Welcome to Storm Goddess Book Reviews! Today, as part of a virtual book tour through CLP, I have author EM Tippetts on the blog for an interview!
How long have you been writing? How many published books do you have, and what genres?
I've been scribbling down stories all my life, but I didn't begin to seriously pursue a career in writing until I was in law school, which was - dare I admit? - fifteen years ago. That was when I started to apply to classes and attended the Clarion West Writer's Workshop for Science Fiction and Fantasy. I published my first short story about eight years ago in a science fiction anthology and still write science fiction and fantasy under my maiden name, Emily Mah. Five years ago I decided to get a novel published in a small, niche market so that I could learn more about the process of taking a manuscript to a bound, mass produced novel. I wrote a chick lit book for the LDS market and published it under the name E.M. Tippetts. It was a good learning experience, but in the end I and the publisher had very different goals, so I held onto the next two chick lit manuscripts I wrote. The year before last, indie publishing began to take off and I decided, why not try that? So I published those two books, again using the name E.M. Tippetts. Now I've got five books out in total under that name, including the one that was printed by a small press, and I still sell short stories as Emily Mah to science fiction and fantasy magazines and publications.
Do you write in multiple genres or just one? If just one, do you ever consider straying outside your genre?
I would say everything I write, under every name, is in the YA genre. Whenever I'm writing romance or chick lit, I do it as E.M. Tippetts, and whenever there's a speculative fiction element, i.e. magic or space ships, I do it as Emily Mah. I'm very much in favor of trying out different genres, but I think it's important to be aware of readers' tastes. I'm very open about being Emily Mah Tippetts with the two different pen names, yet I keep these two pen names so that people can immediately tell what kind of book or story they're getting, based on the name on the cover.
Are you a plotter or do you write from the seat of your pants?
Both. I always start with a rough sketch of the plot, but as I write I also like to let the characters take control and do things their own way. In the end, I think a good book needs to have characters whose actions feel natural and realistic and a plot with clear elements and a satisfying end, and it's getting both of these to work in tandem is the heart of writing a good novel.
What is a typical writing day like for you?
I don't have one, and that's important. I've got two small children and a husband who's a full time student, so if I had a routine or a ritual I had to employ to be able to write, I'd never write. The trick is figuring out how to write with the time I get each day, be it an hour while my kids are napping or a few hours after dinner. I grab every spare moment I can and try to make it count.
Who do you love to read? Favorite authors, favorite books?
I love YA books both because they have the vivid imagination one needs to engage younger people and because they're short. Like I said, I have a busy life. Any book that looks too long is going to be a hard sell for me, and a lot of "grown up" books feel like they just drag on and on. I guess I'm impatient when it comes to plot pacing.
What is something you'd like to accomplish in your writing career next year?
Making a livable income. I began indie publishing as E.M. Tippetts last year and I made 1/3 of what I would need to live off my writing, so my work's cut out for me. I also want to keep selling short stories as Emily Mah, and that'll require real commitment because they are as hard to write as novels and sell for a lot less, but I've gained so much from the exercise of writing them that I want to continue.
If you could have one paranormal ability, what would it be?
To be able to concentrate no matter what's going on around me. I guess there are a few mental disorders that also accomplish that.
If you could keep a mythical/ paranormal creature as a pet, what would you have?
Does anyone ever choose anything other than a dragon? I mean, really, is there anything cooler than a dragon? Maybe a little dragon, like Anne McCaffrey's fire lizards. Those you could have indoors.
Tell us a little about your latest release.
Chloe Winters has had a rough life but through hard work, now has the world at her feet. She's top of her class in college and has a clear life plan, but when she volunteers as an extra on a local film shoot, Jason Vanderholt, the star of the movie recognizes her. What's even more embarrassing is that he knows her half siblings, otherwise known as the children of her father's wife. She was the extra-marital accident no one wants to talk about. It takes a while for her to get the story clear to Jason, during which time he becomes smitten with this strong, independent woman who really seems to see him as a human being, not a superstar.
Someone Else's Fairytale is the story of getting the one thing everyone *else* wants, in this case, the affections of the hottest actor in Hollywood. Chloe hasn't got a friend in the world to discuss her reservations about Jason with. Everyone thinks she's crazy for not jumping in with both feet. While she's not antagonistic towards the idea of dating a movie star, it isn't her dream come true either. In fact, she thinks it's a just plain weird situation to be in, because let's face it, it really would be.
What is something that you absolutely can't live without? (Other than family members)
My computer. It's an extension of my brain and has my calendar, address book, and the books I'm writing.
Could you ever co author a book with someone? If so, who would you choose, and what would you write?
I have co authored stories with Ty Franck, and he's a great writer and our styles are very different. Given that, I'd be willing to cowrite with anyone who was serious about getting a piece done, knowledgable about writing, and disciplined about doing their share. To me, cowriting is a useful exercise to better my skills. The project would have to appeal to me, but other than those two conditions, I'd be open to cowriting with most anyone.
If you could spend a day with anyone from history, dead or alive, who would it be, and what would you do? What would you ask them?
Well, I'm a Christian, so I think there's a fairly obvious answer there. The person I'm working every day of my life to meet in the end. What I'd ask is how I can be a better person - it's what I do ask every day.
What are some of your other hobbies outside of writing?
I make and design jewelry and also knit and crochet. I have an issue with doing anything creative that doesn't last. I despise cooking, all that work for something that gets consumed. Makeup's the same way. The hours women put into a look that needs to be touched up throughout the day. So, I like doing creative things that stick around after they're created. That's my personality quirk.
If you were on the staff to have a book adapted to movie, what would you pick?
The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson. I love that book. It's hilarious.
What is a talent you wish you had, but don't?
Interior decorating. I'm terrible at it, a disgrace to the homemaking profession. I truly admire anyone who can look at a room, figure out how to furnish it, and then also make it look nice. I fail at step one there; I just don't have the right kind of spatial awareness I guess.
Blue, specifically turquoise
Weather: Hot or cold?
Cold, provided I'm indoors watching it from where it's warm.
Favorite place to read?
On my Kindle. I love the 21st century. I can carry a whole library in my purse!
Dinner, because it's the one I don't have to cook. My amazing husband handles it. I provide the kids with breakfast and lunch.
Favorite non-alcoholic drink.
Water. It's certainly what I drink the most.
If you could travel anywhere and do anything, no limits or money holding you back, where would you go?
I think I'd start with London and just never stop. There are a lot of things I haven't seen here in London, despite living here for three years, and I love to travel. My husband and I are the type to buy tickets to and from an exotic place, like Costa Rica, and then figure out the rest of the trip as we go. We love to find local hotels and local attractions and prefer not to stay in resorts.
Jason Vanderholt, Hollywood's hottest actor, falls head over heels for everygirl, Chloe Winters, who hasn't gotten around to watching most of his movies. She becomes the woman every other woman in America is dying to be, but it just isn't her fairytale.
REVIEW RATING: 4 LIGHTNING BOLTS
Review: All right....tell me, and be honest, how many of you have dreamed about having a famous celebrity fall in love with you? Oh, come on..there should be more hands than that.
You just might think it's someone else's fairy tale, too.
Chloe Winters is just going with the flow. The last thing she ever expects when going to an audition with her best friend is to meet actor Jason..let alone that he would recognize her from knowing a distant family member of hers. Chloe is shy and reserved, and it seems she's had a traumatic past.
Jason is like a dream come true...he comes in and tries to befriend Chloe, despite her reservations. He doesn't give up. He wants a chance to know her, and something more develops.
The story is easy to follow, has witty dialog, and is fun. I enjoyed Chloe and Jason's characteristics, and their relationship developed rather well. It's a sweet, charming book that I could easily pick up again and again for an enjoyable story.
E.M. Tippetts grew up in New Mexico and now lives in London, where she raises two boisterous toddlers, designs jewelry, and writes novels. A former attorney, she used to specialize in real estate and estate planning, specifically literary estate planning. She currently has five novels out, Time & Eternity, Paint Me True, Someone Else's Fairytale, Castles on the Sand, and Nobody's Damsel (Fairytale 2).
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