Author Archives: GemmaBurgess

On… relaxing

Relaxing isn’t my best thing. (My best thing is writing. I’m slightly obsessive about it, in a TOTALLY HEALTHY WAY.)

Anyway, the other night the four-year-old had a cold and couldn’t sleep, so I googled ‘classical lullaby’, found THIS, lay down next to his bed in the dark and fell asleep within two minutes. It was about 7.30pm. I think it’s my new relaxation secret weapon. And perhaps it will be yours.


On… THE WILD ONE is out!

THE WILD ONE is out today (in the US, and it was out last week in the UK, you lucky ducks. German, Spain, France, Poland, Slovenia, The Netherlands… I don’t know. I will find out and get back to you).

You can order it here or here or here or actually if you can, try HERE - or, of course, at your local independent bookstore (request it! They love that shit!).

I hope you enjoy it. xTHE WILD ONE COVER

On… I Want To Be Her!

This was SO MUCH FUN. Though it was HARD limit myself to five things. Here are five more.

Rivet & Thread High-Waisted Jeans. I love high-waisted jeans. If the rise is less than ten inches, I don’t bother, if you know what I mean, AND I THINK YOU DO.

Cire Trudon Ernesto Candle. I am obsessed with this impossible-to-justify-it’s-so-expensive candle.

Cajun Salt-Free Spice. For blackened tilapia, the best my-jeans-are-too-tight-this-week lunch choice.

Timpa Duet. The only bra that fits me, so I own it in every color.

Finn Crackers. Ideal writing snack. Best with lots of nutella. Also, the reason my jeans are too tight.



Screen Shot 2015-11-10 at 11.56.30 AM

I have been waiting to tell you all this for THE LONGEST TIME… well, a couple of weeks.

I sold a TV show to ABC.

It’s called TRUE LOVE, and it’s a romantic comedy anthology. Every season will have a brand-new cast, narrative, and story, VERY loosely inspired by classic fairy tales, but you know, all feminist and kick-ass and hilarious and real… Every episode will have the fun of the best romantic comedies – the sharp, smart banter; the genuine emotion; the mouth-watering will-they-won’t-they anticipation – as well as the drama, mystery and secrets that will keep people coming back for more, while debating the question every woman faces: can you stand on your own and still want to be swept off your feet?

Okay… enough from me. I’m off to write it.



On… a new book

I have a book out next week, my friends.

It’s called The Wild One (or, Coco if you’re in the UK). It’s the third Brooklyn Girls book, a series I started five years ago back when no one was talking about or to early 20-somethings. There was this great thumping gap between Twilight and Something Borrowed. (Everyone else realized it the same time as me, and started calling this age group ‘millennials’ and this genre ‘new adult’.) The pitch for Brooklyn Girls was simple: I wanted to follow a group of friends through their early 20s, with one book ‘by’ each girl as she figured out what she wanted to do with her life – and how she was going to do it. Kind of like The Babysitters Club meets The Group meets The Best Of Everything. Meets moi.

ANYWAY. I’m terrible at self-promotion. My sales pitch is something like: “Uh, if you have nothing better to do, maybe check one of my books? They’re funny and stuff! But seriously, if you’re busy, don’t worry, sorrysorrysorrysorry.”

So, instead, let me tell you about all of them, and you can decide for yourself if they’re your cup of hot cha. Maybe you’ll be like “you know what, I am really into reading those weird domestic suspense-y thrillers right now, I’ll laugh next year.” Or: “Who has time to read with all these damn podcasts? I have LISTENING to do.” Or: “Actually, I’m re-reading Finnegan’s Wake so you are kind of beneath me intellectually, ya dumbass.” And you would be right.


The Wild One is about Coco, the shyest, quietest girl in the group, learning how to shout. With sex and true love and high jinks and crazy adventures and above all, friendship, because, hey! That’s just my bag. (I know it’s totes cool to be nihilistic right now but I’m an optimistic motherfucker. What can I say.)

Next up: loveandchaos_us-2

Love & Chaos (Angie in the UK) is about the wildest girl in the group, learning she isn’t alone. With – see above re: my bag.


And Brooklyn Girls (Pia in the UK) is about the drama queen in the group, learning she’s in control of her life. With – again, see above re: my bag.

And my first two books are straight-up, let’s-not-fuck-around-here romantic comedies.


A Girl Like You is still the book I get the most emails about. I tried to cram everything I knew about love and dating and heartbreak into this book, and make it as funny and real and exciting as I could.  Though I re-read it recently (I wrote on this blog that I was done with books but I got so many emails saying ‘nooooooooooooooooooooooooo’ that my ego was flattered into contemplating a sequel), and I was like, hot damn, this book is LONG. Maybe too long. But I planned it as the ultimate comfort read. And comfort reads need to have a little heft.


The Dating Detox is, um, moderately autobiographical, like most first novels. A story about falling in love when you really, really don’t want to. I would edit the hell out of it if I could (I wrote it more or less on a whim and got a book deal and it was published by Harper Collins within a year, there wasn’t a lot of time for edits) but oh, how I love it so. Dear little Dating Detox.


On… Famous Quotes, Female’d

My friends and I were all sending this Washington Post piece around last week – it’s brilliant. I am still laughing about it (while vowing to stop talking like that), so I figured you might like it too.

Famous Quotes, The Way A Woman Would Have To Say Them During A Meeting

“A few weeks ago at work,” Jennifer Lawrence wrote in an essay for Lenny (yup, I guess I’m subscribed to Lenny now! Well played, Lena Dunham). “I spoke my mind and gave my opinion in a clear and no-[BS] way; no aggression, just blunt. The man I was working with (actually, he was working for me) said, ‘Whoa! We’re all on the same team here!’ As if I was yelling at him. I was so shocked because nothing that I said was personal, offensive, or, to be honest, wrong. All I hear and see all day are men speaking their opinions, and I give mine in the same exact manner, and you would have thought I had said something offensive.”

Nailed it.

“Woman in a Meeting” is a language of its own.

It should not be, but it is. You will think that you have stated the case simply and effectively, and everyone else will wonder why you were so Terrifyingly Angry. Instead, you have to translate. You start with your thought, then you figure out how to say it as though you were offering a groveling apology for an unspecified error. (In fact, as Sloane Crosley pointed out in an essay earlier this year, the time you are most likely to say “I’m sorry” is the time when you feel that you, personally, have just been grievously wronged. Not vice versa.)

To illustrate this difficulty, I have taken the liberty of translating some famous sentences into the phrases a woman would have to use to say them during a meeting not to be perceived as angry, threatening or (gasp!) bitchy.

“Give me liberty, or give me death.”
Woman in a Meeting: “Dave, if I could, I could just — I just really feel like if we had liberty it would be terrific, and the alternative would just be awful, you know? That’s just how it strikes me. I don’t know.”

“I have a dream today!”
Woman in a Meeting: “I’m sorry, I just had this idea — it’s probably crazy, but — look, just as long as we’re throwing things out here — I had sort of an idea or vision about maybe the future?”

“Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!”
Woman in a Meeting: “I’m sorry, Mikhail, if I could? Didn’t mean to cut you off there. Can we agree that this wall maybe isn’t quite doing what it should be doing? Just looking at everything everyone’s been saying, it seems like we could consider removing it. Possibly. I don’t know, what does the room feel?”

“The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”
Woman in a Meeting: “I have to say — I’m sorry — I have to say this. I don’t think we should be as scared of non-fear things as maybe we are? If that makes sense? Sorry, I feel like I’m rambling.”

“Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country.”
Woman in a Meeting: “I’m not an expert, Dave, but I feel like maybe you could accomplish more by maybe shifting your focus from asking things from the government and instead looking at things that we can all do ourselves? Just a thought. Just a thought. Take it for what it’s worth.”

“Let my people go.”
Woman in a Meeting: “Pharaoh, listen, I totally hear where you’re coming from on this. I totally do. And I don’t want to butt in if you’ve come to a decision here, but, just, I have to say, would you consider that an argument for maybe releasing these people could conceivably have merit? Or is that already off the table?”

“I came. I saw. I conquered.”
Woman in a Meeting: “I don’t want to toot my own horn here at all but I definitely have been to those places and was just honored to be a part of it as our team did such a wonderful job of conquering them.”

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.”
Woman in a Meeting: “I’m sorry, it really feels to me like we’re all equal, you know? I just feel really strongly on this.”

“I have not yet begun to fight.”
Woman in a Meeting: “Dave, I’m not going to fight you on this.”

“I will be heard.”
Woman in a Meeting: “Sorry to interrupt. No, go on, Dave. Finish what you had to say.”