Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Author Interview with Emma Shortt

Welcome Emma, to Write Outside the Box, and thank you for taking the time to do this interview.

V- Can you tell us about your journey to publication and where you draw your inspiration from?

E- I wrote my first book when I was about fifteen. It was called Crimson Wars and was this awful vampire epic, Anne Rice inspired! All done by paper and pen as there were no computers in those days, at least not for me. I’ve still got the scribes bump from all those hours hunched over the paper. I wish I still had the manuscript, I imagine it was truly awful.
After that I kinda let it slide until I hit my mid twenties and was seized by the desire to write again. I gave up my hugely pressured job, took, what I thought at the time was, an easier one, and starting writing. Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials was a huge inspiration, as was Nicola Cornick’s amazing regency romances. From that day, when I would have been about twenty four, it took be five years to get published, and six for my first book to come out. I certainly didn’t spend all those years writing non-stop. The ‘easy’ job became just as pressured as the first, and it’s only the last year that I’ve managed to trick by body into accepting five hours a night sleep! Before that it was work, look after children, fit an hour in and so on. They were a hard few years as well, I won’t lie. The rejections, the constant re-drafts. There’s nothing quite as depressing as coming home to find a rejection envelope on the doormat!

V- What’s the best advice you can offer a newbie writing hoping to publish?

E- To read as much as you can in the genre you hope to write in. Generally I find the genre that you like the most is the one you’re suited to write in. So read, read, read and read some more, and then start writing! It’s a good idea to read up on your craft as well and/or join a critique group such as Litopia. Then steel yourself for the fact that your first novel will, usually, be rubbish. It takes most authors a good three of four goes before they write anything of publishable quality.

V- Tell us about your newest release.


E- The Kiss came about after a visit to the Louvre. I fell completely in love with Antonio Canova’s statue of Cupid reviving Psyche with a kiss. Everything about the piece is just unbelievably beautiful. I spent hours just staring at it—much to the annoyance of various tourists I’m sure! But it just pulled something inside of me, and I spent some time plotting how best to steal it. I left Paris minus the piece, the Louvre’s security is really good, and started thinking instead about how I could capture the essence of this amazing image Canova created. Soon after a story came to me, the idea of love locked in stone, and throughout the whole process of writing The Kiss I was working towards the ending with Canova’s image in mind.
When Evernight sent me my cover I swear I nearly had an orgasm. I’d fantasized about a cover with the statue on and Dara England did it for me! I’m totally and utterly in love with it.

V- You also work as an editor. What’s your biggest pet peeves as an editor?

E-Telling me not showing me. There’s nothing worse than page after page of back story or description. Honestly most of it isn’t necessary and is usually the mark of a newbie. Take that ‘tell’ and convert it to some ‘show’, don’t tell me she went to the shop, show me she did it.
Oh, and really, really long, ponderous works that cause me extreme pain to read. I once got sent a manuscript that was like about six hundred pages long and it took the author five chapters to explain the family tree to me. I was like, noooooo.

V- If you could return to one moment in time, which would it be?

E- When my children, Vix and Bear, were born. I was so wrapped up in the moment when giving birth, you know with the pain, and the goo, and the pain… that I don’t think I took the time to just pause and think, Oh my God, look what I just made.
I’d love to go back and look into their little eyes and think, wow, wait till you see the stuff we’re gonna get up to!


V- If you had one wish, what would it be?

E-To make my living from writing. If I could wake up each morning and know that my day was going to be about the stories I would be one happy woman.

V- What’s the one thing that most people don’t know about you?

E- What a question! You want me to spill my secrets huh? Okay, let’s see…I am a total geek. No, hold on, everyone knows that. But it is true that I am full on geek. At the moment I spend my days crunching math, I have a total geek laugh and forget when I’ve got pens in my hair. I’ve been in the supermarket more than once, after forgetting what I came in for because I’ve been busy creating an equation to explain the total amounts of fruit on sale, and reached up to scratch my head, pulling out several pens in the process.

V- In ten years where do you hope to be in life?

E- A best-selling author with piles of money and an endless supply of cake? Oh, alright, I’ll take being able to write for a living and enough cash in the bank to pay the bills.

V- What can we expect to see from you in the near future?

E-I have a duo of books, Paying her Debt and Getting her Greek which I hope will be out this summer. They’re contemporary romances with two rather hot Greek men (my fianc√© is Greek, I’m totally biased). I’m also hoping to get the next, and final two books in my Fae series, Catching Fae and Fallen Fae, finished and out there. And then I plan to spend the last few months of the year finishing off my dystopian YA novel, Immune, and sending it out on the submission circuit.

V- Sounds great! Emma, once again thanks for taking the time to answer these questions.
You can fine Emma on the net at the following places:


You can view her latest book trailer for The Kiss here:  The Kiss Trailer


  1. Good luck, Emma :) Good interview guys.

  2. Awesome interview, ladies! So nice getting to know more about you, Emma! The Kiss sounds fantastic and I can't wait to read it! :)

  3. Great interview, gals! :-)