Today, I´m welcoming the debut author of "The Thirteenth Chime", Emma Michaels for an interview on my blog. Before she started writing her own book she was one of us, a succsessful blogger! Now, she´s waiting for her book to be released on August 13th (and it´s a Friday 13th... creepy, right!). Plaese give it up for Emma Michaels!
Can you describe The Thirteenth Chime in your own words?
A) It is the story about the bond between two people who were once romantically involved and yet are now estranged. It is that bond that will protect them from a trap a madman set into motion almost fifty years ago, and to give them a chance against the darkness that is "The Thirteenth Chime".
It´s your very first book ever published, previously, you were a blogger yourself. In very few words: how does it feel?
A) In very few words. AMAZING! Fantastic!
If does sometimes make me feel like the mad hatter with how busy it has made me but I really enjoy it! I just love it and for my blog readers out there, don't worry I won't stop!!!
How do you turn from a blogger to an author? Can you describe how the process was for you?
A) The process was difficult in the beginning because I do not like queries. We write an entire book - how are we supposed to accurately describe and share our books in a page or less? Even so, I feel that the end result worked out. Yet during the time when I was sending queries out to agents, all I would receive is the standard form rejections from people who had not even read a single sentence of my book. I received over a hundred of these from many different versions of query letters and so I began querying publishers directly, hoping that maybe I might have better luck. From that point on, the process was much more complicated and busy but also something I felt a lot better about. I was finally getting great responses! I do think that an agent is a person to have on your side but I am really happy that I took the plunge.
Do the names of the characters have a special meaning? How did you choose them?
A) David was named for a special reason within the book, but I can't share that yet! Destiny's name was not chosen until the book was almost complete. It was my fiance who made a comment about how she seemed to be "David's destiny" that made me realize what her name was meant to be.
The cover of your book is so beautiful! Did you have any influence on it?
A) Yes I did! Bokheim was really great in not only hearing my ideas out but in giving me a lot to say in the end. We also lucked out in finding a great artist who matched my ideas perfectly and with a few revisions, the cover ended up being wonderful.
Did you do a lot of research for you book? If so, which kind of research?
A) I actually spent almost two years before I began writing the actual story because it was my first book and I wanted the planning for the series in motion. I interviewed dozens of people and visited various locations around Washington (including the town of Steilacoom). I am very happy with the end result.
Where do you get your inspiration from? Music, books, TV shows or real life?
A) Real life. By that I mean experiences that inspire ideas in my head that I bring forth when I write. Although the events within "The Thirteenth Chime" are fictional, the inspirations for them are real, though they may not have come about in the way you might expect. (i.e. the clock and various other things).
A question that I am always curious about (but could be kind of personal) is: are your characters based on people you really know or are they all purely fictional?
A) Fictional. The only character in the entire book who has any similarities to a living person (and this is very remote) is Stephanie who is slightly similar to me. Even here, the only similarities is that I feel we share the same kind of spirit and I didn't even realize the similarities until reading it in close to its final form!
What do you like most about being an author? And what annoys you?
A) The writing - not only for myself, but for fans. I love getting to getting to answer directly to fans and share my feelings and findings on other books on my blog. What annoys me... When people don't understand why I do what I do. I don't do it for the attention or for publicity or money, authors very rarely ever make enough of a living off of their writing to be able to quit their day job but I do it because there is a story inside of me that I want to share with the world. This is just a part of myself I feel I should give to others because hopefully, they can find some joy in it or an escape from their reality for a short time.
Did you ever have a writer´s block? If so, what did you do to deal with it?
A) I try to be proactive about writer's block. I try to write every day to make sure that I keep writing and to train myself to not have such a setback. I rather think of writing like any other muscle - you have to work and exercise it in order to keep it strong and make it keep growing!
Tell us something about your favourites:
Favourite authors? A) Sharon Shinn and Tamora Pierce
Favourite paranormal creature? A) Unicorn? Dragon maybe. Hard decision.
Favourite all time hero/heroine? A) Alanna the Lioness
Favourite all time villain? A) Okay it's bad of me, but Darken Rahl from "The Sword of Truth Series" aka "Legend of the Seeker".
Which one do you prefer, book or e-reader? A) Actually, I haven't gotten to try out many e-readers. My fiance is really critical when it comes to any kind of digital screen that a person has to stare at for any length of time. Like with the Apple iPad, he is excited to give it a try, but he refuses to get one and use it until the resolution is both over a thousand. And he is right, anything less will wear down your eyes over time if you use it for more than the recommended time of usage. On the other side, e-books are cheaper, allow you to have more while using less space, and the best thing about them is that we can get them faster without being a drain on the environment. The costs saved in making an e-book vs. a print book also allows for more money to be donated to various charities and for other beneficial organizations. So I support e-books fully and I hope my readers will too.
Favourite distraction (from reading/writing)? A) Actually, I love to both read and write, so those are usually both my work and my distractions *laughs* But if I'm not doing that, my next favorite distraction is Yoga, the beach or my Chihuahua. Oh! Or hulu.
Is there a book you love above all? One that had a great influence on you or your life?
A) In YA, yes, Tamora Pierce's "In the Hand of the Goddess". It was the first YA book I ever got to read, it was how I met Tamora Pierce, and it also inspired me to begin writing. Other than in YA, "DaVinci's Journal" - I am fortunate enough to have obtained a copy of his journal and it is amazing to read through and see his work. I think what he did will continue to inspire people many years from now.
Is there any question you always wanted to be asked? And if so, what would be the answer?
A) Yes! The question I have always wanted to be asked is "If you were a super hero, what would be your kryptonite?". I never get that one! I have no idea what mine would be though. Probably chocolate. Only instead of it hurting me it would be more the situation where I am supposed to be fighting evil and am in a confrontation with the villian and saying my heroic monologue and then suddenly stop short and get distracted because of a piece of chocolate.
What are you reading at the moment/planning to read/waiting for to be released?
A) I am waiting for "Torment" to be released and "Beautiful Darkness". I really loved both of the first books in each of the series.
And finally: Is there anything you want to say to your/my readers?
A) Yes, I would like to thank everyone for their wonderful support and encouragement! I am overwhelmed at the great messages I have been sent. I am so grateful and I promise that as long as potential fans want me to keep writing, I will keep writing for as long as you want!
Thank you so much for the interview and to everyone reading!!!!