12 May, 2015

#Interview with E.M.Tippetts, #Author of Someone Else's Fairytale Series

About the Author:
Emily Mah Tippetts writes romance under the name E.M. Tippetts and science fiction and fantasy under the name Emily Mah. Before she was a published author, she was an attorney who specialized in real estate, contracts, and estate planning, especially literary estate planning.

Her most recent pro publications have been her science fiction and fantasy short stories in magazines like Black Gate, Analog Science Fiction and Fact, and the anthology, Shanghai Steam.

Contact the Author:
Website I Facebook I Twitter I Goodreads

Interview with the Author:

When did you first realize that you wanted to be a writer/ a storyteller?
I’m one of those people who’s wanted to write for as long as I can remember, and to put that in perspective, I clearly remember my first day of pre-school when I was three. For as long as I’ve known what books are, I’ve wanted to write them.

What inspires you to write?
For me it’s a mild compulsive disorder – which makes people laugh when I say that, but I really am the kind of person who will write no matter what. Stories appear on scrap pieces of paper around my house and in files on my hard drive. Many people romanticize the idea of “having” to write – and I find most people who claim they are in this group are in fact not. For example, they’ll turn around and ask me what happens to me when I don’t write. That just doesn’t happen. Lock me in a padded cell and I just might figure out what it’s like not to write, but short of that, I’ll always find myself something to write on and something to write with. 

How did you come up with the idea for your current story?

My latest novel is a fantasy piece that I’ve written as Emily Mah, and it will be out in late summer. I came by the idea by reading my best friend’s PhD dissertation. My friend is a linguistic anthropologist, and she is also the first reader of all my books (she has her bachelors in English). The dissertation was about the work of Robert Young on the standardization of the Navajo language, which might sound a little boring but talking about it with my friend, it’s fascinating. It also occurred to me, when I was trying to think about new fantasy ideas, that I know rather a lot more than the average person about flight, especially non-powered flight. My father is a glider pilot. Fantasy is full of flying creatures, but there’s rarely much exploration of how flight works, what weather does to flight, etc. Hence I wrote three novels about the birth of human flight in a clockpunk, medieval American southwest that never was – but would have been a very awesome place. 

Is there some stories tucked away in some drawer that was written before and never saw the light of the day?
Yes, tons. One of them I plan to rewrite this year. It’s a young adult, hard science fiction novel that I think was a little ahead of its time. The market’s shifting towards science fiction in a big way, though, so I look forward to dusting that one off and showing it to the world.

Tell us about your writing process.
I need to know where I’m going before I sit down to write. Having said that, I usually don’t get there. I plot, and then I try to fly the course, and then I replot, rinse and repeat. I delete far more than ever makes it into the final book.

What is your favorite scene in the book? Why?
I can’t say without spoiling my yet-to-be released book, so let me pick one from my last published book, The Hunt for the Big Bad Wolf. That one’s a chick lit that I wrote as E.M. Tippetts, and my favorite scene was when my main character accidentally tells her mother’s potential fiancée to climb a water tower. It turns out he’s seriously afraid of heights, and it’s just an example of a simple conversation going ridiculously haywire. What was great about writing it was that it actually did work. My characters pulled it off – and I can’t always get them to do that!

Did any of your characters inherit some of your own quirks?
I’m sure they did. It’s always interesting to hear friends say what they think is me in my characters. Often it shows how they don’t know me at all because they name characteristics like bravery and strength and such. If they only knew what a mess I am inside my own head so much of the time! Chloe, the main character of my chick-lits, has a set of three scars that happens to match ones I have, though we came about then different ways. Hers involved more trauma. Kasha, one of the main characters of my fantasy novels, has my drive to succeed, intellectually. At least I was very much like that when I was her age (15). Ahote, the other main character of the fantasy novels has my love for animals, especially horses.

What is your most interesting writing quirk?
My need to sometimes tell part of the story to someone else to firm it up in my own mind. My husband puts up with me spouting a lot of random stuff at him :)

What is your usual writing routine?
My life doesn’t allow for a whole lot of routines. I’m a stay at home mother and no two weeks are exactly alike, so my routine is to write as much as I can when I can. Cory Doctorow was the one who taught me that if you wait for the right time to write, you won’t write (though in my case, I will write, but it won’t be well structured or worth reading.) 

Do you read? Who are your favourite authors and how have they influenced your writing style?
I do read, and a lot of what I read are novels in progress by friends and colleagues. I’m a graduate of the Clarion West Writers Workshop and a member of Critical Mass, a writers group here in New Mexico. Over the past fifteen years I’ve been very active in the writing community, first locally, and then more internationally with the advent of indie publishing. Hence I have a lot of friends who are writers, and am blessed with the opportunity to see their works in progress. Seeing how someone develops a story is very interesting to me. I’ve learned time and again that it’s all about the rewrites. Just get down that first draft and then you can fix whatever’s wrong. If you don’t get it down, though, you’ll never get the book done.

What is the best piece of advice you have received, as a writer, till date?
Hard to name just one piece of advice, but one of my favorites was from Connie Willis on building a career. She told me, “The day it’s not your fault is the day your career is over.” In other words, if you don’t take control and remove roadblocks yourself, you can’t expect someone else to do it for you. If this or that is holding you back, it doesn’t matter who put the obstacle there. Complaining is a waste of time. Just overcome it and move on.

What is the best piece of advice you would give to someone that wants to get into writing?
Here I’ll quote Peter S. Beagle. When I heard him get asked that question a few weeks ago, he said, “Like any other job, you need to show up for work.” That’s the truth of it. You have to be willing to put in the hours even when they seem to stretch on forever. It’s definitely a career for marathon runners, not sprinters.

If you were to be stranded on the famous deserted island, what three things would you carry?
My scriptures (I’m very religious), a picture of my family, and then however much chocolate I could carry. Just the bare necessities, you know?

How do you spend your free time? Do you have a favorite place to go and unwind?
Reading, watching television, and playing computer games when I have time. I don’t consider my time spent playing with my kids and such free time. That’s part of my job – a wonderful job, but something I must do all the same.

Can you share with us something off your bucket list?
When I was a kid, I was in a bad car accident and my recovery was helped immensely by a blood transfusion. Unfortunately, because of it, I am not allowed to donate blood to others, and I would very much like to give back somehow, someday. I’m in the bone marrow registry and am an organ donor. It’s rare to have the opportunity to make the difference between life and death for someone else, and I would never turn down an opportunity. If I can do a donation of some kind while I’m still living, that would mean a lot to me.

Tell us three fun facts about yourself.
- I was born Emily Mary Shi Yue Mah
- I first took the controls of a glider when I was eight (with a pilot right there. I didn’t land it or anything ;-)
- I’ve spent eight years of my life in the UK, so that’s my second home. I’ll never be mistaken for a native, but it’s nevertheless very familiar to me.

Is there anything else you’d like to share with your readers?
Very sincere gratitude that they exist! Without my readers, I’d still be working as a lawyer, so I owe them so much.

About the Book:

Jason Vanderholt, Hollywood's hottest actor, falls head over heels for everygirl, Chloe Winters, who hasn't gotten around to watching most of his movies. It's the ideal fairytale... for most people. The last thing Chloe needs is public attention. It brings back dangers from the past that she's worked her whole life to escape.

A Paperback Copy of the Book is up for grabs HERE

Other Books by the Author:

(Click on the covers for more details)

No comments:

Post a Comment