25 Feb 2011

This Much I Know Is True - An Interview With Emlyn

Hi All,

Tonight as part of my weekly interview series, I'm joined on my virtual l-shaped sofa by writer, blogger and book publicist extraordinaire Emlyn Chand. Emlyn loves to hear and tell stories and allegedly emerged from the womb with a fountain pen grasped firmly in her left hand (true story)

So just so you know, we’re eating thin-crust organic pizza with roasted eggplant, artichoke, spinach and goat cheese, (mmmmmm goats cheese, mmmmmm eggplant, mmmmmm artichoke) followed by a sinful chocolatey ganache, accompanied by Diet Mountain Dew (because we’re classy like that). I should add that as I'm in the UK and Emlyn's in the US I have *no* idea wtf mountain dew is but I assume its a kind of fizzy pop/soda - like EC says, we're classy here. We’re listening to Frank Sinatra’s greatest hits with the odd Bollywood song thrown in to intensify the mix (apparently). Emlyn's kinda bossy so I'm just doing what she says.

However, in case you missed it, *she* interviewed *me* earlier this week - live on Twitter! In case you missed it, there's a full transcript here :) Anyway, on with the show (aka, revenge for tough questions...!)

Me: First up, what’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?
EC: If you don’t believe in yourself, then who else will? I honestly cannot remember the context; this is probably something I read on a motivational poster during my elementary school years and has now stuck with me.

Me: I think that's excellent advice, but easier said than done! Before we hear a little more about your motivation, what is your favourite book?
I have roughly six-million favorite books, so I’m going to reference an old favorite here: “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, and I’ve never forgotten this lesson.

Me: How did you start blogging + writing?
As funny as this may sound, I was discovered as a blogger much in the same way that models or actresses are discovered. When the Ann Arbor News went out of business and the planning phase for its replacement AnnArbor.com (a pioneer in the multimedia news platform) began, I was contacted and asked to work as a community contributor for the site. They found me through my large and active book club and deemed me a book expert. I began writing pro bono, and after a couple of months, they liked what I did enough to promote me to the lead books contributor and began to pay me. Pretty cool, huh?

Me:  That's awesome! I'm slightly jealous, I would love to do that. I know that you have a full time job as well as all the stuff you do - so how do you keep so motivated, as you give so much to people online – I think you never sleep!
I am self-motivated 100%. I enjoy what I do and want to keep doing more of it as much as I can. I like to say that I have the opposite of ADHD. I go into hyper-focus mode and very little can pull me out of it. It’s why I blog obsessively, tweet obsessively, and novelize obsessively.

Me: Can you tell us a little about your current projects
EC: I pay attention to the world around me and ideas naturally follow. One July day, my husband and I were taking a road trip, I was totally bored and just staring at my vacant reflection in the side-view mirror. I was wearing these huge boxy glasses and though “huh, I look blind.” Then I thought about how there were teensy little images being reflected in my glasses, and then I thought about the blind prophet Tiresias from Greek mythology. My paranormal YA work-in-progress, which is called FARSIGHTED.

With regards to my “entrepreneurial spirit,” I noticed that my blog traffic rose phenomenally on days when I posted about how to use social media to further one’s writing platform. People were retweeting my links, asking me questions, and looking to me as an expert. It didn’t take long for me to realize that my understanding of this tech realm was a marketable skill and so Novel Publicity was born (the company will launch officially on March 1 and we’ll be giving away tons of prizes like a book trailer, blog tour, cover art, an evaluation of your unpublished manuscript + more)

Me: Okay, last question about your craft - what do you love + hate about writing?
I love inventing stories and watching them come to life as I type in a plot point here, describe a character there. I love when my characters become so real to me that they show up in my nightmares (yes, usually nightmares). I’m not a huge fan of the editing process even though it’s totally necessary—who enjoys murdering their darlings, I ask you?

Me: Right, time for the *fun* questions - go ahead, tell us a secret about yourself:
My secret is that I’m not as confident as people assume. I put on a brave face but really I’m scared every moment.

Me: Describe yourself in a dating ad
Emlyn Chand is art married with ambition. She’s 5’10 and has pasty skin from spending too much time indoors and on her computer. You can contact her for a date if you really want to, but keep in mind that she’s already married and she’d probably prefer a fictional character to you any day of the week.

Me: Finally, what do you know to be true about life?

EC: You get out what you put in most of the time, but you never get out something you don’t first put in. If you work hard, you may or may not be rewarded, but you’re not going to be rewarded without the work—period.

Wow, that was a fun packed + informative interview, thanks Emlyn. Don't forget to check out Emlyn's blogtwitter account and her facebook pages (here + here) too too! She's a busy lady :) If you're a writer or a blogger she's definitely worth a reader and her info on social media usage is invaluable!

That's all for tonight folks - I'll be back on sunday with my Top 10 Childhood Memories, a picture essay of the seaside (Brighton) on Monday plus the usual WoTW and interview next week.

Thank you and goodnight

Stupidgirl has left the building 


  1. Thanks for the fab interview. I can't believe you don't know what Mountain Dew is--reason enough to never move to London, I suppose...

  2. First: great interview, well written, interesting. Secondly, I hate mountain dew. I'm glad I moved to a country without it.

  3. Very interesting interview. Well conducted. Intelligent and informative interaction.

  4. aww thanks for the comments all, glad you like!

  5. Great interview, the two of you did a fabulous job. Nice information!

    Thanks for sharing!

    Sammy Sutton

  6. thanks Sammy! :) she was awesome to interview! Maybe I could interview you sometime?