From the Author
Someone Else's Fairytale and Nobody's Damsel are two verydifferent books. Both fab and intriguing in their own way and offering a bit ofsomething for everyone. What made you decide to write both of these storie? Whoor what was your inspiration?
Given Someone Else's Fairytale is a romance novel, itdoesn't lend itself to sequels very well. You'll notice that most romanceseries use an ensemble cast with different people stepping up to fall in lovefor each book. The other option is to have a couple so fraught with romanticproblems that they threaten each other with divorce once a book or somesuch.And I guess there's a third option, to just fill books full of sappy sweetnessand no plot, but my readers are too smart to put up with that.
Nobody's Damsel is a transition book. It sets up a repeatable plotstructure that enables me to keep telling stories about Chloe and Jason. Theplot framework isn't romance though. In Damsel it's a police procedural andlater books can use Jason's job for the plots too, so the result is somethingthat lends itself naturally to an ongoing series because films and criminalinvestigations are the kinds of thing that repeat over and over again. Severalpeople wanted more Jason in this book, so I'll make sure to put more of him inthe next one.
As for my inspiration, I just thought the idea of a down to earthwoman catching the eye of a superstar was too funny to pass up. Then I createdsome characters and I love them, so they're my inspiration now.
When you begun SEF, did you know what the story of ND wasgoing to be? Or did that come at a later date?
No, not at all. I wrote SEF while pregnant and off mymedication (I'm an insomniac). It was after I'd parted ways with my publisherand while the chick lit market was melting down spectacularly, so I just wroteit for me, to entertain myself, really. I didn't ever see it getting publishedor having sequels or anything like that. Then when I did publish it and itfound its audience, I decided a sequel would be a good idea.
The reason I took a year to write Damsel, though, was because Iknew I had to plan carefully. I wanted a structure that lent itself to aseries. Later volumes won't take a full year to write, thank to the time I putinto engineering the framework of Damsel.
I looooved Jason, as you may have gathered from myreviews. Do you have a dream cast for Chloe and Jason? And any of the othercharacters?
Not really, though someone suggested Jake Gyllenhaal for Jason andthat made me think of Maggie for Jen - who would be PERFECT. If a movie dealwere ever on the table, though, I'd approach it as a chance to see what otherpeople could bring to the story. Given it's about the film industry, I dare sayany actors would have opinions worth listening to. And I've seen enough filmdeals to know that going this route means letting go of creative control (andgetting your money up front!
Did you write in order? What was your writing process? Ifnot, what were the first and last scenes you wrote?
I do write in order. Then when I redraft, I do thatpiecemeal. I pick a scene I don't like and get to work, no particular orderthere. I edit with a very heavy hand, deleting tens of thousands of words in aday sometimes. By the end of the process, I'll have written two or three timesthe number of words in the final novel, sometimes more. Most of them get cut.
There were some dark elements to Chloe's story.Especially in ND. Were these difficult to write?
Not really, though I guess that sounds a little mental. Idon't put in nasty scenes for the sake of being shocking; I do it becausereally bad things do happen, and there's no point pretending otherwise. Ibelieve happy endings are earned and fought for and require a lot of emotionalresilience and creativity. Anyone can have one, and they are never easy, evenif some people make them look that way.
Also, fairytales tend to be very dark if you think about them.Living happily ever after always required passing a major test and winningagainst the odds.
Were the endings always going to be that way? Or did youhave a few different ideas?
For the most part, yes. Damsel lays out the theme of the series, that our dreams are noless important than our reality. Chloe deals in reality, in hard evidence andmatters of life and death. Jason deals in dreams, in humanity's ongoing projectof processing life experiences and making sense of why we live our lives theway we do. Their relationship is basically a metaphor for how all of us live,with one foot in reality and the other in imagination, speculation, andcontemplation.
There are plenty of new authors out there and lots ofimpending 2013 releases and works in progress. If you could give a new authorone piece of advice, from your experience, what would it be?
1) Know what it is you want and 2) go get it. I thinkpeople often focus too much on #2 without taking the time to figure out #1. Forexample, some writers will say that the write for creative fulfillment and thenbe devastated when they don't make sales. This means they don't actually writefor creative fulfillment; that might be part of it, but they also write to makemoney, or to reach fans, or to become famous. Knowing which of these matters isessential to putting together your career plan, or else you'll never findcareer fulfillment.
Me, I always wanted to be a writer for my job. My goal isto reach a point when my income from writing supports me. I don't have to berich, I don't have to be famous, I just want to have that job, so that's whatI'm working on.
You have quite a few other books out too. Can you tell usabout some of those? Are they all the same genre as the Fairytale series, orare they all completely different?
They are all romance, but in order to explain how variedthey are, I should give a little background:
I began writing as E.M. Tippetts when I decided to branch outfrom my usual science fiction and fantasy (which I write as Emily Mah) and trymy hand at romance. I also wanted to try out novel publishing, so I wrote LDS(Mormon) romance so that I could sell it to an LDS publisher. That's whereE.M.Tippetts got her start. Her first novel was Time & Eternity, about a 26year old convert to the church who has a revelation from God, which in turnkicks off a whole lot of strife and mayhem in her life. (I was tired ofreligious books were God solves all the problems. I mean, really, no one's made my lifemore complicated than He has, not that I would trade it for anything.) The nextbook, Paint Me True is a coming of age story for a thirty year old woman whostill yearns for a perfect romance, only to learn the hard way that love iswhat you make it.
Then comes Someone Else's Fairytale, the first non-LDS book byE.M. Tippetts. I then delved back into LDS fiction to write Castles on theSand, which is a YA novel about a girl who thinks she's nobody special, and herdeeply religious older brother who knows her true worth. Then I wrote Nobody'sDamsel, and next will be the sequel to Castles on the Sand.
Aside from that, I still write science fiction and fantasy short storiesas Emily Mah and sell them to magazines and anthologies, then publish thereprints in electronic format for Kindle, Nook, etc.
Thanks so much, Emily. I have to say, I hadn'trealised you'd planned a whole series for Fairytale, which makes me veryhappy! I can't wait to read more about Jason and Chloe (okay, Iadmit, mainly Jason)and it also explains a lot about the way ND pans out. I really like that. Theother books in the series will definitely be going on my TBR list.
Thanks so much for the opportunity! Re: more Jason,what I LOVE about indie writing is that I get to work directly for fans. Noeditor telling me I have to hit x target demographic or whatever. If people saythey want more Jason being romantic, I can go right ahead and write it.