About the Author

Gemma Tarlach has been writing since the age of three. Fortunately, her storytelling skills have improved with age.

Her first published fantasy piece was the short story “Black Wolf,” which appeared in Marion Zimmer Bradley’s Sword and Sorceress VI anthology (DAW, 1990) when she was still a teenager.

While continuing to write fiction on the side, Gemma spent several years working for the federal government overseas before turning to journalism. Her work has appeared in The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, TimeOut New York, The Dallas Morning News, Rolling Stone’s Schools That Rock and numerous other publications. Gemma’s travel and lifestyle writing has been recognized by The Inland Press Association as well as The Livingston Awards for Young Journalists, which twice named her a national finalist.

Gemma traded the newsroom for the kitchen a few years ago. After graduating first in her class from The Culinary Institute of America, she has used her skills as a baker and pastry chef to travel the world, working everywhere from Antarctica, through one summer and two winter seasons, to Middle Earth, also known as the South Island of New Zealand, from the Vegas Strip to a lighthouse in Norway 200 miles north of the Arctic Circle.

Regardless of where she travels, there are two things Gemma always brings with her: her towel and the stories in her head. Her first novel, the dark historical Plaguewalker, was published by Grunaskhan Books in 2012. She is currently in the final edit of a fantasy novel, The War’s End, and its sequel, The Guardian. Look for them both in 2013, along with a short story collection.

When not writing or working at her day job, Gemma is most likely hiking, training for another triathlon, volunteering, or reading. Gemma’s favorite authors are Douglas Adams, Arnaldur Indridasen and JRR Tolkien. Her main sources of inspiration are her travels, particularly her solitary hikes in the quiet corners of the world, and the music of Azam Ali and Sigur Ros.

Hiking Mt. Ruapehu, North Island of New Zealand, April 2010

7 responses

26 08 2011
Audrey Duess

Just found you! What a treat!

13 11 2011
Jon bank


28 06 2012
Mark J. P. Wolf

Hi Gemma,

i have enjoyed reading your Journal/Sentinel articles, and particularly the most recent on Antarctica… I am an academic putting together an anthology entitled Video Games Around the World, and have been trying to get information on the use of video games in Antarctica, just for the sake of completeness. Even a few paragraphs would be great, and of course they would be credited. Would you, or someone you know, be able to write a bit on the topic? Thanks,

Mark J. P. Wolf
Communication Department
Concordia University Wisconsin

21 08 2012

Hi Jemma! I’ve enjoyed discovering your work just now. This is Beth from our A-100 class. I am organizing a 20 year reunion and would love to send you details. You can email me at travelbackroad@aol.com.

13 03 2013

I did some research (fancy that!) and found you here. My! So you DID spend a long time in Antarctica. Way cool. I’ll travel around the site and read up.

7 08 2016
Carol Garland

I am a 64 year old woman who has struggled with a learning disability since childhood, that makes it difficult to read. Add to that a mild head injury in an auto accident in my 40’s, I read maybe 5 books a year. But today I was captivated by your article ‘Tenacious To The Bone’. I found myself excited by your descriptions of Nizar Ibrahim’s passionate study and research of the Spinosaurus in the Sahara Desert and I just had to read more.

Just a simple thank you for writing such a fascinating article.

10 08 2016

Thank you, Carol, and my apologies for not replying sooner. I check this site rarely due to my work obligations. But I’m delighted to hear you enjoyed my article! Thanks for letting me know 🙂

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