January 28, 2008 at 2:16 pm 3 comments

This week’s interview is with romantic suspense author Emma Sanders. Without futher ado…

When did you start writing?

I’ve been writing off and on throughout the years. I started in grade school, tried to write and submit a complete manuscript only a few years after high school, and gave it up for ten years. I started writing again, seriously, about five years ago.
What was the defining moment that made you sit down and start writing a book?
It was close to the beginning of the year. Another year gone by and none of my dreams coming true. I actually spend a long weekend watching a movie marathon, and the stories and the characters of the movies were just one of the pushes life gave me to start writing again.

What made you take yourself seriously?

I knew I would never be happy if I didn’t write and pursue publication. I had long talks with myself and it just seemed the right time to do it and not give up this time.
What have you learned about writing that shocked you the most?
It’s hard to write and to keep going It’s shocking to discover how many people want to do it, but don’t.

What sub-genre(s) did you gravitate to when you first started? Is it the same as now and why do you think it’s changed or stayed the same?

I love romantic suspense. I’ve been doing a few contemporary novellas, but romantic suspense is my first love. The mystery of falling in love, the action in the storyline that keeps the characters away from each other, that brings them together. The danger element. I just love staying up late at night crafting a moment that is terrifying, but eventually works out.

What advice have you gotten that you live by?

I live by the advice to not give up. The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams, as Eleanor Roosevelt said, and dreamers, writers, people must not give up. Your success may not be as big and powerful as you first dreamed, but sometimes things work out in a better way, even if it is a different way than you imagined.

What advice would you give a newbie (if it’s not the same as above)?

Don’t give up It takes self-discipline to write a novel, and sometimes you have to make sacrifices. You’re going to face heartache and doubt, but it all builds confidence and character. Find someone who can inspire you to live your dreams, even if it’s a writing buddy online.

What’s your writing process? Has it changed since writing your first book?

I used to write in the evenings, weekends, and sometimes in the morning, but my process has changed because my job has interfered a lot lately and I haven’t had the time or the energy to write everyday. I hope that will change soon, and I try to remind myself that I just finished my third 100,000 novel, so I should give myself a break. But I write anywhere and everywhere I can without feeling guilty if I don’t write that day. I’ll use my computer, write on a notebook, in the bathtub, using a voice recorder or index pads. I never leave home without my Alphasmart and a notebook, and I have done a lot of writing just being the passenger in a car. I love baths, and a lot of times I’ll write partial scenes there. Sometimes just getting away from the everyday routine is a great process, though a routine is ultimately the best.

Also are you a plotter? Panster? Hybrid?

I used to be a panster, but I’m trying to plot more. I’ll usually pant through the first few chapters, plot a few, pant my way through and eventually end up finding my way to the end.

What keeps you writing?

The love of writing, the love of the characters, the stories they have to tell.

Do you have a support system? Did you have a writing community? What valuable lessons have you learned from them?

I do have a support system. My family is very supportive, but I wouldn’t give up the few valuable writing friends I have, many of them I’ve never met. I belong to several online communities, but I live too far away to commute to writing groups. Many of them are there for me when I feel my lowest. Writing can be hard, stressful, lonely, and sometimes (despite all the positive aspects we try to give it) it’s just downright miserable and terrifying. My friends always get me past that in a way family would never understand.

Define success for yourself?

My successes are that I have published my two novels, and I don’t believe in failures. Setbacks, maybe, but not failures.

What’s your comfort reads?

I love to reread Kathleen E. Woodiwiss for comfort. And every few years I’ll bring out Gone With The Wind.

Who are you reading right now?

I just picked up a Christmas anthology from The Wild Rose Press, but I’ve been reading a lot of nonfiction lately.

What book(s) that makes you want to write better (or stop writing because you’ll never be that good)?

Any book by Sandra Brown. I love her, I hate her. I want to be like her, I fear I’ll never write as well as she.

Plug Away… Emma Sanders’s books:
Holding Fast
One Wrong Move
Christmas Bells
Hope,Love, and Treats

You can also find her at: http://www.emmasanders.com or http://www.emmasanders.blogspot.com


Entry filed under: Write Questions.


3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Nina Pierce  |  January 30, 2008 at 1:44 pm

    Nice interview. Go, Emma! You rock! Can’t wait until some of the books you’ve been working on hit the airwaves! Keep on keeping on!

  • 2. The Blonde Duck  |  January 30, 2008 at 7:38 pm

    Wonderful interview! I love it!

  • 3. Jennifer McKenzie  |  February 3, 2008 at 5:11 am

    Go Emma! Some of those answers were just like mine would be.
    *pssst* How was that Christmas anthology…and what non-fiction are you reading. (I do that too)

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