Friday, September 27, 2013

Fresh Voice Emily Cross!

Welcome to the latest edition of Fresh Voices. We are delighted to share with you the voice of Emily Cross!

What is your ultimate writing goal?

My ultimate writing goal at the moment is to actually be published, whether it's an e-book or physical book - I'm not fussy :)

Beyond that, I'd hope to just keep writing (and hopefully keep getting published!)

Why do you write?

Such a good question. Honestly, I'm not sure!

The only reason I can imagine that anyone would want to write and pursue writing as a career is because they love it. I mean, I don't know about other writers, but writing for me is an emotional roller coaster where I could be skipping-down-the-street happy one moment and then filled with complete and utter despair the next. . . but despite these ups and downs, I still keep writing.

That has to be love, right?

Have you worked to achieve your voice or is it just a natural style for you?

As an aspiring writer I have agonised over what is voice and how I get it. Can you develop it or is it natural? I'm not sure as to the answer, I think its a combination.

For me, it hasn't been a conscious effort. What I do know though, is that people notice when you lose your 'voice'. For instance, for some insane reason, I decided to rewrite my first chapter of my YA WIP. I was really concerned that it wasn't right for the market. So I sat down, reread my favourite YA books and rewrote the chapter. I submitted it to my writers group. I'll always remember, my friend who critiqued it, turning to me and saying ""Yeah, this was a good chapter for somebody else to write, but it isn't you. What makes your writing yours is not in there"".

So I learnt that I must have some sort of voice and that you have to be true to it.

Who are your favorite authors and why do you like them?

I've a really eclectic taste in books. It really depends on my mood or what genre I'm in at the moment.

So right now, I'm on a serious historical romance binge, so one of my many favourite writers in this genre would be Lisa Kleypas. She's an all round great writer with tight plot, believable and lovable characters and effortless-to-read writing style. I don't know how many times I've reread "Devil in Winter"! Mr. Darcy move over, here's Sebastian!

Another writer I absolutely love is Gail Carriger. Rereading her parasol protectorate series makes me cry with joy (as a reader) and cry with envy (as a writer) because they are just brilliant!!

What most attracts you to the life of a writer?

Probably the freedom, the control over how you work and the idea that you're creating something that will (hopefully) still be around once your gone?

I'm not sure to be honest, I do have this lovely image in my mind of sitting in a parisienne cafe sipping hot chocolate, jotting in a notebook as I watch the world go by. . . but this is probably as realistic as being hand fed bonbons by Richard Armitage!

If you couldn't be a writer but knew you were guaranteed success at a different career, what would you choose?

 I think it would be photography. I'd love to be good at this (but I'm utterly useless!) As the old adage goes "Picture is worth a thousand words" and good photography tells a story so I think like writing, you have to be a storyteller.

If you had to describe your writing in one word, what would that word be? 


aka having crazy grammar ?? ;)

What's the best writing advice you've ever gotten? 

500 words a day. No matter what write 500 words a day.


There is no such thing as good writing, only good rewriting!!

Emily Cross is a pseudonym aspiring to be a published and (hopefully well) paid author. By day, she is an unnamed mild-mannered if not neurotic PhD student. By night, she is Emily Cross, a blog hopping chocoholic with delusions of literary grandeur, who procrastinates her time through tweeting, blogging and posting random thoughts across the blogosphere. Check her out on her blog,  Twitter @crossemily or friend her through Facebook.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Pie: An Old Brown Horse

When I was growing up I had a thing for horses. Like a really big thing. And of all the types of horses in the world my particular weakness is for cowponies. That's why I love, love, LOVE Pie's story, written by Kandy Kay Scaramuzzo. Watch the video, but more importantly READ THE BOOK. If you are an animal lover, especially a horse lover, it's a must.

Pie: An Old Brown Horse (on Amazon)

You can also connect with Pie on Facebook and Pinterest.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Perennial Author Pam Stucky!

Pam Stucky's "Letters from Wishing Rock" won both the B.R.A.G. Medallion and the Awesome Indies Seal of Approval!

What have you learned that seemed completely unrelated to writing at the time but has influenced your writing career?
I was listening to a podcast recently, a self-publishing podcast, where the podcaster (is that the right term?) said that he seriously wanted to know from an accountant, isn't his whole life tax-deductible? It feels like that sometimes! Everything works its way into writing in one way or another. In my lifetime I've worked as a web designer, marketer, fundraiser, in contracts and insurance, so many things that I would never have guessed would help me out in a writing career, but which have been priceless to me. I'll go to the fundraising history for a more specific example. In my time in fundraising, I learned the idea that it never hurts to ask. People often want to give or help, but you have to ask them first. The worst they can do is say no! Working in fundraising either gave me a fearlessness, or enhanced it, and I think that fearlessness has been invaluable to me in working in a field where it is so easy to give in to fear. Fearlessness, perseverance, determination. I'm not sure you can succeed as a writer without these.

A toy manufacturer has decided to make you their new superhero action figure. What is your superpower and what are you wearing?
Oh my gosh. I want to have multiple superheroes! Actually, just the other day someone asked what superpower I'd want, and my tongue-in-cheek response was that I want the ability to fold and put away my clothes fresh out of the dryer, just by blinking. I hate folding and putting away clothes! But if I had the chance to have a real actual superpower, I'd say .... oh, gosh, I can't choose just one. I'd want teleporting superpowers, because I love traveling but I hate the getting-there part. I'm so impatient on airplanes, and I fall asleep in cars. For my teleporting action figure I'll wear ... well, whatever it is that would hold all my atoms together because I'd like to be there in one piece. I'd also love the ability to fly, because obviously, awesome! For that I'll wear something warm, because of the wind chill, you see. Sometimes I wish I had the ability to read people's minds, but that one is a double-edged sword, just like invisibility. Although clearly what I'd be wearing as a superhero with the superpower of invisibility would be INVISIBILITY. Awesome.

Do you ever regret deciding to become a professional writer?
Never. Never!! I can't wait until I have more time to write. When I wrote my first book, it was all new and unknown, I had no clue what I was doing or what would come of it. But I so clearly remember that when I finished my second book I had this really deep, emotional moment where I thought, "This is it. This is what I want to do with my life." For a person who had spent the previous XX years trying to figure out what the heck she wanted to do with her life, it was huge, powerful. I get Oprah's e-newsletters, and there was one not long after my second book that came out with an article "How to figure out what you want to do with your life." Out of habit, I clicked on it. And then I thought ... wait. I know. I'm there. I can't wait for the day when I can more easily support myself through writing alone, but I'm so happy to be doing what I'm doing.

What is the best part of being a professional writer?
One time, years ago, I was in this self-help phase. I decided for some reason that something I needed to do was to go away for a weekend and do all these self-help exercises, one of which was to figure out the ONE WORD that summed me up. Now, obviously none of us can be summed up in one word. However, I do think the word I came up with is pretty good. After much thought, I settled on CURIOUS. Discovery, learning, all that. I live to learn. I want to know. At the end of my days, my dream is that I get to know EVERYTHING. How awesome would that be? And writing, well being a writer is like having a passport into everything. People will share their lives, companies will share their business, everyone is just so willing to share when you tell them you're a writer. Writing gives me access and credibility. And stories! People trust me with their stories, which is the most amazing thing. In fact, I'm starting to think of myself less as a writer and more as a person who connects others through stories. Whether fiction or non-fiction, real worlds or made-up worlds, all of it rings true in some way.

Give us a quick overview of what you write and where we can find it.
"Whether you're looking for an escape to a small island town filled with quirky, lovable characters, or hoping to find adventure around the world through the eyes of a curious adventurer, you have come to the right place! The books I have out currently are fiction - novels with recipes. The Wishing Rock series begins with Letters from Wishing Rock, continues with The Wishing Rock Theory of Life, and finishes in The Tides of Wishing Rock. These books take place in Wishing Rock, Washington – an island town where everyone lives in the same building. Letters between the neighbors and their friends chronicle the twists and turns of the characters' daily lives, and are interspersed with recipes tried and tested by the characters themselves, in these witty and wise novels that explore community, relationships, hope, fear, forgiveness, risk, dreams, trust, and love. Coming this Fall, I will launch a new series showcasing another of my loves: travel! The Pam on the Map series will bring readers an intimate insight into my adventures and misadventures as I travel around the world, near and far, meeting new people and discovering new cultures. These books, filled with wit and wanderlust, are the embodiment of my passions of curiosity and connection. The series will launch with a new look at Iceland, plus retrospective looks at past trips I've taken to Ireland and Switzerland. You can find out everything you need to know at The first in the Wishing Rock series is Letters from Wishing Rock (a novel with recipes), available in both print and ebook. At Amazon, print is and ebook is Read that first, then move on to the rest of the books in the series! To stay up to date on what's going on with the Pam on the Map series and other publications, follow me on Facebook Pam Stucky, Author, and on Twitter, @pamstucky. I also have some great boards on Pinterest for those who are interested!