Author Q&A: Emma Davies

Hurrah! I'm back with another fabulous author Q&A for you all to sit back and enjoy, with a nice cup of tea and perhaps a plate of custard creams! This week, I'm joined by the wonderful Emma Davies who I'm delighted to have been given the chance to aim my questions at. Without further ado, let's get the questions rolling.


First of all, could you introduce yourself to readers? Tell us a little bit about you and the books that you write.
Hi Becca, thank you so much for inviting me to take part in your author questions and answers. I live in the beautiful county of Shropshire, with my husband, three children, mum in law, and two guinea pigs. I once owned a keyring which said ‘You can touch the dust, but please don’t write your name in it,’ and this pretty much sums up my housekeeping skills. I also have a very unhealthy relationship with Pringles.

In which genre/genres do you write?
Contemporary women’s fiction probably sums it up best.

Tell us about your most recent book, and where can we find it?
Letting in Light is my first book and also bizarrely my most recent. Originally self-published, it was picked up by Amazon (with whom I now have my publishing contract) and had been given a complete makeover. It was re-released on the 14th June, and you can grab a copy here:

How do you hope to make readers feel while reading your books?
Someone once described one of my books as like being wrapped in a warm blanket of words. I can’t think of anything nicer.

If you had to choose three words to describe your most recent book, what would they be?
Heart-warming, heart-breaking, hopeful

When it comes to creating your characters, are they completely fictional or do you gather ideas from the people you know in real life?
A bit of a mixture to be honest. A character from my Christmas novella, Merry Mistletoe, was named after a personalised number plate I spotted on the back of a motorbike (Amos Fry), so they really can come at me from anywhere.

How do you choose the settings of your books?
The settings, like the characters, are hugely important to me. I want my readers to feel immersed in a particular place, and also to feel a certain way because of it. I try therefore to pick places that evoke those same feeling in me.

Have you visited any of the areas which you’ve written about?
Yes, so far, they’ve all been based on local areas that I know and love.

Who are some of your favourite authors?
Rachel Abbott, Linda Gillard, Jill Mansell, Erica James

Do you like to plan strategically, or do you let the characters lead the way?
I’m a bit of a pantster to be honest. I always have a basic idea of where I want things to go, and quite often the opening and closing lines, but after that I prefer to let things go, and see what happens. My books are very character driven, so I always have my characters well developed before I start and then, fortunately, they tend to give me the best ideas as we go along. Of course I do have to round them all up from time to time and give them a stern talking to, but I usually find they’re a pretty obliging bunch.

If you could sit down and have lunch with any author, who would you choose and why?
Probably Rachel Abbott. She was a massive inspiration to me when I first started out as a self-published author, as that’s the way she started too. I’d love to thank her personally for helping on this incredible journey. Of course, apart from her huge writing talent, she is also phenomenal at marketing, and to be honest, I’d really like to pick her brains too!

Is there a particular part of the writing process which you enjoy more than others?
Yes, publication day! No, seriously, I do enjoy all the different aspects to writing, and for different reasons, but first drafts are always my favourite. I love the wave of energy and excitement that comes when you’re gripped in that first rush to get your thoughts down on paper.

When it comes to the cover of a book, how important do you feel they are?
Hugely, particularly given the rise of the eBook, covers need to have a massive impact, and ‘drive by’ appeal. After all most readers might initially only see an inch square thumbnail image so it has to grab attention right from the off. None of us like to think we judge a book by its cover, but we all do it!

How do you keep track of your writing progress? Do you use daily word goals? Do you aim to get a set number of chapters written?
I have a desk planner which is laid out in weeks and is brilliant for keeping track of targets and deadlines etc. I also record my daily word count, just because I like the thrill of seeing the total mount up. When I’m actually writing (as opposed to editing) I make it a rule to write at least 2000 words a day, and that I do, come hell or high water.

Tell us the top three books you’ve read so far in 2016.
Miranda Dickinson – A Parcel for Anna Browne
Amanda Jennings – In her Wake
Dani Atkins – Our Song (blubbed like a baby over that one!)

How did you celebrate your most recent publication day?
Working on my next book!

What are your thoughts on the book-blogging community?
I recently attended a blogger / author event, and in a room that was totally crammed with people I recognised a blogger I knew only from social media just at the moment when she recognised me. We hugged, squealed a bit, and then both apologised for ‘fangirling.’ You see, just as she exclaimed that she was thrilled to meet me, I was just as thrilled to meet her. To us authors, you guys are our heroes.

Which, if any, other genre would you like to try and write in?
An edge of your seat, blood pumping thriller… but I don’t think I have the nerve!

What has been your biggest accomplishment so far in your writing career?
Writing a book that people have enjoyed reading. It’s all I could ever ask for.

Are you working on anything at the moment? If so, tell us a little bit about it.
I’m currently working on the edits for book two for Amazon, which will be released in February next year. I’m also working on three more novellas to compliment Merry Mistletoe which was released last Christmas. Hopefully these will be released as a complete series in the late autumn.

Writing in an apartment in New York City or writing in a cottage in the English countryside?
Cottage, definitely.

Writing with a cup of tea or writing with a cup of coffee?
Cup(s) of tea – love the smell of coffee, hate the taste!

Writing with a sandwich or writing with a cupcake?
Well now that really depends on my mood. And today, as I’ve already had two pieces of cake at work (!), it’s most definitely a sandwich.

Writing with music or writing in silence?
Silence (although actually I prefer some sort of white noise the best)

Writing outside in the sunshine or writing inside as the snow falls?
Bring me sunshine!

And lastly, if someone told you that they wanted to be a writer, what would you tell them?
Write. Then you will be a writer. 
Oh, and get ready for the biggest adventure of your life.

About the author

After a varied career Emma Davies once worked for a design studio where she was asked to provide a fun and humorous anecdote for their website. She wrote the following: 'I am a bestselling novelist currently masquerading as a thirty something mother of three.' Well the job in the design studio didn't work out but she's now a forty something mother of three, and is working on the rest.

Today she's a finance manager and looks at numbers a lot of the time, so at night she likes to throw them away and play with words, practicing putting them together into sentences. Pop over to her website www.emmadaviesauthor.com where, amongst other things, you can read about her passion for Pringles and singing loudly in the car.

You can find Emma Davies on Facebook | Twitter | emmadaviesauthor.com

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