Tuesday, February 21, 2012
Author interview with Emlyn Chand
We are joined today by the talented Emlyn Chand. She has a new book coming out called Farsighted. She was kind enough to answer some questions for us.
What made you decide to make your main character blind?
Everything started with a single image—my face in these tacky oversized sunglasses reflecting out at me from the car’s side mirror. I was daydreaming while my husband drove us across Michigan for my sister’s wedding. Something about my image really struck me in an almost horrific way. I felt the glasses made me look blind but found it so weird that there was still a clear image within them; it seemed so contradictory. At the time, my book club was reading The Odyssey, which features the blind Theban prophet, Tieresias. I started thinking about what it would be like to have non-visual visions of the future and began forming a modern Tieresias in my mind. Lo and behold, Alex Kosmitoras was born. I didn’t want him to be alone in his psychic subculture, so I found other characters with other powers to keep him company. Thank God for my poor fashion sense.
Your main character has prophetic visions, do you believe in them yourself?
You know that’s a really good question, and I just don’t know how to answer. I often joke that I “have psychic powers, but only in India.” I think a part of me does believe that these elements exist, these capabilities are possible. Who doesn’t want to believe in magic?
Do you have a writing routine? Or do you just write what you can when you can?
Sadly, I don’t get to write every day. Novel Publicity takes up a lot of my time and effort. I spend about 12 hours per day working on it, which leaves little energy for anything else. What I do when I’m in the writing mode and have enough accomplished with the day job to take some time off is this: I go to Panera and stay there for about 8 hours with the pure intention of writing. I keep the WiFi off and eat and drink whatever is needed to fuel my prose. I call this holding myself “writing hostage,” and it really works for me!
Who/what is your favorite author/genre to read?
I LOVE YA—I read it, write it, love it! It all comes down to the enjoyment factor. I like the vulnerability and changeability of the characters. I love the ease of language and the connection that is created by writing in first person point-of-view. Nothing quite compares. As for my favorite author—well, I have so many favorites—but I consider JK Rowling to be “literary God.” She just masters every aspect of the craft, and she nurtured me during my first trek into YA; now I write it for myself. Thank you, JK!
How did you get started as an author?
I was born with a fountain pen grasped firmly in my left hand, at least that’s what my Twitter bio says. But seriously, I do believe writers are born into the craft—we haven’t got much choice, but it’s a great calling to have. As a child, I always had a story to tell. I also loved illustrating my own books and comics. I first became a writer writer when I began doing a book review column for the local paper. That taught me the importance of deadlines and letting the words flow out even when I had no idea what direction they’d take me in.
Do you have any advice for budding authors?
Of course, I do! My advice is this: Have fun with your writing. Don’t put pressure on yourself or your story and don’t try to fit either into some type of mold. Not every work HAS to be published, but every work will teach you something, and it will make you a better writer. Find the joy in writing, and you won’t go wrong.
Thanks so much for giving us a peak into your mind Emlyn! Here is a little teaser for the book
Alex Kosmitoras's life has never been easy. The only other student who will talk to him is the school bully, his parents are dead broke and insanely overprotective, and to complicate matters even more, he's blind. Just when he thinks he'll never have a shot at a normal life, an enticing new girl comes to their small Midwest town all the way from India. Simmi is smart, nice, and actually wants to be friends with Alex. Plus she smells like an Almond Joy bar. Sophomore year might not be so bad after all.
Unfortunately, Alex is in store for another new arrival--an unexpected and often embarrassing ability to "see" the future. Try as he may, Alex is unable to ignore his visions, especially when they suggest Simmi is in mortal danger. With the help of the mysterious psychic next door and friends who come bearing gifts of their own, Alex embarks on a journey to change his future and save the woman of his dreams.