Happy Tuesday Folks,
Today I have the pleasure of handing over my blog to Emmie Mears. Before that, allow me to tell you a bit about our relationship.
I ‘met’ Emmie a few years ago. I visited her blog and became besotted by the strength and honesty oozing from her blog posts. Lucky for me, she thought I was alright, too. Since then we’ve swapped encouragement, writing advice, and even gifts. Even though she’s half my age, Emmie is the sort of woman I look up to. She calls it as she sees it, but doesn’t roll around in the muck. Everyone deserves respect and it is refreshing to read her intelligent, but heartfelt, responses to some of the industry shenanigans that inevitably sully the blog-o-sphere headlines. To boot, she’s a great writer.
And that’s what she’s here to talk about. Without further delay, please welcome Emmie Mears.
First of all, I want to say a huge thank you to Nila for hosting me today. When I started my WordPress blog that became EmmieMears.com, she was one of my very first friends. That was three years ago, and I couldn’t be happier that we are still in touch.
I did a lot of thinking about what I would want to say here. It’s a special day, and this is a special place to be. It’s not a coincidence that I asked her to host me on this particular day, the day my debut novel launches into the wild. Whether it takes wing and soars around or simply flaps in a circle and dive bombs unsuspecting passers-by is sort of moot. The most important thing about this day is that it’s happening, and the only reason that most important thing exists whatsoever is because of people like Nila.
Writing is often a solitary gig. We spend hours or days or months closeted in our studies or on our couches or in actual closets, scribbling or typing, banging away at keys or sometimes desks or walls with our heads. We read books and spend a lot of time navigating the swirling chaos of our own minds.
The thing about the written word is that it very seldom exists in a vacuum.
Every book on your shelves or e-reader is the product of not just one person sitting down and putting scratch marks on a white background; it’s the manifestation of tens of people, maybe even scores of people toiling for weeks and sometimes years on end. Even if you self-publish, there are people at every stage.
Some of those people are critique partners. Some are paid to read your work, either by you or by your publisher. Some don’t read it at all, just silently pass you a shot of tequila when they see you looking wild-eyed.
A book, it’s been said, is the chance to see inside another being’s mind. People can speak to us – directly to us – after hundreds of thousands of years. Each word we write could be a future archaeologist’s window into now. But that’s all big picture stuff. Huge picture. One-way conversation with Shakespeare on one hand, the surviving remnant of human existence on the other.
Community takes writing out of a vacuum and makes it smaller. More accessible. Having someone who understands and can empathize with the wonderful, whirlwindy, terrifying, frustrating, crazy-making thing that is putting words into stories makes it seem that much easier to keep going. I know without any doubt that I wouldn’t have gotten this far without the people around me who encouraged me, learned with me, cheered me on, shared their own work with me, and just showed me that they would keep writing no matter what. It made – and makes – me want to keep writing no matter what, too.
I’ve already called today a launch day, and it is; it’s the day my little book THE MASKED SONGBIRD becomes available to anyone with a couple bucks and an internet connection. But really, it never existed in a vacuum at all. It only came to being because of the myriad connections to people in my life, through the internet or in person.
Whatever your personal goals are, there’s a lesson that I think all of us could bear to let sink in a bit more deeply. Surround yourself with people who build you up. Avoid those who tear you down. Whatever your craft, find the community surrounding it and engage. We get much farther together than we do alone.
Mildly hapless Edinburgh accountant Gwenllian Maule is surviving. She’s got a boyfriend, a rescued pet bird and a flatmate to share rent. Gwen’s biggest challenges: stretching her last twenty quid until payday and not antagonizing her terrifying boss.
Then Gwen mistakenly drinks a mysterious beverage that gives her heightened senses, accelerated healing powers and astonishing strength. All of which come in handy the night she rescues her activist neighbour from a beat-down by political thugs.
Now Gwen must figure out what else the serum has done to her body, who else is interested and how her boss is involved. Finally—and most mysteriously—she must uncover how this whole debacle is connected to the looming referendum on Scottish independence.
Gwen’s hunt for answers will test her superpowers and endanger her family, her friends—even her country.
Emmie Mears was born in Austin, Texas, where the Lone Star state promptly spat her out at the tender age of three months. After a childhood spent mostly in Alaska, Oregon, and Montana, she became a proper vagabond and spent most of her time at university devising ways to leave the country.
Except for an ill-fated space opera she attempted at age nine, most of Emmie’s childhood was spent reading books instead of writing them. Growing up she yearned to see girls in books doing awesome things, and struggled to find stories in her beloved fantasy genre that showed female heroes saving people and hunting things. Mid-way through high school, she decided the best way to see those stories was to write them herself. She now scribbles her way through the fantasy genre, most loving to pen stories about flawed characters and gritty situations lightened with the occasional quirky humor.
Emmie now lives in her eighth US state, still yearning for a return to Scotland. She inhabits a cozy domicile outside DC with two felines who think they’re lions and tigers.
You can preorder THE MASKED SONGBIRD here (http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00JD7TWZK)! Released in a box set, you get four great paranormal and urban fantasy books for less than $4!