An Interview with Emerian Rich!

Emerian and I became friends at local coventions where I had to admire her hair and her eye make-up, which is amazing art! Turns out she’s also a tireless blogger, a prolific author, and a dynamic speaker! I asked Emerain to talk to us about the many hat she wears and how she finds time to juggle her many, many projects.

You have a lot of balls in the air – Horror Addicts, Regency Romance, SEARCH Magazine– tell us a little bit about your various projects.

Man, we could be here all day. My personality type is one that gets bored easily and I’m quite hyper, so to feed my “have to do something new” monster, I get myself involved in all sorts of stuff. I’m also OCD so let’s do this in a format I’m more comfortable with.

  • Horror Writer: I love writing my vampires in Night’s Knights Vampire Series, but I also have become a fan of short horror. It was hard to get involved in the short story game because my head just naturally thinks in novel length, but when I realized that shorts take a different sort of talent, a small idea, well crafted, the challenge was set. Now I enjoy the experiment of a horror short and when someone asks me to be in an anthology, I jump at the chance to stretch my short story muscles!

 

  • Horror Hostess: I started HorrorAddicts.net as a podcast to tide my vampire fans over until the next book, but it has become its own entity. With 10+ staff, we operate a podcast, blog, and now publishing house. Sometimes it seems very overwhelming, but it is so rewarding, that I must keep it going. This has also increased my voice acting jobs and opened my career up to new possibilities such as MC’ing and interviewing.

 

  • Romance Writer: Although it’s no secret, a lot of people don’t know I also write romance under the name Emmy Z. Madrigal. My Sweet Dreams Musical Romance Series started it all. It’s centered on older teens who are music lovers, including pop stars and the whole Jazz music scene. The spin off Anime Girl is targeted to twenty-somethings and is more of a chicklit type read about an Anime artist who falls in love at an Anime con. My most recent romance sale is a Regency romance called Lord Harrington’s Lost Doe. It’s more of an Austen-like novella with a rain-tormented estate, a lost girl, and the dark, tall, and grumpy Lord that finds her. Lost Doe should be released within the next year.

 

animegirlcoverfinal-copy

 

 

  • SEARCH Magazine Editorial Director: This is my newest baby and I am having fun learning all the new things the magazine can teach me. I’m also loving the new relationship it gives me with my writing staff. Writers are great people with vivid imaginations and I love seeing what they will bring me next!

Your newest baby is SEARCH Magazine (disclosure – I write for it). How did you get involved with this project, and what can readers expect from the magazine?

I was approached by the publisher to help her launch this local San Francisco Bay Area magazine. I loved the idea and jumped at the chance to add one more feather in my hat. I’ve directed many publishing projects, but this is the first mainstream publication. Her vision of bringing new and innovative ideas to our area really hit a chord with me. I love her slant on arts, entertainment, and her passion for growing local businesses along the way. If your readers would like to check out the magazine, they can get a free eCopy online at: searchmagazine.net

 

cover of SEARCH magazine

With so many projects happening at once, do you have any time management tips for us?

My answer to the first question shows that I like to segment my projects into boxes. So here we go with some bulleted tips that help me accomplish the impossible:

  • Become a note taker and list maker. Take a few minutes in the morning of each day to sort what is urgent and what can wait.

 

  • Try to get through as much as you can in one sitting, but make sure to give yourself realistic goals and breaks.

 

  • Make rules about social media. When you do it, when you don’t. We all need to do it, but it can end up gobbling up a lot of your time.

 

  • Above all…make sure everything you are doing is either working toward a goal, or enjoyable for you to do. If a project isn’t fun for you, honor commitments that you’ve already made, but then cut ties or figure out another way to contribute that is less irritating to you. The more enjoyable the work, the easier it will go.

If people want to start reading your work, where do you suggest they start?

At my main website, emzbox.com, they can find everything I do. I have horror, vampires, modern romance, regency romance, a little scifi and now a mainstream magazine. There’s a little bit for everyone. If they are looking for a good book to start off with, I would suggest Artistic License. It’s about a woman who inherits a house where everything she paints, comes alive.

cover of Artistic Liscence

It’s summer and I’m headed to the beach (in my dreams). What book NOT written by you should I put in my beach bag, and why?

I’m reading a great Pride and Prejudice variation by my favorite variation writer, Kara Louise. It’s called Pirates and Prejudice and it features Darcy becoming a pirate. A lot of time is spent on the ship, surrounded by water and beaches. Darcy being taught how to talk like a pirate is hilarious, even my husband enjoyed that bit. It’s a must read.

Guest Post: 10 Reasons You Shouldn’t Compare the Modern Man to Mister Darcy, by Emmy Z. Madrigal

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWhen my writer friend Emmy and I discovered that we both blog and we both love Jane Austen, we cried, “BLOG SWAP!”  I’m the author of Pride, Prejudice and Popcorn: TV and Film adaptation of Pride and Prejudice, Wuthering Heights, and Jane Eyre.  Emmy is working on an adaptation of Northanger Abbey.  Here’s Emmy’s post, about the problems with holding out for a Mr. Darcy in the real world

1. Mr. Darcy was written by a woman.Yes, Jane Austen fulfilled our fantasies by writing a delicious character, but he is written from a woman’s point of view. He says the right thing (or wrong thing) at precisely the right time and approaches Lizzy with expressive and romantic language real men don’t use. “Hey, wanna take a trip with me this weekend?” can be just as tantalizing from a real guy as, “I must tell you how ardently I admire and love you.” Read his signs like you’ve read Pride and Prejudice, with care and attention to detail. Asking you to hang out with him, means you are special enough to spend time with. Give him a break on the flowery declarations of love.

2. Even Jane Austen didn’t write the Darcy in your head.

You’ve read her words, but you’ve blown Mr. Darcy into this full-blown fantasy that can’t compare to ANY real man. In your mind he is perfect, much more perfect than Jane’s text could speak of. Remember his faults, like being too uppity and assuming Lizzy is nothing because she is poor and lives with a family of nutjobs. You’ve mentally fast-forwarded through all his distain like you do on the DVD to get to the really juicy bits. Our minds have powerful forgiveness for faults when we’re fantasizing.

3. Perfect men are obnoxious.

Do you really want to be tied to a man so perfect, only his man servant sees him naked? Who knows how many girdles are beneath those perfect suits and that pants bulge might not equal happiness in the bedroom. Will he be as uptight while undressing you, or will his servants do that for him? If you think about it, Darcy is kinda creepy. He follows Lizzy around, being all uppity and superior and then involves himself in a family scandal. No one is that psychic to cater to your every need before you even ask. It’s rare to find that much gallantry in a man, especially one too perfect to be in the same room with your loud-mouthed mother.

4. Showing emotion is not a fault.

Being with someone so stoic could drive a person mad. This brings up images of dancing in front of him to make him smile like the royal guard dudes with the big fuzzy black caps. Will he show emotion while bedding you, or will you just receive a nice tap on the head and off you go? You want a man who shows chinks in his armor every once in awhile. You want one you can smile and laugh with, one who shows his passion for you and sometimes makes a fool of himself in the process.

5. No real man is free of fault.

And his faults are never as tame as being so proud he’s prejudiced! Let real men have faults and don’t compare them to Darcy unless you want them to fail every time. Find a man you can love despite his faults. Perhaps you’ll be lucky enough to find his faults cute or romantic. If you can adore Darcy’s snobby attitude, making fun of Lizzy, calling her names, and putting down her family, maybe you can let Joe Schmoe’s fetish for baseball cards slide, eh? And just remember, women have faults too. Find someone who thinks yours are adorable and not to be corrected.

6. Times have changed.

10,000 pounds a year ain’t what it used to be. Falling for a man because of his wealth is like signing up for disaster. In the olden days, rich men tended to stay that way and if they didn’t, they still had their title to make doors open for them. In this day and age wealth is something that can change quickly. What if he loses an account, his mansion, or his job? Will you still love him when he’s jobless or his life situation changes? Are you wishing for riches to make your life easier or to truly be happy? Money doesn’t breed happiness and if the relationship isn’t built on something stronger, it’s doomed to fail.

7. Looks are fleeting.

What happens when Mr. Darcy turns 50, has the comfortable couch gut and starts losing his hair? You want someone you love for qualities other than looks. Ten to twenty years from now, do you want to be looking at him thinking, “Geez he WAS gorgeous, but now he’s a bit chubby and has rather odd ears.” Or do you want someone who you can love despite his graying temples and age spots?

8. What will you have to measure up to?

Do you want to be with someone that you constantly don’t feel good enough for? What will be expected of a girlfriend or wife of Darcy? Are you ready to manage Pemberley? Will you be expected to have perfect children before you’re ready? Will you have to raise your children as heirs to vast wealth, thinking only of riches and status? Would you be able to still live your own life, go out with the girls, or finish school? You want someone who appreciates your talents and has just as much fun discussing your interests as recounting his smelly old fox hunt!

9. What’s so great about Darcy anyway?

Does he have any hobbies? Does he do or accomplish anything besides keeping up his family estate? What are any of his accomplishments beyond being born into a rich, titled family? What is Darcy when these days you can have a musician, artist, techy genius, or an architect? An evening at Pemberley seems rather drab, sitting around reading, pretending to enjoy whist… in a corset no less! Wouldn’t you rather be in your comfy leggings, dancing at a concert or strolling the boardwalk?

10. You might be missing out on your Mr. Right.

Just because the guys you date don’t fit your cookie-cutter hero costume, doesn’t mean they’re unworthy. What if Mr. Wrong is Mr. Right for you? What if the jeans and t-shirt guy from the laundromat turns out to be the love of your life? Sure, you don’t want to struggle through life, you’d like to find rich Mr. Darcy, but how do you know that you plus t-shirt guy doesn’t equal success unless you give him a shot?

Emmy Z. Madrigal is the author of the Sweet Dreams Musical Romance Series and Anime Girl 1 and 2. Her love for Regency romances goes back to the days when she first discovered Mr. Darcy and was instantly besotted. Emmy believes that love can conquer all and that sometimes, love comes when you least expect it. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her own Mr. Darcy and son. To find out more, go to: sweetdreamsnovel.com

The My Writing Process Blog Tour

woman at Victorian typewriterAnd now for something…completely different!  I was invited to participate in this writing process tour by Emmy Z. Madrigal.  Emmy Z. Madrigal is the author of the musical romance series, Sweet Dreams and the artist spin-off Anime Girl. Her love of music and the Jazz masters of the Big Band Era have always inspired her life and her writing. She also writes horror and vampire fiction under the name Emerian Rich. To find out more, go to sweetdreamsnovel.com

Emmy asked me to answer the following four questions:

1.  What am I working on?

I’m in the home stretch of completing my third book for Harlequin Pop!, It’s About Power:  Bella, Buffy, and Katniss Take on the World.  In this non-fiction book, I talk about three iconic female heroines and how they deal with power.  All three of them are attacked and threatened by individuals and by institutions, and the three women respond very differently and with very different outcomes.

The most challenging part of writing this has been trying to figure out what tools Bella Swan uses in Twilight.  Much of her power seems to stem simply from the fact that the author likes her.  There’s a disturbing message of passivity in Bella’s story, paired with an intoxicating message about the ability of an ordinary person to inspire adoration. I was also struck by the fact that Bella is the only one of the three women to achieve an unambiguously happy ending.  This is partly because she is also the only one of the three to have a simple goal that never changes.  At the start of their respective franchises, Bella’s goal is to be with Edward, Katniss’ goal is to protect her sister, and Buffy’s goal is to have a normal life.  Katniss and Buffy develop more complex goals.  Often they have multiple goals and their goals are in conflict with each other.  Bella never wavers in her focus on being with Edward.  While there are some other things that she wants, they are always secondary to her main goal.  This makes her successful in the sense of achieving happiness but frustrating to write about.

 2.  How does my work differ from others in its genre?

I write in a funny, approachable, conversational tone but I also include a lot of depth.  I want a reader to feel like they are hanging out with me in my living room while I wave my hands around and get all excited about feminism and literature and history and politics.  I want the reader to have fun.  But I also include in-depth analysis in my books.  I want my reader to come away from the experience with a lot to think about and I want the reader to look at material in a new way, or be willing to try something they haven’t tried before.

My two books to date for Harlequin Pop! (Pride, Prejudice, and Popcorn: TV and Film Adaptations of Pride and Prejudice  Wuthering Heights, and Jane Eyre and Romance in Buffy the Vampire Slayer) are both works of literary and film criticism.  My online writing for Smart Bitches, Trashy Books and Geek Girl in Love involves a lot of reviewing.  It’s important to me that my reviews be honest and tough, but at heart I’m a huge fan.  Since I don’t write fiction, I have a huge appreciation of the courage and imagination of people who do.  Your worst fiction is better than my best fiction, which is nonexistent.  I want to convey a love of art and of artists in everything I do, even when I’m pointing out the flaws in a specific work of art.  I think that this passion for art, both written and visual, is the strongest part of my work.

Pride_PopcornCover_final

3.  Why do I write what I do?

When I find something I love, I become an evangelist for that thing, and when I find something I hate, I want to understand why it was created in the way it was.  A good book brings me joy, and it makes me feel excited to share that joy with others.  There’s nothing as satisfying as matching a book to their perfect reader.  I also love examining the layers in a a book (or TV show or film).  I love how something like Pride and Prejudice is a romance, a political tome, a satire, a social commentary, a romantic comedy, and horror, all at once.  I love how stories challenge us to see through other perspectives and grasp an experience that is both different and similar to our own.  It’s not surprising to me that Buffy the Vampire Slayer makes me emphasize with a vampire slayer but astonishes and delights me that it makes me empathize with a girl who longs to be a cheerleader.

I’m also increasingly interested in using my writing as a way to let other voices be heard.  My favorite features on Geek Girl in Love are my interviews with other people.  The world is full of so many voices and I want to help share the voices that are most often marginalized (people of color, people with disabilities, and people who identify as LGBTQIA).  As I’ve made a more conscious effort to read diverse authors I’ve discovered so many exciting books – and we’re back to me being a book evangelist again!

vampire heart on a black background

4. How does my writing process work?

Inefficiently!  I’m usually writing either late at night or during the afternoon, surrounded by kids.  I’m convinced that buried in at least one of my books is the phrase, “No, you can’t have a cookie right now”.  I’ve written at roller skating rinks and science centers and water parks.  I’ve written at my kitchen table while simultaneously helping my daughter with her homework.  It’s not serene.  To make matters worse, I have a terrible habit of jumping over to Facebook and Twitter constantly while writing.  I have an app that I can use to block social media on my laptop, and that helps me focus.

Other than my problems with concentration, the biggest challenge I have is getting started.  No matter how much I’ve written something out in my head, there’s always a moment when I open a new document and both the page and my mind are utterly blank.  Once I type something I can usually get some momentum going.  Once I got so blocked that I typed the alphabet – sure enough by the time I got to the letter ‘M’ I was able to make actually words come out.  I enjoy writing short pieces because they usually come with tight deadlines, and I require deadlines to motivate me to move writing to the top of the to-do list instead of the bottom.  When I don’t have externally imposed deadlines I invent some in order to keep things moving.