Guest Interview: E.M. Seawell

Getting back into the swing of things here… it’s taking some time but we’re getting there.  Because I really suck at being interesting lately, I’m letting others do the work for me.  That having been said, please welcome my very first interview!

Today’s victim guest is the lovely E.M. Seawell.

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SK:  Welcome to my corner!  Before we get into too much detail, why don’t you tell us a little bit about yourself?

EMS: To be honest, that’s the toughest question anyone can ask. I can write a 45,000 word document in less than a month but the moment you ask me about myself, I lock up. I’m a mother of 3 beautiful children, a wife to an amazing husband who puts up with my nights of writing. I was a graphic artist for 14 years until one fateful Christmas I was released from my job. I sat around my in-laws house for three months trying to figure out how to overcome this problem and finally decided to finish my young adult novel called “Shadows: The Story of the Kayouta.” Since then, I’ve worked on several other projects and just recently signed with Rebel Ink Publishing.

SK: Welcome to the Rebel Family!  It sounds like you have your hands full.  So tell us now, how long have you been writing?

EMS: I wrote as a journalist for 10 or so years in the newspaper industry. I had my own column and even worked a blog or two. However, for actual novel writing, I’ve only been at it for three years.

SK: Ten years of journalism is a pretty good background.  So what made you want to write fiction?

EMS: Do you ever have an itch that just won’t go away? That’s what writing is like to me. I see characters develop in my mind all the time and I want to tell that story. Prime example: I watched Chopped the other day and the guy donated some of his winnings to another chef so she could see her grandmother. What did my mind lead to? A story idea about two chef’s who meet in a competition and fall in love with one another. That’s the kind of thing that makes me want to write. I want to tell a story, regardless if it was true or not.

SK: Are there any awards we should know about?

EMS: I’ve never received any awards for my writing (yet) but I’ve gotten quite a few for my designs when I worked for my local newspaper. I was awarded first place three years in a row for my Lifestyle’s design in the state of South Carolina’s press association.

SK: So who is your favorite author?

EMS: Hands down, V.C. Andrews. Not when she died and her son took over, the real, true V.C. Andrews. I read “Flowers in the Attic” when I was in high school and fell in love. Then my best friend suggested “My Sweet Audrina” and I was hooked. Her ways of storytelling had you on the edge of your seat. You wanted to hurry to the end to see if the character would survive her ordeal or if your theories were right. Granted, some of them were hard to get through because of the subject matter but they were amazing nonetheless.
SK: Let’s get into some deeper detail about your writing.  Do you write under your real name or a pen name?
EMS: I write under my real name. I’ve never had any shame in anything I’ve written. I prefer it that way.

SK: I love the way you think!  Now, tell us about your most recent work:

EMS: I’ve got two books that I’m currently working on. Well, actually one because “Peach River Acres” was completed recently. I’m finishing up the first book in the “Tarot Diaries” series. Both of them are to be published through Rebel Ink Publishing.

SK: Now, if you had to choose a favorite story from your writing agenda, which would it be?

EMS: I would definitely say that “The Tarot Diaries” series will be my favorite. It will be a series of books that center around a young woman’s journey, similar to the Fool in the Tarot. I can relate a lot to Katie Jenkins as I’ve gone through my own journey to figure out what my own life was meant to be.

SK: It sounds like your work can be pretty varied.  How many genres do you write in, and which would you say is your favorite?

EMS: I started out in Young Adult fiction but found that I just couldn’t relate to a lot of the young adult issues. I’ve found that adult fiction/romance is more my style. It took me a while to realize this. So far romance is definitely my favorite but “The Tarot Diaries” is bordering on supernatural/romance too.

SK: About your publishing history – are you self published?  What about publishing houses?  Any particular advantages or disadvantages of either?

EMS: I self-published my YA book “Shadows: The Story of the Kayouta.” It was a rewarding experience knowing that I had to push myself to promote it and to get it recognition. However, for “Peach Rive Acres” and for “The Tarot Diaries, Book One: The Fool,” I’m using a publishing company (Rebel Ink). They are also publishing a short story of mine “A Charleston Love Story” in their Memorial Day Anthology. I’ve learned so much through self-publishing that having a publishing house such as Rebel Ink back me just makes it that much easier. They are hard working and strive to make the best out of their writers. I’m super excited to be signed by them and I look forward to working with them.SK: Your inspiration – is it from your imagination or from personal experience?

EMS: I would say it’s 70% imagination and 30% personal experience. The greatest writers take from their own lives and put into their work. However, not everyone wants to hear about your journey to the library. You’ve got to put more effort into it than that. “Peach River” was derived from my youth, especially growing up on a farm like I did.

SK: Here’s a curveball – If given the opportunity to meet one of your characters in real life, which would it be and why?

EMS: I would love to meet Giselle (from the Tarot Diaries). She’s an amazing woman with many strengths. I have yet to fully develop how much she’ll help Katie Jenkins through her journey but once I get there, I’m sure that I’ll want her around a lot.

SK: Opinion time! Editors – are they friends or enemies?

EMS: They are definitely your frenemy. My best friend Jess has done the majority of my beta work on my FF and on some of my original fics. She did it in a way that made me feel less dumb. However, working in the newspaper industry for so long, some editors can be real jerks. I fear red pens worse than anything on this earth. I still have nightmares about them.

SK: Red pens can be scary things.  If you’re anything like me, audio or visual stimulation helps keep the red marks away.  When you write do you use media?

I have to write with music. It is my life line. I can’t feel emotion without music. My favorites are The Decemberists, Iron and Wine and Coldplay. However, depending on the scene I’m writing I may go a little harder than that.

SK: So in stalking your blog (like any good interviewer does), I noticed that you enjoy writing fan fiction.  What are your favorite fandoms?

Twilight and Hunger Games are my two favorites. I found Twilight FF through my best friend JP and ever since, I became hooked. I didn’t get into the Hunger Games FF until after Mockingjay was released and I just had to write Rue’s Reaping story. That character, though short lived, made such an impact on me.

SK:  Now it’s time for a little bit of randomness.  Let’s see if our audience can keep up!  What’s the weather like where you are today?

EMS: It is warm, sunny and beautiful however I hear thunder off I the distance and I’m expecting it to rain at any moment. Oh and the pollen is awful. Everyone’s car has turned a bright shade of green/yellow.

SK: Be honest…which are better: Boxers or Briefs?

EMS: Oh child, boxers. Briefs remind me of little kids. My hubby wears boxer/briefs and well those look amazing on a guy. He’s probably going to kill me for telling you that.

SK: One more opinion:  Tell us how you really feel about Twilight.

EMS: I have a love/hate relationship with Twilight. Yes I was one of those crazy girls standing in the line at Wal-Mart at 2 a.m. in my PJs just because I’d finished New Moon and HAD to know if they were really going to get married. And yes I stood in line at the midnight showing for each of them. However, there are my issues with it too. I hate how S. Meyer made Bella out to be this girl that always had to be rescued. It was so unfair to label her like that and then all the sudden in the last book make her the hero. I love books with really strong women characters that can handle their own.

SK: More blog stalking! I noticed a tiny reference to The Golden Girls.  If you had to compare yourself to them, which one would you be most like?

EMS: I’ve actually had this discussion with some friends one night over a writing session at Starbucks. We came to the conclusion that I was a lot like Dorothy Zbornak. I’m smart however when it came down to commons sense with guys, I had none. However I eventually found my soul mate, thankfully not as long as it took her to find hers.

SK: Funny!  My friends tell me I’m too much like Sophia for my own good but that’s another discussion for a late night with cheesecake.  Now, last but not least, give us one dirty, little secret about yourself.

EMS: I love slash books/fiction/fan fiction. I’m not ashamed to admit that. Most people don’t know it but I have  a special place in my heart for it. And for those readers who don’t understand the term “slash” it’s M/M or F/F.

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Thanks so much for stopping by!  Talking with you has been a lot of fun.  For more information, find Elicia here:

Website | Blog | Shadows: The Story of Kayuta

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