If you could invite any 5 people to dinner who would you choose?
Oh, gosh! Um… James Joyce, Edgar Allan Poe, and Ken Kesey – all enormously talented authors; all certifiably insane (and therefore they’d make interesting dinner guests). I’d also take along DH Lawrence and JK Rowling. We’d have quite the literary round table while eating… I don’t know… shepherd’s pie? Gotta accommodate my dead British author friends!
What is one book everyone should read?
My favorite book is A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving, definitely. The novel has so many layers and entertains on so many levels. Also the characters in that novel seem more real than those from any other I’ve ever read. It’s just beautiful—that’s the only word for it. This one book everyone should attempt regardless of genre preference.
If you were a superhero what would your name be?
HyperSpeed—because that’s how I live my life. If I want to get something done, I get it done. Okay, I procrastinate *a little bit* on Facebook. Okay, a lot a bit, but I still do manage to get a crazy amount accomplished. I’ve been asked more than once whether (a) I have a clone army or (b) I ever sleep. HyperSpeed to the rescue. Zoooom!
If you could have any superpower what would you choose?
Ooo, I’d love to be the master of time and space—that isn’t too much to ask for, is it? I promise not to abuse my newfound powers, but—c’mon—being able to travel great distances in a microsecond or to actually pack more hours into my busy work day would be awesome!
What is your favorite flavor of ice cream?
Chocolate, of course, but not just plain chocolate—chocolate with lots of chunky goodness mixed in like nuts, marshmallows, cookie pieces, cookie dough, anything nummy.
Please tell us in one sentence only, why we should read your book.
If you’re looking for a YA read that tackles the real-life problems associated with being a teen (bulimia, bullying, parents – to name a few) and also has a compelling paranormal aspect, then look no further!
Any other books in the works? Goals for future projects?
You can count on me to always have at least half a dozen balls in the air. My current project is Fall Back, the first book in a new YA science fiction series called The Timewalker Chronicles. I’m having a blast getting to know this new set of characters, but I also look forward to transitioning back to the Farsighted series and writing the third installment, Pitch.
What inspired you to want to become a writer?
Um, hello! I was born a writer, of course. Just look at my twitter bio: Emlyn Chand emerged from the womb with a fountain pen grasped firmly in her left hand (trust story). In all seriousness, I’ve been writing since before I could write, if you know what I mean. I’ve always loved inventing stories or “tall tales” as my parents call them. Writing became my career about three years ago when the local paper offered me a book review column and the dream fulfillment that came along with it. That gave me the courage and consistency to write novels. Open Heart is my third written, but second published.
Tell us your most rewarding experience since being published.
Hearing someone liked my book. Yes, it’s as simple as that. Farsighted has won something like ten awards now, and each of those makes me feel great, because it means someone got what I was trying to do and appreciated it. I also love it when fans email me or connect with me on Twitter and Facebook—those simple little things make my day so bright. Don’t forget to reach out to your favorite authors; we just love it!
If you could jump in to a book, and live in that world, which would it be?
Harry Potter, duh! If Hermoine and Luna had a baby, it would be me. Ponder this for a moment…
What is your dream cast for your book?
Let me just say this: I have a part for Taylor Lautner if any of my books are ever made into movies. Even if it doesn’t make sense for him to be in it, I will make it make sense. In the Farsighted series, I could totally see him playing Alex.
What was your favorite book when you were a child/teen?
The book that changed my life is Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crocket Johnson. It opened my eyes to the world that could exist if only I was willing to create it—I think it’s what encouraged me to be a writer in the first place. I became an avid reader when I discovered Babysitter’s Little Sister by Anne M Martin at the age of 7. I used to read 2 of them per day!
Is there a song you could list as the theme song for your book or any of your characters?
Oh, you betcha. I’m really into creating playlists for each of my books. You can check out playlists for Farsighted, Open Heart, and Pitch (which will be release in 2013) at http://www.emlynchand.com/music. Farsighted’s list is more alta-rock and represents the character Alex; his theme song is “Enter Sandman” by Metallica. Open Heart’s list is primarily Bollywood and represents Simmi; her theme song is “Main Yahaa Hoon” from the movie Veer Zaara.
What’s one piece of advice you would give aspiring authors?
Something’s gotta give. If writing is important, you’ll move around other aspects of your life to get it done. You have to. Writing is not something you can do with just a little bit of effort. To get through the first draft, editing, what-have-you, you’ll have to work hard! Yes, you could space it out over several years, but if you want to finish anytime this year, you’re going to have to make sacrifices. For me, this was less time with friends and family, less television, and less attention to my health (eating right and exercising).
Who are your favorite authors of all time?
I’m kind of weird in that I have split loyalty to the YA genre and to literary fiction. My favorite YA authors are Rowling, Collins, Houck, Roth, Salinger, and Kinrade. My favorite literary authors are Nabokov, Hugo, Dostoevsky, Bronte, Irving, and Garcia Marquez.
Can you see yourself in any of your characters?
Absolutely. In Farsighted (the first book of the series), Simmi was intended to serve as the object of Alex’s affection, more of a prop than a character. Shapri started off as a minor character, but quickly made it clear that this was her show. Starting out, Shapri was based on the strong, confident side of myself. As I delved deeper into Simmi’s psyche, I realized she was based on me, too—the insecure, unworthy side. In creating characters, we authors learn so much about ourselves!
What’s the craziest writing idea you’ve had?
Most of my ideas are zany! The zaniest is probably the first I ever had. At the tender, innocent age of 15, I started writing a feminist slasher based on Frankenstein—a woman is driven mad with grief and become a serial date killer, murdering men with features that look like those of her deceased husband in an attempt to rebuild him. I was such a simple, sweet kid 😉
What’s the best advice anyone has ever given you?
Have fun with your writing. Don’t put pressure on yourself or your story and don’t try to fit either into some type of mold. Just let it flow 🙂 Not every work HAS to be published, but every work will teach you something, and it will make you a better writer. Find the joy in writing, and you won’t go wrong. Always believe in your work while always trying to make it better 😀
How do you react to a bad review?
By thanking the reviewer and nicely going my way. I never argue, because everyone is entitled to their options, and frankly, sometimes the negative reviews have very valid points—they’ve actually helped me to grow as a writer.
Give us a glimpse into a typical day in your day starting when you wake up till you lie down again.
I work anywhere from 13 to 17 hours per day, split between writing and running my book marketing business, Novel Publicity. Every day. This does not leave time for social interactions, family, taking care of my health, or any sort of leisure activity. Hey, didn’t TR say, “far and away the best prize that life has to offer is the chance to work hard at work worth doing?” I don’t mind having to give-up the other parts of my life to pursue my work, because I love it. I know I’ll eventually need to achieve a better balance, but for now, I’m content to push the pedal to the metal.
Who or what inspired you to become an author?
My genes or maybe the compulsion to be a writer is some form of mental illness. Whatever the cause, I can definitely say that I was born this way.
How did you celebrate the sale of your first book?
By going to Panera, I think. I have a tendency to celebrate all writing-related accomplishments at Panera. I also do most of my writing there. It’s a great place!
What is your guilty pleasure?
Made for TV movies about high school and the prom and everything cliche you can possibly think of—oh, and princesses!—these movies are generally made for the Disney channel. They are like crack to me.