I had the pleasure of interviewing Emma Michaels, whose debut novel The Thirteenth Chime will be released on August 13, 2010. The Thirteenth Chime is a YA fantasy novel about a mysterious clock with a hidden power. For more information on Emma or her book, visit her website or her blog.
About Your Book:
Where did you come up with the concept?
The concept came from several ideas that I had since coming to Washington State. I love it here - it is so beautiful and green, yet there is water everywhere. You could step outside one day and write a book and then the next, go out to the exact same area and have a completely different yet wonderful idea. On the night in question, there was a storm hitting the area where I live and it had knocked out the power. We went next door to share a few candles and the storm raged outside. Suddenly, the howling of the wind died down and for a moment there was silence. Then the antique grandfather clock in the house began to chime. The sound echoed throughout the house and it made me unconsciously reach out to grab someone's hand, wanting to feel a bond in that moment. It was in that moment that the inspiration for "The Thirteenth Chime" was born.
How does The Thirteenth Chime stand out from other paranormal fantasy novels that are being published?
It is very unique in that there is currently no other book like it on the market. It also has a different flair to the writing-style that I use and I believe that readers will be able to be lost in the realism of the characters. Other than that, I guess my readers will have to decide!
Why did you choose a clock to be the focus of your book?
It was due to the inspiration I had that night during the storm. I spent almost two years researching the locations, concept and other factors within the book before I began writing. I am really pleased with the result and I hope potential fans will enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing the book.
Is The Thirteenth Chime a standalone novel or part of a series?
A)It is intended to be a part of my series "A Sense of Truth". "The Thirteenth Chime" is the first book in the series and it is my hope that if potential fans really enjoy it, I will be writing several sequels.
Describe your road to publication.
Getting published was difficult at first due to the amount of standard form rejections I received from agents. When I began querying publishers directly on my own, however, it was very different and encouraging. When you receive over a hundred rejections and then suddenly you begin receiving praise and offers, you start to wonder about what was going on at first. What I think I enjoyed most about publication was getting to talk directly to the publishers and finding out their expectations from the market, their thoughts on my novel, what they recommended and above all how much input would I have before, during and after the release. Fortunately, the publisher I ended up going with has been wonderful in hearing out my ideas. What was even better is that not only did they hear me out, they loved most of my ideas and they helped to make it a reality.
How do you pick your characters' names?
David's name was very important and it was decided early on. Destiny's name, however, took a bit longer. It was not until my fiance made a comment about how she just seemed to "be David's destiny" that I realized what her name should be. As to the other characters in the book, I often feel as though they chose their own names. I think when potential fans read the book, they will understand what I mean about the characters.
Do you have any specifications as to when or where you write? For example, do you write with music in the background?
I prefer writing at my desk with my main laptop and mini. I will sometimes listen to music when I write, but usually I do that when I am writing an emotional scene and I need to feel a certain way.
How do you combat writer's block?
I combat it by writing every day, preferably at the same time of day. I work out and do Yoga - which is very important to keeping yourself healthy, especially if you do a lot of typing because you will need to have great circulation to keep up with it. I also make sure I get out into the world I write about whenever possible in order to refresh my view and find new inspiration. Bottom line - it is going to happen, but it is how you prepare and handle it that makes the difference. Even if you can't think of 'what' to write, just write! It doesn't matter what it is as long as you keep writing and then before you know it, you are back in your groove.
If you were stranded on a deserted island, what three things would you bring?
Oh the irony considering I live on an island and I have been stranded on it *laughs*. Before I came to Washington, I was a city girl. After I met and began dating my now fiance, I never would have thought of half of the things that it is important to keep an hand. But let's see, three fun items... definitely no clocks! A piece of chocolate (why not?), a hat and a good book. Believe it or not, it's functional, serves multiple purposes and I'm still waiting on a few book releases as a good possibility!
What was your favorite book as a child?
Tamora Pierce's "In the Hand of the Goddess".
List one interesting fact about yourself.
I did a lot of fencing in my teens and I continue to love it to this day. Luckily, my fiance enjoys it too!
Thank you so much for having me here and interviewing me and to everyone reading! Your support means so much to me and I hope you will love "TheThirteenth Chime"!!!!
Thank you Emma for participating in this interview! Please check out Emma's new book, The Thirteenth Chime, this Friday when it is released!