Monday, April 13, 2009

Let's talk to Emma Lai!

I met TWRP's lovely Emma Lai on the loop. From day one I have watched her take her precious time and comment on peoples blogs. Emma is a true sweetheart and one great author. Her inner beauty shines in her words and in her way of looking at life.
We are all lucky to have her. Welcome Emma!


Ellie Woods is in love…with a ship. When an argument with the ship results in a bump on the head, she finds herself in the strong arms of Alastair. But who is he and where did he come from?
Alastair has loved Ellie from afar for years, but duty has kept him from revealing himself to her. When a grave threat reveals his true identity, he hopes that Ellie will choose reality over fantasy.


She fought to stay aware by focusing her gaze on the intriguing cleft in her rescuer’s chin. After a few moments, she tried to tilt her head back to get a look at the rest of his face, but the action made her dizzy once again. She gave up with a sigh and relaxed against his firm, broad chest.

She shrugged. Chances were she would not recognize him anyway. Over two hundred people served on the ship. She knew the dozen or so engineers who worked the first and third rotations and maybe another dozen crewmates by sight, others who worked the same rotation and happened to eat their meals in solitary silence at the same time she did. She would guess from the fact that he had to ask her name that he was not any of those two dozen individuals.

Maybe she should not have told him her real name. At least that way, when he talked about finding a woman helpless in the bowels of the ship, no one would have known who it was. Yeah, right, whom was she trying to fool? She was the sole person assigned duty to this area during fourth rotation. Her breath caught, and she stiffened in his arms. Who was he, and what was he doing in a restricted area?

“Relax,” he said.

“Who are you?” She tried to sit up in his arms, determined to get a look at him and an answer to her question.

He lifted her higher in his arms, which wedged her head between his head and shoulder and prevented her from getting a good look at his face. “Alastair.” His warm breath fluttered against her forehead and cheek.


Emma uses her writing as an outlet for the myriad of thoughts that crowd her overactive mind. In addition to Mates of the Guardians, a series of short stories focusing on a mysterious group of individuals on a quest to save the universe and their search for love, she is working on a contemporary romance book and a science fiction/fantasy book series. She also has more plans for the Guardians. However, there is no telling what else she will literally dream up.

Are you a plotter or a panster?
All of my stories to date have been written via the seat of my pants. I planted my bottom in my chair and typed out the scenes that I dreamed up and let the characters have their heads. After delving into the Mates of the Guardians series, I discovered the value in plotting. I'm not saying that I'm going to be a dedicated plotter, but I'm carefully finishing up the Mates of the Guardians series with the knowledge that it will affect a book that I'm working on.

How long had you been writing before publishing your first book?
I just started writing fiction in June of 2008 to help me relax after finishing a writing intensive Masters program. (For the degree, I was writing one or two 15-20 page in-depth research papers every ten weeks.) However, I didn't get serious about trying my hand at writing for publication until November of 2008. I got lucky with my first short story submission, which was accepted by The Wild Rose Press a month after I submitted it. WOW and YAY!

What do love to do in your free time?
I read a lot, but what I really love to do is spend time with my husband. I know it sounds sappy, but it's true. We hang out together and just talk or go to the movies. He's one of the most interesting people that I know and keeps me inspired.

Is your husband and family supportive of your writing career?
Definitely. My mother-in-law is the one who encouraged me to submit, and my husband bugged me until I did. The rest of the family think I'm brave for sticking my neck out there even though they don't necessarily read romance.

Who is your own favorite author, and what do you like to read?
That's a really hard question. I have tons of favorite authors in a variety of genres. Some of my favorite classical authors include Lewis Carroll, Jane Austen, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and George Orwell. In fantasy, I'm following the Malazan Book of the Fallen Series by Steven Erickson. The man is a master at world building on an almost incomprehensible scale. I also follow Raymond E. Feist. My favorites of his were the Serpentwar Saga and Empire Series, which he wrote with Janny Wurts. For mystery, I read the Pepper Martin Series by Casey Daniels...who doesn't love a sassy woman who solves mysteries for ghosts? For historical fiction, I'm reading books by Anne Easter Smith. For Regency romance, I follow Stephanie Laurens, Lisa Kleypas, and Victoria Alexander, but they are by no means the only ones I read. For paranormal romance, I read J.R. Ward's Black Dagger Brotherhood Series. I also read many of the authors who write for The Wild Rose Press. You can check out my author interviews to see who I'm currently reading.

What are you working on now?
I'm working on edits for the second story in the Mates of the Guardians series, currently titled HIS HOPE, HER SALVATION. Hopefully, it will be followed by HER FANTASY LOVER; HIS LIGHT, HER SHADOW; and HER WARRIOR'S LOVE which are all in progress. I also want to complete a contemporary romance I've been working on as well as a young adult fantasy.

How much research do you do for your books?
I probably spend about a third of my time on research. This includes looking at period clothing, politics, and manners; astronomy; and mythology. When I'm not writing a particular piece I still read history books and mythology books with an eye out for possible story ideas.

Let's all take the time to comment on Emma's blog and let the sweetheart of TWRP know how much we care about her. And let's all read one fabulous story!

For those of you blog hopping the next site is
Have fun finding those eggs and enjoy your prizes. From me an ebook copy of my own Tripping Through Time. Good luck with Skyhe's wonderful contest. No egg here!

You can find Emma at the sites below. Love you Emma!

Emma Lai (
His Ship, Her Fantasy - coming August 12th from The Wild Rose Press


  1. Lovely interview, Emma! You have quite an interesting reading list. So glad you are a part of our garden. You have a lot of work in progress and they all sound fascinating. Thanks, Mary, for interviewing Emma on your blog.

  2. Hi Emma and Mary!
    Great interview. I am happy to see you have many books in the works.
    I know what you mean about taking a chance and submitting, that's how it happened for me as well.
    Much success to you!!!


  3. An interview was a great idea for your Tisket Tasket post. ;) And we all love learning more about Emma.

    Emma, should I point out in some way your are matchmaking just like Jane Austen's Emma? :)

  4. Very nice, Mary and Emma! Thanks for an interesting post. Where are those eggs?!!

  5. I really enjoyed the interview. I enjoy reading about the author's lives ( it makes them more real).
    I really like the cover of His Ship Her Fantasy!!

  6. Sharon, I didn't even list the nonfiction books I read. I love learning new things and hope to be a lifelong student.

    Good luck with your release, Rachel!

    Do share, Skhye. How exactly am I matchmaking. I love Jane Austen's Emma by the way.

    Where are those eggs, Jennifer?

    Thanks, Judy! I have my cover on my refrigerator so I can see it all the time.

  7. Hi Emma and Mary -- two of my favorite blogging buddies! It's great to see you together. Emma, you mentioned some wonderful authors. I love George Orwell, and for historical romance there's no one better than Lisa Kleypas, IMO. Best of luck with your edits!


  8. Nice interview, Mary and Emma!

    Good luck with all your writing, Emma. I can see exactly what Mary means when she says your sweetness shines through. I see that too.

  9. Thanks for visiting Helen and Kaye!

    Mary is too sweet for words!

  10. Great interview Mary and Emma. I like the blurb. Definitely an interesting book to add TBR list. I also enjoy reading authors' biography and getting to know them better

  11. Emma was so easy to interview. She is always there for all of us. Her heart is solid gold. And she is the sweetheart of TWRP!

  12. Great interview, Emma. How lucky you are that your family is so supportive. I loved your excerpt. Good luck with your books.

    Carolyn Matkowsky/Cara Marsi

  13. Emma Lai,
    It was so nice to hear about you, your DH, and your first success with publication. Great interview!
    Patrice Wilton

  14. Christine ClemetsonApril 14, 2009 at 5:01 PM

    Emma! Great interview.. Your blurb is a great hook.

    Thanks for posting, Mary. :)


  15. Thanks for stopping by Christine and Patrice!

  16. Hi Emma and Mary! I thought the interview was awesome. I love getting to know a little more about the people I look up to!

    Congrats on your releases and I wish you every success, Emma! You deserve it.

  17. Thanks for the support, Sarah and Martha!

  18. Hi Emma and Mary! Really nice interview! Sounds like you read very varied items Emma! Wonderful that your family is supportive! Best wishes for continued success!

  19. Great interview, Emma, and the story certainly sounds intriguing with that line - in love with a ship.

  20. Thanks, Pam. I've had a few love affairs with cars so I figured it was plausible for a woman to love a ship.

  21. Great interview. Great to hear about other authors. I am usually a good lurker but once in awhile I come out of the woodwork.

    P. L. Parker

  22. Thanks for coming out of lurkdom, Patsy!

  23. I hope I'm not too late to say Hi Emma! I'm so looking forward to reading His Ship, Her Fantasy, the premise is so intriguing!

  24. HI Emma and Mary--Great Interview.

    I enjoyed getting to know you better Emma. I so know what you mean about being in a writing intensive major (history here!). And fiction writing became such a cathartic thing for me in the beginning. Good luck with the release. Looking forward to reading it.

  25. You do sound like a sweetheart! :)

    Congrats on all this success which seems to be coming in spades for you. Good for you.


  26. Hi Emma and Mary, nice interview. I really like your cover.

  27. Sorry to be late catching up with this, Mary and Emma, I seem to have lost a couple of days somewhere!

    It's always fascinating reading about fellow authors, your books sound wonderful Emma,just my type.
    I love your cover too - Yes, I have my own cover on my 'fridge too!

    Great interview ladies. thank you.