Welcome to the second day of Authorpalooza!
Emjae considers herself a professional romantic, but don't call her work romantic fiction. Like everyone else around Inknbeans, she prefers the term contemporary relationship fiction. She started writing fiction for her grandmother more than twenty years ago, and only recently decided to pick up quill and ink and begin again, after toiling far too long as a technical writer.
She lives in a little castle on a hilltop in Southern California with the demanding and indifferent Lord Mogwollen, her collection of tea pots, crochet hooks and coffees from around the world. She is the last living Dodgers fan.
Kendra Carew is a schoolteacher and she runs her life the way she runs her classroom; routines, boundaries, calm and courteous are the rules. She knows everything there is to know within the sheltering walls of her small world. Sent out of her safe and small world to retrieve a wayward brother, she finds out just how little she knows about the world at large, and about herself.
Whit Southwell is an enigma to everyone; despite derogatory nicknames which suggest that coworkers and cohorts know him well, he's unpredictable and unstoppable. When confronted with an obstacle he either finds a way around it, or busts right through it - and Kendra just became an obstacle.
Learning To Be Irish:
Daire Arlen's grandfather left her a house in Northern Ireland, but it was far more than just four walls and a hearth, it was passage back to her heritage, a chance to pull the curtain back on her past, to see more than just the roads and hills and shops in the country where her father was born. It was a chance to dip her soul in the magic of her homeland.
Sitting upon that family stone was another gift from her grandfather, perhaps the one man in the world who could teach her to appreciate the house, the country, the magic, to teach her what it means to be Irish.
1) When did you decide to start writing?
I probably decided to start writing in the womb. I wrote my first story, a murder mystery, when I was eight. I copied it out on the lined paper they gave us in school, and shared it with my classmates. I suppose I was self published! This seemed to upset my teacher, though. For some reason, Sister Alberta took exception to the idea.
2) What is your genre and why did you decide to write a novel in it?
I write what I like to call contemporary relationship fiction. The rest of the world will insist on calling it romance. I started writing it for my grandmother when she had difficult finding titles she liked, or printed books she could see. In the process of transcribing books into large print for her, it occurred to me that I could write a few that were tailored to her tastes.
3) Were you worried about the word count of your work?
Since I wasn't writing for a publisher with what our Boss calls a cookie cutter mentality, where quantity and format far outweighed content, I could make my stories as long or short as I liked, and introduce themes which, at the time, were serious genre 'no-no's.
4) Do you have any writing quirks and what are they?
Quirks? I'm not sure. I insist that my quills be hand sharpened by blades which have never been used for any other purpose and my papyrus must be no less than six hundred forty years old. I need a choir of virgins, with stringed instruments, singing Eurovision entries four to six hours a day, and...the Boss says I have to stop now. Seriously, I just sit down at the keyboard, turn on some music and let my mind wander while the characters continue their journey. The next day I come back and pick up all the dangling participles and fragments of sentences.
5) If you can describe your novel in one word, what would it be and why?
For Learning to Be Irish the word would have to be green. Not as in environmentally friendly, but a color that can only be found in Heaven and in Ireland. For The Lady Must Decline I would say the word would be tension.
6) How did you decide on the titles of your works?
Learning to Be Irish had several different titles that were all just a bit cliche. I had written it and rewritten it and was reading it aloud when it occurred to me that story really was about a girl learning what it meant to be Irish. The Lady Must Decline was one of those titles that predated the actual story. I don't know where it came from but one day it was in my head, and the next I'd written three chapters.
7) What do you hope your readers will get out of reading your novel?
A good journey. One wonderful review said my books are more about the journey than the destination. I love that.
8) Tell us a little about your road to publication.
I had a very easy road to publication. The Boss and I have been friends for years, and she has had a vision for Inknbeans as long as I've known her. She always said when technology caught up with her vision she would publish my books. It did and she did.
9) What advice can you give other aspiring authors out there?
I don't know that I have the right to give advice, but I think one piece of advice that is good for all aspects of life is: Believe in yourself.
Thank you, Emjae, for answering my questions for Authorpalooza 2011! And I would also like to extend a special thanks to Maaijo for being the bridge between Emjae and Reads, Reviews, Recommends. We salute you for all your hard work!
Stay-tuned for the giveaway of this particular interview. You stand a chance to win coffee! Yes, that's right. Coffee!