Emma Leigh Reed is the author of Crashing Hearts, her debut novel through Whiskey Creek Press. Emma is in the interview chair today, ready to answer a host of questions.
Feel free to ask questions of your own!
1. First off, tell us a little bit about yourself. I visited your web site and got a glimpse of the writer you, but what about the everyday Emma.
The everyday me is not real exciting. I work full time as a secretary in a dermatology office, still have 2 teenagers living at home along with our oldest daughter and her 3 month old son staying with us for a while.
2. You enjoy writing about real-life issues. In Crashing Hearts, the heroine is raising her autistic son alone, while consumed with guilt over her husband’s death. Was there anything in particular that inspired this story?
This story was greatly inspired by my own autistic son. A lot of Jared’s autistic traits, victories and small idiosyncrasies mirror my son’s. I wanted to tell his journey through autism, but the emotions were still too raw that I found it easier to weave everything into a fictional story.
3. Can you share your writing process through Crashing Hearts? Did the plot come first or characters?
The characters definitely came first, and took over. The very loose plot I had got shoved aside when Kira and Grant decided the story would go a different way.
4. What elements do you think a romance served with real-life issues should contain? Did these elements influence Crashing Hearts?
I think if you are including real life issues the emotions of those issues need to come through. If I am reading a book that seems life like, but the emotions are flat, it just doesn’t work for me.
5. What about the hero and heroine–what do you love most about them and what makes you want to shake them?
I absolutely loved Grant, his gentle strength – however his stubbornness was absolutely frustrating. As far as Kira, she shows amazing strength as a single mom with all she has dealt with, but closing herself off is something you just want to shake her for not wanting her to miss out on the best experience of her life.
6. What’s your writing schedule like? As president of From the Heart Romance Writers, a family to raise, and daily life stealing your time, how do you manage to juggle it all?
I don’t get to write near as much as I would like to. I take my netbook to work with me and write on my lunch hour. Weekends I try to get some writing in. When I’m really motivated and am deeply into a scene, nothing gets in the way of writing and sometimes life gets pushed aside.
7. When did you know Crashing Hearts was ready to be queried to publishers and agents?
This is my first book, so I didn’t really know. I started querying before it was ready, but with some great feedback I was able to polish it up and get it back out there.
8. What do you enjoy most about writing?
I love creating characters with emotion. I figure if when I am writing, I can laugh during one scene and be crying in a next, the emotion is where it should be.
9. What do you enjoy least about writing?
Editing, and synopsis/query letter writing.
10. What the best advice someone ever gave you when you first started writing?
Just write every day, even if it isn’t very good.
11. Do you have any advice for new writers?
Keep writing and get involved with other writers. The support is amazing when people are right there in the same boat with you.
12. I enjoy doing random questions, so humour me LOL.
- What’s your favourite movie? Leap Year
- What book is currently in your e-reader? Believe it or not, I don’t have an e-reader. But I just finished Worlds Collide by Alison Strobel.
- Who’s your favourite musical group? That’s a tough one since there are so many: Thompson Square, Daughtry, Lady A to name just a few.
- What song puts a smile on your face? Wild Thing
13. Is there anything else you’d like to add?
I have so enjoyed this interview, Maggie. I hope people enjoy Crashing Hearts, and have some tissues ready just in case.
14. Lastly, where can we find Crashing Hearts?
Crashing Hearts right now can be pre-ordered here until mid January.
Book Blurb: Kira Nichols is raising her autistic son alone while dealing with the guilt she has lived with for years surrounding her husband’s death. Grant Rutledge returns to his hometown to help take over the family business and to repair the spiked heel to his broken heart. When he runs into a beautiful, overprotective mother and her nonverbal son, sparks fly and his chance to be part of a loving family seems possible again. When Kira discovers a secret from Grant’s past, she second-guesses her heart. She must overcome her suspicions and haunting ghosts from the past in order to get what she wants – if it’s not too late. To build the family Grant has always wanted, he has to learn to follow his heart.
Read an excerpt from Crashing Hearts here.
Web Site: www.emmaleighreed.com
Emma Leigh Reed has lived in New Hampshire all her life. She has fond memories of the Maine coastline and incorporates the ocean into all her books. She lives in a small town with her husband and children. Her life has been touched and changed by her son’s autism – she views life through a very different lens than before he was born. Growing up as an avid reader, it was only natural for Emma Leigh to turn to creating the stories for others to enjoy.