Friday, September 10, 2010

Emily White Interview

Whew. It's been a long week. No I'm not that upset by the Vikings loss last night, just a little worried about some major holes in the offense. We don't appear to have a single viable number one receiver. TE Visanthe Shiancoe is awesome, but a TE getting double covered is pretty much gonna get shut down. At least the Defense looked pretty good, even with several backups starting in the secondary.

Anyway enough about football. I would like to thank Emily very much for letting me feature her here all week. It takes a lot of courage to put your writing out there for others to judge. She deserves all our respect.

Now, let's get to know her a little better, the interview:

When did you first decide you wanted to be a writer?

I think I was born wanting to be a writer. In fact, my mother gave me and my sisters pretty names she could imagine gracing the cover of a book. Writing is just one of those things I can’t honestly remember NOT wanting to do.

How long have you been writing seriously?

I dabbled with writing (and considered myself serious) when I was about thirteen, but I didn’t really get into doing it consistently until a boyfriend in college ticked me off and I decided he’d make a good villain. I actually finished that book, but it’s been permanently shelved.

What is your favorite thing about writing?

Falling in love with my characters. I feel like each new book is the start of a relationship. The moment I earn my characters’ trust and they start sharing all their little secrets I feel like I’m staring into my child’s eyes for the first time. It’s amazing.

What is the most difficult part?

Accepting the fact that the first draft is going to be horrible. I keep wanting to go back and edit while writing. It slows me down considerably and I end up having a hard time finishing.

Did you ever play Dungeons and Dragons, the real pen and paper tabletop game?

Haha! Um…no. I honestly had never even heard of D&D until college and I must admit my friends didn’t look upon it very favorably. I probably would have loved it because I love all that role playing stuff, but alas, I never did get to experience it.

What about computer or video games based on Dungeons and Dragons?

I’m obsessed with Civilization. Does that count? How about CIV III Gold Edition? There are magical lands on that one! No?

My husband and I thought about getting into WoW, but I’m so intimidated by it. It seems like such a close-knit community of people who know exactly what they’re doing. I would feel like a dumb butt.

If you had to meet one of your characters in a dark alley who would you last want to meet, and why?

Ooh! This is a hard one! I’d probably have to go with the Kofra (leader of the evil people) because he’s not necessarily evil even though his society is. He honestly believes in what he’s doing and he’s really convincing. He’s one of those guys you’d hate to have to debate unless you didn’t mind questioning every last thing about yourself.

And which character would you want there with you for protection?

Without question, Malik. He’s probably the only person in the book who wouldn’t fall for the Kofra’s brainwashing. He’s one of those guys who just doesn’t care. He knows who he is, what he wants out of life, and doesn’t let anyone or anything else define him.

Can you tell us a little more about ELEMENTAL than what is revealed in your query? For example, a little about your characters, where the idea of them came from, what sparked your initial idea, and how you decided what genre it would be?

You are probably going to learn more about me than you wanted to if I answer this question, but okay.

ELEMENTAL lived as a pretty little fantasy for about 12 years in my head. I always loved fairies and imagined what it would be like if I actually was one. Even in my imaginings, fairies came from some far off planet, so I think it always wanted to be a sci-fi. I loved everything having to do with science, so I tried to think of how fairies COULD exist without all the magic and what they would be like. Even the ability to control the elements is explained scientifically. Actually, when I came up with that concept, it created a whole slew of problems that I think added a few nice plot twists. And yes, I’m being secretive.

When I decided to turn it into a book, the MC was still a lot like me. Now, though, the only thing we have in common is the blonde hair and blue eyes. Ella is a lot cooler than I could ever be. She’s also a little crazier than I would prefer to admit I am.

In fact, the whole idea around ELEMENTAL is completely different compared to how it started out in my head. The only things that stayed the same are the races of Auri (alien fairy race). They had always been split up into the Windbringers, Watergatherers, and Firestarters. Now, though, the story has been influenced by my time in the military and been morphed essentially into a military sci-fi with elements of magical realism.

Wow. That was a long answer. :o Sorry.

Are you working on any other projects right now? If so, could you tell us a little about them? If not, have you got any ideas marinating?

I’m working on two projects right now:

Hansel and Gretel is about a company (Gretel) that creates a community in Hansel Valley, Utah for its workers and their families. When the children start going missing, Sebastian is the only one who remembers they existed at all. There are zombies, dinosaurs, self-aware computer programs, and even some mention of Roswell.

Army Strong is a book I’m toying around with about my career in the Army. At this point I’m writing it as an autobiographical novel, but I’ve heard those aren’t entirely popular, so I may just write it for my family.

Is there anything else you’d like to add?

I just wanted to thank everyone again for all their help with my query. There’s no way I could have gotten it as good as I did without such great feedback.

Fun Random Questions for The End (I stole this interview idea from Jen at Unedited, though I made my own questions up). Which would you rather be?

Wielding a Lightsaber or a Katana? Lightsaber! I’d take that mind control gift, too. ;)

On a Freighter running from a Fallen Angel or stuck in a prison ship? On the Freighter, definitely. There are horrors in that prison ship I would never want to come across.

In the middle of a desert or the middle of the ocean? Desert. The whole vastness of the ocean has always terrified me.

Reading The Hunger Games trilogy or Writing The Lord of the Rings trilogy? Oh boy, can’t I have both? Actually, if I had written LOTR, I would have butchered it and that’s just not a nice thing to do. So I will happily take reading The Hunger Games.

An Elf or a Dragon? Hmm…a dragon. I’ve always wanted to be able to fly!

A Dwarf or a Hobbit? Hobbit! I used to have a crush on Frodo Baggins. :D Me too ... well, more of a brush (that's a bro crush)!

Thanks so much Emily, this has been great fun. Any other questions readers? Thoughts? Don't forget to visit Emily's blog and become a follower!


Christine Fonseca said...

Great interview! And Matt - you sound just like my hubby last night!

Vicki Rocho said...

Great interview! So nice to get a peek at someone 'behind the scenes'.

Have a great weekend all!

Bish Denham said...

Nice interview Matt. A brush on Frodo eh? Personally I wanted to be all over Strider.

Jared Larson said...

I love these interviews. Great read. Thanks goes to both of you. A katana or lightsaber? Matt, it's unfair to ask such impossible questions. They're both the definition of coolness.

Unknown said...

I was already following Emily's blog, but this was a great way to get to know her better.

Emily--I agree with you on the favorite part of writing. I love falling in love with my characters, too.

vic caswell said...

emily- too cute!! :P (my crush was on sam...:) ) it's great to hear about the developing and changing of the concept of ELEMENTAL!!! :)

Melissa Gill said...

Great interview Matt and Emily. It's so nice to get the know Emily and her work.

JE said...

I love Emily and her blog! She's so fun!

But 12 years? To story was in your head for 12 years? Wow. How did it finally feel to get it down on paper?


Dawn Ius said...

Awesome interview, Matt! Thanks.

Sarah Ahiers said...

it was only the first game. there's still plenty of time to rock the house.

Emily White said...

Thanks again, Matt! This was a lot of fun!

And Justine, I must admit that when I originally thought of ELEMENTAL, I had no inkling to turn it into a book. It was just supposed to be a cute little fantasy to enjoy. But then I thought, "hey this is cool!" and decided to write it down. :D

Christina Lee said...

Ha-well you answered my question about the Vikings!

Great interview--I like that she said: "Accepting the fact that the first draft is going to be horrible." Always hard for me and I keep wanting to revise, which, yes, slows me up!

Old Kitty said...

Thanks for the interview! I like that you would like to meet one of your evil characters because he's really just misunderstood!

Good luck Emily White with Elemental and with your querying!

Take care

Jayne said...

Oh I am so intrigued now by your book, Emily! Love your description of the Kofra and Malik. Great interview, Matt!

Anonymous said...

I played D&D. Yup, I was just that much of a geek. I was also TOTALLY hooked on the Baldur's Gate series. My wife hates even the mention of it.

Good luck with your query, Emily!

And...brush. *snarf* :)

Ted Cross said...

Hearing that her mother named her for a writing name made me wonder whether her middle initial is 'B'?

Emily White said...

@Ted--Nope, but my maiden name is Emily Dickinson. ;)

Colene Murphy said...

Awesome interview! and great answers to the random questions. totally agree on the freighter one. Prison ship sounds too scary.

Nicole Zoltack said...

Great interview. Love the last few choice questions... awesome!

Talli Roland said...

A BRUSH! Love it! :)

I know nothing about American football but I commiserate with your loss.

Great interview, Matt and Emily!

Sondrae Bennett said...

What a great answer to what your favorite thing about writing is!! I always fall in love with my characters but I've never thought of phrasing it quite that way before. Awesome interview!

Candyland said...

Superb interview skillz, Timmy. And I'm a dumb butt when it comes to WoW etc...too.

ali cross said...

Fun, fun interview! Thanks Matt!

S.A. Larsenッ said...

Informative interview, Matt. I have to add, though, are you really going to get me going about MR. Brett????

Lindsay said...

Great interview Matt. I'm more of a shoots Zombies girl than a D&D girl, but the cartoon series when I was little rocked :)

Unknown said...

Haha, great interview. I love reading about you both!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Emily, find a D&D group now! You're missing out on some fun.

LTM said...

great interview, thanks Matt! Falling in love and slowing down... the common threads. :D

D&D. oh lord~

DEZMOND said...

"a brush" :))))))

Jemi Fraser said...

Great interview! I love your LotR answer - totally agree :)

Matt - my nephew is a die-hard Vikings fan and feels your pain.

Lynda R Young as Elle Cardy said...

Great interview!! I LOVED the questions...and of course the answers :)