On Author’s Circle today, meet author SARAH ELLE EMM, to talk about writing, life and her book, LAST VACATION.
Hi SARAH ELLE EMM, thanks for dropping in and letting us have a peek into your life.
1. So, what’s LAST VACATION about?
LAST VACATION is about Megan, a practical, rule-following career woman, thrust into the search for her adventuresome and missing twin sister, Maddy, who disappeared while vacationing on the Caribbean island of St. Croix.
2. What’s your favorite line from your latest novel? Why?
I would definitely say it is a line from the last chapter, but I can’t exactly give it away. So one of my other favorite lines was earlier in the story…As she pondered her twin’s recklessness, a hand clamped over her mouth, and her arms were pulled into captivity. I like this point in the story because this is when Megan knows without a doubt her instincts have been spot on, and though no one has seemed convinced that there is a missing person’s case to solve, due to lack of evidence, now Megan realizes she is absolutely right. It is sort of a turning point and makes her even more determined to find Maddy.
3. Do you have any strange writing habits?
I eat chocolate here and there and drink as much coffee as probably any other writer, but I do tend to consume a dangerous level of Girl Scout Thin Mint cookies during the editing process. This is offset by my mostly healthy diet. Typically, I try to eat 95% healthy. That being said, when it is editing time, all bets are off. I think as soon as my brain registers that it is editing time, it triggers my Thin Mint cookie desire. My niece happens to be a Girl Scout in Boston, so my sister may or may not be my dealer. Ahem, enabler. She has purchased a rather large amount of boxes…okay, cases, of said cookie in the past, which I’d rather not go into further detail about at this point. My health may be on the line off and on during editing, but thanks to my sister, and for the greater good of storytelling, the job gets done.
4. What does your day look like?
The day starts with a very rude awakening by my iPhone’s alarm clock at 6:05a.m. The rude awakening continues with my daily ritual of drinking a large glass of water with a couple tablespoons of Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar, after which, my face is officially awake. (Have you ever smelled ACV? Potent scent…and taste, I assure you.) Next, I drink a large cup of coffee in hopes of stirring my brain to life. Then, I use my Vitamix to make my kids their breakfast smoothies, I exercise to an at home DVD workout, and homeschool my kids from 8 a.m. until the afternoon. After that, in between laundry and household chores and taking the kids to various activities, I write poetry and fiction, read, and hang out with my family.
5. What’s your favorite book by another author, and why?
That is difficult to answer. However, I will say that one of my first favorite suspense books was SEE JANE RUN by Joy Fielding. I read it in high school, and it had me on the edge of my seat. I forgot about all of the usual teenage craziness…school stress, exams, hormones, boys…and was just transported into Ms. Fielding’s world. It was amazing.
6. If your book becomes a movie whom would you want to play the hero and the heroine?
I’d probably like an undiscovered actor to play Gabriel, the hero with Puerto Rican and Crucian heritage. Megan, the heroine, has red hair, so if I could choose a popular actress who already has red hair, I’d pick Amy Adams. But I wouldn’t complain if it were someone else. If Hollywood wants to make a movie out of LAST VACATION, I don’t see myself arguing too much over their actor and actress selections.
7. How did you become a writer? In other words, tell us YOUR STORY.
I come from a family of writers. I remember watching my mom write at her typewriter and knowing I had to write my own story. I tried to write my first story at age seven. I didn’t make it too far because I had a neighborhood full of friends waiting to play outside, but I wrote my first poem then. After that, I wrote off and on in journals until I was in my late twenties, when I finally finished my first novel. It was never published, but the next book I wrote was published, and I officially became an author in 2011.
8. What is your best marketing tip?
I think using Facebook, Twitter, and working with other writers online to spread the word about your book is highly effective.
9. Why write what you write? As in romance or suspense or thrillers?
I enjoy reading in a variety of genres, but specifically in young adult fantasy and also suspense and romantic suspense. I think it is fun to write what I like to read.
10. Is there a certain scene you find difficult to write? Eg: Racy or action etc.? Why?
I always find action and fight scenes difficult. In LAST VACATION and the HARMONY RUN SERIES (my Young-adult fantasy series) there are a few scenes that include some harsh treatment, a beating of a character or two, and those were intense to write. But I think I pulled them off because I have people read my books and then say they can’t believe how I seem so sweet on the outside to them, but clearly have a dark side based on the action scenes I mentioned. They always laugh and say they are keeping an eye on me from now on. I just smile at them. (While I’m secretly plotting my next brutal scene- ha ha ha!)
11. Is your writing character-driven or plot-driven?
I’d say it is plot-driven. My characters are typically forced to keep up with their ever-changing and dangerous environments and settings.
12. What do you wish to convey through your writing?
I hope to transport readers to another place. Maybe just to take them away from their usual routine. I write to entertain others, as a form of release and therapy for myself, and to get people to think about things. My HARMONY RUN SERIES was a bit deeper than LAST VACATION. It was meant to convey that we are all human beings, regardless of our outward differences. With LAST VACATION, I hope readers think about being there for people who need them and also about giving people a chance to change for the better.
13. What can we expect from you next?
I am planning another suspense novel and also another young-adult series.
14. To end lets try a Rapid Fire round. Your answer should be the first word/s that pops into your head when you think of:
LIFE: Chocolate. I mean coffee. Okay, water.
HERO: Daryl, Carol, and Rick #TWD
Thank you once again, SARAH ELLE EMM, for being here and talking to me. It was fun!
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