Say hello to Emily R. King, the author of The Hundredth Queen series! This series already has two of three books published, and book three is due in February of 2018. See our reviews of The Hundredth Queen and book two, The Fire Queen, for more info!
Editor’s Note: Fictionist had some technical difficulties while conducting this interview and, unfortunately, much of the interview was not salvageable. Emily was completely understanding and sweet, and graciously agreed to re-do the interview via email. The following is the result of this email interview.
When/why did you first decide being published was a goal of yours?
I was twenty-five at the time. I had a nine-month-old and a three-year-old. A few years prior I had started and stopped writing, dabbling with story lands in between my mommy duties. As rewarding as motherhood was (and is), I wanted something for myself, so I committed to becoming published. Eight years later, and two more children birthed, I met my goal.
What has been your favorite part of the publishing process so far?
The people. I have met a lot of incredible authors who I am honored to say are my friends. Writing can be a lonely process, but the writers I met through blogging, conferences, and book events are a wonderful support group.
I know you’re working on an accelerated publishing schedule; can you explain that?
Amazon Publishing works differently than other publishers. They are a hybrid publisher with unparalleled marketing and efficiency. Their process has been streamlined so readers receive subsequent books in series with limited time gaps. I write fairly quickly, so this process works for me. And I know readers appreciate not having to wait twelve to eighteen months between installments.
Do you like it? Would you recommend this schedule to other authors?
I would definitely recommend Amazon Publishing to others, and I have! I have referred several author friends. Apub’s marketing truly is unmatched, and members of the industry are taking notice.
Does the pressure help you write, or do you have to distract from it?
I work well under a deadline. For me, the commitment keeps me focused.
Have you been on (and do you enjoy) book conventions, conferences and/or tours?
I attend local conferences every year and try to go to at least one national conference annually as well. If you follow my social media, you’ll see me post pictures of the local book events I go to. I enjoy supporting other authors. This industry can be difficult, and celebrating triumphs, such as release days, is uplifting for everyone.
Have you met any other YA authors at signings or events that you’ve gotten along well with?
All of my experiences have been wonderful. For the most part, authors on tour are happy to meet with and catch a bite to eat with their peers. I am also blessed to have interacted with many children’s authors in my area. I learn a lot from them.
Would you say the line between YA and adult writing is getting more and more blurred?
I think so. Many readers of YA are adults. A lot of parents are reading the same books as their kids. I share my books with my twelve-year-old. We talk about them afterwards. I just love it.
Would you say the YA genre has changed a lot in recent years (or is continuing to change)? How so?
I think we are seeing more diversity. People are buying these books and the publishing industry is finally making minority voices a priority, so I hope we will see more of their stories.
What would you say to someone who thinks adults shouldn’t read YA?
Ha! Have they ever read a YA book? There is something for everyone. Perhaps they just need to find the right story for them.
What would you say is missing from YA as a genre? A lot of people have mentioned LGBT issues, multicultural characters, etc.
Yes, I would agree that we need to see more of our world represented in the literature published.
What’s the most entertaining/weird/memorable feedback you’ve gotten about The Hundredth Queen so far?
I was asked if I had trouble finding a publisher for The Hundredth Queen because of the religious-based magic system. This threw me off because I have read several YA fantasy series with spiritual undertones. But I think perhaps this person didn’t read much YA.
What is the weirdest thing you had to Google (or find in person) while researching for this series?
I researched the life of concubines in ancient days. Not a life I would want to live. Many of them were killed and entombed with their ruler. Very few of them were set free. That isn’t weird so much as depressing.
Speaking of research; what kind of research did you do to make Kalinda’s world come together? The books seem heavily influenced by India, but there are aspects taken from other cultures as well.
I am constantly doing research, right up to the very end. Experience and exposure helps me add authenticity to my stories. At least, that is my hope and intent.
Did you, like many writers today, use the services of sensitivity readers?
Yes. They are invaluable! Everyone writing outside of their limited scope (gender, race, religion, etc.) should hire them.
Would you recommend other authors use sensitivity readers, whether for race, LGBT, gender or anything else?
Definitely. The more experts that look over your writing, the better, especially when writing for children and young adults.
If you had to pick only one adjective to describe The Fire Queen, what would it be?
What was your very first job?
I worked for a daycare after school. I was a kid myself, so looking after them didn’t feel like work.
Dog or cat person?
Do you like to write with music or with silence?
I listen to music while drafting, but not while I’m revising.
What kind of music do you like to listen to?
Depends on the mood of the scene. But I have found the Wonder Woman soundtrack to be a good mix.
What’s the easiest way to brighten your day?
Going for a drive. Taking a trip around the neighborhood clears my head and lifts my mood.
What is your strangest hobby/interest?
I have collected key chains since I was a girl. My family and friends have helped me gather them from all over the world. I don’t have enough keys for them, but they are colorful and fun.
What’s your most fail-safe way to get writing inspiration?
By watching a good movie or TV show or reading a really good book. They invite my muse every time.
Do you have a favorite place in the world?
My home. I’m a total homebody.
What book, or books, are you reading now?
I just finished One of Us Is Lying. It was fantastic! I’m currently reading American Street, which is beautifully written.
What projects are you working on right now?
A new fantasy series. Another story with lots of female characters, ships, swordsplay, a mysterious island, and a fallen kingdom.