Hey all you readers and writers! Emma Michaels here to introduce our guest author of the day:
Hello Erica and welcome to The Writers Voice!
What would you like for readers to take away from your novel/novels?
Whatever aspect of the story speaks to them the most – whether it’s Mo’s struggle to define herself when everyone wants to do that for her, or what it means to be loyal to a friend, or an understanding of how complicated and messy families are, or the necessity of choosing your own path – different aspects of the story will resonate with different people, and that’s as it should be. Most of all, I want them to care about the characters and feel like the time they invested was well-spent.
What part of your first novel did you find hardest to write?
Verity’s burial. It was incredibly long and pokey and backstory-laden in its first draft. And its second draft. Also its third, fourth, fifth, sixth…you get the idea. I’ve always preferred revision to drafting, but in this particular instance, revising was painful. It was also absolutely necessary, both for the book and my growth as a writer – I learned pretty quickly there’s no place for laziness or self-indulgence in a book, so avoid putting it in there to begin with.
Was there ever a moment when you wouldn’t trade what you do as an author for the world? What was that moment for you?
I went to an event at a school in the south suburbs of Chicago, and as I was signing copies before the event started, a group of kids – girls AND boys – raced up to me and shrieked about how much they loved TORN, and how excited they were to meet me. I stunned, because that’s exactly how I feel when I meet certain authors. It was strange and wonderful to be on the receiving end of that sort of enthusiasm.
What makes you feel like you’re reading or have read a truly amazing book?
A sign of an amazing story is when I stay up until 4 am to finish a book. I usually go to be around 1, but I always read a few pages first. A really brilliant book keeps me up until dawn, and then I’m awful to be around the next day – but it’s totally worth it. As for what makes me feel that way, it’s a combination of engaging, well-drawn characters, a distinctive voice, and a smart, creative plot.
Is there one book that has had an impact on not only your writing, but on you personally?
I could never narrow it down to one book, but I will say that the two writers I find most inspiring are Madeleine L’Engle and LIbba Bray. L’Engle is best-known for A Wrinkle In Time, of course, but her memoirs, The Crosswicks Journals, are wonderful – all about the writing life and what it means to write fictional novels that are still very true. And Libba Bray’s work is incredibly varied and rich, and always distinctively her. I love her creativity, her compassion, her intelligence and her conviction. I study both of them not just to be a better writer, but a better person.
Tell us something most people don’t know about you!
When I was a teenager, I lied about having read The Lord of The Rings to impress a guy. To this day, I haven’t read it. Please don’t tell my agent – she’s a huge, huge LOTR fan!
Thank you for stopping by The Writers Voice!
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