Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Interview: Emma Newman, author of the Split World!

I am delighted to welcome to my blog Emma Newman. I'vre read the first book in the series, Between Two Thorns, (the second is my Pal!). Emma has plenty of projects, a blog, a podcast ... and stories to give! (and you'll notice how the blue writing for her answers is too, too perfect a match with her jacket! mwahaha! Nice picture by the way, Emma!)

Hi Emma,
I've read and reviewed your book "Between Two Thorns" and find it great. I'm happy to have you on my blog!

Thank you!

Will you tell us a little bit about yourself?
Ahhh, the hardest question for a writer, almost as hard as "describe your book in one sentence"! Well, you already know I write (novels and short stories) but I'm also an audiobook narrator, a gamer and a dressmaker.

I've seen you launched a podcast, can you tell us a bit about it?
Yes, Tea and Jeopardy is just over a year old now and is a rather silly combination of interview and audio theatre. Each episode is set in a different tea lair and each guest comes and has tea and cake and then inevitably faces some mild peril in order to leave the tea lair. There's a butler too. And singing chickens! We were thrilled to be nominated for a Hugo award for it this year too.

On your blog, people can (should) sign up to receive free stories, one per week! Can you give us a teaser for your stories?
When people sign up they get a story per week for a year and a day, all set in the Split Worlds. Some of them contain characters from the books, some explore other families and parts of the Split Worlds and some seed future plot lines.

Which subjects are more difficult to write about?
That's a big question! There are several topics in the Split Worlds which are difficult to write about because I want to get them right. Take Cathy, for example. I wanted her to not only feel like a real person but I also wanted her to serve as an exploration of feminism, something that is very important to me. Funnily enough, writing about completely imaginary things like the awful things that the Fae think and do in the Split Worlds is much easier than writing characters who show the horrors of patriarchy from both and male and female perspective – horrors that are real and experienced by people every day.

Which events will you attend in the next months?
I will be at Fantasycon in York in early September and then I will be Guest of Honour at Bristolcon in October. Bristolcon is a gorgeous one-day convention in Bristol that I've been to several years in a row now. Highly recommended! I've just been to Nine Worlds (which is amazing!) and also the latest Worldcon held in London which was a fantastic event for me.

What are you reading now?
I'm actually reading a book that hasn't been published yet! It's one written by my husband who signed with Harper Voyager at the beginning of this year. I'm one of his beta readers, so I'm reading the second novel in his series before he sends it on to his agent.

What do you look for in a good book? Is there anything that will make you put a book down, unfinished?
Reading is part of my job as a writer and so it's really, really hard for me to switch of a constant analysis of what I'm reading. Because of that I look for books that make that part of my brain silent, that carry me away with great characters and immersive worlds. If a book is poorly written I won't persevere, there are just too many fantastic novels out there. And by poorly written I mean lots of errors, clunky dialogue, too many adjectives etc, you know, craft level. Also, if a book has a main character that I simply cannot stand, I find it hard to carry on.

If you could experience one book/short story again for the first time, which one would it be?
Short story: A Sound of Thunder by Ray Bradbury. That's my all time favourite short story. As for a book, oh, that's a tough one! Perhaps 'The Sparrow' by Mary Doria Russell, or the Predator Cities series by Philip Reeve (I can have four books if it's a series, right?). Seriously, that series is one of the best things I've ever read. Both that and The Sparrow made me sob for the last ten pages. Amazing stuff. Oh! There's Shogun too. I'm rubbish at this sort of question!

What's next for you?
I have a science fiction novel out on submission at the moment that I hope will find a home soon and I'm developing a new science fiction series too. But the thing I am really gearing up for next is the launch of a Kickstarter for the fourth Split Worlds novel which I'm desperately excited about. That's going to launch in mid-September. Nerve wracking and exciting in equal measure!

Why so serious questions

What would be your desert island read?
The Predator Cities series as mentioned before or Shogun by James Clavell.

Your favorite villain?
I can't decide whether it's Loki or Francis Urquhart from the original adaptation of House of Cards. I love both of them (but I only fancy Loki)!

Whose hero do you wish you had created?
Ellen Ripley from the Alien films. She is simply wonderful.

What it is with your mistrust of fried mushrooms?
I hate the smell and texture of mushrooms in all forms but fried mushrooms really turn my stomach! They remind me of slugs far, far too much for something that's supposed to be edible. (shudders)

To know more about Emma, you can go on her blog (that's where you'll have free stories!), you can follow her on Twitter or Facebook !

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