I’m so excited to have Emily R. King here on the blog today to participate in a little Q&A about her journey to becoming a published author! Whether you’re an aspiring author or a voracious reader, I think it’s always fascinating to learn more about what the experience of having a book published is like.
Emily’s answers give some great insight into the journey of an author as well as some motivation for writers who are working towards publication.
Emily’s gorgeous debut novel The Hundredth Queen will be hitting bookshelves near you on June 1st and, in my opinion, the story itself is every bit as stunning as the cover, which is saying something! Check out my full review here!
Emily’s Writing Journey
When did you first decide you wanted to become an author?
I dabbled off and on for about four years before I dug my heels in and set the wild goal to become published. I was twenty-five with two young kids at home.
Were there any particular books that inspired you to want to write yourself?
I loved Twilight (hides face). I devoured the entire series in one weekend. Those books made me fall in love with the young adult category. Growing up, I couldn’t find many books written explicitly for teens, so I read a lot of Stephen King and Dean Koontz. I wish there had been more young adult stories.
How did you begin writing? Did you start with short stories, blogging, or were you attempting full novels?
I started with full novels. Then I found a writing community in blogging. I have yet to master short stories.
How many manuscripts did you complete before writing The Hundredth Queen?
Um…a lot. Maybe a dozen or so? I wrote in practically every genre before deciding upon fantasy.
Did you submit any of your previous manuscripts to agencies or publishers?
Oh, yeah. I had an agent prior to the one I am with now, and we submitted my manuscript to many editors. That manuscript went to two acquisitions boards, but never sold.
Were there any points in time when you considered giving up on writing? How did you get yourself to keep pushing forward?
YES. But it wasn’t until I stopped thinking that way that I landed an agent(s) and found success. Everyone has low days. The trick is to realize the low is temporary and to get back out there. Query more agents. Write another manuscript. Keep writing. Log those hours, and it will pay off.
Can you tell us a little bit about how you connected and signed with your agent Marlene Stringer?
I was fortunate to hear about Marlene from two of her clients. They had wonderful things to say about her work ethic, so I queried her. I knew the moment we talked on the phone that she was the right agent for me. She intimidated me a little, which I liked. She’s a woman who gets stuff done. I wanted her on my side, representing me and my work.
After you signed with your agent, what was the process of going on submission like for you?
Being on submission is about a hundred times worse than querying, because this time, it’s completely out of your control. Your agent is the gatekeeper for who the manuscript goes to, when it goes to them, and when to follow-up. Your agent also receives the rejections and shares in the disappointment. The best cure for submission anxiety is to write your next novel. Pretty much the only thing in the publishing industry that a writer can control is their writing. I found solace in creating something new. It was a good distraction from the submission blues.
Since getting a book deal, has there been anything about the publishing process that has surprised you?
I’m constantly surprised when someone takes the time to promote my books or read them. I understand how hectic life is, so I appreciate it when anyone invests their precious time in my story. It’s the ultimate flattery.
If you could offer any one piece of advice to aspiring authors, what would it be?
Don’t rush your work. Enjoy your writing process. Read a lot. Tell your stories. Do what you love, and try not to sweat the parts of the industry that are out of your control.
From Emily’s Website
Emily R. King is a reader of everything and a writer of fantasy. Born in Canada and raised in the USA, she has perfected the use of “eh” and “y’all” and uses both interchangeably. Shark advocate, consumer of gummy bears, and islander at heart, Emily’s greatest interests are her four children. She’s a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators and an active participant in her local writers’ community. She lives in Northern Utah with her family and their cantankerous cat
About The Hundredth Queen
As an orphan ward of the Sisterhood, eighteen-year-old Kalinda is
destined for nothing more than a life of seclusion and prayer. Plagued by fevers, she’s an unlikely candidate for even a servant’s position, let alone a courtesan or wife. Her sole dream is to continue living in peace in the Sisterhood’s mountain temple.
But a visit from the tyrant Rajah Tarek disrupts Kalinda’s life. Within hours, she is ripped from the comfort of her home, set on a desert trek, and ordered to fight for her place among the rajah’s ninety-nine wives and numerous courtesans. Her only solace comes in the company of her guard, the stoic but kind Captain Deven Naik.
Faced with the danger of a tournament to the death—and her growing affection for Deven—Kalinda’s only hope for escape lies in an arcane, forbidden power that’s buried within her.
In Emily R. King’s thrilling fantasy debut, an orphan girl blossoms into a warrior, summoning courage and confidence in her fearless quest to upend tradition, overthrow an empire, and reclaim her life as her own.
How excited are you to read The Hundredth Queen in June? How STUNNING is that book cover? Are you an aspiring author? Have you found a writing community in blogging as well?