I’m delighted to welcome Emily Royal to my blog.
Emily (and Twinkle)
Hello Emily – And thank you for taking time out from your busy family life, work schedule, and your activities as RNA Hon Treasurer to joining me on Arabella’s Blog and Chit-Chat today. It was lovely to connect with you through the Romantic Novelists’ Association. The RNA is such a great place to find supportive authors and affiliate members with whom to share the writing journey. But before we discover more about your latest release, Roderick’s Widow, here are a few questions which will hopefully give your readers and followers an insight into some of the things that matter to you…
Arabella: How did you manage to get your first novel published and what did you learn from the experience?
Emily: It’s complicated! The first novel I had an offer of publication on hasn’t been published yet, but it’s on the horizon. I started submitting it directly after my agent had failed to get a contract on it, and the whole process took three years. The first novel I had published, a Medieval/Highlander romance, came about via a twitter pitch event, which I took part in as a learning exercise to see if I could write a decent pitch. The book’s quite dark, so I hadn’t expected to get a contract out of it. I almost didn’t read the publisher’s e:mail when they got in touch to say they were interested!
My biggest lesson from the experience was to not focus all my hopes and energies on one book. Waiting to hear from publishers or agents is the worst thing in the world for an author because it can take weeks, or even months. So rather than obsess over submissions, I put them out of my mind and spent the waiting time writing more books.
Arabella: If you could choose, which would it be: A walk in the woods, a walk along a beach front to dip your toes in the sea, or a day shopping for clothes?
Emily: Definitely a walk in the woods – better still if the woods are on the slopes of a mountain! Shopping for clothes is my idea of hell.
Arabella: Who or what inspired you to write Roderick’s Widow?
Emily: This is going to sound really pretentious, but the inspiration came from the heroine, Alice, who is a secondary character in Hawthorne’s Wife, an earlier book in the series. I didn’t like her at all and gave her a tough time in Hawthorne’s Wife, but she refused to get out of my head until I wrote her story! I think my subconscious was at work when I sketched out her character profile because I can now see that she’s similar to Morwenna in Poldark, something I only noticed when I watched the latest series on TV.
Arabella: Where do you read? Sofa or bed or ____?
Emily: Everywhere! Mostly in bed and sometimes on the loo (which is the one place I can find sanctuary in a house full of people and pets).
Arabella: Some authors write at first light, others need a mug of coffee or a glass of wine before putting pen to paper. When writing, are there any “essentials” you need to help the words flow?
Emily: I have a busy day job which involves a fair bit of travel and long hours, so I have to snatch opportunities to write when I can. I find having a timer with me, set for an hour, helps me get a lot of words down in a short space of time. Wine is great for removing inhibitions when I have to write bedroom scenes! I’m not a morning person so I write mostly in the evening, but when I went on a writing retreat with a friend, I found early morning the most productive time of the day. Having someone sitting next to me, tapping away, prevented me from straying into surfing the internet or checking e:mails. Another essential I often have is my pet snake, Twinkle, who sits quietly on my shoulders when I’m writing.
Arabella: You’re halfway through the work-in-progress, you’re about to kill off the hero and there is going to be no happy-ever-after. In other words, you’re stuck! If you had to contact an “author/publisher/editor friend” for guidance, who would it be?
Emily: I have a few resources for that! One is the lovely Sarah Painter (aka the “Worried Writer”) who is good at asking those difficult questions to get me thinking about plot, and we often meet up for wine and nibbles. Another great resource I have is my critique group on Facebook, and similar group on Twitter. Social media might have its drawbacks, but I’ve found it a fantastic way to link with like minds who I’d never have met otherwise.
Arabella: The T.V. is on and you’re in control of the remote. Which is it to be: A quiz programme…An afternoon of sport…A family soap…A romantic film you always wanted to see but missed when it was shown at the cinema?
Emily: It’ll depend on what mood I’m in! I’m a binger who loathes cliffhangers, but I love watching a whole series back-to-back. Complicated plots and interwoven story arcs are my favourite, and I’m currently bingeing on Lost for the third time. I also like comedy, but haven’t found anything modern which tickles my fancy yet, so I stick to old favourites like Father Ted and the earlier seasons of Red Dwarf. If I’m after “white noise” I’ll switch on a cookery programme.
CAST of LOST
Arabella: Do you have any great writing, publishing, or marketing tips you’d like to share to “want-to-be” authors starting out on their writing journey?
Emily: Write what you love. I know the saying is usually “write what you know”, but a lot of knowledge can be gained through research. If you don’t love what you’re writing, no matter how knowledgeable you might me, it will show! I’d also say keep writing, especially when your first manuscript is out on submission. Waiting for a response is the worst, and you have no control over when, or even if, you get one! So it’s better to crack on with the next book which will help to take your mind off waiting. If you do get an offer on the first book, then you’ll have another book to show them as well. If you don’t, then at least you’ll have something else to submit.
Arabella: Thank you for joining me on Arabella’s Blog and Chit-Chat, Emily. I’m sure your readers enjoyed discovering a little bit more about your personal life…including your “neck” cuddles with Twinkle.
Good luck with your latest release - Roderick’s Widow
All the best, and wishing you lots of happy-ever-after writing.
About Emily Royal
Emily Royal grew up in Sussex, England, and has devoured romantic novels for as long as she can remember. A mathematician at heart, Emily has worked in financial services for over twenty years. She indulged in her love of writing after she moved to Scotland, where she lives with her husband, teenage daughters and menagerie of rescue pets including Twinkle, an attention-seeking boa constrictor.
She has a passion for both reading and writing romance with a weakness for Regency rakes, Highland heroes, and Medieval knights. Persuasion is one of her all-time favourite novels which she reads several times each year and she is fortunate enough to live within sight of a Medieval palace.
When not writing, Emily enjoys playing the piano, hiking, and painting landscapes, particularly the Highlands. One of her ambitions is to paint, as well as climb, every mountain in Scotland.
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Blurb for: Roderick’s Widow
Seven years ago Alice de Grecy’s father bullied her into breaking her engagement to businessman Ross Trelawney, an act which left her heartbroken. Now recovering from an abusive marriage to a duke who died in violent circumstances, she finds herself an object of gossip among the ton. Terrified at the notion of remarriage, she spends her time volunteering at a shelter for abused women. When she meets Ross again, their bitter encounter is a reminder of what she has lost.
After Alice rejected him, Ross vowed to marry for convenience, not love. Now widowed with a young daughter, a chance meeting with Alice reignites old passions, but the last thing he needs in his life is the woman he’s spent seven years trying to forget.
When Alice’s ambitious father arranges her marriage to a viscount twice her age, Alice and Ross seem destined to be apart. Ross must conquer his demons if he does not wish to lose Alice forever, and Alice must learn to trust again if she is to find happiness.
Amazon UK link: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B081ZJ5ZP3
Amazon US link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B081ZJ5ZP3