This week’s guest poster is the author Emma Hornby, who has kindly given her time to answer some interview questions. 🙂 Enjoy.
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Q01 – When did you decide you wanted to become a writer?
Hi, Ari, and thanks for inviting me here!
I suppose I’ve always loved writing. I began jotting poetry in my mid-teens; I even worked as a freelance poet for a while. As a lover of historical sagas, I’d been toying with the idea of penning my own novel for a few years before I finally put words down on paper.
However, it wasn’t until I had a short story accepted by a magazine and saw my name in print that I believed I might actually have some ability, here. As well as having several pieces published online, I had another short story selected to be performed on stage at the Octagon Theatre, Bolton.
These spurred me on to complete the book and begin looking into getting it published. I found myself an agent and recently signed a three-book deal with Transworld, Penguin Random House. Transworld, the late Dame Catherine Cookson’s publisher, have described me as their new Cookson – an honour indeed!
Q02 – Did you find people supportive when they found out you were a writer?
Mostly, yes. I’m from a tough, working-class estate where opportunities are few and far between. In short, things like this don’t usually happen for folk like me. In the beginning, it’s silly, but I did worry whether I’d be viewed by some as ‘getting above my station’, so to speak, but people have been incredibly supportive. As I’m sure do most writers, I’ve experienced the odd negative remark but in general, the journey has been a positive one.
Q03 – What is your ultimate dream goal for your writing?
I simply want my work to be read and enjoyed.
Q04 – What is the title (or working title) of your current manuscript and can you tell us a little bit about it?
Scuttler’s Girl, my second book, tells the story of Moll Chambers, a poor young woman struggling with the hardships of life in Victorian Manchester. Scuttlers – gangs of vicious young street fighters who once terrorised Manchester’s slums – have set their sights on Moll’s brother and she’s determined to keep him from joining their ranks and ruining his future.
Q05 – Which genre does this story come under?
Like my debut novel, A Shilling for a Wife, out 3rd November, Scuttler’s Girl is a gritty northern saga/historical romance with plenty of twists and turns. Both books are available to pre-order now.
Q06 – How long have you been working on this current manuscript?
Scuttler’s Girl took me around seven months to write. At the moment, it still requires some edits but shall be published 4th May next year.
Q07 – Would you ever want to see a story of yours turned into a movie?
Oh, of course! That’s every writer’s dream, I imagine.
Q08 – What is the hardest part of the writing process for you?
The hardest part is leaving my characters behind once a book is finished. You develop a relationship with them, even the bad ones, and it’s difficult to let go!
Q09 – How do you make time to write?
I begin writing in the morning when my children have gone to school and finish shortly before they arrive home. It’s difficult to find time during school holidays, etc, but at such times, and particularly if I’m working to a deadline, I write at night when they’ve gone to bed. I much prefer writing through the day, though.
Q10 – What is the single best piece of advice you could give to new writers?
You need to be self-disciplined. I can’t stress this enough. We all have days when we don’t feel like writing but pushing yourself to get those words down is what makes all the difference between dreaming of being an author and becoming one.
Try to write every single day. Even if all you manage is a few lines, it’s better than nothing – they all add up. It’s hard. Very hard. But it’s worth it. If being a writer is what you truly believe you’re meant to be, you must put in the graft. Books won’t write themselves.
Q11 – Are there any authors you would love to meet in person?
There are plenty but unfortunately, my all-time favourites are all dead! Catherine Cookson would have to be top of my list. And Wilkie Collins.
Q12 – Tells us why you love writing.
There are moments when I despair. Writing in my genre is damned hard work. Not only do you have the story itself to contend with but the historical accuracy side of things. When I’ve scoured the web and trawled through reference material for hours upon hours to confirm a certain fact or date to no avail…
When I’ve researched something for days to help with just a single sentence in my book… When my mind’s blank and the housework is piling up around my ears and I feel like tossing my laptop into the bin… These days are difficult.
But then there’s the others. The days when the words flow. When you find that date or fact or that certain place on an old map. When you find a solution to a plot problem that’s had you stumped and suddenly, everything slots into place.
The rush of euphoria is indescribable. Those days make it all worthwhile. Having the power to escape into another world of your very own creation is pretty special. I wouldn’t change my job for anything else in the world.
Connect with Emma
A Shilling for a Wife
Sally Swann thought life couldn’t get much worse. Then a single coin changed hands.
A dismal cottage in the heart of Bolton, Lancashire, has been Sally’s prison since Joseph Goden ‘bought’ her from the workhouse as his wife.
A drunkard and bully, Joseph rules her with a rod of iron, using fists and threats to keep her in check.
When Sally gives birth, however, she knows she must do anything to save her child from her husband’s clutches.
She manages to escape, and taking her baby, flees for the belching chimneys of Manchester, in search of her only relative.
But with the threat of discovery by Joseph, who will stop at nothing to find her, Sally must fight with every ounce of strength she has to protect herself and her son, and finally be with the man who truly loves her. For a fresh start does not come without a price . . .
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Big thanks to Emma for guest posting 🙂 Hope you all enjoyed this interview and door take the time to check out her social media and if you are interested in buying her book, please use the link above.
I’ll be back on Friday with a new post of my own. Thanks for all the recent follows and all the comments, I’m glad to see that people are enjoying this blog. 🙂