Name Laura T Emery
Age 29? Just kidding, I’m 48.
Where are you from?
I was born in Boston, but have been a Californian since the age of two. I’ve spent most of my professional life in medicine, but only flashes of that come through in my novels.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news?
I am close to finishing book three in the Remains Series, Remains of the Descendant. It’s the story of Alex Uqualla, who steals his mother’s ashes from a church in Italy and brings her to the Native American reservation of Havasupai in attempt to revive her with the Ghost Dance. Along the way he meets Kaelene, a sexy native physician, and all around messed up girl.
I am also in the midst of a RomCom and a psychological thriller. In addition, I host a weekly game where followers give me a word and I turn forty to fifty into a Flash Fiction Story. Book Three in the Flash Fiction Fun Series comes out on April 28th.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I didn’t start seriously writing until I was in my forties. I had started a two person “book club” with my friend, and thought, “I could do this!”
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
When I held my first book, Disposition of Remains, in my hot little hands!
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
Stacia, the main character of the Remains Series, is an amalgam of people I had met during my years of nursing. She is a combination of a nurse, and oncology patient, and a postpartum patient I once took care of.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?
I like to take on serious topics with a lighthearted slant, and hope you learn a little something you didn’t know before.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
My second book the Remains Series, is called What Remains of the Fair Simonetta. I told the story behind a little known painting of Sandro Botticelli called The Fair Simonetta: a weird, homely painting of a Renaissance beauty.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
In Disposition of Remains, the message is to live life to the fullest before it’s over.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
I would say there is about 10% reality and 90% fantasy in the first book. The other way around for the second since it’s a historical fiction! I think all writers have to write from personal experience to make the story genuine, but I prefer the fiction part. The part that exists only in my head until it makes it onto the paper.
Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most? a mentor?
I was enamored with Walter Farley’s books when I was a kid, particularly The Island Stallion. I think his books really started my love for reading.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest and who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
I’m in a dark phase. I loved The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins because it’s a great book that broke a few traditional rules of writing: long narrative, telling instead of showing.
I’ll always read anything that Dan Brown or Khaled Hosseini write.
Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
I have a large circle of friends, community and groups that all support one another. I think that I love that the most about writing. There is very little ill will amongst writers. It’s all about supporting each other.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
I see writing in my future, as long as my brain keeps creating stories when I least expect it.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
I try not to go there. As a writer you could edit forever. I’m sure there is something I would change, but I like to move forward.
Fiona: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
After reading Water for Elephants, I decided that I had stories to tell.
Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?
Here are the first two passages from Remains of the Descendant:
I was stolen. He snuck right past the Sisters and snatched me from my resting place. I had no fear of my captor, but I was where I wanted to be and he took me away. After brazenly grabbing my urn from atop Botticelli’s grave, he shoved it under his leather coat, dashing out of the Church of Ognissanti with the carved, golden container that housed my spirit and half my charred ashes with no regard for my wishes.
The identity of my captor surprised me more than the theft itself. He was so enamored with me when I was living and breathing; on my heels everywhere I went. A shining face to brighten each day. But my death changed things. He’d become gloomy and disinterested in his annual visits from the States. So on the day of my capture, I knew little about him anymore.
Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Lately, it’s writing one thing at a time. I’ve been all over the place. Writing blurbs and taglines is always a challenge too. Taking something that took two years to write and narrowing it down to a few sentences.
Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
That is the awesome part! While writing What Remains of the Fair Simonetta, I traveled to Florence, Italy several times. I spoke with a Native Traditional Practitioner in Havasupai this past summer during my research for Remains of the Descendant. My husband has asked that my next book take place in Hawaii.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
The great Dragan Bilic! He took my vision all the way. https://www.upwork.com/fl/draganb
Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
For my current project, Remains of the Descendant, it’s that I keep changing my mind about how the story is going to go. The characters have minds of their own and are not cooperating with me!
Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
I think that writing is an ever evolving craft. I learn something new all the time.
Fiona: If any of your books was made into a film who would you like to play the lead.
I would love for Julia Jones from the Twilight movies to play Stacia. That holds true for the entire Remains Series.
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
Write every day and join a writer’s group.
Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
You are what this is all about. Nothing is more satisfying than being able to reach a person on the other side of the world with your words and have that person enjoy them.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
The Black Stallion by Walter Farley.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
It takes very little to make me laugh. I love humor in any form. One of my favorite silly movies is Just Friends with Ryan Reynolds.
Cry? I don’t cry! Actually, I am very sensitive, but only cry when I’m hormonal.
Fiona: Is there one person pass or present you would meet and why?
Sandro Botticelli. I love his paintings so much I wrote a book about him.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone and why?
I don’t really don’t like to think about my headstone! But I guess I would like it to say: Mother, Wife, and Author.
Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies?
At the risk of sounding like an online dating profile, I like hiking, traveling, and art.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
I try not to watch anything so that I can focus on writing. Having said that, my husband has been binge watching Game of Thrones, and I have snuck a peek here and there. I can watch almost anything. I’m easily entertained.
Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music
Pasta/Blue/Audiobooks are my music.
Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?
I dreamed of being a singer once. Turns out I don’t like to perform in front of people.
Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it? Yes!
Here is my Amazon Author Page:
Link to Disposition of Remains:
Stacia Altman has just received some terrible news. Life-altering news. In fact, life-ending news. She was just diagnosed with a terminal disease. Worse yet, she’s not sure if her death will matter to anyone—including herself. Stacia decides to abandon the societal role she has played, in order to piece together whatever shreds of her life she can, before it’s too late. While fighting her way through the stages of grieving, Stacia finds great friends, love, and most importantly, humor. As she travels the globe solving the mystery of her life and coming to terms with her inevitable death, she ultimately discovers that the end might just be the beginning…of a greater adventure. Follow Stacia on her journey of spiritual awakening, physical pleasure, and discovery of self—a tale told from within her urn.
Link to What Remains of the Fair Simonetta:
Anastasia (Stacia) Uqualla has been dead for eleven years, residing as a spirit in the Italian Church of Ognissanti, when she suddenly awakens in the body of the renowned Renaissance beauty, Simonetta Vespucci. She reunites with Mariano, the father of Botticelli, whose ghostly presence has kept her company in the afterlife. With the body and raging hormones of a teenage girl, Stacia experiences all the passions in life a second time around. Take a ride through history in this second book in the “Remains” series by Laura T Emery, a light historical fiction with a sense of humor and a sexy edge.
The story of Alex Uqualla, the lost (but hot) son of Anastasia. He kidnaps his mothers ashes from the Church of Ognissanti in Florence Italy, an takes her to the bottom of the Grand Canyon where their people, the Native American Havasupai tribe live, in hopes of reviving her with the Ghost Dance.