Interview with New York Times ad USA Today bestselling author Emma Chase, the creator of my favorite funny hero Drew Evans. Her latest book is Sustained (The Legal Briefs #2). Click HERE for purchase links and my review.
Can you tell us more about yourself as the person behind the author persona?
Well, I’m married with two kids – trying to find that balance between writing and family time is a constant, on-going dance.
I’m very unorganized – with my papers, my emails. I go through fazes when I’m super organized and on top of everything…for a few days. Then it all slips away.
Fall is my favorite time of year, I like to jog on the treadmill and drive in the car with music blasting and I love to cook new, different recipes – when I have the time.
At what point in life you decided to become an author and how did you go about in pursuing that?
I was twelve when I decided I wanted to be a writer. I was one of those kids who always had a book in her hand – often two or three – and by then, I was known amongst my friends as the storyteller (usually ghost stories). The love of writing stayed with me my whole life. I was on the school paper in high school, took creative writing courses in college. After my children were born, I stopped writing for a while, but once they were in school, I took a course at the local college just for my own enjoyment.
After 50 Shades exploded, I started thinking about self publishing or publishing with a small independent publisher. By this time I had already written Tangled and was half-way through Twisted. I researched how to write a query letter online and started sending the Tangled manuscript out to publishers, just to see what would happen. After a few months, I had three offers to publish it.
How long on average do you take to write a book? Can you tell us more about your writing process?
Each of the Tangled Series books were written in under 3 months. I’ve found the Legal Briefs Series have taken me longer, and there’s a few reasons for that. Overruled, Sustained and Appealed are a bit more complicated emotionally – which I didn’t actually expect when I first conceived them. Also, now that I have a few male POV books in my stable, it’s important to me that the guy’s voices are distinct – that they sound like men, but not too much like each other. Sometimes it takes me a few tries before I’m really comfortable in one of my guy character’s heads now.
My writing process: I come up with an idea – and the idea usually starts with one pivotal scene – and I fill in the before and after from that point. I answer questions like – Who is this character, How did he/she become who they are, What does he/she want, Why does he/she want it, What does he/she have to do to get it? And from there I have my story. I usually outline about half the story, but my outlines are so detailed – filled with dialogue notes – I eventually give up, because it’ll take less time to just actually write the book. Some of the best ideas for scenes and characters come while I’m writing the book – once I really have a feel for the character’s voice.
Are you interested in writing a different genre?
I would love to write a horror story one day. Something ghosty or serial killerish. Or maybe a horror story with romantic elements.
As a reader, do you read the same genre you write or a more broader selection?
Broader. I’ll read anything and I love almost everything I read. Romance, horror, biographies, historical fiction…my only rule is I can’t read anything too sad, angsty or heavy while I’m writing. It’s really hard to write funny when you’re crying over the last chapter you read, lol.
Do you read reviews? How do you handle negative criticism?
I do read reviews – though I try not to when I’m in the middle of writing a new book – because, good or bad, they can mess with your mojo. But I find reviews kind of fascinating – that people can literally read the exact same words, yet have two completely different reactions to them.
My goal for all of my stories is to entertain – make readers giggle and smile and swoon and sigh. And it’s disappointing when that doesn’t happen. But, it’s also par for the course. For any author – some people are going to love what you write and some really aren’t. In the end, I’m just grateful that someone has taken the time to read and review my story.
Now let’s do something more fun.
What is the weirdest gift you’ve ever received from a fan?
If you could jump in your book and takeover a character’s life for a day, who would it be and what would you do?
Kate Brooks-Evans. I would take the day off of work and do anything Drew Evans wanted to do 😉
In a world plagued by zombies, you and another survivor stumbled upon a hoard of hungry zombies. What would you do to survive?
Jesus!! Well, I would channel Sarah Conner and become a badass, I guess. But I wouldn’t sacrifice my fellow survivor, if that’s what you’re asking. No point in surviving if you have to burn out your own humanity to do it.
Thank you so much Emma for taking your time answering the questions!
THANK YOU!! 🙂
By day, Emma Chase is a devoted wife and mother of two who resides in a small, rural town in New Jersey. By night she is a keyboard crusader, toiling away the hours to bring her colorful characters and their endless antics to life. She has a long standing love/hate relationship with caffeine.
Emma is an avid reader. Before her children were born she was known to consume whole books in a single day. Writing has also always been a passion and with the 2013 release of her debut romantic comedy, Tangled, the ability to now call herself an author is nothing less than a dream come true.