An Interview with Emma Cane:
First off, how has your week been?
My week has been great, thanks! I’m in the middle of revisions for the fourth Valentine Valley book, A PROMISE AT BLUEBELL HILL, which’ll be out next March. But I’m almost done, so the end is in sight. Much as revisions can be a chore, my editor always wants to make the book better. She sees things I’m too close to the story to see, making the book even stronger.
When did you begin writing and why?
I started writing in grade school, teenagers in space. I was a big Star Trek fan, read Lord of the Rings, all of that. I started getting story ideas in my head, so I wrote them long hand in my dad’s basement workshop, and then on his old Underwood typewriter (this was in the days before computers, when you had to retype every draft of a manuscript). I wrote a series of short stories and short novels with this group of teenagers, and they ended up being passed all around my high school. It wasn’t until I took creative writing as an elective in college that I ever thought I could do this for a living. My professor said he expected to see my novels on the shelves some day—I was blown away! But when I got married and my babies took naps, that’s when I got serious and started trying to write a publishable novel. It took me three manuscripts, lots of workshops and conferences, and thirteen years before I sold. That was my first historical romance as Gayle Callen, THE DARKEST KNIGHT. I’m still writing historicals in between my Valentine Valley books.
Tell us about your current project(s).
I’ve just written a novella, A WEDDING IN VALENTINE, as a bridge between books in my Valentine Valley series. There’s a year between my last book, TRUE LOVE AT SILVER CREEK RANCH, and the next one, THE COWBOY OF VALENTINE VALLEY, which will be out in February. So I decided to focus on the wedding weekend of the main characters from the first book, Nate and Emily, and the cute romance that happens between Emily’s brother and one of her bridesmaids. Of course, I’m always careful to make the stories stand alone, so you don’t have to read in any order. If you’d like to read an excerpt, check out my website: http://emmacane.com/WeddinginValentine.html
About Your Book:
Which character speaks the loudest, to you? Do any of them clamor to be heard over the others?
The one thing about doing a series of books set in the same small town is the ability to reuse characters. My favorites are the widows of the Widows’ Boardinghouse, the grandmas of various heroes and heroines of my books. They all live together, best friends, and they feel that they’re “guiding” the town by helping out wherever they can. They’ve chained themselves to a building about to be demolished, because it’s women’s history—a nineteenth century brothel. They try to interest investors in turning an abandoned silver mine into a museum, only to have dozens of snakes emerge during their event. They may get in trouble, but they always mean well… 😉
About Writing in General:
Do you manage to write every day?
Since I write 2-3 books a year, I have to be very disciplined as a writer. I write five days a week, 6-8 hours a day (more if I’m on deadline), and I set daily writing quotas so that I finish with time to spare for revisions. Of course, there are days when the writing won’t come, but if I keep my butt in the chair (as writers like to say), the scene will eventually occur to me. It’s not exactly writer’s block, but sometimes I know there’s a problem, and I have to figure out how to solve it. I usually brainstorm with my writing group or with my husband, and voila, we solve the problem and I can move forward again.
Are you a pantster or a plotter?
Oh, I’m a plotter all the way! I think it comes from my math/science background. I need a blueprint to follow when I write—not that it’s written in stone, but it helps me find my way through the book. I spend just as much time figuring out the characters, most of the scenes in the plot, and writing a detailed 30-40 page synopsis (just for me), as I do writing the whole book. But consequently, I don’t have to do much revision in the second draft, since I’ve figured everything out in advance. I carefully do chapter summaries as I’m writing, so when my editor gives me a revision letter, I’m able to dive in and see each scene in summary, and find the places that need to be fixed.
Is there a word, phrase or quote you like?
I received this quote on a bookmark from my high school English teacher, and I think it’s served as an inspiration ever since: “A ship in harbor is safe; but that is not what ships are built for.” William Shedd (but there’s a controversy over who actually said it). I think it’s easy in life to play it safe, but sometimes the greatest rewards come from taking chances.
Dogs or cats?
I am a dog person, hands down. I grew up with dogs, but wasn’t able to own one as an adult until eleven years ago. We started discussing getting a dog, and suddenly my brother-in-law found a litter of abandoned puppies and their mom. It was meant to be! My daughter chose the dog who wanted to play with her—even though my husband had been studying the puppies and was convinced that that particular dog was crazy. Well…we picked him, and yes, Apollo is crazy, barking like mad when we laugh or sneeze, afraid of lightning and even other dogs, though he’s an 80 lb boxer/lab. But we love him and his quirkiness. Three years ago, we added Uma, an Alaskan husky rescue dog, to our family.
Okay, so everyone has had a chance to see your awesomeness. Where can they go to snag their own copy of your novel?
A WEDDING IN VALENTINE is available in e-book and print at all of your favorite online bookstores. You can check out this specific page of my website for bookstore links: http://emmacane.com/WeddinginValentine.html
Thank you for stopping by our little corner of the Web. I really wish you the best of everything. But before you go…where can we follow you?
Thanks so much for having me! Besides finding me at my website, http://www.EmmaCane.com, you can find me on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/EmmaCaneAuthor and on twitter at http://www.twitter.com/emmacane
I’ve newly joined Pinterest, and my publisher is hosting a “Pin It To Win It” Dream Wedding Photo Challenge with a prize of signed books, cowboy jewelry, and other goodies worth $60. Here’s the link for info: http://avonromance.hc.com/emmacanepinterestwedding/
About Author Emma Cane:
Emma also writes USA Today bestselling novels under the name Gayle Callen.