1.Tell us a little bit about you.
I’m Emlyn, a 26-almost-27-year old YA author. I am also the president of Novel Publicity and a crazy bird lady too. And, oh yeah, I emerged from the womb with a fountain pen grasped firmly in my left hand (at least that’s what my Twitter bio says).
2.How long does it take you to write a book?
Well, that depends what you consider the start of the writing process. I first got the idea for Farsighted on July 5, 2010. I didn’t start writing it until October, but I thought about it a lot and started building the plot in my head. I wrote about 1/3 of it in late 2010 and then decided to start my own book promotion company, Novel Publicity. That kept me super busy, so I didn’t get back to Farsighted until summer 2011. Then I wrote and wrote in a wild frenzy. I spent about 10 hours per day holding myself “writing hostage” at the local Panera. This lasted about 3 weeks. If I had to pick a definite amount of time, I’d say Farsighted took about one year to write.
3.Do you always write young adult books? Have you ever tried something different?
My first novel, which I’ve decided not to publish, was literary fiction—that’s not something I plan on revisiting ever. I’m a YA writer through-and-through. I actually just wrote a blog post explaining why I choose to write this genre (it’s here). It all comes down to the enjoyment factor. YA is my favorite genre to read, so it’s only natural that I would choose to write it as well. I like the vulnerability and changeability of the characters. I love the ease of language and the connection that is created by writing in first person point-of-view. But mostly, I like the readers of YA. YA readers WANT to enjoy books .Their primary goal is not to dissect the literary merit of a story but rather to find a bit of entertainment. YA readers are also extremely loyal to authors they like and can border on fanatical. It makes you feel good as an author ;-)
4.Do you think movies, radio, and TV influence your writing? If so, how?
Oh, TV definitely influences my writing. Most people assume film is a closer medium to writing, but I don’t think so. In television, you get the same characters over and over again, which means you get to see vivid character development at work. My favorite shows are Glee and the Big Bang Theory for precisely this reason. You watch either of these shows, and you’ll learn how the quirks make the characters. Great inspiration for writers!
5.Can you tell us about your path to publication. Any sprints or stumbles?
I was able to get a literary agent for my first novel (the lit fic one), but then I started writing Farsighted fell in love with YA and decided I’d rather not do the necessary revisions to my first novel to make it publishable. When I signed with my agent, one of the criteria I had was that I be allowed to self-publish the Farsighted series. I wrote a blog post explaining this decision in detail (that’s here). Basically, the publishing industry is not only changing – it’s changed. I’m not really sure there is any benefit to being traditionally published anymore, especially if you’re an author who has the know-how and financial/time resources to A) professionally edit your books, B) get a stellar cover designed, and C) market your work. Another reason I’m all gaga for the self-pub world is because it’s what I preach through the business I own, Novel Publicity. I spend all day trying to convince writers that the indie path can work for them. By choosing that route for myself, I am showing my belief in that statement; I am practicing what I preach. I want the hands-on experience. I want the control. If this works out for me; I’m pretty sure I’ll stay indie forever!
6.Could you share your links with us?
Sure, here’s my link-laden bio: Emlyn Chand is the president of Novel Publicity and a YA author. She loves to hear and tell stories and emerged from the womb with a fountain pen grasped firmly in her left hand (true story). Her first novel released in late 2011 and is of the YA genre. Learn more about Emlyn at or by connecting with her on , , or .
7.We’d love to read an excerpt from one of your books. Be sure to include a blurb and buy link.
Alex Kosmitoras’s life has never been easy. The only other student who will talk to him is the school bully, his parents are dead-broke and insanely overprotective, and to complicate matters even more, he’s blind. Just when he thinks he’ll never have a shot at a normal life, a new girl from India moves into town. Simmi is smart, nice, and actually wants to be friends with Alex. Plus she smells like an Almond Joy bar. Yes, sophomore year might not be so bad after all.
Here’s the scene where Alex first meets Miss Teak (the new psychic in town) in Farsighted...
“Did Dad tell you? A new tenant moved into the old pharmacy next door.”
“Really?” I ask, not letting on I already know. If I feign ignorance, Mom’ll divulge all the details. “What is it?”
“It’s a psychic shop,” Her voice crackles with excitement like a fire that’s just beginning to burn. “The All-Seeing Miss Teak. Isn’t that cute? Miss Teak, Mystic. Ha, I wonder if that’s her real name.”
I laugh. “That is funny. Never had a psychic in town before. What’s she like?”
“Oh, she’s very friendly. Why don’t you go over and say ‘hi.’ I’m sure she’d like to meet you.”
“Okay, I think I will.” I’m incredibly intrigued, because first off, it’s a psychic shop—how weird is that?—and second, its presence made Dad super uncomfortable—also very cool. I waste no time heading next door to check out the scene.
As I step cautiously into the new shop, a recording of soft, instrumental music greets me. I can make out chimes and a string instrument I don’t recognize but for some reason reminds me of snake charmers. The smell of incense fills my nostrils, which explains the burning I detected earlier.
“Hello?” I call out into the otherwise quiet room.
Nobody answers. I walk in deeper, sweeping my cane out in front of me in a metronome fashion. This place is new to me, so I need to be especially careful while moving around.
Thump! Despite my precautions, I stub my toe on something hard, big, and made of wood. Just my luck to stub the same toe twice in one day. I reach down to press my fingers into my throbbing foot to alleviate some of the pain. Something teeters before rolling off of the chest and across the floor; the sound it makes indicates a curved path. Suddenly, the object stops. Somebody’s stopped it.
“Hello?” I call again.
“Hello,” a deep, feminine voice responds, placing more emphasis on the first syllable than the second.
“I- I’m sorry I knocked that thing over. I didn’t mean to…” I hope she’s not angry. Probably not a good idea to get on a psychic’s bad side.
“That wasn’t just a thing, it’s a crystal ball,” she says as she walks over, sending my blood pulsing through my veins. I sense her looking at me for a moment before she places the ball back on top of the chest.
“Can it see the future?” I ask, allowing my curiosity to outweigh my uneasiness.
“No.” After a pause lasting several beats, she continues. “But I can see the future sometimes when I look into it.”
“Oh, okay.” I tighten my hand around my cane and turn to leave. It may not be the most polite thing to do, but all of this hocus-pocus stuff is freaking me out more than I would’ve guessed.
The psychic lady speaks again, stopping me cold. “Don’t run away, Alex Kosmitoras.” She must’ve spoken to Mom earlier today. That must be how she knows my name.
“I’m not running away,” I say meekly. “I’m just going back over to Sweet Blossoms.”
“Don’t run away,” she repeats—this time she speaks louder and with more energy. “Don’t run away from your abilities. They are gifts.”
“What?” I ask in confusion. What abilities is she talking about?
“You already know. Watch. Listen. Be open to your gifts.”
I turn to face Miss Teak, but find she’s already gone, returning to wherever she was before I got there.
Is it safe to leave? I trail my fingers across the wooden box I ran into earlier; a thick coat of dust clings to the tips as I pull away. If this shop just opened, why is it already so dirty? I wipe my hands over my shirt to get the gritty substance off. Shivers rock my whole body. Something about this place is wrong, and I’m not sticking around to figure out what. Tapping my cane along the floor, I’m able to find the exit without knocking into anything else.
You can buy Farsighted at http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_i_0_14?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=farsighted+by+emlyn+chand&sprefix=farsighted+by+
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