My next guest author is the talented E.M. Bannock! She writes steamy romance, or as she calls it “adult romance.” But she cann explain far more clearly than I can, so let’s get to know her and her stories, shall we?
I grew up in the Detroit suburbs. I’m the second child of seven and eldest daughter of a working class family. My father was a great storyteller and sparked my love for telling stories and writing.
After high school I lived in Los Angeles for a while. LA was an exciting place to be in the early 70’s and I experienced all that it had to offer.
In the last 40+ years, my husband and I have lived in California, Oregon, Alaska, Florida, and Wyoming, where we now live with a spoiled dog and cat, two horses, also spoiled, and a flock of chickens that live like queens in the chicken-coupe-de-ville.
I’ve made my living as an office manager, computer programmer/analysts, project manager, clothing sales person, substitute teacher, and buffalo meat packer.
Now that I am semi-retired, I can find more time to write and promote my books.
Find out more about her at www.embannock.com and connect with her on social media:
Web site: www.embannock.com
Betty: How many books have you written and published?
E.M.: I have published one book, Totally Devoted. It was published in 2018 by 5 Prince Publishing. The audio version will be released in late April or early May and will be available exclusively through Audible, Amazon, and iTunes.
My second book, Zoey’s Place, is in the publishing process right now and should be available for a hot 2019 summer read.
Betty: What genre(s) do you write in and why?
E.M.: I write adult romance, sometimes called erotic romance. I chose this genre because it is one of my favorite genres to read. It’s basically modern realistic fiction with some spicy descriptive sex thrown in at just the right time. My target audience is women who believe in romance and like it hot and steamy.
Betty: What themes or motifs did you use in your recent release and why were they important to your story?
E.M.: A common theme in all of my books is a strong-willed female lead character. They all take place in the US. I feel this reflects my own personality and I can write from this POV rather easily. I like to write about life before we got so social media connected, around 2000 – 2010. I might write about life in the past but don’t think I’ll ever venture into futuristic space.
By some strange coincidence both of my published books have lead female characters dealing with the death of their husbands and lost love. Didn’t plan it that way, just happened. Don’t have that in the plan for the next two books though.
Marie Trousdale, a modern professional from California, has been mourning her husband’s death for the past ten years. She decides to move to rural Oregon to get a new lease on life. With that comes a new profession and a new love. But will her love for rugged Oregon contractor, Wil Townsend, survive their differences? He’s been hurt by love, too. Can their attraction for each other be enough to let them trust their feelings and love again, no matter what happens?
Zoey’s Place is available exclusively on Audible, Amazon, and iTunes.
Paperback and ebook version of Totally Devoted, published by 5 Prince Publishing, is available at:
There are links to buy all of E.M.’s books in all formats available on her web site: www.embannock.com
Betty: Do you have a specific place that you write? Revise?
E.M.: I do everything at my desk in my office on my desktop computer. I need a full size keyboard and a big desk. I live in a very rural area and I have a million dollar mountain view from my window.
Betty: Do you have any writing rituals while you write? Did you have a special drink, or music, or time of day that you gravitated toward?
E.M.: I get most of my ideas in the shower. Then they roll around in my head for a while before I put them down on paper. I enjoy writing in the evening when I don’t have to think about anything else going on in my life. My writing process is not a romantic one; no special music or drink although I’ve been known to listen to music and drink while I write. I like to listen to sexy music when writing love scenes.
Betty: What helped you move from unpublished to published? A mentor or organization or something else?
E.M.: To be honest it was money. When my father passed away, I was given a small inheritance. My first book had already been written. With my dad’s financial assistance, I was able to afford the publishing costs.
Betty: What do you think is your greatest strength in your writing?
E.M.: I have a very vivid imagination. I try to write stories about everyday people in very unusual circumstances that bring out the best of the character. Somehow, I have no trouble thinking of strange and exciting adventures for my characters.
Betty: What comes first when you’re brainstorming a new story: setting, situation, characters?
E.M.: I think the situation because that’s the meat of your story. The characters and setting fit around the situation.
Betty: Do you have a structured time to write or is more fluid/flexible? Do you have to write between family obligations or do you set aside a block of time?
E.M.: My family always comes first. I like to write at night when everyone has quieted down for the evening and I’m ‘off-duty’. That way I can devote my full attention to my story.
Betty: What is one recent struggle you’ve experienced in your writing?
E.M.: Marketing. I’m no good at it. I don’t like it. It is a necessary evil of writing.
Betty: Do you participate in NaNoWriMo? Why or why not?
E.M.: To be honest, I didn’t know what that was so I looked it up on Bing. I don’t think I could write a novel in a month. It takes me about a year to write a book. I don’t think I could even get a rough draft done in a month.
Betty: What are you reading right now?
E.M.: A Trail of Fire by Diana Gabaldon
Betty: What is your favorite genre to read?
E.M.: I like all types. The story line is what’s important to me. Two of my favorite authors are Diana Gabaldon and Zane Grey. Their style and genre couldn’t be farther apart. With the exception of the time travel in Diana’s books, both are historical fiction. I prefer that but I’m up for a little science fiction as well.
Betty: What are your keeper books? How often might you reread them?
E.M.: My always keepers are the Outlander and the Lord John Grey series by Diana Gabaldon, The Red Tent by Anita Diamant, The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley, and my spiritual books by various authors. If I had more time, I’d reread them over and over but I don’t so I carry them like treasured memories. There are so many new authors and books that I want to explore.
Betty: When you’re writing, do you read in the same genre as your work in progress or something else?
E.M.: When I’m writing, I rarely read other books. If I do, it’s not genre specific.
Betty: Do you have a “day job” or do you write full time?
E.M.: One day I hope to be able to be a full time writer. Right now, to pay the bills, I run the office end of a home construction company and substitute teach at the local elementary school. I do a lot of volunteer community work and am committed to fitness. I’m a vegetarian and do either Zumba, treadmill, or yoga six days a week.
Betty: What do you wish readers knew about the publishing industry?
E.M.: Most authors don’t make a living wage from writing. It’s a very competitive, but friendly, business. Writers and marketers look at reviews. I can’t stress how important reviews are. When you read a book, please review, whether it be on Amazon, Goodreads, Bookhub, Smashwords, whatever, just review it. It is so appreciated.
Betty: What advice do you have for new writers?
E.M.: Learn about marketing because it is just as important as writing a good book. Be prepared to spend about $3,000 on getting your book published right. Don’t skimp on the editing and proofreading.
Betty: Any hints of what you’re next writing project might be?
E.M.: A lot of my friends want me to write a story based in the little community I live in but with a population of less than 500, we pretty much all know, or know of, each other and I’m afraid if I made it too realistic I would either hurt someone’s feelings or get myself in trouble. I might write it in the old western time period. I’m still kicking that around.
I also have a book I started a few years back. It’s about half done. There is a lot of Native American characters and culture in that one.
Betty: What kind of writing would you like to experiment with? Or what’s a different genre you’ve considered writing but haven’t yet?
E.M.: I wouldn’t feel comfortable writing anything but romance fiction. However, both my mother and father are Maltese, from the island country of Malta in the Mediterranean. Malta has a very rich culture and history. A friend suggested that my next book be realistic historical fiction from a woman’s point of view living in Malta around the 8th century after the Aghlabids took control of Malta from the Byzantines. Or maybe after it was conquered by the French at the end of the 18th century. Either way it would be something new and exciting for me, and a little bit scary.
We have at least one thing in common, E.M. I was able to quit working full-time after my father died in 2011, so that I could concentrate on writing full-time instead. Not that I received an inheritance, but I no longer had to work to pay his expenses in assisted living. I think writing about Malta could be fascinating and hope you are able to do so.
I also agree that most writers (including me) don’t earn a living wage from selling their books. Other sources of income are necessary for the vast majority of authors in all genres and both fiction and nonfiction.
Thanks for stopping in to share about your stories and your writing process!
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