I am honored to have another lovely historical author with me today. Emma Barry’s American historical romance, Brave In Heart, is available now (links below). Join me in welcoming Emma!
Give us an overview of Brave In Heart.
The opening line of the book is the heroine ending her engagement to the hero. She loves him, but is worried he will never act on his passions and she refuses to live without integrity. Two years later, he sees her again at a dance and decides to pursue her again. It’s on the eve of the American Civil War and the conflict gives him the impetus to change. What follows is a second-chance-at-love story filtered through the early years of the war. It’s fast paced but true to the period. It’s a novel about change and forgiveness, about bravery and loss, and most of all about finding the strength to act.
Tell us about your background before you started writing.
I’ve done a lot of different things, including working as a professional writer. Right now, I teach composition and American literature and am finishing graduate school.
When you begin writing a book, do you have the story all outlined in your mind or do you wait and see where the characters take you?
I’m sort of a hybrid pantser/planner. I generally can see a couple of scenes and the major characters clearly before I start with a project, so I start by getting those down on paper. Once I have a quarter or a third of a book written, I read through what I have and write a synopsis of the entire book. At that point, I outline and connect the dots.
What are you planning next for your readers? What’s next?
I’ve started the sequel to Brave in Heart, which is largely set in Washington in 1863 and is a sort of innocent/rake story. I hope to have it out in late 2014, but at present, I have a contemporary series under contract that’s been consuming most of my time. It’s about young political staffers in Washington. It’s youthful and sexy and very, very different from this but still a lot of fun.
What advice can you give writers who are getting started?
Keep working. I have a hard drive novel that will likely never see the light of day; everyone does. Just keep working, accept that the first several hundred thousand words you write won’t be very good but keep writing anyway. Once you’ve completed a project or two, get feedback (critique partners and contests are wonderful), and revise until you can’t look at it anymore. It’s worth the effort.