Saturday, July 3, 2010

Author Interview: Emma Michaels

Emma Michaels is about to see her first novel, The Thirteenth Chime, published on August 13th. Is anything more exciting to a writer than seeing their words first put into print? It is my delightful opportunity to interview Emma, which is somehow fitting--her first novel, my first author interview, and a publication date that is also my Birthday! Without having read the novel yet (I'm hoping for an ARC), I've asked Emma a few questions, and here are her answers.

10 Every-Author Questions

with Emma Michaels

1. Do you write with pen and paper or on a computer, and what are the tools you require for your writing process?
Computer. I don’t think my hands would survive if I didn’t have a keyboard.
2. Do you maintain a regular writing schedule, and can you tell me about it?
I try to make sure to write every day. If I am not in the mood to work on one of my novels then I will write future blogs, and if I don’t want to write blogs then I work on future story concepts. Though, I do feel that Earl Grey tea really helps me. I have no idea why but it does.
3. Do you heavily self-edit, or do you write it and forget it?
I have to let everything flow out of me and onto the pages without stopping but then at the end I need some editing.
4. What makes you a unique writer?
Love and hope. I hope for more in everything I do and I really love to write. When I started writing, it felt like a part of me was finally released and suddenly story after story was flowing out of me. It is just what I love to do. I love being published and I really want to be able to bring hope to other aspiring authors and readers in general. So overall, I guess being an author is just a perfect fit for me. You have to have faith and do what you love.
5. Where do you find your inspiration?
Everywhere! It depends on the novel, but to me it is like sitting there with a puzzle box in your hands. None of the pieces seem to fit, but then, suddenly, you look at it again and they come together to create a bigger picture, a story that then turns into a novel. It can be the smallest thing like the chime of a clock, or something bigger and life-altering, but I honestly believe that inspiration can be found in everything.
6. Can you name one writer that has most inspired you?
Tamora Pierce. She was my first introduction to Young Adult Fantasy and I have never looked back since.
7. What is the one book you could read over and over again?
I have a lot of books I read over and over again. I guess my most worn down book would be Tamora Pierce’s In The Hand of the Goddess.
8. What is the most important relationship a writer needs to create and maintain?
A relationship with their publisher is extremely important but that one is normally obvious. The one relationship a lot of writers don’t think about is with their editor. It is actually extremely important because your editor is the person who can help you most in trying to grow as a writer and author. They can show you what changes you could make to better yourself and normally they really know the genre of your novel if they have been assigned to edit it, which means they are almost always full of amazing advice.
9. How do you approach the editing process, and do you have any creative ways of overcoming editing-block problems? 
To be perfectly honest, I do not like editing and at first, I did not want to do it. Then I had a talk with someone who I care about who told me not to view it as something bad but as a learning experience. Going through and implementing the editor’s changes is actually really important and once I started viewing it that way, it was amazing. I learned so much!
10. What is the hardest step in the publishing process, and how do you navigate that step?
Rejections. I received over one hundred rejections from agents before going straight to a publisher and receiving terrific offers. I kept thinking it was because of my work, until my very wise friend pointed out to me that nearly all of them had only asked for queries, so they had never even seen my work - my actual writing. I just kept going and eventually went straight to querying publishers who would take unsolicited works.
The Thirteenth Chime Questions

1. The Thirteenth Chime, is a Young Adult, Paranormal/Fantasy novel. Can you tell me a little bit about the story?
Here is the teaser we have been using:

No one knew of its existence until it was removed from the attic upstairs.
In a beautiful house that overlooks the sea, an antique clock has the power to change the course of their lives.
The power the clock resonates will not only force Destiny and ex-boyfriend David on a journey into the depths of one man's mind long dead, but into the mind of a man filled with hatred and bent on revenge.
With the only clues to the nature of the clock having disappeared into the sea, Destiny and David must retrace the steps the man had taken into the darkness, before they fall prey to the trap he had set in motion over half a century ago.
Hatred never dies.

Beyond that, I can’t say too much, yet... But there is nothing else like this being currently released, so I’m hopeful that a lot of people will really enjoy it!
2. I have to say, the cover of The Thirteenth Chime is incredibly alluring. How much input did you have on the design?
I was surprised at how much input they allowed me to have once I showed them my concept idea. It turned out completely amazing! I am thrilled with it and I am so happy that I got to be included in the process. I even had a hand in on getting to choose the font and even the artist! The publisher has been really great.
3. This novel will be released on a Friday the Thirteenth. Was that just a clever marketing ploy, or is there some significance to that date?
Hint: 13 is an ongoing theme in my ‘A Sense of Truth’ novels, so keep your eyes out for more 13’s in my series, although not in the titles.
4. What inspired you to write a YA novel?
Reading Young Adult novels helped me a lot in life and I wanted to be able to do that for others.
5. Your website mentions that you have some other projects on the line. Are you're future novels also YA Fantasy? What can we expect from you in the future?
The Thirteenth Chime is the first novel in my debut series, ‘A Sense of Truth’, so expect more novels in this series to come out in the future. I also have another series in the works that my publisher is thinking of taking on upon the completion of ‘A Sense of Truth’ novels. I think I have really found my place writing Young Adult Fantasy/ paranormal/ urban fantasy.

Thank you so much for you time and for having me and thank you to everyone who read this interview. Your support means the world to me!

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