Today, I bring you an interview with author Emma Briedis. Emma writes historical fiction, but loves to play with murder, mystery, thriller, and even romance. Being an advocate for mental health and awareness, mental illness is a common theme in many of her stories.
So, lets get to know Emma.
Tell me about yourself
Hey! I’m Emma. I am a small-town girl from Wisconsin. I have a rescue dog named Chewie (after the Wookiee.) I am currently getting my degree in Creative Writing so that in addition to writing and publishing, I can also have the skills to be a freelance editor.
How long have you been writing?
Going on 14 years now. I started my first book when I was 12.
Were you encouraged to read as a child?
Very much so. I was home-schooled my whole life, and I am very thankful that I was, as it gave me ample time to read and write. When I was a kid, I was always reading a book if I wasn’t doing school or hanging out with friends. The book that impacted me was Les Miserables. I read it at 12, and after finishing, I thought I just HAD to write a book of my own. (Darn it, Victor Hugo!)
What do you enjoy about writing your chosen genre?
Oh, so many things. I am a historical fiction author, but I like to play with the different sub-genres. Since time travel has not yet been invented, I find writing about a different time period is like a connection to the past. When it comes to the historical events that I incorporate, I try to be as accurate as possible, but when I write about a different time period, it’s like I’m there, and I love it.
Tell me about your book titled ‘Where Demons Dance’ Where Demons Dance is a murder mystery set in the 1870s in Utah. It intertwines three stories—Penelope, a young wife, comes home one night to find that her husband has been murdered. Angry and grieving, she sets out to find who killed him. Ava, a young girl in a Mormon community, knows that the man who claims to be her father is an imposter. Meanwhile, her brother, Lawrence, is trapped inside a maze-like mansion with no way out. What inspired this story? I made up my mind that I wanted to write a historical fiction murder mystery. I talked to my brother-in-law, and we got to talking about different historical events that had happened in the 1800s. He brought up the Mountain Meadows Massacre, and as I began researching it, the idea for Where Demons Dance began to form. The first ideas were just a story about Penelope and Ava, but it wasn’t complete until I finally came up with Lawrence’s perspective. What does literary success look like to you? This is something I’ve been trying to define for myself. I don’t need to make millions. I want my work to be appreciated and to have a following of some size (it doesn’t have to be massive.) I want to live off my writing/editing even if that means just having my needs met.
What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I like to experiment with writing in 2nd person. Almost always, my editor tells me to delete it. In my first draft of 'Where Demons Dance', Lawrence’s chapters were all written in 2nd person.
Are you working on anything new?
Yes! As of July 16, I just finished a time-travel romance story that spans from 2015 to 1915. It tells the story of a nurse in 2015 struggling with bipolar who falls in love with a silent film actor in 1915.
I am also working on publishing my next novel, The Puppeteer. It is a psychological thriller set in 1968 about the JFK and RFK assassinations. I am currently putting together the cover and all the bells and whistles. I am planning for it to be released sometime next year.
What advice would you give a new author?
This may sound cliché but keep writing. Never give up. If this is what you love, make time for it. Some people won’t like your writing, but that’s okay because it’s not for them. Also: hiring an editor is paramount to helping you improve your work!
What would be your spirit animal and why?
Probably a penguin. Well, I love penguins, but I, too, don’t move quickly on land.
What do you like to do when you are not writing?
At one point in my life, I wanted to become a filmmaker, so I love watching all kinds of movies and tv shows—especially classics. I enjoy walking my dog or listening to music. I love to read, especially anything historical. I’ve been binging a lot of podcasts as well. I also like to go swing dancing (though I can’t say I’m very good at it.)
Thank you to Emma for sharing with us today. If you would like to check out this author's work, click on the links below.