After enduring his nagging for weeks, Emma has graciously agreed to be interviewed by everyone's favorite insect, the GLUG (Ginormous Lime Green Unusual Gnat.) So get a cup of coffee and settle in--you'll be laughing your head off soon.
The GLUG: Hello! Welcome to my new television show, I am the GLUG. Today our guest is world renowed romantic suspense author Emma Sanders. HELLLOOOO!!!
The GLUG: Tell me about yourself.
I work full time in criminal law, but my passion is writing. I’ve been married for fourteen years to my high school sweetheart, who has always been my biggest support post. We are not only working on my career as a writer, but also in our collision repair shop.
The GLUG: Tell me about your writing style.
My writing style…Well, sometimes it’s polka dotted, and sometimes plaid. Sometimes it wears boots and sometimes it’s sad. In my office, books and papers are strewn all about with references I can’t live without.
Oh, okay, I’ll be serious here. I write romantic suspense, so my romance always has some type of mystery. I tend to gravitate toward adventurous heroes. In my first novel, the hero was a race car driver, in my second a DEA agent who loved to cook and my third loves extreme sporting. They’re also usually intense, charming, or both. I love to utilize setting as a character and write about everyday, but beautiful places.
The GLUG: What inspires you?
Life in general. Someone will tell me something that happened to them and I’m immediately thinking of ways I can make it into a story. Sad, but true. The thing is, I hate telling stories when I’m talking but there’s a part of me that just has to be creating a (fictional) life for someone else, and I can do that in my writing.
The GLUG: Do you think I'm cute?
Uh…well, you have this certain character about you. You’re cuter than a fly. Or a gnat. But not near as pretty as a butterfly.
The GLUG: Can I come to your house?
Only if you want my cats to chase you, torture you, then eat you.
The GLUG: When did you decide you wanted to be a writer? How long have you been writing?
I’ve wanted to write since as long as I can remember. I wrote my first story when I was nine after watching the movie Girls Just Want to Have Fun a gazillion times. I wrote a remake of that story, basically. As children, my sister and I “scripted” our own stories and acted them out. I’ve always loved to read, and the desire to write just seemed intrinsic to me. My mom used to share her romance novels with me when I was young. It’d probably be illegal to do that now.
The GLUG: What are the biggest challenges you face as a writer?
Time and energy. After working all day, my brain is in a fog and it’s hard to get motivated to do anything writing related. Sometimes it’s easy to convince myself that this life I have (the mundane, unfulfilling job) is what I’ve got and I must live with it. It’s also easy to get into a mindset that tears you down. Ah but see, that’s why it’s a challenge. Challenges must be overcome.
The GLUG: What do you enjoy most about writing?
When everything is going well and the words just flow without struggle. When I know it’s going in the right direction and I think…”Geez, I’m a wonderful writer! I can’t believe I came up with this all on my own!”
The GLUG: What do you dislike most about writing?
The opposite. The struggle with finding the words, the story idea, the place it’s supposed to go. Finding the time. Yes, that used to be a stupid excuse, but the way things are in my life right now, time and energy are my biggest obstacles, and it’s what I dislike about writing. Because if I didn’t want to write, I wouldn’t have to worry about time or energy. I could waste it doing something else, right?
The GLUG: Do you have a writing schedule?
Not lately, which is something I’m going to get back on. I usually write when in the evenings after work, on my lunch break and on weekends when I can, I can, pretty much everyday. Those days, I wouldn’t beat myself up if I didn’t write, because I knew I would get back to it and make up for it. Lately, it’s an effort, and I’m working on getting back into the swing of things.
The GLUG (beaming): Do you really think I'm cute?
You’re getting cuter the more time I spend with you. The way your wings flap in that certain way…
The GLUG: What do you enjoy in your spare time? What are your hobbies? Collections?
I love to read, explore, watch movies, spend time with my hubby and with family and friends. (We love to get together and play dominoes when we can). I love to do craft type activities such as scrapbooking and I love taking pictures. I occasionally enjoy going to a karaoke bar and just watching people sing (especially my dad, who is now a karaoke fiend). I love the outdoors and to discover new adventures. If I could go to Colorado every weekend and hike through the mountains, I would. I recently discovered the joy of skeet shooting (I beat a few men in a contest). Oh, and I love to drink wine.
Collections? Well, I used to collect tea pots, but haven’t done that in a while. I should start doing that again. I guess you could say I collect books.
The GLUG: Are you a reader as well as a writer? What do you enjoy reading?
I love to read, so much that I could let it intrude on my writing time. I enjoy reading just about anything, including non-fiction. Romance, of course, as long as it isn’t the mushy romance where they fall in love in the second chapter. Mysteries, women’s fiction, mainstream novels.
The GLUG: What is one piece of advice you'd like to share with other writers?
Oh, I love to give advice if someone asks me. But one piece of advice? Hmm…I’d have to say to not let yourself get discouraged with your pursuit of writing, but also to allow yourself some downtime, away from writing. Just as you would take a vacation in your full time job, allow a vacation from writing once in a while.
The GLUG: What's your dream vacation?
A week or two in Hawaii.
The GLUG: Can I go?
Well, you could, but you’d either get squished in my luggage, some terrified woman on the plane would swat at you and eventually kill you with that magazine all airlines carry, or (if you rode on the wings) you’d get squashed by something else or the wind would be so terrible you’d flutter to who knows where.
The GLUG: Who is your biggest supporter? How does he/she support you?
My husband. He believes in me, gives me the space and quiet time I need (and it’s not because he just likes to watch TV… it’s not!), and he brainstorms with me (after much caterwauling from me).
The GLUG: What frustrates you about writing?
Having those brilliant ideas come to me at work when I can’t sneak online and send myself an email.
The GLUG: Why did you decide to write in this genre?
That’s an easy one. I loved reading romance, and knew I wanted to eventually make things work out for two people. But I always thought I’d go with contemporary romance until I got infatuated with Sandra Brown and her romantic suspense novels. I became a romantic suspense junkie and knew I’d never be happy writing anything else. Not only is the “how” of falling in love a mystery, but the stuff that happens in a suspense, those clues you have to solve, are what I love!
The GLUG: How did Holding Fast come to you? One Wrong Move? Tell me about the writing process of those novels.
The premise of Holding Fast actually came to me probably ten years before it was complete. I pretty much invent characters before I have a plot, and I had the two characters and their back stories worked out in my head long ago. Back then, race-car heroes were not hot, and I thought they were (laughing.) I wanted to do something different. Unfortunately, by the time I finally decided to get serious about writing it and someone finally accepted, race-car heroes are everywhere now. But the idea…I worked out the characters and the plot eventually followed.
In One Wrong Move, the heroine was already decided. She was a secondary character in Holding Fast, so I just had to create her hero and plot. After a long talk session with her, she told me her ideal man and ideal situation. No, really, it took some brainstorming. Characters usually always come first for me, but it happened, and it was a lot easier the second time around. Scenes would come into my mind and I’d patch them later, piecing them into my novel like a puzzle.
The GLUG: Do you have any tasty leaves I can eat? I'm really hungry.
I have some catnip. Will that work?
The GLUG: What message do you want your reader to receive?
A message? I want my reader to immense himself/herself in the book and enjoy it so much that he/she buys everything I ever write. I want them to experience the feelings of greatness that I experience when I read my favorite novels, over and over again. I want them to eagerly await my next book like I do my favorite author. I want them to enjoy a moment of pleasure as they unwind from the stresses of everyday life.
The GLUG: What's the favorite response from a reader you've ever gotten?
It was exciting to dread my first review only to receive a recommended read.
The GLUG: How do you continue to find inspiration?
Writing friends. Without them, I don’t know what I’d do. Sometimes, the writing world is lonely and scarce. Or at least, it feels that way. When you put your heart into your blog, for instance, and only get 2 comments a month, it can be a bummer. It’s easy to ask yourself, “Why bother?” Or when you wait and wait to hear back from a potential agent only to get a reject, it’s easy to sometimes wonder why you do this. I could be gardening! Or planning my next meal! Or…something!
Of course, deep inside me, I find self-motivation. I’m usually very motivated and rarely need outside sources to inspire me when I’m absorbed in something I love. I do it because I love it. I enjoy it.
The GLUG: What are your plans for future work?
More stories, of course!
The GLUG: What do you hope to accomplish with your writing career?
I hope one day to quit my day job so I can write full time.
The GLUG: What advice would you have for aspiring writers?
Don’t give up! I know, it’s long been said over and over again, but it really is true. If you love what you’re doing, keep doing it. Don’t do it for money, fame, or success. Do it because you love it and can’t imagine yourself doing anything else.
The GLUG: What's the one book you'd love to write but could never publish?
I don’t know. I guess if I really loved to write a book that much, I’d try to get it published.
The GLUG: If I turn to the left, do I look greener than on my right side?
A little, but it could be that large zit on your cheek.
The GLUG: Am I your favorite insect?
Of course you are!
Check out Emma's blog at www.emmasanders.blogspot.com for more about this wonderful author!