Name: Emerald Lavere
Where are you from: I grew up in a tiny town on the Oregon Coast, but have lived in the Los Angeles area for the past fifteen years.
A little about your self `ie your education Family life etc
I live with my husband, three children and a pound doggie.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news?
Lots of news! I just attended the San Francisco Writers Conference where one of my new projects (a YA supernatural/horror) was a finalist in their annual writing contest. I also pitched the YA book and a memoir to literary agents and received several requests to see both. Hopefully more to come on those books in the near future! In addition, I’m mapping out an exciting new direction for my blog. It will now be called YBAY, Your Body And You. Loving your body at any age and size. A place for daily uplifting thoughts and for sharing body-positive stories. The idea was inspired by feedback on my upcoming memoir.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
Through school assignments. In fifth grade we focused on poetry, in sixth—short stories. Through these introductions, I fell in love with writing. Writing went on the back burner after high school as I pursued other goals, but definitely stayed in my blood. About five years ago, I got serious about pursuing it as a career.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
When an email arrived from Loose Id publishing accepting my first book. There have been many exciting moments on this writing path, but to date, receiving that email tops the rest.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
The Wikomsette is an erotic SciFi/fantasy, which was just a lot of fun to create, but the plot was inspired by reading so many articles about societies around the world which value boys over girls. The Wikomsette explores the idea of what would happen if the preference for males went to extremes. In the world I created, the result is many men for every woman.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?
I tend to write fast paced and light. My first two books, The Wikomsette, and A Wife for the Future, reflect that, as does my memoir. With my other works-in-progress, I’m exploring styles that I hope will lean more toward literary without losing that need-to-turn-the-page element.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
Honestly, titles just pop into my head. For my first two books they stuck. But titles of my current works have already gone through changes. Ultimately, a publisher will have the final say.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
If there is a theme running through everything I’ve written so far, it’s: personal growth. Yes, the characters have adventures, challenges, and relationships, but in the end it’s what changes within the character herself or himself that resonates with me. I suppose the message would be, it’s never too late to live up to your potential.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Well, as I only have one husband instead of several, the Wikomsette books are definitely more fantasy than reality, ha ha! But certainly pieces of myself and people I’ve encountered go into my characters and what they experience. Physical traits, personality traits, events and locations all have at least a grain of truth in them. I think it’s needed to bring authenticity to stories.
Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most? a mentor?
Every book I read leaves its mark on me—for good or ill. I love everything from classics to chick lit to biographies to YA. In eighth grade after having already written some rather dark short stories, I picked up Carrie by Stephen King. That’s the book that made me want to be a published author one day. It took me years to return to that goal, but I did and am excited to now be submitting my first YA supernatural/horror novel to agents.
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 still love Stephen King. If I get in a reading funk, not finding anything engaging, a King book always snaps me out of it. With colorful characters and creative stories, he always pulls me in. A newer author I have to mention is Kathleen Winter. Her book, Annabel stayed with me long after I read it. A beautiful and poignant story about a hermaphrodite child decades ago in rural Canada. I’ll be picking up more of her work soon.
Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
My writers group. I’ve met like-minded individuals to connect with at the meetings and some have become my fantastic critique partners, beta readers, and cheerleaders who understand the struggle to create and to succeed.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
I absolutely do. However, I’m five years in at this point and am still at the bottom of the mountain of being an established, successful author. It’s a long climb, but I plan to get there no matter how long it takes.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
The problem is, it’s hard to stop making changes. I could tweak, polish, and re-word a single paragraph for the rest of my life. At some point we have to throw those baby birds out of the nest and hope they fly. That said, I’m quite pleased and satisfied with how my last published book turned out (A Wife for the Future).
Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?
My YA novel is set in Tillamook, Oregon. A boy finds he is bound to his hometown by a curse. When he learns of a connection between himself and two men who recently died in freak fires, he’s sure his time is running out. If he can break the curse, he’ll save himself, but it may cost him the girl he loves. (This work will be published under a different name so as not to confuse readers of my adult works. Info will still be posted on my Emerald Lavere website.)
My memoir is about entering adulthood. Working hard to be a ballerina, but labeled as “too fat.” Looking for love, but finding predatory men instead. Getting knocked down both professionally and personally, and then moving on to find blessings of love and career in the most unlikely places.
Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Shutting off the internal editor so I can get that first draft finished. I’ve done NaNoWriMo a couple of times and that helps me practice writing without stopping to look back. For those who don’t know, NaNoWriMo is National Novel Writing Month. Writers try to reach the goal of completing the first draft of a 50,000 word novel. It’s mad-difficult for me, but I made the goal both times I participated.
Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
I don’t have to, but since I love to travel, it would be a great excuse! Really though, most of my story research comes from the internet. Still, I do file away bits and pieces of info from every trip I take.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
The eBook covers for The Wikomsette and A Wife for the Future were done by April Martinez with Loose Id Publishing. The paperback cover for The Wikomsette was done by Dragon Billic. https://www.upwork.com/fl/draganb
A Wife for the Future will be available in paperback in the next few months as well, but cover design has not yet been decided for the print version.
Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Well, I’ve written four books so far (plus two others still in rough draft phase). I’d say of those, the YA supernatural/horror story was the hardest because I’ve wanted to write a story like this since I was a teen. I was desperate for it to live up to my hopes. I stumbled and fretted and took four times as long to create every chapter in an attempt to make it perfect. It’s silly, because no matter how fast or how slow a book is written, it will ALWAYS need rewrites before publication anyway.
Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
Lots of random little tidbits to bring my locations to life and make my plot-lines and sci-fi theories more plausible. If I were to pick one thing, it’s that some frogs can change gender, which was relevant in my first book. But if you meant something on a grand life scale, then I learned what I suspected in my youth is true—I am meant to write!
Fiona: If any of your books was made into a film who would you like to play the lead?
For The Wikomsette I would love to see Tom Welling as Captain Niku, Joe Manganiello as Ax and Rachelle LaFevre as Regina.
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
Anyone serious about writing well, should join a group. You need the eyes of other writers on your work, not just friends and family who will applaud anything you type up.
Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
I’m so grateful to anyone who invests their time and money in what I’ve created, and I hope my stories captivate you fully! If you would like to help me, or any writer continue to move forward in this competitive industry, please, please give reviews on Amazon and Goodreads. Even bad reviews actually help. All press is good press! Thank you, and God bless!
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
When I Was Puerto Rican, a memoir by Esmeralda Santiago. Her writing is so sensory, and I enjoy the way it makes me feel I am living her childhood with her. I’m also halfway through a biography on Queen Victoria, and when I’m finished with those two books, will pick up where I left off near the beginning of Outlander.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
My mother took me to the library often when I was very young. I don’t remember the first, but the earliest I can think of is a picture book about a little chick named Butterball. “We’re proud of little Butterball. We’re glad that he is nice and small. We couldn’t get along at all, without our little Butterball!” I still love good picture books and wish my kids hadn’t outgrown listening to me read them.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
I don’t easily cry. In books it takes the death of a beloved character. But in other media, sad children break my heart every time.
Fiona: Is there one person pass or present you would meet and why?
So many historical figures to choose from! I’ll stay in the book category though, and say I’d probably babble like an idiot having a fan-fit if I could meet Stephen King.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone and why ?
“Beloved Wife and Mother. Refused to believe that life was not a musical.”
Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies ?
Saturdays I run a little ballet program through Parks and Rec. It’s free to children in my area and helps me stay involved with my first love—dance. I took a few drum lessons a while back. I can now crappily play “21 Guns” by Green Day on my drum set!
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
I like to laugh. Blackish, The Real O’neals, Modern Family, The Goldbergs, The Middle, and Stephen Colbert are some of my current, favourite, guilty pleasures.
Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music
I love Indian food and sometimes Ethiopian food. Dark chocolate always.
Green is my favorite color in general. I love yellow flowers, and red in clothing and paint.
I enjoy so many kinds of music. Classical, big band, folk, pop, rock, alternative, jazz. Some of my current favorite bands are Lifehouse, Plain White Ts and Green Day.
Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?
I put my writing goals on hold to pursue a career in performing and then as a dance teacher. I think of writing as the last on my career bucket list, and what I hope to be doing for the rest of my life.
Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it?
I can also be found on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/EmeraldLavere/