Monday, February 27, 2012

Fierce Reading Virtual Book Tours Stop: Emily's House by Natalie Wright

Title: Emily's House

Author: Natalie Wright

Synopsis:
Fourteen-year-old Emily Adams is flunking math - and life. But Emily has a secret, one that she has kept even from her best friends. Soon the ancient legacy coursing through her veins will force her secret to be revealed. Dormant for over a thousand years, an evil has arisen and this time, it will destroy anyone - or anything - that stands in its way.

Three teens embark on a dangerous journey and risk everything. For Emily, the fate of her friends - and her world - lies in her hands.

In a place where anything is possible, will Emily finds the skills - and courage -she needs to save the world from darkness?

Emily's House is a tale that blends Celtic mysticism, spirituality and ancient secrets with science and modern technology. Travel with Emily as she unlocks the secrets of her Celtic ancestors on a mystical journey to the inner house and beyond.

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A big thanks to Natalie for stopping by today!
     What is your favorite thing about the writing experience and why?
I love it all! But my favorite part is writing the first draft. It’s pure creativity. I listen to the characters and allow them to take me where they want to go. When I’m in “the zone,” it’s like I’m transcribing a movie playing in my mind’s eye. And the characters frequently surprise me. They’ll decide to take the plot places I didn’t expect or their dialogue isn’t what I’d planned. In the initial draft, I just go with it. A lot of what comes out in the first draft will be axed or re-worked later. But it’s that initial burst of creation that is exhilarating and you never know what will happen.

      What was the first moment you know you wanted to write?
I think I came out of the womb wanting to be a writer! I took a detour into the law field and didn’t write fiction for almost 20 years. I always thought it was something I’d do later. But then the idea for the story that became Emily’s House came to me in 2007 and I was off and running. And that “detour,” well I think it was okay. My experiences and all the people I’ve met and their stories – that’s all a part of me now so I think it has enriched the well of stories inside of me.
   
   Where is your favorite place to write?

Everywhere! I typically write at my desk in my home office, surrounded by my writing totems, with my dictionary/thesaurus handy and my coffee pot at the ready. I most enjoy writing in a cool coffee house but it’s a problem in my town. We don’t have many coffee shops and the ones we do have are usually packed. So if you want to move to Tucson, Arizona and open up a great coffee shop with free WiFi and plenty of seats, I’d be eternally grateful!

       When you write, do you write for a long period of time or do you write in short burst?

Both. I’ve learned to get writing done whenever and wherever I can. That helps with productivity. So I write sometimes on a Moleskine notebook while I’m waiting at the doctor’s office or at my daughter’s music lesson. I write on my laptop in coffee shops and restaurants or even outside. I’ve learned that I can write quite a bit in 15 minutes.

Ideally I like to write for about three hours at a time. More than that and my wrists hurt and my brain goes to mush. I wrote my third novel (the second in Emily’s series, entitled Emily’s Trial) in the month of November. I did NaNoWriMo and got the first draft done in 30 days. That was by far the fastest I’ve ever put something together. I had some days when I wrote for ten hours in one day! Not recommended! But it taught me that I can write more quickly than I have in the past and getting that first draft done is key. You can’t revise a blank page.

     What is your favorite time of year?
The Fall. Halloween is my favorite holiday. In Tucson, the weather is usually very nice that time of year – a bit cool but not cold. In our neighborhood, it’s like carnival! We have a party in our garage and the kids and adults dress up. We get hundreds of trick-or-treaters and I love seeing all the costumes, especially older kids. They often use their imagination to create their costumes. It’s one big party and I get to play pretend and be a kid again ;-)

    Where is your favorite place to read?
Anywhere! But I especially like to read outside, in my garden.

     What is the worst book you have ever read?
The one that stands out as a really bad book by someone who I didn’t expect to write such a bad book was Theodore Boon, Kid Lawyer by John Grisham. Grisham should definitely stick to adult books. It was a terrible effort – very preachy and with a totally unbelievable main character. I could not recommend that book to anyone in any way. And that’s rare for me to say because I usually can find at least something redeeming about most books. But Grisham even got the law stuff wrong! I gave it one star and I never do that.
   What is the best book you have ever read?
This is a much tougher question than worst because there are so many great books out there. My geeked out answer is that Hamlet (which I guess is technically a play, not a book) is my all-time favorite story. It’s got the brooding teen, family intrigue, murder. I think I could read Hamlet a hundred times and still learn from it. And I speculate that we could break down pretty much any modern story and trace its roots back to Shakespeare.

In terms of modern stories that I love, I’m a huge Terry Pratchett fan (again, showing my geek side) and I devoured the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. But my all-time favorite commercial fiction book is the Hunger Games series. If I could have a magical wish granted, it would be to be able to write as well as Suzanne Collins and receive the inspiration for a story as amazing as the Hunger Games.

   What is the most inspiring quote you have ever heard?
“Be yourself – everyone else is already taken.” – Oscar Wilde

      What projects do you have planned for the future?

I’ve got two manuscripts that I’m revising right now. The first will be out in May, 2012 and it’s a YA Science Fiction book, working title is H.A.L.F. (an acronym for Human Alien Life Form). It will appeal to fans of the X-Files or the Area 51 series by Bob Mayer (writing as Robert Doherty)– its got that whole government conspiracy and aliens thing going on. It’s a 3 book series and one of the fun aspects of it for me is to explore whether or not a teenage mutant alien-human hybrid can be a romantic interest for a human? Are hybrids the new vampires? ; )

 
       What do you hope to say to people with your writing?
I write stories with adventure and bad guys (and girls!) and monsters and dangers. I want the reader to have fun and go on a ride to another place. But I hope that ultimately there is a message of hope. That no matter how bad it gets for my characters – no matter how much I throw at them – they use their courage, their friendship, their loyalty – their human spirit and will to survive – and they find a way out. I believe strongly that girls and women are bigger than we think – stronger than we often give ourselves credit for. We are often discounted and we frequently discount ourselves. But girls are incredibly powerful and we can do anything we want. I want to show female characters finding that inner strength that I believe we all have and using it to beat the bad guy or save the world or win the day.



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