Thursday, December 15, 2011

Goddess Fish Tour-Emlyn Chand

Welcome to Dawn’s Reading Nook, Emlyn Chand. Please let my cabana boys/girls get you a drink and make yourself at home. Comfortable? Great…now let’s get down to business.

Q: Tell us a little about yourself. What you do, either for a living or for fun or both.

I have my own business, which is both my work and my fun! I run a book marketing company called Novel Publicity, and I recently launched a second business called the ReaderShip. And oh yeah, I write too :-D

Q: Are you a by-the-seat-of-your-pants kind of writer, or do you have to use an outline to put your collective thoughts into some semblance of common sense?

Um, both actually! I begin with a seed of an idea and work out from there. With Farsighted, I started with Alex and created the rest of the story and characters to fit around him. Using the runes as a structural framework for this novel created an outline for me too. I’m a numbers person as well as a word person. I love things to be organized just so. If you set a stack of papers in front of me; I’m going to fuss with them until they are lined up in a perfect stack. It’s just the way I am. Shaping each chapter around a rune gave the story order, which made me feel happy and comfortable. Whenever I got stuck and didn’t know what should happen next, I was able to learn more about that chapter’s rune and get the inspiration I needed to continue. The runes themselves tell a story, one that is successfully completed. I felt that boded well for Farsighted.

Q: Tell us all about your latest or upcoming release. What inspired it?

Farsighted tells the story of Alex Kosmitoras. Here’s my mini teaser:  Alex Kosmitoras may be blind, but he can still “see” things others can’t.  When his unwanted visions of the future begin to suggest that the girl he likes could be in danger, he has no choice but to take on destiny and demand it reconsider.

Everything started with a single image—my face in these tacky oversized sunglasses reflecting out at me from the car’s side mirror. I was daydreaming while my husband drove us across Michigan for my sister’s wedding. Something about my image really struck me in an almost horrific way. I felt the glasses made me look blind but found it so weird that there was still a clear image within them; it seemed so contradictory. At the time, my book club was reading The Odyssey, which features the blind Theban prophet, Tieresias. I started thinking about what it would be like to have non-visual visions of the future and began forming a modern Tieresias in my mind. Lo and behold, Alex Kosmitoras was born. I didn’t want him to be alone in his psychic subculture, so I found other characters with other powers to keep him company. Thank God for my poor fashion sense. J

Q: If you had super powers, what would they be? Why?

I have super endurance. I work 100 hours per week every week, sometimes as many as 17 hours in a single day, and I somehow stay alive and (mostly) sane. I would love to have the ability to forego sleep and am getting quite close, thanks to Monster energy drink ;-)

Q: What genre haven’t you tried yet but want to in the future?

I am a YA writer through and through. The good thing about that is YA has so many flavors. Farsighted is paranormal, but I know I have a fantasy novel in me too and a bit of historical fiction—all dealing with teen characters.

Q: What’s a fun fact about you? Something unique, a particular talent?

I emerged from the womb with a fountain pen grasped firmly in my left hand (at least that’s what my Twitter bio says).

Q: What is one thing readers might be surprised to know about you?

Hmm... Well, up until quite recently, I was a shy and socially awkward person. I felt very nervous participating in social interactions and was constantly sticking my foot in my mouth and giving it a good chew. At some point, I adopted the policy fake it until you make it and forced myself into extraversion. Novel Publicity has really brought me out of my shell. I had to get over my social anxiety if I wanted my business to take off, so I did, and it did.

Q: Were your stories secret projects or were you able to be open with your family and friends about your writing?

I’m a talker, thus everyone knows I write. They know what I’m going to write before I ever start working on a story, because I talk so, so much. I think my friends and family wish I would talk less and write more.

Q: Do you have any weird writing habits?

I do! I find that I need to lock myself up at a coffee house or bake shop for hours on end in order to be productive. There’s something about the soothing hum of these environments that puts me to work. I call this holding myself “writing hostage.” Luckily for me, my captive is more than humane.

Q: What's your favorite genre to read?
I LOVE YA—I read it, write it, love it! JK Rowling, Suzanne Collins, and JD Salinger are classic faves. I’m currently reading Matched by Ally Condie and am absolutely loving it. Next up is the Tiger series by Colleen Houck, another set of books I anticipate greatly enjoying.
Q: What type of book have you always wanted to write?
A book that readers will enjoy and that may stretch their horizons a bit. That’s what I’ve tried to do with Farsighted.
Q: What authors can be found in your library of books (print, audio or e-books)?

First off, I have an enormous library. I have a bookshelf that is 8 feet high by 17 feet wide spanning one wall of my office, several boxes of books in my basement, and a cluttered Kindle. Lots and lots of books. I read a lot of YA (authors mentioned above) and also love classic literature (especially Russian and British literature). I have a fondness for indie authors too—like Terri Giuliano Long, Lauren Clark, Kimberly Kinrade, and Kenneth Bennett.

Q: If you could travel anywhere in the world (money is no object), where would you go? Why? And for how long?

I really want to go to Machu Picchu. I love nature, and what hike is more challenging than that one? I’m also fascinated by the ancient Incan civilization and would love to see this well-preserved city. I could stay for weeks on end if I found a way to get wi-fi there (provided I don’t start having nightmares about human sacrifice and ghosts and all that).

Q: Do you have any obsessions? What are they?

Yup, I’m a total workaholic. A great obsession to have if you ask me ;-)

Q: Is there anything you’re currently working on that you can give us a taste of?

I’m working on book two in the Farsighted series. It’s called Open Heart and will be written from the point-of-view of a different main character. I’m also toying with the idea of a special hardcover edition of Farsighted Book 1 with new chapters added to the end and a sneak peek of Open Heart.

Q: When creating your characters, do you have models in mind or are they totally fictional?

Sometimes I find models, but usually not. Alex, the main character of Farsighted... man, this is embarrassing... well, when I started getting to know him I pictured a young Charlie Sheen. This was about a month before Charlie Sheen went total nuts. Now I’m trying to redeem Alex’s image by likening him to Taylor Lautner. Yummy!

Q: Are you in control of your characters or do they control you?

Oh, they control me! For each manuscript I write, I have one minor character who refuses to remain minor. These players take over the stage and throw-out my previous plans. In Farsighted, this character was Shapri. She’s now my personal favorite and many readers adore her as well, but she was not supposed to be a main character. She demanded it, and I’m so glad I listened!

Q: If you came with a warning label, what would it say?

Warning:  Nothing else existed when Emlyn is working. Handle with caution and prepare to be ignored! (My poor golden retriever)

Q: Please tell us where we can find you on the web.

Here’s my link-laden bio: Emlyn Chand is the president of Novel Publicity and a YA author. She loves to hear and tell stories and emerged from the womb with a fountain pen grasped firmly in her left hand (true story). Her first novel Farsighted released in late 2011 and is of the YA genre. Learn more about Emlyn at or by connecting with her on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or GoodReads.

 Farsighted by Emlyn Chand
Young Adult

Alex Kosmitoras’s life has never been easy. The only other student who will talk to him is the school bully, his parents are dead-broke and insanely overprotective, and to complicate matters even more, he’s blind. Just when he thinks he’ll never have a shot at a normal life, a new girl from India moves into town. Simmi is smart, nice, and actually wants to be friends with Alex. Plus she smells like an Almond Joy bar. Yes, sophomore year might not be so bad after all. 

Unfortunately, Alex is in store for another new arrival—an unexpected and often embarrassing ability to “see” the future. Try as he may, Alex is unable to ignore his visions, especially when they begin to suggest that Simmi is in danger. With the help of the mysterious psychic next door and new friends who come bearing gifts of their own, Alex must embark on a journey to change his future.

Sneak Peek Excerpt:

“Did Dad tell you? A new tenant moved into the old pharmacy next door.”
“Really?” I ask, not letting on I already know. If I feign ignorance, Mom’ll divulge all the details. “What is it?”
“It’s a psychic shop,” Her voice crackles with excitement like a fire that’s just beginning to burn. “The All-Seeing Miss Teak. Isn’t that cute? Miss Teak, Mystic. Ha, I wonder if that’s her real name.”
I laugh. “That is funny. Never had a psychic in town before. What’s she like?”
“Oh, she’s very friendly. Why don’t you go over and say ‘hi.’  I’m sure she’d like to meet you.”
“Okay, I think I will.” I’m incredibly intrigued, because first off, it’s a psychic shop—how weird is that?—and second, its presence made Dad super uncomfortable—also very cool. I waste no time heading next door to check out the scene.
As I step cautiously into the new shop, a recording of soft, instrumental music greets me. I can make out chimes and a string instrument I don’t recognize but for some reason reminds me of snake charmers. The smell of incense fills my nostrils, which explains the burning I detected earlier.
“Hello?” I call out into the otherwise quiet room.
Nobody answers. I walk in deeper, sweeping my cane out in front of me in a metronome fashion. This place is new to me, so I need to be especially careful while moving around.
Thump! Despite my precautions, I stub my toe on something hard, big, and made of wood. Just my luck to stub the same toe twice in one day. I reach down to press my fingers into my throbbing foot to alleviate some of the pain. Something teeters before rolling off of the chest and across the floor; the sound it makes indicates a curved path. Suddenly, the object stops. Somebody’s stopped it.
“Hello?” I call again.
“Hello,” a deep, feminine voice responds, placing more emphasis on the first syllable than the second.
“I- I’m sorry I knocked that thing over. I didn’t mean to…” I hope she’s not angry. Probably not a good idea to get on a psychic’s bad side.
“That wasn’t just a thing, it’s a crystal ball,” she says as she walks over, sending my blood pulsing through my veins. I sense her looking at me for a moment before she places the ball back on top of the chest.
“Can it see the future?” I ask, allowing my curiosity to outweigh my uneasiness.
“No.” After a pause lasting several beats, she continues. “But I can see the future sometimes when I look into it.”
“Oh, okay.” I tighten my hand around my cane and turn to leave. It may not be the most polite thing to do, but all of this hocus-pocus stuff is freaking me out more than I would’ve guessed.
The psychic lady speaks again, stopping me cold. “Don’t run away, Alex Kosmitoras.” She must’ve spoken to Mom earlier today. That must be how she knows my name.
“I’m not running away,” I say meekly. “I’m just going back over to Sweet Blossoms.”
“Don’t run away,” she repeats—this time she speaks louder and with more energy. “Don’t run away from your abilities. They are gifts.”
“What?” I ask in confusion. What abilities is she talking about?
“You already know. Watch. Listen. Be open to your gifts.”
I turn to face Miss Teak, but find she’s already gone, returning to wherever she was before I got there.
Is it safe to leave? I trail my fingers across the wooden box I ran into earlier; a thick coat of dust clings to the tips as I pull away. If this shop just opened, why is it already so dirty? I wipe my hands over my shirt to get the gritty substance off. Shivers rock my whole body. Something about this place is wrong, and I’m not sticking around to figure out what. Tapping my cane along the floor, I’m able to find the exit without knocking into anything else.

What others are saying about Farsighted....

Psychic or not, you'll never see the end for this one coming! Emlyn Chand is pioneering "the next big thing" for YA.  
-- Emily Reese, author of Second Death

Alex Kosmitoras might not have a magic wand or vampiric strength and speed, but he is a totally swoon-worthy hero that any mom would be proud to let her daughter date.

-- Melissa Luznicky Garrett, author of Turning Point

You don't have to be psychic to know that Farsighted is going to take the world by storm. Vampires are so last year.  
-- Kimberly Kinrade, author of Forbidden Mind

I was surprised when I got lost in this story, the first time I looked up - I realized a couple of hours had passed and I’d gone through 75% of the book! I didn't get up and take a break, I just dived back in. I read the book in one sitting, only pausing long enough to grab a drink once or twice... the ONLY other time I have done this is when I read the Harry Potter series.

--Marie Bothwick, blogger at Write Panic Live


MomJane said...

Love your library. Envy, envy. sigh. Oh to have that much room and that many books.

I really, really love the concept of your story.

Emlyn Chand said...

Thanks for the lovely interview, Dawn. And, hi, Jane. Yes, I love my library too! I've built much of it by buying books at thrift stores. You can get tons of great books for just 25 to 50 cents. Whenever I go to check out the stock at my favorite thrift store, I come home with at least two overflowing boxes :-P

Karen H said...

Very interesting interview today. I always enjoy learning new things about authors.

Mysti Holiday said...

I would love to have the ability to forego sleep

That would be awesome, though I think I'd prefer the ability to teleport. I love to travel, but hate flying. *G*

Catherine Lee said...

Dawn...I got a kick out of your introductory reference to cabana boys/girls. I was a cabana "boy" (because cabana "girls" were a novel thing at the time) in NJ way back in the 70s (1977-79). Emlyn...I appreciate you naming some of your favorite indies: Terri Giuliano Long, Lauren Clark, Kimberly Kinrade, and Kenneth Bennett. My New Year's resolution is to discover new (to me) authors.

Catherine Lee

Mary Preston said...

I would have thought that an outside environment like a Coffee House would be distracting. That's very interesting.


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