Hey all you readers and writers! Emma Michaels here to introduce our guest author of the day:
Hello Inara and welcome to The Writers Voice!
Is there anything you’d like to go back one year and tell yourself?
That’s a big question. This has been a really emotional year for me—my first book hit the shelves, I had to transition from a full time day job to writing full time, and there were definitely some big ups and downs in the publishing world. I guess I would say the same thing I still tell myself: Change is inevitable. Be gentle with yourself. Cherish the people around you who fill your days with love.
Who are the writers who've inspired you the most?
I return a lot to David Eddings (a fantasy author) and Anne McCaffrey (sci-fi/fantasy). Their books inspired me to want to create magical worlds filled with clearly defined, larger-than-life characters. Eddings in particular is a master at creating unique characters; McCaffrey created people I wanted to live with, know, and be. I also have to mention Meg Cabot, because it was after reading The Princess Diaries that I became inspired to write YA. Meg is my hero.
Was there ever a time you felt like giving up? Why didn't you?
Somehow, my parents instilled in me what is probably an inappropriate sense of self-confidence. (LOL) When I don’t succeed at something right away, rather than giving up I tend to focus my attention on figuring out what I did wrong, so I can do it better the next time. I was like this when I was querying agents – the rejections became like a game, and I was determined to keep improving my writing (and my query letter!) so the next letter that hit my box would be a “please send more” rather than “thanks but no thanks.” The tough thing is, I do believe there are things in life you just can’t fix and make better. For example, in high school, I really wanted to be a singer, but I just didn’t have the talent. I took lessons and sung in the school choir, tried out for musicals and performance ensembles, but I never really got particularly good. Eventually, I shrugged and moved on, realized singing wasn’t my gift and that was okay. There’s power in the confidence to keep going and power in knowing when to quit. The hardest thing in the world is figuring out which way to go.
Who is one person in the past or present who you felt was truly visionary?
Martin Luther King, Jr. I have this quote from him on my desk, and it really guides the way I try to live my life: “I have also decided to stick with love, for I know that love is ultimately the only answer to mankind's problems. And I'm going to talk about it everywhere I go…For I have seen too much hate.”
J.K. Rowling and other authors are known for the ‘Easter eggs’ they hide in their books. Do you have any Easter eggs in your stories?
I’m afraid I’m not quite clever enough to do that – maybe someday when I get the writing part down, I’ll have room in my brain to plant a few inside jokes!
When you were growing up, what did you want to be?
A writer. Or a veterinarian. Or a mermaid. I still have hopes for that last one…
To all our readers out there, thank you for following The Writers Voice and happy reading!