I’m having so much fun connecting with all the wonderful authors and bloggers I’ve met through Twitter and blogs. This is the latest entry in my series of conversations with other romance authors, who join us to share about their creative process, their habits, their inspiration, and more. Our guest today is Emma Wildes, an award-winning author of sensual historical romance.
- You write historical romance. What time period do you enjoy writing about the most and what drew you to historical romance in the first place?
Emma Wildes: I mostly write Regency era romances, but I have penned a few western historicals (I’m from Minnesota, but I grew up in New Mexico). The first time I read a Zane Grey novel, wow! I was hooked. Both of my parents are avid readers and I scoured their shelves, reading everything from Victoria Holt to Ian Flemming (probably when I might have been a little too young for some of them, but it was a learning experience).
I’m drawn to historical novels because I am in general a history buff.
- When writing a historical romance novel, how do you balance the creative process of writing a story with the detailed work of making it historically accurate?
Emma Wildes: I use all the resources possible to try and be accurate, usually scholarly (dry as dust but useful) non-fiction books that are scattered all around my desk. The creative process is more the characters to me, and what the conflict generates through their growing relationship. When they become real to me, I hope will also become real for the reader. For the record, I do not do a detailed outline, I just let the characters surprise me. My husband has laughed at me outright when he’s heard me mutter over my keyboard, “I didn’t see that coming.”
He points out I’m writing the book. I point out that maybe so, but the characters are in control.
- You have an extensive catalog of books. How do you come up with story ideas, and do you ever struggle to generate ideas?
Emma Wildes: I can answer that, and I can’t at the same time. The story ideas just drift in, usually in the wee hours of night. Then I find myself drinking coffee at two in the morning and writing away. Sleep is optional, right? Writing is not a job to me at all, it is so fun. As for the second part: ideas are not the problem but I do have a tendency to write myself into a corner now and then and wonder how on earth I’m going to resolve the situation.
- You write multiple books each year. How do you juggle working on several different books simultaneously?
Emma Wildes: It helps me actually to skip around from book to book. If I get stuck, I just click up a different manuscript and work on it, and when I don’t know what happens next there, I go back and usually the problem has disappeared with a little distance. I also write contemporary suspense novels as Kate Watterson and switching between genres is very effective; for my process anyway.
- What advice would you offer a new author starting out on her first book?
Emma Wildes: Don’t be afraid and just please yourself. I know far too many people who want to write a book, but can’t seem to get past the fear of sitting down and crafting the story because they are worried other people won’t like it. Enjoy the process and forget everyone else. Don’t write to the market, because it is constantly changing, so write a book you’d love to read. It will really come through on the page.
See also: Five Questions Series
Special thanks to Emma Wildes for participating in this series! Visit her website at http://www.emmawildes.com, or talk to her on Twitter (@LadyRothburg) or Facebook. Her books are available online for purchase on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and more.
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This post was written by Julie Tetel Andresen