James has a wonderful fantasy book out right now and I loved it so much that yes it is on my favorite list. But I wanted to dive a bit deeper and find out more about this man behind the book so I approached him and asked him to do an Author Interview with me. So glad that he said yes because now I can introduce him to you more. Here we go!
- What sparked you interest in writing?
I’m told that during story time in kindergarten, while other kids found ways to distract themselves, I would stare at the teacher with my eyes and mouth wide open. I remember feeling at an early age that there was something special or important about stories. At some point, I started writing my own.
2. Has anyone in your life inspired you to write?
Two great friends of mine have inspired me in my writing. One is my roommate, whom I’ve been friends with since high school. As teenagers, we were committed to writing regularly and critiquing one another’s work, and we forged a strong bond over our writing. The other friend is a fellow teacher who recently wrote and self-published a book in a very brief span of time and is now selling hundreds if not thousands of copies.
3. When did you decide to publish?
I decided to self-publish for the first time in 2016. I was in a rocky, transitional point in my life, and I felt I needed to accomplish something tangible to pull me out of the rough spot I was in and also to inspire me to continue writing. I self-published a fairy tale novel called “Hagen’s Curse,” about a very talented baker who is accused of witchcraft by a rival baker who’s hellbent on destroying her. I believe I’m a better writer now than I was when I first wrote the book, so I recently went back and revised the manuscript to reflect all I’ve learned in the last few years.
4. Are you an Indie Author or Traditional author? Why did you choose the path you did?
Same answer as #3- I decided to self-publish for the first time in 2016. I was in a rocky, transitional point in my life, and I felt I needed to accomplish something tangible to pull me out of the rough spot I was in and also to inspire me to continue writing. I self-published a fairy tale novel called “Hagen’s Curse,” about a very talented baker who is accused of witchcraft by a rival baker who’s hellbent on destroying her. I believe I’m a better writer now than I was when I first wrote the book, so I recently went back and revised the manuscript to reflect all I’ve learned in the last few years.
5.What is your first published book?
I self-published a fairy tale novel called “Hagen’s Curse,” about a very talented baker who is accused of witchcraft by a rival baker who’s hellbent on destroying her.
6. Are you happy with hour your books are coming out? Would you change anything?
Stylistically, I am pretty happy with my writing so far. I think I’ve managed to strike clear, simple, yet evocative prose. Even those who find my stories too dark tend to respond well to the style. That said, I think I need to work on my pacing. I write short, focused stories, and it’s possible I need to slow things down and go into more depth. A number of my readers have noted this in some way or another, so that is a focus of mine in my next book.
7. Will you continue to publish books for many years to come?
Yes! I would like to put out one book a year. I am focused on building up my email list and creating a community of readers who will purchase my work when it comes out. This would be hugely motivating to know that whenever I publish a book, there will be a community behind me ready to read it.
8. What genres inspire you to write?
I think it’s both a strength and a weakness for me as a writer and a reader that I’m not too focused on any particular genre. I prefer simple, focused, character-driven stories that could be produced on stage with minimal set design and a small cast of characters. However, I don’t think you need any particular genre to accomplish that. All I would say is, if it’s fantasy, make it meaningful. If it’s historical, make it accessible and unpretentious. If it’s contemporary, make it plot-focused and entertaining.
9. What is your favorite genre to write? What is your least favorite genre to write?
As a writer, I enjoy writing fairy tales and fantasies. However, I don’t want to be an escapist writer who can’t write meaningful, entertaining stories in the “real world.” My first book was a fairy tale. The book I’m working on now is realistic and contemporary.
10. What challenges have you faced publishing?
Finding readers as a self-published author is the greatest challenge I’ve faced in publishing. I have managed to produce, in my view, a highly professional paperback, ebook, and audiobook on my first try. But I am struggling with getting it into the hands of new readers. This will probably be a continual struggle and journey for me, but I am also happy with the success I’ve had so far. I’ve got 30 reviews on Amazon and almost 60 on Goodreads, and that feels fantastic. The praises and criticisms have motivated me to keep writing and also to improve my craft.
11. What challenges have you faced in writing?
Pacing is an issue for me as I mentioned earlier. I am also working to build a broader vocabulary and knowledge base so that I can be more specific. I’m trying to observe finer details in my daily life so I can use them in my writing.
12. Where do your ideas for your books come from? Where do you keep those ideas?
I’m not the kind of writer that is constantly bursting with ideas, and I actually struggle to come up with the idea for the next book I plan to work on. This is probably good and bad. It would be nice to have lots of ideas to choose from. However, I also don’t get restless and jump from one project to another like some writers do.
13. Are you also a bookworm and does reading other works help inspire your own writing?
I try to read about an hour a day. Reading helps me flesh out my imagination and realize the weak points I need to address in my own work. However, writing comes more automatically than reading. I’ll go insane if I don’t write, so it’s not an option, but reading is something I make sure to put on my daily to-do list. Right now I’m reading “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” by Ken Kesey and “Troubled Blood” by JK Rowling.
14. Do you have a website where we can follow you?
My website is firstname.lastname@example.org. However, the best thing you can do is join my email list, located on my website! =)
15. What is the link for your books so others may look and possibly purchase from them?
https://www.amazon.com/Hagens-Curse-James-Emmi/dp/0692745637. It’s available in paperback, ebook, and audiobook. Thank you to anyone who checks it out.
I found his answers interesting especially about how he is only publishing a book once a year. That makes it hard since I loved his first book, the fantasy book that is linked above, and now I have to wait in order to read his next. But I guess the suspense will be worth it in the ned. Enjoy the book above, Hagen’s Curse. I hope you also enjoyed learning about James here as well. Go sign up for his email list, please.