Monday, August 17, 2009

Welcome special guest author Emma Lai!

Cate: Please welcome Emma Lai. Emma, will you please share a short bio with us?
Emma: My life has become very interesting this year. After finishing my comprehensives in November, I started looking for a job that would utilize my new degree in International Relations. However, the economy slowed down and then surprise, I turned up pregnant. My husband and I decided I should just go ahead and take the year off, enjoy being pregnant, and see where my writing took me. Now, here I am, a published author!

Cate: Interesting indeed! Many congrats! On all counts. My goodness, you’re busy.
Please tell us about His Ship, Her Fantasy and where it's available.
Emma: His Ship, Her Fantasy is available through The Wild Rose Press at

Here's the story blurb:
Ellie Woods is in love…with a ship. When an argument with the ship results in a bump on the head, she finds herself in the strong arms of Alastair. But who is he and where did he come from?
Alastair has loved Ellie from afar for years, but duty has kept him from revealing himself to her. When a grave threat reveals his true identity, he hopes that Ellie will choose reality over fantasy.

Cate: At what age did you discover writing and when were you first published? Tell us your call story.
Author: In fourth grade, we were assigned the task of writing a children’s book. Mine was called Glartian the Martian. It was a lot of fun to write, but when I tried my hand at more mature (high school romance) writing, I failed miserably. I didn’t try and write anything besides academic papers and poetry after that.
Last year, while studying for my comps, the urge to write possessed me and I started cranking out stories to entertain my husband and myself. My mother-in-law, who is familiar with the publishing industry, being a published author herself and friends of multiple published authors, encouraged me to submit. So, I did. The Wild Rose Press picked up my first submission and I’ve been moving forward ever since.

Cate: What a great story! I’m so glad your mother-in-law encouraged you. What genres does she write? Any other writers, published or not, in your family?
Emma: My mother-in-law is published in sci-fi/fantasy. However, she’s the only other person in my family who is published. But, my husband has been known to write me little excerpts every now and again.

Cate: Very sweet! Maybe you two could collaborate on a story.
Describe your writing in three words.
Emma: Fast-paced. Edgy. Thought-provoking. At least, these are the things I strive for. LOL!

Cate: Do you have a writing routine?
Emma: I did before I got pregnant. Between eating and napping, I try to get as much writing and promo in as I can.

Cate: “Baby brain” obviously hasn’t affected you!
How do you pick your character’s names?
Emma: For the Guardians, I tried to pick names with underlying and relevant meanings. For example…Alastair means Protector and he is a Shield, charged with protecting innocents. Their mates just named themselves.

Cate: What’s the most challenging aspect of writing? Easiest?
Emma: Right now, the most challenging aspect is finding time to write. Before I was pregnant, it was remembering to take time to eat, which is necessary to prevent mental fog.
The easiest aspect is coming up with story ideas. I have about 15 stories in various stages and a book full of story ideas.

Cate: Wonderful—a backlog of stories! Enough to keep you going between diaper changes and feedings. ;)
What’s the most rewarding aspect?
Emma: The most rewarding aspect for me is bringing characters to life and making readers want to be involved in those lives.

Cate: Do you feel as if the characters live with you as you write? Do they haunt your dreams?
Emma: LOL! My characters often tell me their stories in my dreams. It’s a challenge to remember everything. They are definitely very demanding people. If I don’t tell their story, or at least capture the outline, they bug me day and night.

Cate: Amazing, isn’t it, how fictional people can be more assertive than actual ones sometimes!
What’s the most interesting comment you have received about your books?
Emma: Since I write shorts…it’s definitely where’s the rest? Shorts are just a glimpse into the characters’ lives. It’s like meeting someone for the first time. If they tell you something interesting about themselves, you’re more likely to remember them and want to know more about them. I try to leave the reader wanting more.

Cate: Good strategy! I’m sure they’ll clamor for more after His Ship, Her Fantasy!
Who are some of your favorite authors and books? What are you reading now?
Emma: There truly are so many. I love C.S. Lewis, George Orwell, Lewis Carroll, Raymond E. Feist, and Steven Erikson. I follow dozens of romance authors, but I will always pick up Eloisa James, Lisa Kleypas, and Stephanie Laurens.
Right now, I’m not reading anything published. I’ve got a pile of TBR, but I’m trying to work on finishing the third story in the Mates of the Guardians series, do edits on an erotic Regency, and critique two stories.

Cate: What impact do electronic readers create on the bottom line for authors? Or in people/the environment in general?
Emma: I’m still evaluating the world of e-publishing, but as an author, nothing beats the sense of family and personal attention I’ve found with The Wild Rose Press. I think electronic reading material is a great boon to the environment…less paper out there. It’s also easier to carry multiple stories with you in a smaller space…makes packing easier!

Cate: I agree, TWRP has a great community of authors!
What's next for you?
Emma: His Hope, Her Salvation, the second short in my series is scheduled for release on December 16th. Before that, I’m having my baby sometime around the beginning of October. I’d like to finish Books 4 and 5 of my short series and the edits of my erotic Regency before then.

Cate: Very impressive!
Where can readers find you on the web?
Emma: I host author interviews on a weekly basis at my blog… I also blog about general writing topics every Tuesday at the Roses of Houston blog… Finally, I have a web page…

Cate: Is there anything you’d like to ask our readers, Emma?
Emma: Do readers prefer short stories, novellas, or full lengths and why?

Cate: Readers, Emma is giving away multiple books (to include reader’s choice of one of my TWRP books! Thanks Emma!) to random commenters throughout the posts she’s doing during the week... so start commenting. She'll pick a winner on Sunday, August 23rd around 7 am EST.


J.A. Saare said...

Hey Emma and Cate! Loved the interview. His Ship, Her Fantasy, sounds unique and very interesting! Can't wait to read it.

Sending well wishes for your expanding family!


Susan Macatee said...

Hi, Emma! This sounds like a great story.

As to your question, while I generally prefer full-lengths, because I like to live with a story I'm reading, getting immersed with the world and characters, but I have been reading a lot of short and novella lenghts lately, along with stories in anthologies, and find I like reading long, short and in between. LOL. I now often switch among them.

I've even written a few shorts and novella lengths of my own, after getting away from short stories for a number of years.

Emma Lai said...

Thanks for having me as a guest, Cate!

Emma Lai said...

Thanks so much, Jaime! Only 7 weeks to go!

Emma Lai said...

I like a little variety myself, Susan. Although until I get an eReader of some sort, I'm tending to stick to shorter for my eBook reads.

Cate Masters said...

My pleasure, Emma! Thanks for being my guest!
Length isn't an issue for me, I like any story that's written well, pulls me in and engages me with the characters.
I like the idea of a Netbook instead of an ereader. More versatile!

Emma Lai said...

I think I'm starting to lean that way as well...especially since my laptop is starting to act up.

Helen Hardt said...

Hi Cate and Emma! I love your philosophy on naming characters, Emma. And I just realized that the second in the series is a Black Rose as opposed to HSHF, which is Faery. Very interesting!

See you over at my blog ;).


Emma Lai said...

Thanks, Helen! Yes, I went Black and spicy with His Hope, Her Salvation.

Mary Ricksen said...

Hey Emma. I loved the book. When I forget that I am reading, you surely got me.

Jennifer Ross said...

Great interview, Emma and Cate. I like both novel-length and the shorter stories--it depends how much time I have to read! I find it next to impossible to put down a book I'm really into, so I'm very glad I found shorter stories that can carry me away as well. I have an ebook reader, so I can fill it up with all different lengths.

I expect His Ship, Her Fantasy will be in my next order run.

Emma Lai said...

What a sweet thing to say, Mary!

Emma Lai said...

You're a lucky woman, Jennifer! Thanks for the support.

Celia Yeary said...

Dearest Emma--my choice of reading length? Full length for a print, novella for pdf. I find it very difficult to read an entire novel off the computer screen, since I'm on the computer much of every day.I'm working on changing that, though but not by buying an e-reader. I'm buying a 10-in netbook, which does everything my full sized computer does, if I want it to, mainly to read ms--mine which I can edit, pdfs which I bought or won, and check mail, reply. Everything. It's ordered--can't wait to get it. Costs less than an e-reader and can do so much more.
I love the idea of your stories. and the baby? Please tell us when it comes! Grandmother Celia

Emma Lai said...

Thanks, Celia! Let us know how you like the netbook!


I prefer the longer length of book because if it is good I don't want it to end. congrats on your book and child.


Emma Lai said...

Thanks, Loretta!