It is not every day that I find a book that I absolutely love, but this is definitely one of them! The story starts with a world gone to heck in a hand basket. Earth is falling apart and the world is in chaos. The main character, Avery Maye, is stuck living in an underground dwelling and lives with her business getting destroyed constantly. Her parents are dead, leaving her alone in this chaotic world to fend for herself. The only friend she can truly count on is Alec, who is see-through, leaving her to believe he is nothing more than a figment of her imagination. One night she goes to sleep, unaware of the world around her, and wakes up in a strange, new place.
Avery finds herself in a new world, filled with new people, and new challenges. Life seems idyllic in her new community, until new arrivals threaten the safety of those she now calls friends. There are so many amazing creatures and beings within this book, including the Loch Ness monster! This is a fresh spin on creatures we believe to be nothing more than a myth, but it is so believable that I had no problem being pulled straight into this brand new world.
The characters are extremely well written and have so many facets to their personalities that they never come across as one-dimensional, as some characters tend to do. Ema Volf is destined for greatness and this book is a must read for anyone and everyone! I am so honored to have been able to read this book as a beta reader and I cannot wait to find out where she takes these characters in the next book! If you want my humble opinion, this book will find itself on the best sellers list one day. This up and coming author has found herself a fan for life! Congrats on such a wonderful debut novel Ema Volf!
Can you tell us an interesting fact about you, your writing, or anything at all? Or, is there anything in particular you want the readers to know about you?
I’m actually pretty boring.
When did you first know that writing was what you wanted to do as a career?
I didn’t. It’s just something that I have fun with and use to escape for a while. If I can manage to turn it into a career, that will be amazing.
When you are working on a book, do you plan ahead, or do you let the story flow as you write?
I am pretty obsessive when actually making a plan, but I don’t usually follow it to the letter. I find the process is much easier when you have some sort of direction, especially on longer pieces. I always have a general idea of where I want the story to go, character profiles, floor plans, pictures that inspire certain places or things, maps, and things of the sort. I also started a writing journal to write down my random ideas as they happen. Of course, some of those ideas and plans fall flat, for one reason or another, but it’s easier for me to look through them and be like, “I remember this. This definitely needs to happen.”
Is there a special place in your home that you work at?
I wouldn’t say they’re special or designated places, but I almost always am in my recliner or in my bed. I aim for comfort.
Are any of your characters in your books based on people that you know in real life?
There are a few, actually. Jackie and Krystle are both amazing friends of mine. In the second book, which still doesn’t have a title yet, my baby cousin Mallary plays a pretty major role in.
Do you have an interesting writing quirk? Maybe something that you have to do while writing, or something that you have to do before you start writing?
It’s not really interesting, I don’t think, but I usually have music on when I’m writing. I turn it off only to listen for my son’s bus in the afternoon.
What is your opinion on Indie publishing versus mainstream publishing?
I think they both have major positives and major drawbacks. If someone I know tells me they want to write a book, I always tell them to look at those plusses and minuses and really think about them before choosing.
Do you hear from your fans a lot? If so, what are some of the best & worst things that you have heard?
My book just came on out Smashwords and CreateSpace. The only fans I have right now are my beta readers. Most of those, however, I talk to all the time.
What does your family think of your writing?
My son doesn’t really grasp the concept enough to have an opinion just yet. My husband thinks it’s great. I do think he wishes it took less of my time, though.
How has being published changed your life, if any way?
It hasn’t yet. Though, I do have that awesome moment when I can pick up the copy of my book that I have and say, “I made this.”
What are you currently working on? We would love to know what is coming next from you.
I’m working on the second book in Chronicles of Eirny. I’m a little over halfway through. I also have a short story that’s in the planning stages. I’m not sure whether the short story will come out, though.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to be a writer?
Editors and beta readers are EXTREMELY important. Especially if you are self-publishing. Self-publishing doesn’t mean you have to do everything alone. Also, remember that not everyone is going to love your work. Take it in stride. Even better, find your favorite book on Amazon. Look at how many 1-star reviews it has. You really can’t please everyone.
What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Editing. Editing is synonymous with masochism. Going through and trying to find mistakes and plot holes … There were several chapters I had to just rewrite completely. I think it’s harder because the story is finished in your mind. Then you go through for editing and you realize just how not finished it really is.
What hardships have you encountered while writing your books?
The hardest part was learning when to stop. I try to be a perfectionist. I had to drop that VERY quickly. I spent almost as much time editing as I spent writing because it just wasn’t right. I kept finding more mistakes. Eventually I had to accept the fact that I’m my worst critic, and I couldn’t keep editing it forever.
What books (or authors) have influenced you the most during your career?
JK Rowling is a big one. She created an amazing world that I wanted to run away to. Her characters are strong and relatable. I wanted to do the same thing with mine.
Favorite flavor of ice cream: Century Sundae from Blue Bell. It’s vanilla ice cream with swirls of chocolate, caramel, and whipped topping, and maraschino cherries. Unfortunately, it’s only seasonal. I also love chocolate custard with peanut butter cups and strawberries.
Favorite color: Purple
Favorite animal: Penguins and platypi. I think I really just have a soft spot for awkward animals.
Favorite season of the year: I really like the in-between weather seasons. Autumn and Spring are perfect.
Favorite Author: JK Rowling
Favorite drink: It’s a tie between sweet tea or cream soda
Favorite food: I don’t really have a favorite
Favorite Halloween Candy: Fun Dip and Starburst
Excerpt from The Rapture of Avery Maye:
Avery awoke to sunlight on her face. She lay in bed with her eyes closed, soaking the warmth in. It had been a long while since she had felt a warm morning. She slowly took in a deep breath. Her eyes snapped open and she sat up straight in her bed.
“It smells like flowers in here!” she said in a panic. “Where did flowers come from? They’re all gone! And where did these windows come from? Am I dead?”
She paused as she took in her surroundings. The room itself could have fit her entire house in it. Everything was decorated in lavender, white, blue, and silver. The walls were a light blue-gray stone. The floors were the same stone as the walls. The oversized bed was carved from a single piece of dark reddish wood. Avery briefly wondered how big the tree had to have been to fit the bed inside it. The posts were decoratively carved to look like thick ivy vines were wrapped around them. As Avery looked at the other pieces of furniture, she noticed that all the furniture in the room was covered with these same vines.
“This is not my room! How did I get here?” She warily looked around for any clue as to where she might be, anything to trigger a memory. All she found were more new things and more confusion.
She replayed her memory of the day before. She replayed her interrupted work day, her customers, and her conversations. She replayed her run home and the chill of the air against the wet cloth on her face. She replayed her conversation with Alec by the fireplace … Wait! That was it! Alec followed her everywhere! He might know what’s going on!
“Alec!” she called as loudly as she could. “Alec, where are you? I need you! I’ve finally lost my sanity!”
She heard heavy footsteps approaching the room. The door slowly opened. In the doorway, staring at her with the same expression of disbelief that she held, herself, was her friend. But, he was so much different. His usual ghost-like translucence was replaced with a very solid man with a deeply tanned complexion and choppy, dark blue-ish black hair. His bright, ice blue eyes were a stark contrast to the darkness of the rest of him.
“Oh no! You have color!” she shrieked, throwing the blankets over her face. “I’m crazier than I thought! I need to go back to sleep and when I wake up I’ll be normal again! Maybe that’s it! Maybe I’m still sleeping! I just need to wake myself up and –“
“You’re not sleeping,” Alec interrupted with feigned calm. He walked over to her and gently pulled the blanket off her head. He tilted her face up by her chin and studied her face in shock. “You’re home.”
She could tell by his expression that he was just as stunned to see her there as she was actually being there. The warmth of his fingers on her face only cemented his realness. She bit her bottom lip and attempted to take the new information in.
“Home?” She tried to roll the word around in her brain to see if it fit somewhere that made sense. “I don’t understand,” she said, slightly less hysterically. “Home is where I went to bed last night. In my little underground bunker with no windows and small furniture. Home is–“ She looked around the room again, at its oversized windows and expensive-looking furniture. Tears rolled down her cheeks as she wrapped her arms tightly around herself for fear she might fall apart if she didn’t hold herself together. “Well, it’s definitely not this. How did I get here? Where am I?”
Alec stood, frozen in place and unsure of how to help. “I don’t know how you got here. Last I saw you, we were going to sleep in my bed. And you were see-through, like you always are.” He raised an eyebrow at her. “Why do you live underground?”
Avery shook her head. “Please, Alec … Just give me a minute.”
Ema lives in Northwest Arkansas with her husband, son, cat, two dogs, chinchilla, and bird. She spends her days trying to balance the never-ending work of a homemaker and the schedules of all members of her household while remaining relatively sane.
An avid reader, what time she has to herself is usually spent buried in the pages of a book. She enjoys nearly every genre, but particularly enjoys paranormal fiction of all types and age ranges.
While she constantly has stories and characters rolling around in her head, Avery called to her the loudest. After several months of conversing with Avery, Ema decided to put pen to paper and let others visit Eirny and its beloved residents.