Author Interview: Emmeline Lock

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This week we have another unpublished author to introduce you to, another author I discovered on Twitter. She is very witty and gave me a good giggle when I was putting this all together. Have a read and hopefully we will all be able to say we knew her when….

You are an, as yet, unpublished author. What can you tell us about your journey so far?

It’s been long? Just kidding, my journey has been just a quick trip compared to some. I’ve been putting words on paper for the last decade, beginning with middle-grade fantasy and landing smack bang in the middle of romance about seven years ago. It continues to be a draining, exhilarating, inspirational ride.

When did you know you wanted to be a published author? (Working of course on the assumption that it’s what you’re working towards)

I’ve always been an avid reader, to the point where my sixth grade teacher wondered why I didn’t write better stories—I always had my head in a book. Funnily, I met that same teacher again a number of years later when we were both students in an English class at university. The lecturer of that class asked if I had ever considered publishing my short pieces. I hadn’t, of course, publishing being something that ‘other people’ did, but she planted a seed. That seed has now grown exponentially and taken root in my brain and won’t let me go.

You are a member of SARA, RWA and Dark Side DownUnder, what can you tell us about them?

SARA (South Australian Romance Authors) is a fabulous group, based in Adelaide. I can’t tell you how relieved I was to meet some local romance authors—crazy people who may or may not spend all day in their PJ’s drinking too much coffee and talking to their pets—and feel connected. Writing can be a lonely job, so reaching out to real people is important. They are collectively awesome.

RWA (Romance Writers of Australia) is the professional association for romance writers in Australia. They are a volunteer-run group that supports writers in many different ways, from running conferences to organizing online groups to offering grants. They’re also wonderful. Very informative.

The DarkSiders are a merry band of nutjobs. That’s not true, of course (much), but we are all RWA members who write some form of Speculative Fiction. Spec fic is the umbrella term some people use to describe the genres of Paranormal, Science Fiction, Fantasy, Steampunk and more.

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I was reading on your website that you judged the Romantic Book of the Year for RWA and Heart of Denver’s Molly contests. Can you tell us a little bit about how they work?

The Romantic Book of the Year (also, the R*BY, and the Ruby) is a competition run by the RWA. Each year, any Australian or New Zealand romance author may submit their published print books into the competition to vie for the prize. Civilians (people who are not crazy romance authors) are asked to read the books and rate them. Those results are collated and the Romantic Book of the Year is announced at the RWA National conference awards dinner, which is quite a glitzy shindig.

The Molly is different, but is similar to a lot of writing contests out there. It’s run by The Heart of Denver Romance Writers, and is an unpublished romance manuscript contest. Writers who are unpublished often submit their work to contests to gain feedback before they send it out to publishing houses.

I Love Books! I love holding them and owning them; looking at them and flicking their pages and reading them. I’m a traditionalist like that but at times I do think e-books would be more convenient. As a reader what’s your stand on e-books?

The hard-hitting question! Had you asked me two years ago, I would have told you that nothing beats a print book. I know what you mean about the looking and the flicking and the smelling (sorry, did that get weird?). I would go to our little local library and borrow what books I could, read them, maybe sniff them, then have to return them. It was quite sad.

Then I got a device that reads eBooks. Oh, lordy me. I could get all kinds of awesome things like samples and books that had been released that morning. If I decide I absolutely must read a novel about a girl with a phenomenal IQ who falls in with a band of pirates who are trying to get their livelihood back, at two in the morning, I can go to my online bookstore and be reading in two minutes. It’s right up there with ice-cream & cola spiders, puppy kisses and warm sunshine on your back. Bliss.

They are easier to store, always neat, and on devices you can mark and annotate. Of course, if you drop your eReader in the bath, you’re in trouble (I have a SARA friend who pops hers in a ziplock bag before stepping into the tub.).

The only downside is, when you’re reading in bed and you fall asleep, a big eReader can leave a nasty bruise on your forehead when you drop it. But, hey, so could War and Peace.

Is your opinion of e-books any different if you look at them from the perspective of a writer?

I was just having this discussion with a friend (of the Ziplock Bag Solution) the other day. I love eBooks as a reader and a writer. Some writers feel that ePublished books bring down the literary tone of print books, but I’m of the more, the merrier camp. There are bad books in both print and eVersion. EPublishing is a rolling stone, though. It’s gaining more kudos every year, and it’s come such a long way already.

Can you tell us a little bit about what you’re writing at the moment?

I’ve just started a romance/comedy/paranormal about Audrey–a snarky, straight-laced science teacher who is haunted by the spirit of her cranky predecessor. Audrey doesn’t believe a word of it, but there is a very appealing English teacher who is convinced that there is a mystery to solve. Of course, that’s not all he’s keen to unravel. When the bullets start flying, they need to work together before someone gets killed.

(Michelle’s note: Sounds good – put me on the review list when you get it published…)

I believe you just had a change of direction, what can you tell us about that?

I did! I’ve always loved reading fantasy and dark paranormal, so that was what I was trying to write. But, I have this kind of rampant streak of clown in me that means I can’t seem to write without pulling out the odd one-liner for giggles. My critique partners (other writers I share my works-in-progress with for feedback and support)–one of whom is Anna Hackett (www.annahackettbooks.com), and the other the lovely Rach from NZ–said I wasn’t being true to my authorial voice. So, after a small struggle (with myself), I changed what I write and I love it. I feel much more at home with the more comedic side of romance. And my paranormal now is lighter, more magical than dark.

You are a voracious reader, what are you reading at the moment?

It might be easier to list what I’m not reading… No, I’ve usually got a few books on the go—one on my phone, eReader and in print. I’m actually a notorious reading tart. If it’s a good romance, I’m anybody’s. I have Johanna Lindsay’s Hearts Aflame on the phone, Marian Keyes’ Brightest Star in the Sky on the bedside table and Erica Hayes’ Shadowfae in the iPad. Oh, there might be a craft book or two lying about as well. That’s the great thing about books—there are always fabulous new stories being created for us!

Have you got a single favourite book or author of all time?

No (see above regarding reading hussy). Sometimes, I think I’ve got it nailed, but then I read something else awesome and the goal posts move!

You read voraciously, you write, you blog and you have a family – how do you manage to juggle it all?

I don’t? I guess I always make sure the family is happy first (with three kids under nine, they will soon let me know if they’re not happy with the service. And hubs isn’t backwards either), then I tackle the writing next. Then, the online stuff gets done—I’m one of those that feel an online presence is important for a writer—and in any time spare, I’ll read. Even if it means I have to get up at five in the morning! It helps that the kids go to bed at eight pm, and that we own a lot of socks. Because there’s a fair chance that I’ve not done the washing yet…

And finally, what does being a woman mean to you?

Being a woman means I can roll my eyes when my husband mentions that I’ve only ever got two hands, so why do I need so many handbags? Same goes, of course, when he mentions my two feet and my shoe collection, and my one neck and my multitude of scarves. It’s a girl thing, dude.

Thank you so much for your time Emmeline.

Thank you, Michelle!

25 thoughts on “Author Interview: Emmeline Lock

  1. Em, just love the interview. I can hear you answer. So glad you found your voice in writing. It makes sense because it is so you. Can’t wait to see your books on the shelves one day.

    Go the SARAs, RWAus, and the DarkSiders…. :))
    E x

  2. Hi Em

    I loved your interview. And I especially liked what you said about e-books. Your comments make e-books (and therefore e-publishiing I guess) sound much more fun and less scary than I had been thinking.

    Pamela

  3. Hi Em —

    Fabulous interview. As always, your quirky humour shines through (-: I know I’m lucky enough to be reading small snippets of Audrey’s story as a work in progress but can’t wait to read the finished product.

    Anna

  4. Aww, what fun! Thanks so much for having me at Beauty & Lace, Michelle, it’s been a blast. Delighted to have e-met you.

    You’re totally on the top of my review list! 🙂

    Many thanks, Em.

  5. Hello there, Claire.

    If clever people (as are all SARA’s!) such as yourself think Audrey’s story has potential, I must be onto something. That’s exciting.

    Lovely of you to drop in and say hello, and take care of yourself.

    Em.

  6. Hiya Eleni,

    Isn’t voice strange? For the life of me, I can’t think why i ever tried to stifle the funny. It’s like holding kittens. You think you’ve got it all held to your chest, and then a one-liner slips out the back, under your elbow! 🙂

    Hey, if anyone ever thought to shelve books by first name, mine would be very close to yours!

    Thanks for stopping by,
    Em.

  7. Hi Pamela,

    Thanks for your kind words. I guess one of the things I like about writing is that it’s really dynamic. Trends change, publishers change, people change. Keeps it exciting, as well as forcing us to our toes.

    I guess I think of it as being not so much scary, but a new thing to learn and conquer!

    Good luck with your pioneering… 🙂

    Em.

  8. Hi lovely Anna,

    Ah, see, you call it lucky. I call it absolutely necessary damage control. You see things in my stories that no-one else will ever, EVER, be subjected to. You poor thing. 😉

    The knowledge that you, Rach and I glean from each other is priceless, from my end. I don’t think I’d be doing this today if it weren’t for the two of you. And the support! Oy, it’s big. So, thank you.

    Hugs, Em.

  9. Hi there, Carla!

    Thanks for your kind words. I’m blushing! 🙂

    If this is Carla who has made it to the second round of the New Voices, you’re rather fabulous yourself…

    Best of luck, Em.

  10. Love it! But I have to confess that the Zip Lock Solution wasn’t mine. I borrowed it from Carina Press’s Angela James. I don’t think I would have ever thought of it!

    Oh and thanks for giving the world a piccy in their head of me stepping into the bath =)

    Oh, oh and thanks for being so funny!

    Great interview Michelle!

    Bron.

  11. Fabulous interview Emmeline, your journey sounds very familiar. You do have a wicked sense of the ridiculous, and channeling that into your writing is perfect. We need more laughs in this world!

    I love ebooks! So handy and convenient for taking your library with you anywhere you want, and finding out of print books. Project Gutenberg is a treasure trove of old classics, for free!.

    Tricia

  12. Em. You know you have the gift of the funny and this article just proves it all over again. Now hurry up and get finishing that WIP! I need more LOL moments 🙂

    Rach.

  13. I’m going to wave my hand madly for Em 😉 and probably make note of her book the first thing – cos I want it as soon as it can be completed…er … pubbed of course 🙂 I love snarky heroines.. and haunted? Even better..LOL!

    Great interview! And nice to “meet” you, Michelle.

  14. Em
    The most interesting interview and now you are unleashing the real you with that wicked sense of humor and rapier sharp wit success will arrive shortly.
    You’re ebook comments are very insightful and although we all want to hate them and feel guilty because we love our “real books” they are so dam functional,quick and are our literary iPod for our eyes.
    Well done see you in the best sellers soon.
    James

  15. Hello Bron!

    What ziplock bag and what bath? LOL!

    That Angela James is a clever chick–now I have two mental pictures! Of course, you’re wearing a wedding veil and a contest queen sash, so you can’t see much…

    Good luck with your writing journey. I’m going to try my hand at prophesy–and say it won’t be long before we see Bron on the shelves!

    Em x

  16. Hiya Tricia,

    Speaking of a wicked sense of the ridiculous! Thank you, also, for filling the world with more laughs. I agree, we need them.

    Ooh, yes! The out of print books! When I first got my phone, I downloaded a pile of classics just-because-I-could! Of course, they’re still all sitting on my TBR, but I’ll feel the need to read TREASURE ISLAND one day–and it’ll be right there! And the free books that pop up from time to time? Heaven!

    I’ve even started downloading ebooks onto the kids’ ipods. Sneaky Mummy!

    Thanks for coming to say hello, Tricia!

    Em. 🙂

  17. Rach, you gorgeous thing!

    Ah, of course, I’m not actually here. Just a figment of your imagination. I’m really banging away at my internet-less laptop, working on the WIP.

    Promise. 😉

    Many thanks for all your support, and when we see me on the shelves, you’ll be right there too (if not before!) with your awesome brand of emotional Rach-ness. Phew-ee! I love it.

    Many thanks for your support, Rach. Don’t think I would have come this far without you and Anna.

    Hugs, E x

  18. Hello, Ju! *waving back!*

    Thanks for taking the time to chat, it’s awesome to see you here.

    You probably understand, as a fellow spec lit-adorer, why I struggled to leave the paranormal out when I first started this WIP. It just snuck back in! Sneaky ghosts…

    Best of luck with your work, Ju, and I’ll see you around the circuit.

    Em 🙂

  19. Hi James,

    Thanks for taking the time to comment today.

    Literary music for our eyes–I like that! I do think that they are the future, which (in most cases) is a freight train we need to embrace. If we hadn’t done that so many times in the future, we’d all be Fred Flintstones, bumping around on square wheels. Although, a pet dinosaur sounds fun…

    I do hope that I’ll be on the shelves one day, and it’ll be with your support, as well. This writing gig is such a solitary thing–the people that help you on your way become very important.

    So, big hugs for you and Mum, Dad!

    Em xx

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