Tangled author Emma Chase talks male-perspective romance and advice for aspiring writers #giveaway
Please help me welcome the fabulous Emma Chase to GraveTells today!
GraveTells (GT): Hey Emma! It’s great to finally have you here on GraveTells! I absolutely adored Tangled. So much that it was selected for the GT Editors Choice Award for 2013. And Sustained absolutely lived up to that gold standard!
Emma Chase (EC): Thank you so much!! Honored that Tangled was chosen for the Editor’s Choice Award and I’m so very excited that Sustained met that bar!
GT: In Sustained, Jake is quite the confident lawyer, and you crafted him so beautifully. From the perspective of an introvert, getting inside the head of someone like Jake seems like it must be an incredibly difficult feat! Were you a lawyer in a past life (just kidding… sort of :D)? What is your secret for writing such a self-assured, believable character?
EC: Funny story – before I decided I wanted to be a writer at about 12 years old, I had wanted to be a lawyer! This series is like all my childhood dreams in one.
As far as getting inside their heads – a common trait among my male characters is the idea that they are who they are and they make no apologies for it. That type of blunt honesty can be very attractive – as well as funny. But each of my characters has a unique voice and past – all the things that made them who they are – as well as the personality traits that allow them to do their jobs. I roll all of that together, keep it in my mind, and just channel the character.
What makes the male POV especially fun for me is I’m not like my characters at all. I’m not outspoken or over-confident, so it’s great to assume that bold, irreverent voice and, I guess, say and do all the things I never would in real life.
GT: Some female authors who write male-perspective romance spin the man’s thoughts and actions as a woman would, but Jake’s internal monologue and natural reactions are exactly what I would expect from a guy like him. What’s the trick to getting it right? And is it even trickier in the sex scenes to keep from falling back into girl-perspective?
EC: Great question! Usually it just flows naturally. Without thinking about it too much, I’m able to see the world, think in that character’s voice. It’s almost like speaking in another language. But every once in a while, my guys will want to say or do something that I personally am uncomfortable with. The first time this happened was when I was writing Tangled and Drew used the word “cunt” in his internal thoughts. My fingers literally stuttered over the word and I almost went back and changed it.
But I didn’t.
Because Drew is a guy who would think that word – use that word – not in a derogatory way, but as a noun, sure! And I felt the minute I started censoring him on what I was comfortable with Drew wouldn’t be telling the story anymore – and it was his story to tell.
So, basically, if the thoughts, words or actions are realistic to the character – it stays in. And that’s how I keep from them feeling real and “guy-ish.”
Love scenes can be tricky – because I want them to be sensual, and my guys are not big on the euphemisms. I find a mixture of describing action and emotions makes for the best loves scene – and pay special attention that the words my characters think and say are within character for them.
GT: What was your biggest challenge while writing Sustained?
EC: The kids. I loved all the scenes with the kids – they were hilarious and heartwarming and showed a side of Jake that he didn’t even realize he had. But, this is a romance, so I was aware of how much page time the kids had, and I was mindful of striking the right balance between Jake’s growing relationship with them and making sure he and Chelsea had time alone to develop their own relationship separate from the brood.
Like in real life, if I wasn’t careful the kids would have completely taken over, lol.
GT: If Sustained carries any overarching message for readers, what do you hope it ultimately portrays strongest?
EC: That love makes us capable of things we never imagined we’d be able to do. That sometimes none of us see ourselves very clearly and that what we think we want is sometimes very different from what we need.
GT: Will we see more of the Sustained characters in future series books?
EC: Yes!! The whole crew pops up again in Appealed (very excited for those scenes), and I’m thinking of adding a novella to the series to check in with everyone a few years down the road.
GT: For all the aspiring authors out there, would you tell us two things . . . ?
1) What is the most bizarre odd job you’ve taken on your journey to become a published author?
EC: Oh jeez – I worked in a pizza parlor in college while I was majoring in English – does that count? It was a horrible job, open until 3 am like a bar. All the drunk students would come in after midnight for food and often someone would end up vomiting on the floor. My coworkers and I would do “rock-paper-scissors” to see who had to clean it up.
2) What little-known piece of advice (something not commonly talked about) would you give to new and aspiring authors?
EC: Enjoy the moment. And the process – the before, during and after. I think sometimes we get so caught up in rankings and ratings, lists and reviews, we forget to take the time to stop and feel the wonder of creating a story. Or the satisfaction that you wrote a book that others are actually reading! It’s an amazing accomplishment that deserves to be savored.
GT: Emma, thanks so much for visiting GraveTells today and sharing more about Sustained with us. I LOVED both this story and Tangled, and can’t wait to see what you come out with next!
EC: Thank you for having me! I enjoyed these questions so much and truly can’t wait for readers to discover Jake’s story! xoxo
Emma Chase, whose super-sexy and smartly funny Tangled series made her a bestselling sensation, returns with the second installment of the Legal Briefs series—where high-powered attorneys compete for the upper hand in the courtroom . . . and in the bedroom.
When you’re a defense attorney in Washington, DC, you see firsthand how hard life can be, and that sometimes the only way to survive is to be harder. I, Jake Becker, have a reputation for being cold, callous, and intimidating—and that suits me just fine. In fact, it’s necessary when I’m breaking down a witness on the stand.
Complications don’t work for me—I’m a “need-to-know” type of man. If you’re my client, tell me the basic facts. If you’re my date, stick to what will turn you on. I’m not a therapist or Prince Charming—and I don’t pretend to be.
Then Chelsea McQuaid and her six orphaned nieces and nephews came along and complicated the ever-loving hell out of my life. Now I’m going to Mommy and Me classes, One Direction concerts, the emergency room, and arguing cases in the principal’s office.
Chelsea’s too sweet, too innocent, and too gorgeous for her own good. She tries to be tough, but she’s not. She needs someone to help her, defend her…and the kids.
And that—that, I know how to do.
About the author
By day, Emma Chase is a devoted wife and mother who resides in a small town in New Jersey. By night she is a keyboard crusader, toiling away the hours to bring her colorful characters and their endless antics to life. She has a long standing love/hate relationship with caffeine.
Emma is an avid reader. Before her children were born she was known to consume whole books in a single day. Writing has also always been a passion and with the 2013 release of her debut romantic comedy, Tangled, the ability to now call herself an author is nothing less than a dream come true.
To celebrate the release of Sustained, Emma is giving away one copy of Sustained with today’s Q&A! Fill out the prize widget below to enter to win. Have you read Sustained or any of Emma’s other books? What do you love most about her writing? Are you new to Emma’s work? Leave a question or comment below! =)
NOTE: Only US and Canadian mailing addresses are eligible for this giveaway. We’ll catch the rest of you next time! 😉