Author of Aurora’s Angel
I hope you all had a lovely Christmas, and received lots of lovely books in your Christmas stocking. I must admit I have a few to keep me busy in between all the editing I need to do!
I was fortunate enough to chat with Lambda Literary award winner, and author of Aurora’s Angel, Emily Noon before Christmas and here is the interview.
Welcome Emily. To start us off please tell what genre you write and why.
Emily: My first love is fantasy. Probably because some of my fondest childhood memories are of my mother reading me stories of magical worlds filled with ancient gods, strange monsters and questing heroes having epic adventures.
Helen: Parents are so important for encouraging a love of books at an early age. My mum was an avid book reader too, and I was just as fortunate to be introduced to a wide range of genres. Tell us about your book, Aurora’s Angel.
Emily: Aurora’s Angel is a blend of action, adventure and romance centred around shapeshifters set in Nordarra, a world of my creation. I’ve been told it reads like a cross between epic and urban fantasy and that the immersive world building combined with great characters/plot makes this an enjoyable read, even for people who don’t usually like fantasy. It won a Lambda Literary Award. The audiobook was recently released and is narrated by Abby Craden, who did a fabulous job bringing the story to life.
Helen: Congratulations on releasing your Audiobook version. I have yet to venture down the audio route. There is so much involved in writing a novel, tell a little about your writing process. Are you a planner or a pantser? Preferring to make it up as you go.
Emily: I wish I was a planner because that would be so much quicker. I’ve sat down and planned entire books, from start to finish, complete with all the subheadings only to find it was like trying to work with something lifeless. If I don’t allow my imagination to explore the ideas that pop up, the creative process dries up and writing grinds to a halt. I learned that the hard way. So now I start writing with a rough idea of where the story is heading, but also explore the images and fragments of dialog that pop into my head. I’ve been astounded how often seemingly random pieces have ended up slotting perfectly together, like I’d been handed pieces of a puzzle and I just had to figure out where they fit into the big picture.
Helen: I agree, I write in a similar way. It is magical when it all fits together. Did you need to do much research for your book?
Emily: I get hung up on getting tiny details perfect so I have to watch myself. I can easily get carried away with too much research. For instance – there is a small passage in my novel where I mention dogs being raised with the sheep they are meant to guard so they’ll imprint and form a strong protective bond. I spent hours reading and watching videos about that!
Helen: It’s easily done. It’s surprising what you find yourself looking up, just to make sure you get the facts right. So, tell us, do you prefer the writing or the editing?
Emily: I find great joy in the creative process of writing, of letting my imagination run wild. That’s the fun part. It’s like playing with clay to see what shapes I can create. I find editing satisfying on a different level. Once the first draft is complete, then starts the process of shaping the rough draft into the polished product. Its painstaking work but I love seeing it get better with every round of editing.
Helen: And, finally, tell us a little about the environment you like too write in. Do you put in silence, gazing of into the distance or surround yourself in music?
Emily: Creatively it can be helpful to play music that fits the theme/mood of the scene I’m working on and can even be a source of inspiration. For example: I chose the name of one of my main characters, Aurora, after I saw the music video called Runaway by the artist Aurora. The haunting tune, the breath-taking scenery and the powerful image of a young girl running alone in a snow-covered forest, fit so well. The lake that features in the song inspired me to write a scene in which two dragon-shifters flew over it in the moonlight, while performing an intricate aerial mating dance.
Helen: That sounds gorgeous, and I can’t wait to read your book, which is currently sitting in my tbr pile. Thank you so much, Emily, for spending time with us today. We wish you all the best with your book: Aurora’s Angel.
Emily Noon always liked reading fantasies with a dark twist and if there was a romance between strong main characters to sweeten the deal, even better. After years of working in libraries while in secret creating magical worlds and lightly torturing her characters before giving them a happy ending, she decided to let them loose on the unsuspecting world. Her debut novel, Aurora’s Angel, won a Lambda Literary Award.
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