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Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Blogger Book Fair Author Interview! Emily Tippetts!

We’ll start with the basics.

1. When did you first know you wanted to be an author?

Since I was a child and first learned where books came from. There's never been any other job really, that I've ever wanted.

2. What is your normal ‘writing routine’? Music? No music? A snack you can’t write without? Do you have to write at a certain time of day?

With two small children and my book designs business, I don't have the luxury of a routine, so I need to be able to write whenever I have a spare moment. If I don't, I'd never write at all. So I have my laptop near me at all times and write whenever I can throughout the day. I sometimes put a song on repeat while I write, but the reason I do that is to shield out other noises. I don't listen to the lyrics or even notice the song after a few minutes.

3. Do you base any of your characters on real people you know or are they complete fiction?

I'm not sure it's possible to ever write complete fiction. My characters always have traits of people I know, but they're never, on the whole, based on a person. I mix and match because that's a lot more interesting. Also, even if I tried to base a character on someone else, I think the result would be my opinion of who the person is, which is something else entirely. I suppose at the heart of it, we all base our characters on ourselves whether we mean to or not.

4. What’s been your favorite experience with a fan, fellow author, or book blogger so far since becoming an author?

Well, nothing really beats the experience of just selling books and pulling in an income from the job I love. Fans are wonderful and other authors have always been good company, but the heart of the reason why I'm in this business is because I love the job.

5. How did you decide what genre you wanted to write? Is that the genre you typically read?

I started writing in science fiction, which is what I typically read - though having said that, I read a lot of different genres. I started writing romance in order to get a novel published in the LDS market, which is quite a bit easier to break into than the national novel market. For that reason I took on the pen name E.M. Tippetts and really thought I'd just write a few books and be done. Then a few years later, indie publishing started up and it looked like a ton of fun, so I took E.M. Tippetts indie. Even as recently as a year and a half ago, indie was considered risky for your reputation, so it was important that I go into it with the pen name I was less invested in. It's been a wonderful experience so I've kept at it. I don't read a ton of romance, I have to admit. Most of what I read now is beta reading from my author friends and colleagues.

6. What’s the scariest thing about being an author?

The number of books you have to sell to make a living and how hard that can be. It's possible to pour your heart and soul into writing and never earn enough to pay the mortgage, which just isn't the case in a lot of other careers.

Now for some random questions.

1. If you could go back in time (and morals were completely not an issue in this situation), what book idea would you write as your own work? Meaning, what book that someone else has written do you wish you’d thought of first?

None. If I wanted to write other people's stuff I'd work in media-tie-in or as a ghost writer.

2. If you could live out one of your books, which one would it be?

I suppose I feel like I've lived out all of them. That's been part of the process of creating them, for me.

3. All of your main characters from all of your books are trapped in a zombie apocalypse! Which one dies first? Which one saves the day? Who is the most resourceful? Who gets the girl in the end? Which one is the plucky comic relief? Who gets discouraged and just gives up all together?

Alex, with his disability, would likely die first. He might or might not know if the zombies are real. Chloe Winters would save the day because she's my grittiest survivor. Madison Lukas is the most resourceful. Jason Vanderholt has worked his whole life on getting the girl he loves, so that wouldn't change. Kailie Beale or Steve Vanderholt would be comic relief. The one who got discouraged would probably be Alex again. He's had a rough enough life as it is.

4. An oldie but a goodie. If you could have one superpower, what would it be and what would you do with it?

The ability to write perfect books. I'd use it to, well, write perfect books :-)

And now to make some split second choices.

Chocolate or vanilla? Chocolate

Video games or board games?  Video games

Salty or sweet? Both!

Night or day? Night is when I do the most writing.

Hot or cold? Neither, I hate temperature swings!

Hardcover or paperback? That depends on if I have to pay for it.

First person or third person? Depends on the story.

And last but not least. Tell us a bit about your latest book.

What’s the title? Love in Darkness

Tell us a bit about it! (Synopsis)  Alex had everything when he was with Madison. But the darkness within him wouldn't go away. After two years apart, he returns to Pelican Bluffs and to the girl he never wanted to leave.

Madison wants to give their love another chance, but Alex can't fight fate. He is what he is. Ruined. Crazy like his mother. And Madison deserves so much more. When his secrets spill out into their small town, Alex has a choice to make. Hide away in the darkness forever, or let love in.

Where did you come up with the idea? It's the sequel to Castles on the Sand and seemed like the next logical step for the story to take.

What was your favorite thing about writing this book? Spending more time with Alex. He's my favorite character to date.

What was the most challenging thing about this book? Writing from the POV of someone with schizophrenia. There are a lot of misconceptions about mental illness, and a strong stigma against it even still.

What’s something unique about this book? I suppose there aren't many LDS schizophrenic main characters out there.

What do you love about your main character(s)? That they truly want what's best for the other person and will do anything to ensure it.

What bugs you about your main character(s)? Alex's low self confidence. I think it's accurate, and that doesn't say the greatest things about society.

Where can we find it? (Links!)

Anything else you want to tell us about you, your books, or just a general shout out to your fans? Just a heartfelt thank you for having me on your site!

Tell us 3 fun facts about yourself.

1. I'm half Chinese; my father's family immigrated from Shanghai in the 1940's

2. My father's a glider pilot, so when I was a kid I spent a lot of weekends hanging around the airport and flying planes.

3. I've got more names than you can shake a stick at. I was born Emily Mary Mah and my Chinese family gave me the name Shi Yue. Then when I married my husband I got the last name, Tippetts, so I can do a lot of different pen names and still have them be my real name.

What book are you currently reading, and in what format?

Hardwired by Walter Jon Williams, as an ebook. I'm going to serialize it for him so I'm reading to find the best places to break each episode.

Do you have a book that you read over and over?

The Bible and the Book of Mormon, but I assume you mean a novel. When I was a kid it was King of the Wind by Marguerite Henry. Nowadays I never find time to re-read a book, though!

Is there a book you know you’ll never read?

The rest of the Twilight series. It just isn't my kind of thing.

You’re deserted on an island. A genie appears and gives you six wishes. You can’t wish for more wishes, and you can’t wish to be home. You can only wish for three specific items and three people to have with you. What are your wishes?

A computer with magical internet access so I can keep writing. A study home to live in that won't require a whole lot of maintenance. A boat and fishing equipment.

The people are easy. My husband and two boys!

If you could time travel, where would you go first and why?

To the future, past when I can expect to live naturally, simply because there'd be no other way for me to find out about it!

When did you go from “writer” to “author” in your mind?

After I was on the Top 100 Children's list on Amazon for a month. I still wasn't earning a living, but I supposed that was still a pretty good credential.

Where do you write, and what do you have with you when you do? (if you can send a pic of where you write, that would be awesome)

Wherever I am at the time. I don't have the luxury of a schedule with my two small kids and book design business, so I carry my computer around whenever I can and write when I can grab a spare moment. Hence, I don't have a picture. It'd be of my computer, I suppose :-)

What’s your latest release? (title, synopsis, links)


Love in Darkness


Alex had everything when he was with Madison. But the darkness within him wouldn't go away. After two years apart, he returns to Pelican Bluffs and to the girl he never wanted to leave.

Madison wants to give their love another chance, but Alex can't fight fate. He is what he is. Ruined. Crazy like his mother. And Madison deserves so much more. When his secrets spill out into their small town, Alex has a choice to make. Hide away in the darkness forever, or let love in.


What are you currently working on, and when can we expect to see it for sale? (title if you have it and a synopsis)

The title is Break It Up and it's a new adult romance. Kyra Armijo (whom some readers will know from my Someone Else's Fairytale series) gets the chance to work on a documentary about the chart topping boy band, Triple Cross. As part of the job, she goes on tour with them in Europe where she strikes up a romance with one of the band members. Since she assumes it's all an act on his part, she doesn't bother to tell him about her racy past, which would destroy him if the tabloids found out. Things get awkward when she realizes he's being sincere, and even more awkward when one of the other band members tries to compete for her attention.

One Word Questions (try to answer with a single word or as close to it as possible, if you don’t have an answer just leave blank):

Favorite color?


Favorite food?


Favorite drink?

Diet Coke

Favorite book?

Too many to list!

Favorite author?

Too many to list!

Favorite movie?

The Neverending Story

Favorite TV show?

Nashville (these days, at least)

Favorite animal?

All of them!

Favorite season?


Favorite superhero?

I'm really not into superheros.

Any last words?

Thanks so much for having me!

E.M. Tippetts

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