In the virtual studio today is Nicole Sewell — author of Outside and the soon-to-be-released novel Emerson Hills. By way of introduction, here’s a short description of Emerson Hills:
After pageant princess Emmy Roper goes missing, seventeen-year-old Jordyn Bentley finds herself cast in the undesirable role of “prime suspect,” for if anyone has any reason to want revenge on Emmy, it’s Jordyn; after all, she was shoved in front of a truck by the pageant princess. Left with little other choice, Jordyn sets out on a race against time to clear her name and prove her innocence — all whilst dealing with an annoyingly cryptic spirit who won’t seem to leave her alone.
1. Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I was born in California, raised in Michigan, but have lived in Georgia for the last 12 years. I have several children, one husband, and zero pets. When I’m not writing, I’m working full-time as a recruiter for a staffing company.
2. When did you start writing?
I started writing when I was 4. My first story was a Frog and Toad fan fiction and that’s what I stuck with for a long time. Fan fiction, I mean. Not necessarily Frog and Toad.
3. Do you recall the moment you first conceived the idea for Emerson Hills?
I had just finished the second draft of my first book, Outside, and my husband attempted to read it. He made it through the first three pages which are set in a cult compound, before he gave up because he just couldn’t relate to anything about the story. That’s why I decided to make sure my next book (which ended up being Emerson Hills) would have a wider appeal. I’d also spent so long writing a sweet, naive character that I wanted to write someone totally different. And I had been watching a LOT of Supernatural, so I already had ghosts on the brain. It all just came together in a frenzied email to my critique partner. I remember writing the email while I was at work. I was supposed to be working on a report or something really pressing and I was typing as fast as I could to get it out before I lost my train of thought.
4. Tell us a little bit about your book’s title.
The title is Emerson Hills, which is also the name of the trailer park where the story is set. It was the working title and I considered giving it a more ghosty-sounding title because the book is a comedic horror/ghost story. But Emerson Hills seemed ominous and vague at the same time, so I kept it.
5. Of the characters you’ve created, which one is your favorite?
For whatever reason, I enjoy writing “bad” characters. Jordyn is definitely my favorite that I’ve written thus far. She came to me with a voice and personality all her own and refused to be tamed. Hence the many eff-bombs in the book.
6. Any project in the works?
I’m currently working on two projects. And I use the term “working” loosely. The first is a bit of a Bonnie and Clyde story. A slacker kid meets a troubled girl and they decide to solve all their problems by running away together. But the girl has some pretty big secrets that eventually bite them both in the butt. The second is an angels versus demons series idea that I’ve been messing with. I feel like angels/demons has been done to death, so I’m doing my best to come at it from an original angle.
And now for a game of “Which Do/Would You Prefer?”
1. Having telepathy or having telekinesis?
2. To find true love or to win the lottery?
Lottery (LOL! I already found true love.)
3. Being Spiderman for a day or being Batman for a day?
4. Reading or writing?
5. To find the love of your life (only to find out that you’re not the love of their life) or to have someone declare you the love of their life (note, however, that this someone is not a person whom you are romantically interested in)?
Have someone declare me the love of their life. Turning people down is easy, being turned down is hard.
6. To speak using ONLY rap lyrics (from songs released in the 21st century) or to speak using ONLY quotes from Austen’s books?
Rap lyrics, Yo!
7. Being drawn into a tornado or being drawn into a whirlpool?
Tornado. Drowning would suck. I’d rather be impaled by a cow or whatever.
8. Going without internet access for a week or going without watching any movies/television shows for a week?
No tv/movies would be breezy!
9. Misunderstanding everything that is told to you or being misunderstood every time that you speak?
Ugh! Neither! I guess I’d rather be misunderstood.
10. Losing your ability to speak or losing your ability to hear?
11. To never read another book or to never watch another film?
Never watch a film
12. Spending half a day locked in a coffin (there would be a hole for air, of course) or spending two days trapped at the bottom of a well?
13. To never again eat a piece of chocolate or to never again drink a cup of coffee?
I can TOTALLY live without chocolate.
14. Finding yourself trapped in the universe of The Walking Dead or finding yourself trapped in a slasher film?
Oooh… tough choice. Slasher films have the possibility of finding and killing the killer before they kill you, but TWD might be kind of cool for a while.
15. Have every day be Saturday or have every day be your favorite holiday?