In addition to my review on the novel Farsighted, I also have a special treat. I was fortunate enough to be granted my first author interview with Emlyn Chand. In addition to asking her a few of what I think of as fairly ‘standard’ questions, I also tried to come up with ones that are specific and unique to her and her book. I’d like to welcome and thank Ms. Emlyn Chand for stopping by Jaclyn’s Musings today. So without further ado…
Jaclyn: When did you first know you wanted to write, and did you always want to write the same things you do now?
Emlyn: 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 l
oved 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. I’ve dabbled in literary fiction, but ultimately, YA is the genre I call home.
Jaclyn: I can’t help but picture a newborn holding a fountain pen! I was on yearbook staff in high school so I am familiar with the importance of deadlines. And while I’ve read many genres including literary fiction I keep coming back to YA, as a reader, myself.
Who is your favorite author and do you have a favorite book?
Emlyn: My favorite author is J.K. Rowling. The more I read, the more I realize how brilliant she is as an author. If you remove the dialogue tags from Harry Potter, you still know which character is speaking, and Rowling managed to create an intricate beautiful world without allowing her character development to suffer, which is tremendously rare. I consider her literary God.
Now, my favorit
e book is A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving, definitely. The novel has so many layers and entertains on so many levels. Also the characters in that novel seem more real than those from any other I’ve ever read. It’s just beautiful—that’s the only word for it.
Jaclyn: I definitely agree with you about J.K. Rowling and she is one of my most favorite authors too! I’ve thought the way she crafted the entire world of Harry Potter was nothing short of pure brilliance! I’ve always thought the way she used and changed language to truly craft her own world was absolutely incredible! Your favorite book, A Prayer for Owen Meany, isn’t one I have heard of before now. But after looking it up on Goodreads and reading your review I’m adding it to my TBR (to be read) list.
Now knowing that your favorite author is J.K. Rowling, I just have to ask.
Which of the 7 is your favorite Harry Potter book?
Emlyn: Jaclyn, Jaclyn, Jaclyn. How can you even ask that question when Azkaban is so clearly the best of the HP books? It had me on the absolute edge of my seat, and I honestly feared for Harry’s life. If I were a witch, I’d totally be an animagus too! I’d turn into a parrot
Jaclyn: hehe, well after you said that J.K. Rowling was your favorite author, I just had to ask! Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban is by far my favorite as well. In fact most of the Harry Potter fans I’ve spoken with agree that book 3 is the best of the bunch. Since we’re now on the topic of those who have magical gifts or talents.
If you could magically have any special gift or talent what would it be?
Emlyn: To not have to sleep. Imagine how much more you could get done if your body didn’t require sleep. I’m giddy at the thought.
Jaclyn: I could easily see how much more you (or anyone) could get done if sleep was no longer required, but I would miss snuggling into my bed under the covers curling up with a good book and falling asleep that way. Unfortunately, science hasn’t figured out a way for our bodies to survive without sleep.
So if you’re not sleeping then what do you like to do to relax?
Emlyn: I like to work, haha. No, seriously. I run my own company, and I love my job. Work is relaxing. When I’ve worked too hard and have to call it quits for the day, I like reading on my Kindle, taking bubble baths, and watching Glee.
Jaclyn: Mmm, So you like to work and don’t like to sleep, sounds like you’re related to the Energizer Bunny! Reading, taking bubble baths, and watching Glee sound like a great way to relax! My sister and I both like watching Glee, though I think that the second half of the first season was better than last season and I’m still not sure what I think of the current one.
Switching gears now to talk more about topics in your book, Have you ever thought it would be fun to visit a psychic?
Emlyn: That depends on what the psychic would tell me! I have visited a psychic before… in India. By his astrological and palmist projections, it was declared I would one day be famous. Boy, do I hope that’s true!
Jaclyn: That makes sense to me, I don’t think I’d want to hear about anything negative. I think that the psychic in India may have been onto something about you being famous one day especially if it is fame from writing!
Now that I know what you would choose as your special gift, what do Alex’s special gifts mean to you personally?
Emlyn: In this novel, I wanted to explore the ways in which we see. Take Alex’s blindness, his psychic powers, his misunderstandings, and we have “farsighted.” It’s an apt description of many of the story’s and Alex’s key traits.
Jaclyn: After reading Farsighted I would have to agree that, that is an apt description of Alex and a good interesting title.
All throughout the book, you used runes in the headers of each chapter and so I was wondering which is your favorite and why?
Emlyn: Good question! My favorite was definitely chapter 12’s jeera (or harvest): The traveler’s patience and ingenuity is rewarded as he is propelled into forward motion. The harvest will come, and it is for the traveler to reap the fruits of his journey. I had fun toying with the different meaning of “reap the fruits,” and I also included a scene where the characters attend a party for the Indian harvest festival of Lohri.
Jaclyn: I found the runes and interpreted meaning at the head of each chapter to be very interesting and I enjoyed then reading to see how it was be played out in following chapter(s).
Now if you could have any five people over for dinner from any point in time who would it be? What would you serve?
Emlyn: Oh, gosh! Um… James Joyce, Edgar Allan Poe, and Ken Kesey – all enormously talented authors; all certifiably insane (and therefore they’d make interesting dinner guests). I’d also take along DH Lawrence and JK Rowling. We’d have quite the literary round table while eating… I don’t know… shepherd’s pie? Gotta accommodate my dead British author friends!
Jaclyn: Wow that is certainly an eclectic mix of old and new authors! I can only just begin to imagine the insightful conversation that would be into the lives of those incredible writers! I would love to be a fly on the wall during that dinner party! J
How do you think social media has impacted your life as an author or your writing?
Emlyn: Marjory! About a year ago, I thought the only way to be a writer was to land an agent and get a traditional publishing contract, which is what a lot of aspiring writers think. Then in December of last year, I started my blog and, more importantly, became addicted to Twitter. Within a couple of weeks, I amassed a pretty large following. Just like that. A few months in, I realized I had a unique gift for social media and launched my book marketing business, Novel Publicity. One month after that, my business made enough to sustain me, and I was able to quit my lackluster day job. Since then, I’ve only been getting better at managing social media and using it to promote my clients’ books and my own blog. In the past few weeks, I’ve had to hire seven new people, so something’s working right.
Jaclyn: Wow that is really incredible and very impressive that within a few months you were able to use your gift for social media to successfully launch your own book marketing business!
So do you have any advice for someone wanting to write and/or be published?
Emlyn: 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.
Jaclyn: That just sounds too easy, just “have fun with your writing!” I guess just to keep at it and not let yourself get discouraged. That, and learn to enjoy the process of writing, not just the final product!
And is there anything else you’d like to say?
Emlyn: Hello, potential readers. I hope you’ll enjoy Farsighted. My primary goal is to tell an interesting story that people will find entertaining and be glad they read. Secondly, I’d like to infuse contemporary Young Adult fiction with a bit more diversity and teach readers about the beauty of other cultures and other ways of life. Hopefully, I’ve accomplished that. And keep an eye out for book 2 in the series, Open Heart, coming next year.
Jaclyn: Well I certainly think you succeeded in telling an interesting story in Farsighted! I love the idea of interweaving more diversity and culture into YA fiction as a way to expose young (and young at heart) readers to ways of life other than their own! And I can hardly wait until Open Heart the second book in the series comes out!
A big thank you to Ms. Emlyn Chand for stopping by to answer some of my questions! If you haven’t already please read my review on Ms. Chand’s Farsighted which is located just below this post. There are giveaways on through the entire tour! And if you fill out a short traffic breaker survey for you favorite participating blogger, they could win too!! All the information is located at the bottom of the next post which you can also get to by clicking HERE>
Farsighted is currently available in e-book format and will be available in just a couple days on Thanksgiving, Thursday, November 24th! Which also happens to be Ms. Chand’s birthday! Wishing you (slightly early, but) very Happy Birthday!
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*Special* Interview with Farsighted Author Emlyn Chand!”