Historical Novel Society, it was picked up by the commissioning editor for Lake Union and a traditional contract was offered for this and subsequent works. Pastel Orphans reached #1 on Historical Fiction lists in Literary, World, Jewish and German categories. Following this novel, came even greater success with Broken Angels, The Road Beyond Ruin, In a Field of Blue, and Half in Shadow, all reaching #1 spots in books and e-books on Amazon, in categories of War & Military, Literary & Fiction, and various other European categories. Stories cover topics of endurance, family, relationships, courage, and hope, against a backdrop of upheaval. These books have been sold across the world, and translated into Dutch, Hungarian, Czech, and Slovak.

These titles are also available on Audible. 

I am truly grateful for all the feedback, letters and mentions, some of which left me a little overwhelmed! Thank you, readers, reviewers, librarians, retailers, family & friends for all your support!

Gemma Liviero

© Gemma Liviero 2018

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