Saturday, November 19, 2016

Author Interview: A Hell of a Ride with author Emma James

Welcome again readers, 

I love an interview that starts with a warning: 

Emma's writing contains adult situations which may offend and graphic violence, but it is one hell of a fictional ride. Strap yourself in. For mature aged readers 18 +. 

Now that we've got your attention, let me introduce Emma to you all,

Writing has been a part of Emma James' life for many years until she decided to take a leap into the self publishing world and see where that journey takes her.

Writing words on paper is as important as the air she breathes. There's nothing more satisfying to her than writing all day to bring to life amazing characters who will stay in your heart.

Emma writes in both adult contemporary romance with her Men Of Ocean Beach series and dark suspense romance ( with MC influence ) , with her Hell's Bastard series. She is very passionate about writing and enjoys the discipline needed to line all those ducks up in a row to get a book over the finish line and published.

Life is about finding that one thing that you know you can do well and living it.

It's never too late to find it.

Thanks Emma for dropping in this week, can you tell us a bit about you as an author?

Writing has been a part of my life for many years until I decided to take a leap into the self publishing world and play for real and see where that journey took me. In my early twenties I started typing away on a spanky new electronic typewriter, ( as I said many years) and thought up beachside romance stories. Nothing I would release now. All was very raw and probably naive. I do have a paranormal series I have plotted out into a seven book series and actually stole one of the characters names. I’ll tell you it was Text. I’ve been wanting to be brave for a very long time.

Writing words is as important as the air I breathe. There's nothing more satisfying to me than bringing a story to life and letting the characters work their way into the reader’s heart.

What are the hardest part of being an author?

Back in 2014 when I was self publishing my very first book, A Little Faith, there was a steep learning curve with anything to do with the whole process. It was like climbing a writer’s equivalent to Mt Everest. Being a housewife and mum to three kids at the time and all of a sudden having to learn the ins and outs of releasing a book was pretty intimidating. I am still learning and fine tuning parts of the writing and marketing process as we all are.

What do you enjoy most about being an author?

Putting words on paper and then rereading those words and reworking them until eventually I have something I am proud to release into the book world. I enjoy bringing characters to life and letting them talk to me. There’s something very satisfying about being able to tell a story that readers love as much as you do. I love it when they fall heavily for certain characters. That means I’ve done a good job. I particularly enjoy seeing who they cast in their mind for the main characters and sub characters.

What authors/books have had an influence on your writing?

I try to write as original a story as I can. I try to make my own mark. Every author I have ever read has given me a little push to break through my invisible barriers I had constructed and to give it a go for real. I am inspired by Colleen Hoover and J.K Rowling every day and in particular the many talented Australian authors who have blossomed and gone onto publishing contracts as well as holding their own ground in the self publishing world. These authors are smart. They learn to work the system to their benefit. They are in control of their books by setting up deals that will work for them. They aren’t letting the publishing world control them as much as it used to.

Do you ever get Writer’s Block? If so, how do you deal with it? Do you believe there is such a thing?

I certainly believe there is such a thing as writer’s block. Touchwood I currently have so many ideas for stories filling my notebooks that I have the beats down to get me started. Nothing is easy about writing. Words don’t always flow naturally, but when I am having trouble expressing myself, I will go lay down on my bed, shut my eyes and just think. Let my thoughts get calmed and I play about inside my head with some scenarios and see where that takes me. It’s not writer’s block, it’s more getting my head around a scene that I need to get right. Then I grab for the notebook and get my thoughts noted down. Then I hit the keyboard again. For me personally, I need down time. I can’t write for ten hours straight. What works for me is about five hours at the keyboard, Monday to Friday. I give myself a weekend off to do other things related to releasing a book and that helps me.

Do you have a particular place that you like to write?

I wouldn’t say I like to write here, but it is my only choice at the moment. I don’t have a laptop, I have a desktop and it is in my middle man child’s room. I write while he is at school. I have been promising him for 5 books now that I will make it out of his room. He is very patient, most of the time.

Do you have a favourite time of day to write?

10.00am to 3.00pm mostly. Sometimes I may start earlier and finish earlier. It gives me time to get the housework done before I start.

How do you like to reach your readers?


Book signings are fabulous and they have really worked for me. Social media I chat on and answer PMs at all hours of the day/night.

Can you tell us about your latest book? (is it part of a series, genre)  
Warped is part of the Hell’s Bastard series and book # 2. It will be a five book series, at this stage. Wrenched, book # 1, put me on the reader map and I am ever grateful I took a chance on the dark romance genre. I really enjoy delving into this side of my writing. It really is a wonderful challenge walking that fine line between going too dark and giving the reader a ride they want another ticket for. I get the most excited PMs about my characters in this series. I like to bring some light among the dark and I do that with Miss Catherine. She is Cajun and she has her own way of talking. I find it such fun to write and gave her a much bigger role in Warped.

Warped is as the title says, very warped. The hunt is on for Whisper and Edge isn’t letting anything or anybody stand in his way. He has his own hurdles to get over and he does. He teams up with Miss Catherine and together they make the most unlikely duo, but it works. It gave me a chance to show another side to Edge and to really cement in the readers mind how awesome Miss Catherine is. Whisper has her own problems and she is such a strong female lead. I adore writing her. I put her through a lot and she just rolls with the punches. She’s a survivor. Contorted is the book I am most excited to write in this series as I know what is gonna happen and it is going to be very contorted and action filled with a healthy side order of alpha men. HB series is very intense and I love the reviews coming in where the reader writes down all their emotions whilst reading the books. I want readers to feel and take a ride with me.

I also write in adult contemporary romance with the, Men Of Ocean Beach series. Both series are very different to each other. Men Of Ocean Beach has the ‘feels’ and the laughs. My reader audience has thankfully taken to both series. The ladies in my closed group who hadn’t yet delved into dark romance, gave Wrenched a shot and found they really do like this side to my writing and since branched out into the dark romance genre.

How long did it take you to write the book?

Warped had a bit of a delay as my eldest son passed away unexpectedly, he was nearly nineteen. I stopped writing for three months. It should have taken around 4 months to write and be released.

Do you have a favourite character/topic in your work?

I adore all the men of Ocean Beach. I simply can’t choose a fave. Miss Catherine from the HB series is so much fun to write. Edge is complicated and alpha and Whisper is smart and strong. Simply too hard to choose a fave character. I will tell you, Keanu from Men Of Ocean Beach series ( MOOB ) has a great deal of me in him.

What was your process? Did you plot out the entire book, or just let the storyline flow? Do you write in chronological order?

I am a PLOTTER. Man, do I plot. I plot six months in advance for a book I have scheduled to release in the near future. I can be plotting in notebooks three or more books at a time. I choose music early and have spotify playlists. HB series has a deep plot over the course of the series. I have to plan it out or I could potentially box myself in. I need to know what is roughly going to happen in all the books. I choose titles in advance for all books in a series. I am a little OCD with my writing process. Only with my writing. Put me down for a heavy plotter. I am flexible as I am writing if I think the story is starting to talk to me in a different way and I will go with that, but the outline is definitely in place for a whole series, if not more. I do write in chronological order.

Do you have plans for further instalments?

I have so many plans. I have spin offs, of course already outlined. I have stand alones for certain characters. Some novellas planned.

Do you have a plan for your next book?


Contorted, Hell’s Bastard # 3 had to be planned so I knew to drop what seeds in Warped. Suspense romance I simply can’t wing it. It has to be planned out so I get everything right for the finale.

Ebooks vs Physical books? Do you have a preference when reading?

I have a house full of paperbacks and I have a Kindle full to the brim of Ebooks. I mix it up on a weekly basis. I prefer a paperback as the battery doesn’t run out, but my shelf space in my house is no longer available. I am waiting for my dream of my own office space and three walls of floor to ceiling shelves where everything can be neat and orderly. I love paperbacks for their smell. Yes, I am a new book sniffer and I am proud of it. My daughter taught me to appreciate a cover. I run my hand over it, feeling the work that has gone into it. Can’t do that with an Ebook. They both have good things going for them especially for a self published author who can’t get a book in a bookstore but we can get it onto an ereader in the tap of a finger.

Self-publishing vs traditional publishing? What are your thoughts? Do you feel that the industry is changing?

The industry has been changing for a long time. Many self published authors are really shaking up the system by selling beyond their wildest dreams and making it onto the bestseller lists. I think there is a happy medium in there somewhere. More and more self published authors are getting traditional publishing deals and also still writing and releasing self published books under the rules of their contract. We all want to be able to say we are traditionally published as it takes a lot of the work away, but it can take a certain amount of control to. I would love to be traditionally published and also have the freedom to self publish. I like to be in control of my work and release dates. Some authors get to have the best of both worlds. Self published is all hard work and learning how to market and promote yourself. Everything about self published is all on you the author and making all your hard work float in the ocean of new releases and hopefully sell. You might get a traditional publishing contract, doesn’t mean your book will have great sales. You hope it will but it doesn’t guarantee anything.

And finally, what advice would you give to aspiring authors?


Be your own worst critic. Use beta readers. Don’t take short cuts with plot. Give your characters a real voice. Make your work something you are proud of. This author gig is hard work. Plain and simple. You want to be able to make back all your professional costs and the rest is icing. You may not be able to support yourself for a couple years as a self published author, you might be an overnight success and you might unfortunately have trouble finding your feet, either way we are all working towards that goal, that dream of having our work read. We work for months maybe years for nothing, until we release that book. Don’t give up, but learn to listen to constructive criticism. Learn to be a better writer. Soak up any advice authors are putting up on their web sites. I read J.A. Huss’s author postings all the time and I listen to what she has to say. Be professional on social media. Stay away from drama. Don’t be a drama-lama. The way you present yourself is the way people will perceive you. You sometimes have to earn the right to get onto readers author lists because there is only so much time in their reading day. So much money each month allotted to purchasing books for their enjoyment. Make yours count and be one they want to throw onto their monthly purchases. You may want to follow the ever changing reading trends. Be observant and stay current with what is going on around you. Be brave and be different. There is so much advice authors can give aspiring authors but it all comes down to hard work and determination to succeed. You have to have passion. Don’t be writing to make a buck, write because you are passionate about your story and then work hard to be heard.


The Hunt Is On.

WHISPER

I was never meant to be free.
Evil has taken from me again.
I’ve lost the two people I’ve grown to love because another of Hell’s bastards has staked his claim on me and stolen me away.
What gives another human being the right to take another’s innocence and try to destroy their soul?

EDGE

We were never meant to meet.
Our lives collided and spun out in different directions.
Now it’s a race against time.
Time she doesn’t have.
This is on my head.
I f*cked up.

What happens when a Soulless Bastards MC enforcer is on the hunt for the f*ckers involved in taking the sweet and wild girl?

No Mercy happens.


You can connect with Emma here:

FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/emmajamesauthor?ref=hl

TWITTER: @emmajamesbooks

GOODREADS: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8415027.Emma_James

AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE: http://www.amazon.com/Emma-James/e/B00NH7AVGG/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_pop_1

NEWSLETTER SUBSCRIPTION (FREE) : http://facebook.us11.list-manage.com/subscribe?u=bdbd5d58f4f50eecc6a604947&id=e88c9e2a77

CLOSED GROUP – EMMA JAMES’ SISTERHOOD : https://www.facebook.com/groups/763744350386831/

and you can find her books here:


Ok, time to take a breath! A great interview again this week and I thank you all for strapping in and coming for the ride 

If you'd like to be interviewed for this blog, or have a great story to tell, please drop me a line. 

Until next week guys!

Cheers

Amanda


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