An Interview with Emma Hartley
AW: Which author wasn’t your greatest inspiration, but did make you think, “Maybe I could be an author”?
EH: There have been so many books and so many authors over the years that have shaped me into the writer I am. I considered myself a collector of words for many years, and I would try to absorb something from each work I read. Now, when I write, I believe my style is the culmination of a lifetime of reading. The authors who have inspired me range from W. Somerset Maugham to J.K. Rowling, from Raymond Chandler to Jane Austin. Books bring us into worlds that we might never have experienced otherwise, and as an author, it is my quest to bring readers into the worlds I create.
AW: Tell me about the first time you thought, “Wow. I’m a real author!”
EH: When I sent out my manuscript for The Nature of Entangled Hearts, I expected to receive rejection after rejection. The moment I received word that the manuscript had been accepted for publication by Satin Romance was one of the most incredible moments of my life. I felt like a real author, and I couldn’t have been more flattered and excited that this publishing company would believe in me and want to take the risk on a first time author. The wonder of that moment was reiterated when I held my book for the first time. It was a powerful, validating experience.
AW: What’s the oddest part about your routine that you simply must do in order to sit down and write?
EH: This is going to sound insane, but I always put on makeup. If I don’t put on makeup, I don’t feel like I’m ready to work. Even if I’m writing at home, that is part of my routine. It must put me in the mind space to draw forth my ideas, but I have no clue why!
AW: What is your biggest writing obstacle?
EH: Time is my biggest writing obstacle. I work four days a week as an art teacher and I have two children of my own, so I preserve Mondays for writing. It’s been tough to explain how important it is to me to family and friends who expect that since I’m “not working” that means I’m free to do other things. Having The Nature of Entangled Hearts come out in paperback allowed me to hand them the book and say, “See? This is my other job. It doesn’t just happen, it takes work.” Now, I believe, everyone understands the importance of preserving that time.
AW: How do you prefer to network, and what impact do you think those avenues have had on your sales?
EH: I have been going to writing conferences, and they are my favorite way to network because they’re face to face. It’s so easy to ignore an email, but it’s much harder to walk away when a person is talking to you. I’ve found that the majority of other writers (with some notable exceptions) are willing to impart their wisdom to a new writer. I also love networking on Facebook, but most of the likes I have are from people I know. It’s hard to break into new markets, but I’m persevering!
AW: What is one mistake you’ve made in your publishing career that you’d like to warn other authors off of?
EH: I haven’t been published long enough to answer this question, but I know authors who have paid for blog tours that might have been a little shady.
AW: Is there any advice you’d like to give to a new writer?
EH: Persevere and work hard! Writing is not a simple matter of having a good story or the ability to put words on a page convincingly. Writing today takes dedication, marketing, being the face of your work, and a fearlessness about being in the very public realm of critique. I would also say, write because you love to write. The reader can tell if you didn’t enjoy the process.
AW: What are you currently reading?EH: I am currently reading manuscripts for a writing class! Each one is a segment of a larger work, and as such, they pull me in and get me thinking about how differently every writer attacks their craft. The styles, the voices, the interesting point of view shifts, all of these create questions in my own thinking and push me to analyze how I write.
AW: Have any super fans found you yet, and if so, what sort of things have they done that seem surreal to you!
EH: I have not experienced this yet, although I have a fellow teacher who has bought six copies of my book and shared them with all her friends for presents because she enjoyed it so much. That was incredibly flattering.
AW: When people read your books, what do you want their greatest take-away to be?
EH: The Nature of Entangled Hearts is based on some central questions, the first being: What connects us as humans? We might go through our lives having little moments where we feel a strong connection with another person that we cannot explain. Is there something at the subatomic level that entangles us? Is love therefore a force of nature akin to gravity or magnetism? Does love live on long after our bodies are gone? What is love at first sight? What would happen if you found your soul mate? These are the essential questions I asked myself as I wrote the novel. I wanted to explore what the deepest kind of connecting love might be between two people, how it formed in the first place, and the mechanism of that love as a driving force for a one’s actions in life. These are therefore the questions I hope readers ask themselves, and that they come away from the novel feeling some kind of validation that the universe is full of love.You can read my review of Emma’s book here.
Emma Hartley is an author and artist living in picturesque Maine. She has been writing and making art since childhood and has been insatiably curious and industrious her whole life. Emma was a double major in English and Fine Arts and she received her Masters in Art and Design Education. She is a specialist in ceramics and includes much of this expertise in her novel The Nature of Entangled Hearts. Her other interests include playing drums, making art and exploring every square inch of the Maine coastline. The Nature of Entangled Hearts is her first novel.You can find Emma:
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Hello! I’m Adriel Wiggins, wife, mother of three, bibliophile, art geek, and all around student. I’ve been on a quest all of my life to learn as much as I possibly can about everything I possibly can. This has helped me tremendously in what eventually became my life’s purpose: to help other people become the best version of themselves. It is in that line that I became an assistant.
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