Author interview with Emma Davies

Today, I'm super excited to announce that I have the fabulous Emma Davies on Becca's Books, answering some questions about her debut novel 'Letting In Light', and chatting away with me about all things writing. Emma, thanks so much for coming on Becca's Books! Let's get started!

B ~ Emma, for those who haven't yet heard of you, would you mind providing us all with an introduction? 

E ~ Hello, and thanks for having me Becca! So to get the boring facts out of the way... I'm a forty six year old mother of three, married, and proud owner of two guinea pigs. I work as a Finance Manager for a Multi Academy Trust looking after four schools so I stare at numbers a lot. It's probably why I like playing with words so much, they're much more fun than numbers! I never met a Pringle I didn't like and I sing very loudly in the car. 

B ~ You're the author of Letting in Light. Could you tell us a little about this book? What's it about? What genre is it? 

E ~ Letting in Light is romantic fiction, quite light in places but at times quite dark too. There are a lot of secrets within its pages which the main character, Ellie, has to fit together like a jigsaw before she gets her happy ending. In essence it follows Ellie's story as she moves into the lodge of a large country estate. Here she meets its owner Will, a former artist and now a grumpy recluse, and his brother Finn, who is drop dead gorgeous. All is not well at the estate however; both brothers have secrets to hide, and the estate is failing. Ellie has a plan which would help all of them being the estate back to life and maybe bring a little light into their lives too, but as the secrets start to emerge a shocking revelation soon threatens their hopes for the future. Suddenly the beliefs they once held true become the biggest obstacle they have to overcome. 

B ~ How long did it take you to complete Letting in Light? Was it a lengthy process? 

E ~ I started writing Letting in Light about seven years ago, so yes, it's taken a huge amount of time to write. My three children were very small and my writing was really just for me at this point. I was writing longhand, by pencil, in odd snatches of time so of course once I had completed the first draft I then had to type it all up! Not to mention rewriting it several times...

B ~ If you had to choose, what would you say your favourite part of the writing process is? Is it creating your characters, descriptions of settings, plot progression? 

E ~ My characters are really important to me. I've usually had them in my head for so long that I consider them very good friends! I am desperate to tell their story, and even have conversations with them in my head. I want them to feel as real to the reader as they do to me. If I can manage that, then in a sense the rest will follow. 

B ~ Have you had many challenges to overcome whilst writing? Have you ever wanted to just give in and give up? 

E ~ The biggest challenge is just life I suppose. I work full-time in a demanding job, have three children and my mother in law (who's 92) lives with us. Whilst I wouldn't want to change any of that it does make for a busy life. Having to type up the draft for Letting in Light after I'd finished it was pretty soul destroying and VERY boring, but I never really thought I wouldn't finish it, it was just a question of when. 

B ~ Where do you find the inspiration for your writing? 

E ~ It can by anything; a line from a song, a photo, a piece in a book, overheard conversations. For example I got the name for the main character in my current writing from a personalised number plate on the back of a motorbike. Oh, and people watching, I love people watching. 

B ~ Do you have a lot of support? 

E ~ I have a husband who does all the washing and ironing, can cook, and cleans the bathrooms (jealous yet?!) so in that sense we really do share the workload. I still feel very guilty about taking time out to write though, but now that Letting in Light is out there I'm trying to remind myself to view my work professionally. Hopefully one day it will be my full-time job. 

B ~ Is Letting in Light your first novel? 

E ~ Yes it's my first published novel. There are others crammed into the bottom of drawers, written when I was much younger, but its probably best that they stay there...

B ~ Are you working on anything at the moment that you could tell us a little about? 

E ~ I have started work on a new book which has the working title of The Amorous Intentions of Amos Fry, but as so many people have asked for a sequel to Letting in Light I'm plotting a few ideas for that too. I'm not sure which one will get there first!

B ~ Are there any authors out there who you consider as role-models?

E ~ Loads! Several people have compared my work to that of Katie Fforde, which for me is a compliment of the highest order. I've loved her work for years, have read all her books, and still eagerly await each new one. I really love reading about other author's roads to success and so I would also have to mention Rachael Lucas and Rachel Abbott, simply because, like me, they started out as self-published authors and are now huge bestselling novelists. They certainly inspire me. 

B ~ Do you undergo a lot of research when planning? 

E ~ I'm very careful to check facts when I write, but I try to write about things I know or am interested in. I once read some advice in a book about research. The chapter was simply entitled 'Careful, your research is showing!' and it's stayed with me. I have read books where the author has so obviously shoehorned in everything they have learned about a particular subject, that it was painful to read. There is always a certain amount of research needed but I try not to let it interfere with the plot. 

B ~ What's your favourite genre to read and write? Have you ever tried to write in a genre that's not in your comfort zone? 

E ~ I much prefer to write romantic fiction, probably because I read more of this genre than anything else. I do however like to read from different genres as otherwise I find my reading gets a bit stale, so I mix it up with thrillers, or crime, with the odd fantasy title thrown in. The only thing I don't (won't) read is horror. I used to read a lot of fantasy books when I was younger, and there is half a book in this genre hiding in the bottom of a drawer, so maybe one day I'll give this a go. 

B ~ Do you judge a book by it's cover or not? 

E ~ Oh yes! I'm a sucker for a lovely cover, particularly those Christmassy ones, they are just too irresistible by far...

B ~ How long have you been an author for? 

E ~ Well Letting in Light was published in June, so not long. I'm currently learning how to be an author, but mostly I'm making it up as I go along!

B ~ Do you have a big group of readers? 

E ~ I've been really thrilled by people's reactions to Letting in Light, and sales have been really good which is amazing considering I'm a very small fish in a very big pond. I've been lucky to get some great reviews from bloggers and so word of mouth has been a big help. However, you can never have too many... there's room for plenty more. 

B ~ What are your thoughts on bloggers and reviewers? How do you cope with negative reviews? 

E ~ I love you all! Seriously, I owe a huge debt of gratitude to bloggers and reviewers. As I said I'm learning how to be an author and I've learnt so much from them. I find them to be so incredibly supportive, I couldn't ask for more. I'm lucky in that I haven't had a negative review yet, but I know there will come a time when I do, in which case I will probably swear, a lot. 

B ~ Are there any particular places where you escape to when you want to write? 

E ~ I don't have any one particular place as I've become so adept at writing in odd snatches that I've written pretty much everywhere. I have been known to drive to a car park though and just sit and write. Once it was in a field with my back to a hay bale for half an hour...

B ~ Do you plan before writing? Is this important to you? 

E ~ I do plan, but I don't think I'm very good at it. I get so impatient to write that I often just pile in. I plan as I'm going along but I definitely prefer to let my characters take me to where they want to go, and not the other way around. 

B ~ Is picking the right title difficult? 

E ~ It's horrible, like choosing a name for your child! I think much is conveyed in a title and interpretation is a very personal thing. What means one thing to one person means something very different to another. I worried endlessly over Letting in Light, and I'm still not sure whether the title conveys what I think it does, but now it's getting a little older I don't think anything else would suit it quite as well. 

B ~ What's the best piece of advice you've been given? 

E ~ Not to worry that I can't write in huge strides at the moment; my small steps will get me there just as well, if I keep going. 

B ~ Do you have any advice for aspiring authors? 

E ~ Read, read some more, and don't ever stop. I firmly believe that if you lose touch with your reading you lose touch with your writing. If you never ate, how would you know how to make something taste good? 

Emma, thanks so much for taking the time to answer my questions. It's been an absolute pleasure having you on Becca's Books. 

~ Author Bio ~ 

Emma Davies once applied for her dream job in the following manner; 

'I'm a bestselling novelist currently masquerading as a thirty something mother of three.' Well she's now a forty something mother of three, and is working on the rest. 

By day she's a finance manager and looks at numbers a lot of the time, but by night she gets to use actual words and practices putting them together into sentences. Her twitter bio says she loves her family, her job, reading, writing, singing loudly in the car, and Pringles, so that must be true then. 

Letting in Light is her debut novel, and she's currently working on her second. 

Emma Davies can be found on TwitterFacebookGoodreads and

Letting in Light ~ Goodreads | Amazon UK | Amazon US

Post a Comment