Author Interview with Emily Rooke
When did you first start writing?
I’ve been writing stories ever since I first learned how to write, starting with notebooks of shaky handwriting full of clippings from department store catalogs. I vividly remember writing a story about a group of bank-robbing cats during a school lunch break! There was a period in my teens and early twenties where I wrote very little at all, mostly due to school and university commitments. Age 25 or so is when I would describe myself as having started writing seriously.
When did you know you wanted to be an author?
I was lucky enough to grow up surrounded by books, especially books by female authors, so as a child I often felt as though this was something that I would naturally end up doing too. Clearly I had a lot more confidence in myself back then, coupled with absolutely no understanding of what it took to become an author! I think I assumed I would just need to write ten A4 pages and then I would be done…
Was there any author or book in particular that inspired you to write? Or a teacher/mentor?
The Worst Witch series by Jill Murphy was a big inspiration for me as a child, as were Jaqueline Wilson’s books, the Harry Potter books, and Noughts + Crosses by Malorie Blackman. All of these stories opened up new worlds to me while grounding them in enough familiarity that I felt I could do it too!
What genre do you write?
I write New Adult dark fantasy.
What inspires you to write the most?
There are a lot of terrible things in this world, and I often feel overwhelmed and helpless in the face of them. When I write, I feel as though I have the power to do something about them, in some small way.
What is your favorite thing about writing?
I love getting to spend time with my characters, seeing their struggles and their victories.
How many books have you written? What are they called? Where can they be found/bought?
‘A Silent Night’ is an LGBTQ+ Christmas romance available on Amazon Kindle Store (released 4 December). ‘The Dying Light’ is a New Adult dark fantasy novel scheduled for release in the spring of 2021. ‘The Swallow’s Flight’, which is a prequel short story, will be included with the release of ‘The Dying Light’.
What do you write — short stories, poems, novels, novellas, blog posts etc. — and which do you enjoy writing the most?
I write novels, short stories, and blog posts. I enjoy writing short stories most because I can ‘hold’ the story easily in my head, and I have a good sense of the structure. And I love writing short stories set in between my novels, involving the same cast of characters.
Have you tried to go the traditional route with publishing? How did it go?
Yes, I did try going down the traditional publishing route. I got a fair few polite ‘Thank you, but it’s not for us’ or ‘Thank you, but not at this time’ type replies, even more non-responses, and even some ‘I really like it, but I don’t think I can sell this’ style replies. At the beginning, the rejections definitely hurt. But as my thoughts turned towards self-publishing, I realized that the traditional route is far from the be-all and end-all in publishing. In the end, I decided that I need to tell this story, so that’s what I’m doing!
Are you self-published? How did that go and what route did you take? What advice would you give to others who want to self-publish?
Yes, I am self-published through Amazon KDP. The best advice I can give is for you to research, research, research. There is far, far more to this process than you might think, and it takes much, much longer than you realize. It’s important to understand that if you go down the self-publishing route, you are responsible for every aspect of the process. Becoming part of a writing community online was so helpful for me in this journey, because it made me realize that there are so many other wonderful authors out there who are walking the same path I am. We can all learn from one another, and support each other.
Who is your favorite author now? What is it you like about them?
That is such a difficult question to answer! I would probably say Leigh Bardugo, because she brought Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom into this world. Those books were so important to me when I was first trying to find my way in the world of adults.
Do you have any favorite books you recommend right now?
My current read is A Sea of Pearls & Leaves by Rosalyn Briar. I would recommend it to lovers of fantasy and action/adventure stories. It is so dark and atmospheric, rich with detail, and I love all three of the POV characters.
Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?
Get involved with some kind of writing community, because you never know the friends you might meet and the directions your writing journey will take once you do. Having supportive, positive people in your corner is essential!
Are you on Twitter/Instagram/Facebook or do you have an author website we should check out as readers?
Is there anything else you want to share about your writing or that you want your readers to know?
From December, I will be hosting interviews via Instagram Live with authors that I have acted as an ARC reader for. So definitely check those out! I will also be posting author interviews on my blog.
End of Author Interview with Emily Rooke
I love the advice from author Emily Rooke for aspiring authors to connect with the writing community because this is something I say often as well! It is so important and makes life as an author so much more fun and navigable. Make sure you follow her on Instagram and Twitter to keep up with her and watch for updates on her upcoming release!
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