Tell us a little about yourself and your background?
Hi, I'm India Emerald. I was born in England but I now live in Germany, which I adore! I live with my husband and daughter on the edge of the Black Forest, so most sunny weekends are spent walking in the woods. I write fantasy, magical realism, and earth magic stories. I'm currently working on a seven part set called The Mages' Stones. Each story follows a different mage and the stone they're joined with. TMS:Rose Quartz and TMS:Blue Goldstone are both available now from Amazon. Part three is scheduled for release on 29th April 16.
Which writers inspire you?
Margaret Atwood, I read “The Handmaid's Tale” and I was hooked. I don't think anyone can write “doomed women” as well as her. Peter F Hamilton was my first encounter with “space opera” and the epic nature of his books is beyond impressive. Also Terry Pratchett, I got the first Discworld book more or less as soon as it came out and again I was hooked. I actually think my favourite Pratchett book is “Nation” though, it felt to me like the book he needed to write before he was unable to. It's a masterpiece.
Have you written any other novels in collaboration with other writers?
I have a book in the pipeline with another indie author but it's early days. It's a time travel romance set in Feudal/Modern Day Japan. It's a different genre for both of us, so we're researching and honing at the moment, but it's a story that we both really want to tell. Collaborative writing is also new to both of us but we've worked together in a non-writing setting, so we know each other pretty well.
When did you decide to become a writer?
I've been writing on and off since my teens. I was very in to performing arts when I was younger, so it was mainly plays with a bit of poetry back then. I continued to write, just for myself, over the years until I moved to Germany. Moving abroad was a huge life change and it really spurred me on to actually publish something. It's an incredibly brave thing to do and very, very hard work to self publish but the rewards are definitely worth it!
Do you write full-time or part-time?
I'm a work at home Mum so I balance the two. I have a separate space for writing during the day but if my daughter needs me I down tools. I love having the flexibility to be able to say “hey the weather's nice let's go play in the park!” I can make the time up when she's asleep if I need to.
Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just see where an idea takes you?
I always work to a plot, I don't always know the finer details and that's the fun of it! I think it's important to know a rough idea of where you're going with a story because that's the spine that you add the flesh and bones of situation and character to.
Do you have a strategy for finding reviewers?
I occasionally use the tag-line “love or hate, a review would be great” in my promotion but I don't actively seek reviewers. There's a fairly common practice of “review swaps” amongst authors but I don't use it. I've heard of horror stories where authors have been stuck having to review either a really bad book, or worse still a book filled with hate speech. I'd prefer an honest review from someone who was moved to write it off their own back, be that good or bad. The downside of not actively seeking reviews is that I get less.
What are your thoughts on good/bad reviews?
Well good reviews are a real boost, everyone likes a good compliment! I haven't had a bad review yet but I'll take it in my stride if I do. At the end of the day I write for me, but I publish for my readers, if they don't like a certain aspect of my work then I need to listen and work on it. Writing for others is a fantastic learning process and it's two way. I think that's what I find most interesting about the shift from writing for myself to writing with others in mind.
How can readers discover more about you and you work?
I'm on Twitter-@india_emerald
and Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15046207.India_Emerald