Monday, April 12, 2010

Author Interview ~ Emma Lai

Hey everyone, today we have with us an amazingly nice lady… who just so happens to be an author! LOL Our guest on the couch here at The Menagerie is Emma Lai. Let’s all make sure she feels welcome. And I’ll make sure the Cabana Boys take good care of her.

Welcome to The Menagerie, Emma. I’m so glad you could join us today. Get comfy and we’ll get started. Where are you from?

This question never failed to get a rise out of me when I was younger. Since I’m of mixed heritage (Vietnamese/Anglo), this question was often used by people to try to figure out my ethnicity. I can be a pretty, perverse person sometime and would sometimes be deliberately obtuse in answering.

Q: Where are you from? A: From Houston.
Q: No, I meant where did you grow up? A: I lived in Houston until I was 10, in Dallas/Fort Worth area until I was 17 and then back to Houston.
Q: No, I meant where were you born? A: In Arizona.
At which point, the person throws up their hands. Sometimes I would take pity and sometimes I wouldn’t. Like I said, perverse.

In short, though I have travelled around the U.S. and lived in Richmond, VA and Roswell, NM for brief periods of time, I call Houston home.

LOL, nothing wrong with perverse. Don’t forget where you’re at today. Why don’t you tell us your latest news?

Well aside from giving birth to my first (and probably only) child last September, my first story, His Ship, Her Fantasy, released with The Wild Rose Press last August. The second story in the series, His Hope, Her Salvation, released in December. I’m currently working on the third story in the series. And, I’m working on edits for an erotic Regency, Twice is Not Enough. Readers can check my website, for updates.

So, my news varies from “The baby likes green beans,” to “I just heard back from my editor and …”

Hee hee, but at least you have news to share. :-D I’m tempted to ask if the baby likes peas too. When did you first consider yourself a writer?

LOL. I’m not sure I do consider myself a writer. I’m still in shock about my contracts. I thought when I signed my first contract, I would feel like a writer. Then, I thought when I received my awesome cover, the feeling would come. Next, I was sure it would arrive with the release of the story. What about after repeating the process? Nope. Maybe, after I sell a full-length and hold the finished product in my hands?

Maybe… but I think you should consider yourself one now. Just sayin… How did you come up with the title?

I love coming up with titles. For His Ship, Her Fantasy it was simple. Ellie was in love with a ship (her fantasy) and Alastair was charged with protecting the ship (his ship). For His Hope, Her Salvation the heroine needed rescuing and the hero had lost hope of ever finding his true love. And, for Twice is Not Enough, well I’ll leave that up to everyone’s imagination. (Remember, it’s erotic.)

Gotta love when it comes to you so easily… mine keep getting stuck with titles like “Max’s Story”, lol. What book are you reading now?

Besides, Rainbow Fish? (Baby book on colors for those who don’t know.) I have multiple books in progress. Forbidden Eternity by Skhye Moncrief. Her Reluctant Rancher by Anne Marie Novark. The latest book in Steven Erikson’s Tales of the Malazan Empire series.

Aside from the baby books, I read whatever strikes my fancy. Erikson’s books are weighty and require attention. Skhye’s books have an intelligent humor that I like. Anne Marie’s book, well who doesn’t love a cowboy? I also have a dozen books within easy reach in case I’m in a different mood.

Ahh, a girl after my own heart. I usually have any number of books going at the same time. And now for the “absolutely-nothing-to-do-with-writing” questions: Do you hate how you look in pictures? Why or why not?

I generally hate how I look in pictures. I always think they make me look fat or my smile looks fake or my eyes are half-closed or or or... The real problem is I thought Barbie was the definition of beauty when I was growing up. And, I’m almost as far from a Barbie doll as one can get. I think this is why it’s easy for me to write heroines that aren’t the ideal body type.

I can certainly understand that, and I think a lot of us have that issue. Do you have any strange handwriting habits, like capitalizing all your “r”s or dotting your “I”s with heart (or anything like that)?

I sign my capital M’s two different ways depending on whether I’m signing my name or writing some other word. I also like to put two exclamation marks at the end of sentences and add a smile underneath.

You can erase any horrible experience from your past. What will it be?

I have lots of truly horrible experiences in my past, but I honestly think they’ve all helped to make me the person I am. I’ve dealt with them and moved on. How do I know? Because I don’t define my life by these things. So, while I still feel sadness for the girl who went through the turmoil, I wouldn’t change any of it.

That’s a great outlook to have. What do you want to know about the future?

As morbid as it sounds, I want to know how the world ends. Is a giant asteroid going to strike the earth? Is a supervolcano going to erupt? Is the earth going to enter the shockwaves of a supernova? Is the sun going to die and swallow the planet? So, many fascinating possibilities.

LOL, to each their own. Do you like thunderstorms?

I love thunderstorms if I get to snuggle under a blanket on my couch with my favorite book or husband or both. Living in Houston, we get some powerful storms that result in flash floods. It’s better to be inside. This knowledge paid off when we lived in Richmond, VA. A tropical storm settled over the city and poured rain for hours before the work day ended. Rather than try and reach home, we found a nice dry restaurant with power and watched on the big screen as the stranded motorists were rescued from their vehicles.

I have to agree, there’s nothing better than hanging out under a blanket with your sweetie when it’s raining outside. Well, Emma, that’s the end of our interview. It was so great to hang out with you today, and to get to know you better. Thanks so much for being here. Stick around and let our Cabana Boys take good care of you.

Emma likes nothing more than a challenge. First,she tackled the male-dominated field of engineering. Next, she expanded her understanding of the world by studying international relations. Finally, her husband dared her to use her experience and knowledge and devote herself to writing. She accepted his challenge and has been writing ever since.

Writing keeps Emma sane. Her characters demand their stories be told and nag her incessantly until she complies. The characters are very insistent about her remaining faithful to their individual adventures. As a result, Emma writes a range of genres and levels of heat. She never knows what the next set of characters will demand!

His Ship, Her Fantasy by Emma Lai

Ellie Woods is in love…with a ship. When an argument with the ship results in a bump on the head, she finds herself in the strong arms of Alastair. But who is he and where did he come from?

Alastair has loved Ellie from afar for years, but duty has kept him from revealing himself to her. When a grave threat reveals his true identity, he hopes that Ellie will choose reality over fantasy.


Emma Lai said...

Thanks for the fun interview! Now, bring on the Cabana Boys!

Cate Masters said...

Great interview ladies! I love your philosophy about bad experiences, Emma. Too true!
Loved His Ship, Her Fantasy! And yes, you are a writer. A wonderful one. :)
Best of luck with all your projects! And keeping the green beans off them.

Catherine Bybee said...

I've been in nearly every file in my computer and can't find my download of HSHF. Ugh. I don't want to read the second book before the first. I found that the second one. Computers are such a love hate for me!

Being a writer is a state of mind... more than being published I think. Being published means you don't give up easily! Just sayin...

Emma Lai said...

Thanks for the support, Cate! My newest challenge is trying to keep Iain from adding his POV into my stories with his grabby little fingers. :)

Emma Lai said...

LOL, Catherine! I'll send you another copy. :)

Kealie Shay said...

So glad you could join us today, Emma. It was great fun doing your interview (as you can see I laughed a lot). I sure hope the Boys are taking good care of you. I had to laugh again at your POV comment... my two year old does that when I'm in IM with the other Menagerie ladies.

Thanks Cate and Catherine for stopping by today.

Emma Lai said...

Thanks so much, Kealie!