Thursday, April 7, 2011

Spotlight Author with Emma Lai

Back again on this fine Thursday! Today Emma Lai is my guest. She has lots to share with us about herself and her writing.

Thanks for having me visit, Micole!

Tell us a little bit about your books.

I currently have four short stories, which vary in length from around 5K to 20K, available. His Ship, Her Fantasy (set on a spaceship) and His Hope, Her Salvation (set in Georgian England) are part of a series entitled, Mates of the Guardians. They show how Guardians, tasked with preserving their society and the time continuums on other worlds, find their mates. The stories are tied together by and ongoing intrigue. My other two stories are erotic romances. Slave to Innocence is set in Ancient Greece while Twice is Not Enough is set in Regency England.

You write two very different genres, do you find it hard to switch from one to the other?

Only when edits come in and I’m writing something of the other genre.

I have at least a dozen works-in-progress that cover a variety of genres, not just paranormal and erotic. Finding I’m more productive when I’m not forcing myself to work on a story, I generally work on whatever I’m in the mood to write. When edits come in, I have no choice but to address them, regardless of mood.

What makes your writing unique?

Tough question. I don’t confine myself to one genre, for one thing. I am a complete panster and defy defining my story and characters ahead of time. I can start with the intent of writing a straight contemporary, but I’ll end up with a time travelling dog making an appearance (though I don’t actually have a story like that in progress). I’ve also been told I have a knack for writing action scenes as well.

How long does it take you to write a manuscript?

I crank out a bare bones short story in a day. Depending on length, it will take another day to four to flesh it out and polish it. I send it out to my CPs. Make whatever revisions are necessary. And voila. The whole process takes anywhere from a week to two. Then it’s out for submission, and while edits may take only a few hours total, it may be over the course of a few months, depending on the publishing house.

It’s so simple, makes one wonder why I only have four stories out. The problem is I also have a couple of full-length books I’m working on. I’ve put about a month into each (both are +40K) and then I get distracted by ideas for other stories. Since I have no discipline, I go where the muse takes me. The result, a dozen wips.

What is the hardest part about your job?

Revisions. Edits. Finishing a story. It’s as if once I’ve got the gist of the story down, my muse looses interest. Though I will admit that lately, I’ve found a lot of satisfaction in finding just the write word/sentence/paragraph to improve a story.

So, maybe I should switch to promotion because it takes so much time. Though I always love reading what others have to say. Oftentimes it’s my only contact with the outside world.

What is your favorite thing about being an author?

I, of course, like knowing others are reading and hopefully enjoying the stories I write. I like the idea of putting positive thoughts and emotions out into the world.

Any advice for aspiring authors?

First, write. I’ve talked to a lot of people who say they want to be an author and have a great idea, but haven’t written one word. Without a completed product, a writer can’t get published.

Second, find someone honest and familiar with the industry to critique the work. Friends and families are great for support, but a writer needs someone who’s can tell her when something’s not working in a story, why and provide some clues on how to fix it.

Third, submit. If the story is finished and polished to a high sheen then get it out there. If it gets rejected by one publisher, move on to the next.

When you aren’t writing steaming hot romances what do you do in your spare time?

Writing steaming hot romances is what I do in my spare time. :) The rest of the time I’m a full-time mom with a very, busy 18 month old and a full-time business owner. It’s amazing I get any sleep.

Wow! Sounds like you have your work cut out for you Emma. I don’t know how you do it all! Thank you for sharing yourself with all of us. I wish you tons of success in your career!

See everyone on Tuesday when I have Linda Wisdom as my guest.




Emma Lai said...

Thanks for featuring me today, Micole!

Micole Black said...

I'm happy to have you. Thanks for coming!


Ginny M. Christensen said...

Hello Emma and Micole,

Wow, Emma, I am so much like you! I thought I was the only one who had umpteen starts of stories going on at once. It was refreshing to read that there is possibly hope for me! You're my new inspiration to keep on writing, get finished, polished and submitted. I will be checking out your website and your stories.

Thank you Micole for another great interview.


Emma Lai said...

Thanks for the kind words Ginny. Feel free to send me an email if you ever need words of encouragement!

Cate Masters said...

Congrats on all your releases Emma! You already know I'm a huge fan. :) And I'm in awe of how much you accomplish with so much going on!

Emma Lai said...

Thanks, Cate! That's a huge compliment!