Friday, August 13, 2010

Interview with Emma Michaels

I want to give a warm welcome to blogger turned published author, Emma Michaels. Emma has kindly let me be a part of the release of her debut YA novel, The Thirteenth Chime, so without further ado I introduce you to Emma.

First off, Welcome to my blog! I know this has got to be a busy week for you with your release, so thank you for taking the time to answer some questions for me. Why don't we begin with you telling us a bit about yourself.

Emma: Well, I am a blogger turned author. I grew up in California and after visiting my then-boyfriend now turned fiance in Washington State, I fell in love with the area and decided to move there. I have been interested in reading books for as long as I can remember. Shortly after I finished school, I began doing freelance and ghostwriting work. A few years ago, I began the research for my debut novel, The Thirteenth Chime and in Dec of '09 I began my real journey towards publication!

How did you come up with the idea for The Thirteenth Chime?

Emma: The inspiration for the book came from multiple sources. The main inspiration came from a storm I experienced here one night on the island. We had lost the power and we went next door to our neighbors to share a few candles. As lightning flashed outside and thunder shook the house, the antique grandfather clock in the hallway began to chime. I remember the sound echoing through the house and how it made my heart race. It was in that moment that "The Thirteenth Chime" was born.

What was the hardest part of the whole process for you?

Emma: Querying. I love writing and I found that writing the book was the easy part, but the querying process to agents was far more difficult. Eventually, I decided to begin querying publishers directly. There was quite a difference.

So you skipped the agent? It obviously worked for you but would you recommend doing that to others?

Emma: Yes, I tried for an agent but after over 100 rejections decided to leave it up to the publishers and try on my own. It ended up being great for me! It was an amazing difference, suddenly I was actually getting offers! Though, I will admit it is not for everyone. If you do not have an agent there is a LOT that you have to be able to do on your own. You will need to make sure that you novel is as polished as you can make it. Meaning basically NO mistakes! You have to be able to reach out to the publishers who are accepting unsolicited manuscripts and more than that, you basically become your own representative. That means you have to be able to understand their terminology, have a GREAT lawyer from the industry to go over contracts with you and so much more. It is an extremely complicated process and one where at times it can be hard to know what to do but the main thing you need is to be able to be as professional as possible. Out of such, if you are someone who thinks you could be up to it and are okay with using a publisher who accepts unsolicited manuscripts than yes, it could be right for you but I would definitely suggest that everyone at least try to get an agent first. While it is a hard thing to try for and you may hear a LOT of no thank yous if you can get one, it can really change the process for you and either way, the journey to getting one can help you learn a lot more about the industry and how to go about submitting to a publisher.

Do you think you'll get an agent for the future?

Emma: I might try to find an agent if I end up trying for another publisher but right now, I have a feeling I will be with Bokheim for a long while. They have been so amazingly helpful and supportive that it really makes the entire process much easier for me. They also stand behind me 100% when it comes to things that really matter to me like keeping up with blogging and getting to continue to have an open communication policy with all fans, bloggers and anyone who I might be able to help or who might have questions. I just appreciate it so much!

That's great that they support you so much! Did you have any say in the cover? I think it’s kind of great.

Emma: Thanks! Actually, my publisher not only considered my ideas on the cover, but they were excited about the concept and found a great artist to make it a reality. I am very grateful to them and I love the cover!

Are you currently working on anything?

Emma: I am currently working on the sequel to "The Thirteenth Chime" now that I have finished an additional series that I have been writing this year.

What is one thing you want your readers to know?

Emma: I wrote "The Thirteenth Chime" because I love writing and I really enjoy connecting with my readers. It is my hope that all of you will enjoy reading the book as much as I enjoyed writing it. I will also promise each of you that for as long as you want me to keep writing I will keep sending my books out into the world.

Besides your own, what has been your favorite debut novel of 2010?

Emma: I have enjoyed both "Beautiful Creatures" and "Fallen" though there have been many really amazing new authors to the scene this year! I hope my list will grow by the time December rolls around. I could do a post at the end of the year showing them all!

I agree, this has really been a great year for YA in general. So, if you could meet any YA author, who would it be and why?

Emma: I would love to meet Tamora Pierce again. It was a true pleasure in getting to meet her and a wonderful experience. Though I am hoping that being a published author might mean I get to meet more authors in my genre! I just love meeting new people!

Do you have any book crushes? Who?

Emma: Nope. Just my real life one on my fiance :-)

How about any stupid human tricks?

Emma: I can do a backflip out of my desk chair and make it look like it was intentional! Sometimes...

WOW! I could not do anything like that without major injuries. Finally, the most important question, what would you want your Patronus to be? :-)

Emma: Hope! My little Chihuahua :-) No, just kidding. Probably an owl or maybe a fox. I don't know... now I almost wish I could do it just to find out! (Just imagine my little chihuahua going after dementors... priceless.)

I'm with you on the owl..I love them! Is there anything else you’d like to add?

Emma: Yes, I would like to thank everyone who has been so supportive throughout the process of getting published. I also want to thank everyone who has been buying the book and sending me messages! Thank you so much for your wonderful comments and support! It means so much to me!!!!

Thank you again Emma for stopping by!

Also, if you purchase The Thirteenth Chime, you can send an e-mail to with a copy of your receipt and mailing address and she will send you some swag as a thank you!

For more information on Emma and The Thirteenth Chime you can visit her blog, website, or follow her on Twitter.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for the interview! It was so much fun! Feel free to message any time!
    Emma Michaels



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