Today I am fortunate enough to have Emma Michaels, author of the upcoming release The Thirteenth Chime, here on my blog for a little Q&A!
Before we get started, I'd just like to note that the fuchsia font is me and the green font is Emma.
Q) Can you give us a brief summary of The Thirteenth Chime?
A) Imagine being a young woman - successful, happy, engaged to a great man and finally getting a good vacation on your Spring Break. You go traveling with your best friend and roommate Stephanie, who is taking you to the West Coast to see the new house her mother has been renovating. Your first night there begins like a dream - the mother welcomes you with open arms and you feel that the week is going to be amazing. Then something happens... Stephanie and her mother are attacked, both ending up in the hospital. You go to the police to ask for help and they refuse to give you answers - they even treat you like a suspect.
So what do you do? You turn to the one man who can help you - your ex-boyfriend, David, who you haven't seen in almost a year. David comes to help you, but what neither of you know is that a madman created a horrifying trap and has been waiting almost fifty years for his moment to come. David, now estranged to you, has no idea of what is coming and of the darkness that is threatening to consume you both. You only know that if you and David are unable to find the bond again that you once had, then the next time the clock rings it won't be a hospital trip you'll be taking... Hatred never dies, and it has been waiting for you for a long time.
Okay, now that sounds awesome!
Q) How did you come up the story idea? Were you struck out of the blue by the Muse, or was it something that developed over a lengthy period of time?
A) The idea came one night when a storm was hitting the area where I live and it had knocked out the power. We went next door to share a few candles and the storm raged outside. Suddenly, the howling of the wind died down and for a moment there was silence. Then the antique grandfather clock in the house began to chime. The sound echoed throughout the house and it made me unconsciously reach out to grab someone's hand, wanting to feel a bond in that moment. It was in that moment that the inspiration for "The Thirteenth Chime" was born.
A story with a story! That's so cool that inspiration literally came like a bolt from out of the blue.
Q) What came first, blogging or writing? Did blogging help you in any way to write/publish your book?
A) I would say that yes it has, not only because it has helped me have a direct line of communication with my potential readers but because it let me see how much books meant to so many people. I had the courage to write my novels before blogging, but not to keep moving forward and submitting past all of the many rejections, because blogging let me know just how worth it, it could be. It let me see how I could help others with somethign I would going to do either way, as long as I was willing to just keep pushing forward.
Q) Have you always wanted to be a writer or was it something that you were drawn to later in life?
A) It wasn't until I was sick one summer and unable to leave my room for a few days that I was given my first YA novel. I was hooked from the beginning of the book. After that, I started playing with story ideas in my head and before long I was writing them down.
Q) Is there an author that you particularly admire or draw inspiration from?
A) Definitely! I really admire Tamora Pierce. Meeting her really encouraged me and helped me believe that it was possible to become an author and really be able to put a smile on so many faces! I was so happy to meet her and so was everyone else. I would love to be able to give someone else that type of joy!
Oh my goodness, I LOVE Tamora Pierce! She's one of my favorite authors. You're so lucky to have met her!
Q) What was the road to publication like for you? Did you hit many walls or was it smooth sailing? Is there anyone to whom you owe thanks for helping you through it?
A) The road to publication was a frustrating one at first. I received well over a hundred standard form rejections from agents who didn't even ask to see a sample of my work, let alone any part of the novel. It wasn't until a dear friend pointed out that they couldn't be basing their decisions off of my writing (as they hadn't read any of it) that I decided to take the plunge and query publishers directly. From that point on, it was smooth sailing, or as close to it as it could be for me. I owe a lot of thanks to not only my fiance for his support, and to Bokheim for their amazing encouragement and assistance, but especially to all of the bloggers and blog readers out there who have been encouraging and supporting me since I first began querying. I love all of you and thank you!
Awe, we love you too, Emma!
Q) Do you have a favorite classic?
A) I adore many of the old favorites but I think my absolute favorite is "The Count of Monte Cristo". I feel there is much to be learned within the story.
Q) What do you have to say to aspiring authors?
A) Don't give up!!! I know it is frustrating (goodness, after a hundred rejections from agents, believe me I know!) and it can be overwhelming, but success can and will happen to those who do not give up and just keep moving forward and getting better at what they do. I want to get to read and enjoy your books just as I hope you will read and enjoy mine. I also hope that I will one day get to be on the "New York Times Bestseller's List" and hope to see you there with me!!!! Let's go for it!
Inspiring words! You make want to write just so we can be on the best seller's list together!
Q) What is something that not many people know about you? (For example, not many people know that my team took first place at an out-of-state soccer tournament in Las Vegas when I was fifteen or that I'm an avid embroiderer.)
A) Hmmm... I LOVE this local restaurant that has different types of Asian food and enjoy drawing. I mostly just do all of my drawings in extremely fine tips pens so that I can include a lot more detail.
Q) Is there anything you wish I'd asked?
A) Yes! I have always wanted someone to ask me what my 'kryptonite' would be if I was a superhero :-) Even if I am not sure what my answer would be. Probably chocolate would be my red kryptonite (addictive) and writers block, while it doesn't happen to me very often, would probably be my green kryptonite (harmful). I guess that can be added as a random fact: I sometimes spout random comic facts, even though I did not read many comics.
I think chocolate might be everyone's red kryptonite! :D
Great answers, Emma! Thank you so much for stopping by!
Thank you so much for having me! I love your questions and really appreciate the support! Thank you to everyone reading and I truly hope that you will love "The Thirteenth Chime"!!!!
I'm really looking forward to reading your book, and I'm sure I'll love it! Good luck!
If y'all want to learn more about Emma and her book, The Thirteenth Chime, which releases Friday the 13th of August, head over to her blog!