Interview with Gina D. B. Clemen
Where are you from, Gina?
I was born and raised in San Francisco, California—a splendid city that I often write about in my books. But now I live in Rapallo, Italy.
What made you decide to write your first book?
Well, I’ve always loved writing, particularly for younger audiences because they’re the most receptive. When my daughter was little, I enjoyed telling her a new story practically every day—and she still remembers some of them! That was good practice. Then one day I decided to channel my creative energy and write a book—and that’s what I did, and I’ve never stopped!
How do you create your plots and your characters? Are you inspired by someone in particular?
Ideas for plots seem to pop into my head almost every day, either by something I see or hear, or someone I talk to. I’ve travelled a lot and I’ve lived in different places. The people I’ve met, young and old, have been an inspiration for my characters. And, of course, world events and problems influence my writing. I want to make my readers aware of some of the problems of today’s world, like global warming, conservation of our resources, our fragile ecosystems, animals in danger of extinction and respect for different cultures. I especially want to get the message across to my younger readers, the ones who will one day be in charge and will be making the decisions….hopefully the right ones.
A few years ago I visited a very fine school in Eregli, a town on the Black Sea in Turkey, and I was lucky enough to meet a big group of young fans who were a real inspiration for me. We had a lovely discussion about one of my books, Mystery in San Francisco.
What do you do in your free time?
Well, I love being outdoors and I love sports. So when the weather’s good I enjoy running, hiking in the mountains, biking and swimming in the sea. I was a member of my high school and university swim team and I’m proud to say that we won several California championships! And when the weather’s bad, then it’s the perfect time to meet with friends, or put on some good music—I’m a classical music fan—and open a book and read! To me reading is pure magic—a book can take you anywhere, anytime! I also enjoy going to art shows.
Do you have a favourite character in literature?
That’s a difficult question to answer. There are so many wonderful, unforgettable characters in literature…but yes, I do! It’s Oliver Twist. He’s captured my heart because he’s one of those characters that start off in life with just about everything against them…and yet, their inner goodness and honesty seem to guide them towards happiness.
Is there a kind of book that you would never write?
A cook book! I’m the world’s worst cook!!
Thank you for your time, Gina.
It’s been a pleasure, and at this point I’d like to say “hello” to all my fans and readers all over the world—they’re truly a big inspiration for me and I’d love to hear from them!