In the month of January, I'm doing a Twitter Interview (Twitterview) of many of the participants of the #BookMarket chat. These are people who come and generously share their wisdom week after week. The Twitterviews give them a chance to shine.
Friday, I had a chance to chat with Emma Newman. Emma is the author of three interesting projects: From Dark Places, a short story anthology published last year; 20 Years Later published in Hardcover in November and is the first of a trilogy, and Split Worlds which she is releasing in text and audio via her website. Emma is a busy author, mother, and avid tea drinker.
Here's the transcript:
ClaudiaC Before we get going - what kind of tea today? And can you hang for an hour? That's how long they're taking.
EmApocalyptic It's past tea-drinking time here, but it's been bog-standard PG Tips here today. An hour should be ok. My favourite tea is English Breakfast, for the record ;o)
ClaudiaC Here's a more serious question: Q.1 - What 5 words would you use to describe yourself?
EmApocalyptic To describe myself? I was hoping you'd ask that about my writing... Hrmmmmmm... Author, creative, anxious, clumsy, friendly
ClaudiaC Nice! :)
EmApocalyptic Another five: "Best consumed in text / audio form" - I don't photograph well!
ClaudiaC love this! :)
ClaudiaC Q.1b And your writing?
EmApocalyptic Writing: Dark, quirky, twisty, sometimes funny
ClaudiaC Where's the best place to start - YA? If so, how many books do you have in that project? how is it going?
EmApocalyptic Yeah, I'm... busy. Where do you want to start? :o) My debut dystopian YA novel '20 Years Later' has just been published in hardback, it's the 1st in a trilogy. I've written books 2 and 3, so as far as the writing goes, the trilogy has been finished. Well, the 1st drafts anyway.
ClaudiaC How fun! You said 'debut' so assume this is your first project? How has your publishing experience been so far?
EmApocalyptic It's my first novel, but my short story anthology was published before it by a quirk of publishing timelines. Years of being rejected, improving writing, finding a home and everything taking much longer than I thought it would I think that's a pretty average experience - if there is such a thing. I persevered and got there in the end. Wrote the 1st draft of '20 Years Later' 5 years ago. Took 4 years to find a home - why predicting trends is impossible
ClaudiaC It's fascinating b/c I know so few ppl who go this route now. So yea for you! :D & I'm thrilled it's working!!
@EmApocalyptic The waiting and rejections (re. 20 Years Later) were agonising, but ultimately resulted in a better book.
ClaudiaC Yea! :)
ClaudiaC What is Split Worlds, the one you're sharing via the Internet now?
EmApocalyptic Split Worlds. I put a new story online every week in text and audio format. A year and a day of weekly short stories up until the first novel in the series is released in November this year. That's urban fantasy.
ClaudiaC Is Split Worlds the same story as the YA Novel? Or is it the urban fantasy? Or is there a 3rd project?
EmApocalyptic Split Worlds is totally separate to the 20 Years Later trilogy. Different worlds, genre, characters, everything. And they are both unrelated to the short story anthology published last year called "From Dark Places" :o)
ClaudiaC That's a lot of worlds to carry around w you. Do you hope to focus on 1 or continue creating worlds?
EmApocalyptic Do you mean the Split Worlds stories? Yes, all my plan. Helps with world building as well as attracting an audience :) Well, 20 Years Later is finished creatively speaking, so it's all Split Worlds now. 2 year project, 54 stories and a five book series. Have written book 1 and 2/3rds of book 2 so far. Been building the world for 2 yrs in my head. And I have something brewing right at the back of my head for when Split Worlds is all written and finished :o)
ClaudiaC Great job!! I'm standing on my chair and cheering for you! Well done! Do you have stuck spots? moments?
EmApocalyptic I struggle with anxiety above everything else. In terms of writing and plot, no, as it's mostly character driven. And thank you for the cheering :o) Anxiety can cripple me sometimes, and I hate self-promotion #likeeveryoneelsedoes
ClaudiaC Well, seems like you wrangle well! :) What was the audio process like for you? Was it pro? or in home?
EmApocalyptic I'm a pro audiobook narrator now, but it all started when I podcasted 20 Years Later a chapter a week, pre-contract.
ClaudiaC Seems like a good time for: @EmApocalyptic Q.3 -If someone was totally dialed into what you do,what wld they understand abt you?
EmApocalyptic I got lots of amazing feedback, looked into how to set-up a pro-quality recording booth at home and went for it. I've recorded 4 novels for @iambikaudio and also the audio version of "From Dark Places" for them too.
ClaudiaC How cool! :) Do you do your own audio editing? Or get someone else to do it? #whereImstuck
EmApocalyptic That's a hard question. When people read fiction they interact with it, and thus everyone experiences it differently. Outside of the fiction, I'd like to think people can see that it is possible to do stuff with an anxiety problem. I do my own editing using Audacity. I invested in an excellent mic - that makes all the difference. My stepdad built me a
recording booth out of old wardrobe doors, I draped velvet over them :o) #recyclingrocks
ClaudiaC Boy that's smart. It's not something I would have every thought of #bookmarket. Do you enjoy it?
EmApocalyptic Back to Q3, I share my journey and am open about struggle, but never preach or tell people what they "should" do. Yuk.
ClaudiaC Sounds really helpful! RT @emapocalyptic: I share my journy&am open abt struggle, but never preach/tell ppl what they "shld" do.
EmApocalyptic I love it. The Split Worlds project means I can't do audiobooks atm, but I record a story a week to keep my hand in. Recording an audiobook is like climbing inside the novel. A totally different experience to just being a reader.
ClaudiaC Q.5 - Everyone has a super secret ninja skill. What's yours?
EmApocalyptic Have I missed Q4? Ninja skill.... I guess always being able to worry about something doesn't count?
ClaudiaC No sorry, I skipped it b/c it was about your writing. And you did a nice job with that.
EmApocalyptic Having an instinct for the shape of a story. That's my ninja skill. At its best, a physical sensation.
ClaudiaC Very nice! :) Thank you for this chance to get to know you better! Did we miss anything?
EmApocalyptic I don't think we could fit more in if we tried! Thanks for the opportunity to chat about it all!
ClaudiaC I hope you feel better! Thank you for sharing yourself with us! :) *applause* *applause* *applause*
EmApocalyptic Thank you for having me. Time for bed now :o) At least the fever stayed at polite levels throughout.