Thursday, February 24, 2011

Emma Lai in the Author Spotlight

Cate: Please welcome Emma Lai. Emma will you please share a short bio with us?
I like a challenge. First, I entered the male-dominated field of engineering. Then, I expanded my understanding of the world by studying international relations. Next came starting my own consulting business followed shortly by getting pregnant. Finally, my husband dared me to devote myself to writing. (He runs the consulting company now.) 
Writing keeps me sane. The characters demand their stories be told and nag incessantly until I comply. The characters are very insistent about me remaining faithful to their individual adventures. As a result, I write a range of genres and levels of heat.
Cate: Tell us about Twice is Not Enough and where it's available.
Emma: The idea for Twice is Not Enough came to me during one the chats held by the editors of The Wild Rose Press. One of the Scarlet editors mentioned she hadn’t seen enough voyeuristic stories and another said Regencies were hot. I combined the two and Twice was born.
Click here to buy it from The Wild Rose Pres.

Cate: Very cool. Please tantalize us with a story blurb or excerpt.
After several disastrous engagements, Lady Minerva Peters is an expert at suppressing her own needs. Only in the darkness of night does she give in to her wanton desires with a fantasy lover.
In the middle of a crowded ballroom, she learns her father is not yet ready to let her fade into spinsterhood. Humiliated, she ducks into a dark alcove only to find out she's not alone. Her hiding spot is occupied by a captivating stranger. Before she can escape, the two become voyeurs to another couple’s sexual rendezvous. The atmosphere heats up and so does her body, especially with the tempting offers whispered in her ear. 

Will Minerva deny her needs once again or will she embrace the anonymity of their seclusion and finally explore her basic impulses and the startling attraction to the compelling mystery man?
Cate: So sexy. Can you tell us why we're going to love your hero?
Emma: He knows what he wants and goes after it.
Cate: Tease us with one little thing about your fictional world that makes it different from others.
Emma: I like to think the voyeuristic library scene makes the story original.
Cate: What's next for you?
Emma: I’m desperately trying to finish a full-length book. Though I’m not sure which one. I have a contemporary erotic and a young adult sci-fi/fantasy in the works. (I know. Opposite ends of the spectrum.)
Cate: What inspired you to draft your first story?
Emma: My husband. He loves to read. So, I wrote him a quick story, which is how His Ship, Her Fantasy, also available from The Wild Rose Press, was born.
Cate: Love that! Do you have a writing routine?
Emma: Write whenever I can. On the days, I’m able to have a routine, I check my email, visit blogs and then settle in to write—music or movie on in the background, coffee or tea at hand.

Cate: Where can readers find you on the web?
Emma:  Website:
Facebook: EmmaLaiWrites
Twitter: @EmmaLaiWrites
Cate: Is there anything you’d like to ask our readers?
Emma: What’s the one thing guaranteed to ruin a book for you?
Cate: Readers, Emma is giving away a book to a random commenter... so start commenting. She'll pick a winner on Sunday, February 27th and announce the winner here.
Thanks so much for being my guest Emma!  Best of luck with all your projects.


Cate Masters said...

Welcome Emma! I loved your question, and look forward to others' answers. As a writer, I can't help noticing style as I read, so poor writing (and editing!) ruins it for me.

Sandra Koehler said...

Great post, Emma, and great question. The thing that ruins a book for me is the ending. If I am disappointed in the ending and it falls flat--either the characters did something stupid or the excitement in the plot just wasn't there--I'm ready to toss it and never read anything by that writer again. Alison Chambers

P.L. Parker said...

I reiterate Sandra's comment - Great Post. Ruin a book - the "rides into the sunset" guy. I want happy endings, I want to be entertained. Between you and me, I never read nonfiction.

Maeve Greyson said...

Great post Emma & Cate! What ruins a book for me? If the hero and heroine don't "speak" like they should. For example: If I'm reading a regency historical - I don't want the hero to come out with a phrase plucked from present day. That pulls me out of the story in a heartbeat.

Anonymous said...

Enjoyed the interview. What ruins a book for me? Miles of narative, stinted conversation, and misspelled words! They jump out at me.

Selena Fulton

Skhye said...

Hi, Emma & Cate. Love your header/wrapper, Cate! And good luck on finishing that novel, Emma. It's tough with a baby. Just plod forward.

I've read about 150 books since November. There are three books I couldn't read... I just stopped. One story had no goals, motivation, or conflict to support the heroine's choices.(Absolutely, mind-boggling since it was published!) The other two were simply dull from all the sterile golf-narration (Telling). In other words: this happened, that happened, and then this happened. I can forgive typos and slip ups in character voice/dialogue that obviously are there to make the reading experience easier for the reader. But don't make me snore. :) I guess that would put me in the same group as Cate--easily turned off by an author's style.

Stephanie Burkhart said...

Emma & Cate, thanks so much for a great interview.

What ruins is a book for me is if the characters don't come across as authentic or true to themselves. A secondary ruin - poor editing.

Your book sounds really interesting and I enjoy a good regency.


Maria Zannini said...

Hiya, Emma! So nice to meet you!

I've been on a Regency kick for the past month, devouring them like hotcakes. It's not a genre I would ever write, but I like reading them because they're so deliciously foreign to my world view.

As for what would ruin a book for me, I can't really say it's just one thing. Info dumping, lack of plot, TSTL characters. Any one of those could ruin it.

PS I love that you wrote a story for your husband. Lucky guy.

Vonnie Davis ~ Romance Author said...

Great post. I'm intrigued by your library scene. Hmmm...surely my Kindle can handle one more book. ;)

Book spoilers for me are head hopping, paragraphs and paragraphs of emotional angst (makes me want to say, "Enough already! Put on your big girl pants and deal with it!)and a rambling, poorly constructed plot.

Paty Jager said...

Hi Emma and Cate! Fun interview!

The thing that ruins a book for me is not feeling a connection to the main character in the first chapter.

Tarah Scott said...

I adore Regencies. I've been reading them since I was a kid. An erotic Regency sounds fabulous!

Sarah Grimm said...

Hi Cate and Emma!

What ruins a book for me? A lot, and I mean lot, of tension that keeps you on the edge of your seat, only to have the climax of the book wind up totally anticlimactic. I can't stand that. You're reading along and you just can't wait to get there because you know it's going to be fantastic and... it isn't. The story falls flat.


Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

What a lovely cover, Emma. Good luck with your book.

Mariposa Cruz said...

Great interview ladies! Characters that are either too good to be true or completely flat ruin a good story.

Emma Lai said...

Thanks for letting me visit, Cate! I'm happy with all the responses. Sorry for my delinquency. I had a sick, sick baby yesterday and all he wanted/needed was for mommy to cradle him in her arms all day and into the night.

Emma Lai said...

My many things can ruin a book.

Cate, I'm with you on style and poor editing. I've stopped reading certain publishing lines because of poor editing.

Sandra a.k.a. Alison and Patsy, the worst thing about a bad ending? The fact you've read the entire book only to have it fall flat.

Maeve, nothing is more jarring than hearing a historical character say something modern. (I hope I didn't do this in Twice.)

Anonymous, I'm not much for narratives and long dialogues with no purpose either.

Emma Lai said...

Skyhe, it amazes me what gets published sometimes. With my time constraints, I've finally learned to put down bad books.

Thanks StephB. I think one of the advantages of writing shorter stories is it's easier to maintain the character's character, at least for me. I have so many wips that I have to go back and reread each story before I work on it again so that my character stays true.

Thanks Maria. Hubby gets lots of stories. I'm just glad others out there get to read them as well.

Emma Lai said...

LOL Vonnie! Head hopping definitely drives me crazy. I don't like having to go back to read the previous paragraph to figure out if I missed something.

Hi Paty. I've put down many a book because the characters portrayed by the blurb just didn't do it for me.

Tarah, I too have been a fan of Regencies for decades.

Howdy Sarah. Nothing worse in an erotic romance than lots of tension building with no climax. Hehe.

Emma Lai said...

Thanks Susan/Kelley though all credit for the cover goes to Angela Anderson.

Mariposa I like a character with flaws. I don't think anyone can accuse me of writing too-good-to-be-true heroes or heroines.

Linda Morris said...

Great post! Your book looks great. As for what ruins a book for me, it's the infamous To Stupid To Live heroine (or hero, for that matter). If characters do absolutely dumb things as a contrivance to move the plot in a certain direction, it makes me crazy!

Cate Masters said...

Aw, poor baby! I hope he's better too (and you were able to get some rest!)

Emma Lai said...

Too funny, Linda. Yes, a Too-Stupid-To-Live character is hard to read.

Emma Lai said...

Well, his fever is gone and he's sleeping longer than thirty minutes at a time. So, I guess we're on the road to recovery. :)

Historical Writer/Editor said...

Hello, great post. :) What i don't like are bad endings. -laura

Margaret Tanner said...

Hi Emma,
Great interview. My pet hate is when there isn't a Happily Ever After ending.



Emma Lai said...

Margaret and Laura, nothing's worse than a bad ending.

Emma Lai said...

And the winners are...Patsy and Laura. (I decided to give away two copies since there were so many comments.) Shoot me an email at EmmaLaiWrites @ to collect your copy.

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