I hope you all will excuse me for this super long intro, but I just can’t help it. I feel like I’ve been Emm’s number one fan since the day she won my J. Armentrout signed series and I discovered that she had a published book. I immediately scoped this book out, read the summary, and went about approaching her, asking her if I could review it for my blog. I think I took her by surprise because I was supposed to just be sending her a package. Instead I ended up asking her all of these questions, trying to play it cool and NOT be a complete psychopath fan girl flailing all over the cover of The Short Life of Sparrows. I don’t know whether it was obvious or not to her, but next thing I knew, I was so madly in love with her book that I was sending her insane messages asking if she had an agent and assuring her that if she doesn’t have one by the time I work my way up, that I WANT HER… That’s not creepy at all… Anyway, long story short, Emm is still somehow talking to me and I approached her about doing a guest post for Musings of Eternal Dreamers and here we are.
I can assure you all that if you read this post and give The Short Life of Sparrows a chance, you won’t regret it. I’d be shoving this book into every single one of your hands if I could reach through the computer. I’m not even kidding. With that said, BUY HER BOOK! I mean… uh… here’s Emm. =)
The Ultimate Reason I Love Being an Author
By Emm Cole
Ever since Live Love Read extended an invitation to do a guest post for their blog, I’ve been thinking long and hard about what exactly it is I love about being an author. There are a great many perks to consider, but writing also has its challenges.
I live for getting the first proof copy in my hands after a year of starts and stops, torched drafts, and rewritten pages. It’s a pretty awesome feeling reading your first positive review where a reader truly identifies with a character or idea that you worked tirelessly to craft.
It can be a sweet gig when each new project is completely up to you. Imagination is a fun and quirky boss. You grab the reins and can take things in any direction you choose. There’s an adrenaline rush when an idea sparks and lights a fire beneath you, or when a plot grabs you and won’t let go.
And let’s face it, despite any author that whines about edits and deadlines, it’s work that you can mostly show up for in your pajamas. The job description entails your own choice of uniform and your preferred music at whatever decibel you enjoy. Nobody is the wiser if your hair is tangled in a topknot. I don’t think I could so easily sport my fleece snowflake pajamas or my unicorn sweatshirt if I were a public employee. I’d more than likely be asked to turn the Rolling Stones way, way down.
But writing isn’t always easy, and even after three books I still have those weak moments where I question why I do it. It’s a lot of unpaid hours up front. You have to be emotionally invested, and that can be very draining. The more you learn about how to write, the more you begin to realize you’ll never be done perfecting your skill. When you write something new you’re putting all of yourself out there with the hope that months of work will be warmly embraced instead of torn to shreds—that people will choose to pick up your book when there are endless shelves of choices before them.
Basically, writing is a job where you have to be vulnerable for your work but thick-skinned after you send it into the world. Even the classics we love receive some scathing reviews. The more readers that take note of a book the greater the chance of internet trolls slashing holes in your optimistic little sails. No author is an exception to this, and at times a low blow might sting more than you expected. It happens even when your overall reception is great. So why? Why write and put your heart out there to be cherished or trampled on by the masses?
There is one ultimate reason that makes me love what I do so much. It’s people. Regardless of the fear of failure or a bad critique, people continually fuel me to keep typing. It’s undoubtedly the other writers who turn into friends—people you come to admire for their own unique talent. Writer friends who will make you laugh instead of cry when your male lead needs to finesse his dance moves to be more sexy and less like the hokey pokey. (Rowe, I’m looking at you. Thank goodness we worked that all out.) Writer peeps are also the ones who will have your back when the self-doubt sets in and you’re blubbering about a plot hole you just found that needs a major overhaul.
When you write you become forever friends with some of your characters too. As silly as that sounds, it’s the complete and sappy truth. It’s those imaginary people who you can’t get out of your head even if you wanted to. And it’s the people who reach out to you to express that said character gave them some kind of hope or respite from their real life junk.
It isn’t until you’ve written your characters that you sometimes realize the slivered bits and pieces that you’ve taken from friends and acquaintances in your own life. The players in an author’s story have to come from somewhere. You cannot make a reader believe unless the characters within it come from a raw source. No matter how many unmentioned people you draw from to mold each character—the people in your own stories become an amalgam of your own history.
Maybe not on the surface. Maybe you’ve never been a poor apothecary in love with a mysterious wanderer. Yet, you know exactly what it feels like to be an awkward teenage girl who crushes on the new kid at school. All of your smallest and biggest interactions with other people are the preparation for writing even if it takes place in another galaxy.
I can’t think of anything more fun than sharing villains, warriors, and unlikely champions with other readers. Humans are a curious species with limitless potential to become either monsters or heroes. The connections we make with those in real life might be the strongest, but the fictional casts in our stories are wicked powerful too.
I like to hope that in some small way my books will be a temporary sanctuary for someone, like the countless authors who’ve done so for me. People on paper are very often a source of comfort, humor and welcome distraction. On my worst days a good book and the people in it help to remind me that I’m never alone.
Being a writer and knowing there’s a chance I could maybe create an unforgettable character for another reader is really what it’s all about for me.
Emm Cole is the author of THE SHORT LIFE OF SPARROWS, a Gothic Romance, which was an award winner for Readers’ Favorite in 2015 Supernatural books. She is also the author ofMERMINIA and KEEPING MERMINIA, a Young Adult Dark Fantasy duology.
Emm is a self-admitted night owl who likes sweaters, rainy downpours, crazy prints on socks, way too much coffee, high stacks of books, Johnny Cash & The Rolling Stones at hideous decibels, the ocean, and movie marathons. She thinks her favorite books are meant to be highlighted and the corners of pages with sentimental quotes should be worn. Although a declared perfectionist, she has discovered that being able to laugh at the things beyond her control is in fact the ultimate abs workout.
Her funky imagination tends to be equal parts whimsically pretty and morbidly sinister. Emm plans to keep developing unique magical realms, one book at a time.
The Short Life Of Sparrows
The Nightbloods and Seers have many buried secrets, and some of them are deadly.
Beneath the light of a full moon, the coven is dancing. They are dancing as they await another Awakening, a dream that defines every witch’s destiny.
It doesn’t matter that the coven is cheering and anticipating her turn into womanhood, because Calli doesn’t want any of it. She doesn’t want to see the face of the hired hand Isaiah, nor does she desire the pursuits of a very determined Nightblood as she runs from a future with the Ordinary help. She knows that regardless of whether she taps into forbidden magic or not, an Awakening is rumored to hold ultimate power over the Seer who dreams it.
While the other Seers her age are given to their parties, their enchantments, and the lust of Nightblood suitors, Calli must choose how she’ll endure the worst of her visions. There may be a way to survive her sleep, but she’s not sure she can defeat the truth that will find her when she’s wide awake.
Does real love even stand a chance against the darkest of magic?
Merminia (Merminia #1)
In an underwater world that is as beautiful as it is ruthless, the mertribes are not about to make peace with each other. Selinne is a mermaid who is certain she can take care of herself. But when she is captured by the bloodthirsty Litiants, she finds unlikely help from Gabriel, a warrior who appears as indifferent as he is handsome. As Selinne struggles to make sense of the good and evil around her, she discovers that there is no escaping love or her place in the raging war of the sea.
Keeping Merminia (Merminia #2)
In the concluding sequel to Merminia, Ulric and Selinne are both about to find out just how much they stand to lose.
Upon seizing Dencur with Adessia’s ring, Ulric leaves everything beyond the city walls in chaos. As Selinne tries to save Merminia from ruin, she finds a hesitant group to aid her in the perilous journey to Dencur.
But while Selinne works to stop Ulric from destroying all that she holds dear, friendships are tested to their breaking point. The final battle is brewing between Humans and Enchanteds.
A huge “THANK YOU” to Emm Cole and all of the authors who are continuing to give their time, words, and heart to Musings of Eternal Dreamers and the future writers-to-be. All of you authors are wonderful and we are so happy to have you here at Live, Love, Read.
If you have any questions for Emm, or any of us, please feel free to leave a comment on this post! Feel free to engage us in conversation, express your fears, ask questions. This is a judgement free space where we can be ourselves, express our opinions, and get the support we need to continue doing and being a part of something we love: reading and writing.