1. What is the name of your most recent book and if you had to sum it up in 20 or less words, what would you say?
Whirl was released in September 2011 and is my debut novel.
In 20 words or less: *Hmm. Thinks for a second*
Whirl is a journey of magic, action, fantasy, and romance as a fiercely independent teenage girl faces her difficult destiny.
2. Do you have plans for a new book? Is this book part of a series?
Whirl is the first novel in a new young adult paranormal urban fantasy series called the Ondine Quartet. As the series name implies, it is the first of four planned books. I am currently working on the second book in the series, entitled Billow, which I hope to have out in a few months.
3. What or who inspired you to start writing? And how long have you been writing?
I began writing as a child. I loved to read and had a very overactive imagination! When I was around six, I started writing down the stories constantly running around in my head because I wanted to be like the authors of the books I loved. Every day, my mother patiently read every story I wrote and nurtured my love for words.
I won several writing competitions and had marvelous teachers in high school who encouraged me to pursue it. But when I went off to college, I ultimately chose another career. The dream of writing and publishing remained, but was more of a far-off and vague idea.
One of my resolutions in January 2011 was to publish a novel. No more excuses. The idea for the Ondine Quartet series came to me at the end of the month, and I immediately began writing Whirl.
4. How did you come up with the cover? Who designed the cover of your book?
I designed the cover of the book. One of the great joys of being an indie author has been the complete creative control I’ve had over the entire process.
I’ve never been much of a fan of books that have a person on the cover and prefer conceptual covers. And I had a very clear idea of what I wanted to do for this book. Everything on the Whirl cover relates to themes woven throughout the story, including the coloring and the images of the ripple and irises.
5. How did you come up with the title for your book?
The Ondine Quartet series deals with the world of water elementals, and I wanted each title in the series to reflect a theme of water.
The first book is not only the beginning of the series, but also the start of an extraordinary journey and adventure for Kendra, the protagonist. I came up with the title of Whirl because it implies this start - the very first ripple and movement in water as Kendra begins to discover what her destiny has in store for her.
6. Do you have a book trailer? And what are your thoughts on book trailers?
Yes, I do have a trailer for Whirl!
I don’t consider book trailers a means of promotion, since I’ve never bought a book because of its trailer. Often times, this is because the quality of a trailer is not great - the world of visual imagery and the world of books are two separate things. That’s why people are often unhappy with the movie version of a book. The purpose of the two mediums are completely different.
However, I have gone and looked up book trailers for books that I’ve enjoyed. It somehow adds an extra dimension to what I’ve read and can act as a factor that supports the world building.
So when I made the book trailer for Whirl, my intention was for it to be something for fans of the series. There are elements in the trailer that hint at key moments in the book, and I hope readers who enjoyed Whirl will go and watch the trailer and relive some of those moments.
7. Do you prefer e-books, paperbacks, hardcovers or audiobooks?
I used to believe that only hardcovers or paperbacks could truly provide the sensory satisfaction that comes from reading a book. My husband and I are voracious readers and have a library in our home of over a thousand books. It got to the point where we were running out of physical space to store them and I couldn’t bear the idea of getting rid of any of them.
In 2010, my husband got me a Kindle for my birthday. At first, I remained skeptical but I’m now passionately in love with it! I never go anywhere without it. Having a Kindle has increased the number of books I read because I’m easily able to take it everywhere. As a frequent traveler, lugging around heavy books I wanted to read used to be problematic. Now, I have everything right at my fingertips.
I do, however, still purchase paperbacks and hardcovers of books that I really love and want to add to my library.
A few years ago, I tried to listen to an audiobook, and just couldn’t get into it. I can’t listen to someone else narrating the story because I enjoy reading and taking in the words myself.
8. What book are you reading at the moment? And in what format?
I’m currently reading A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin and The Iron Duke by Meljean Brook. I’ve been meaning to read A Game of Thrones for awhile now and am finally getting around to it. The Iron Duke was on my TBR list for awhile as well. I’ve never read steampunk before and was very curious about the genre.
Both books are, of course, e-books that I’m enjoying on my Kindle. :)
9. Do you have any advice for other writers?
Read a lot and write a lot. There are no shortcuts to this. Read everything you can possibly get your hands on, including books outside of your genre. Learn to recognize excellent writing. Understand why one book is convincing and another one is not. This will help later when you write and attempt to communicate your story - you must be aware of how a reader will absorb and understand your narrative.
You should also get into the habit of writing daily. Writing is difficult - it requires a great deal of hard work, sweat, effort, time, and most of all, discipline. You need to write a lot of awful crap and make a great deal of mistakes in the beginning. Gradually your writing muscles will strengthen and your art will improve.
10. Where can your readers follow you?
Facebook page: http://facebook.com/emmaraveling
Goodreads author page: http://goodreads.com/emmaraveling
Whirl is available at:
Amazon (Kindle & paperback): http://www.amazon.com/Whirl-Ondine-Quartet-Book-ebook/dp/B005NIXRRC
Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/whirl-emma-raveling/1105622491
Thankyou so much for taking the time to do this interview and allowing us a glimpse into your writing world!