Author Interview – Emma Barry

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!

Groses2ive 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.

barry official photoWhat 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.

How can readers get in touch with you?
Via my website, Twitter, and email.  I love to hear from people who have read my book or who love American history and romance!

Brave In Heart Available at: Crimson Romance ebooks | Amazon | B&N | iTunes

13 thoughts on “Author Interview – Emma Barry

  1. As a contemporary writer who writes some fantasy romance, set in mythical time periods, but definitely in the past, I find it quite a challenge to rid myself of my modernisms! When an editor points out that a phrase is too contemporary I feel like an idiot. “Of course they wouldn’t say that! Duh!” But it just rolls out and sometimes isn’t even caught when I self-edit.

    Your advice to writers was dead on. You simply have to continue to try to get better with each piece! Thanks for sharing yourself with us today!

    1. Thanks, MJ! There are definitely days when getting in the right headspace to write historical (or fantastical, I’d imagine) is easier than others. There are a lot of letters in Brave in Heart (the couple spends a lot of of time apart), and I wrote all of them out long-hand in a single afternoon. I was in the zone. Other conversations or scenes took days and several complete rewrites before I got them right. It’s not just modernisms or anachronisms, right? It’s a tone, a worldview, a feeling. And that’s why I need a contemporary WIP as an outlet. ; )

  2. I love to read about another historical writer who writes about American history instead of English! I’ll definitely add Brave In Heart to my TBR pile. I lived in the DC area when I was younger and knew a lot of those young Washington staffers you’re talking about. That should be a fun read for me, too. Good luck with your future endeavors.

  3. Interesting interview, ladies! Emma, I identify with you, in that I too have experienced the difficulties and quirks in writing different genres. Because I write time travel, I have to negotiate the inherent “double plots” found in the genre, jumping back and forth between the heroine (who always comes from the twenty-first century) and the historical characters she meets in the past. I have to stay on my toes during edits, because our heroine must retain her modern day sensibilities no matter who or what she encounters. More than once, I’ve gotten out the “red pen” when I caught the heroine sounding a bit too archaic. We walk a fine line, don’t we? Much continued success with your novels!

    1. Thank you so much!

      Navigating that line in a single book just boggles my mind. But I guess it’s a bit like separating the hero/heroine’s voices, except through a filter of vastly different vocabularies, life experiences, etc. I’m impressed!

  4. Good morning, Emma and Amanda,
    Great interview. Emma, I love your advice to new writers.Best of luck with the new WIP. Jumping over a hundred and fifty years into the future has got to be a challenge. Stories about the political atmosphere in D.C. —well under the sheets— is always great fun to read.

    1. Thanks, Nancy!

      My first book (the hard drive novel that will likely never see the light of day) was a contemporary, so it was a return of sorts. There are days when I can’t write the historical voice; it’s much more taxing. Alternatively, I have written things in the contemporary manuscript and thought, “That’s a great line, but no one would say that in 2013” so into the historical WIP it goes. ; )

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