This Writer Wednesday, the spotlight shines on indie author Emmie Hamilton!
Emmie is a fellow people-watcher, Kings of Leon fan, and highly intuitive writer who also enjoys a hot beverage and a snack while writing.
When she’s not building fantasy worlds and swoon-worthy plots, Emmie enjoys nurturing her mental and physical health, travel, and learning valuable life insights from her incredibly clever four-year-old.
Follow Emmie on Instagram @authoremmiehamilton
A quick note:
During this interview, you might note that many of the questions include the word “we” as if “we” asked them. Well, we did. This detail is meant to include you, my dear reader, and I do hope you enjoy each interview published to this blog!
Additionally, please note that each interview answer is the author's own words and the interviews in The Intuitive Storyteller blog are intended for informational and educational purposes only.
Emmie Hamilton is forever inspired by the "in-between" moments. You know the ones—the empty spaces between the chaos of life. The conversations that are never said, the days filled with waiting, the silence after the emotion calms down; those are what Emmie’s stories are built from.
In her free time, Emmie likes to fulfill her passion for "life" whether that’s writing emotional connections, reading addictive novels, traveling the world, or trying new food.
Emmie received her MFA in Creative Writing in 2019 and has since had poems and essays published with Scary Mommy and Pure Slush Press. Her debut novel, Chosen to Fall, was released in May 2021. Its sequel, Fated to Burn, was released November that same year.
Most recently, Emmie released When Stars Become Shadows. You can find her work on Amazon.
About When the Stars Become Shadows
For the past seven years, Emersyn Jane Merona had been owned by a deadly mob boss and forced to service any lonely soul who found their way to Skarsrowe, a shady port town on the edge of the Baronian Sea. When Syn commits a murder and initiates a daring escape, she finds herself in the arms of her boss’ archrival, the legendary Captain Killian O’Donnell.
After seeking refuge on his mysterious ship, Syn soon realizes that she may have traded one form of danger for another. Desperate to regain her freedom, she falls back on all the old tricks she used to survive her indentured servitude. Just when she is ready to give up, a murdered siren changes her fate and the Lord of Lost Souls, Malakai Barron, drags her down into the underworld.
Through a deal brokered by someone from her past, Syn now has to try to earn her freedom from not one, but two key players in the dark underworld. Though it seems impossible, opportunity strikes when Malakai’s missing sirens reappear, and Syn is given the chance to investigate. Who is taking the sirens? And why does their song haunt her dreams?
As Emersyn uncovers the demons of her past, will the monsters of her future be kept at bay, or will she become another lost soul anchored to the bottom of the sea?
Emmie’s book When Stars Become Shadows is available now! Please note: This is an adult dark fantasy intended for 18+ only. Please check for content warnings before purchasing.
And now, the interview:
Emmie, when did you first know you wanted to be a writer?
I was in my mid-twenties, suffering through a morally questionable office job filled with shady politics. I decided that making great money just didn’t matter anymore when I was so unhappy. After soul-searching, I decided to take my hobby of writing to the next level. I completed my MFA in Creative Writing, and it took off from there.
Tell us about the person(s) or event(s) that inspired you to write your latest work.
I spent a long time in a relationship and then a marriage that ended in disaster. I stayed because I felt like I had to, because I didn’t want to be judged for leaving, because I hoped it would get better. Eventually, I realized that I felt trapped. Caged. I craved a freedom that felt impossible. After we separated, I realized I had an identity crisis. I no longer knew who I was. This story is a representation of finding oneself again.
What is your favorite genre to write and why do these types of stories appeal to you?
Fantasy will always be my favorite genre to write. I love creating new worlds, coming up with the different magic systems and politics. I love exploring new cultures. Everything about it is peak escapism and is just so fun!
Tell us about your writing schedule and/or a ritual that is necessary for establishing and sustaining your writing mood and endurance.
Every evening around 5 pm, I go into my office and make a coffee or a tea. As that’s going, I light my candle and find some mood music. Then I check all of my emails and do any correspondences, so it doesn’t distract me. Then once all of that is done, I grab a blanket or throw on my plush bathrobe and fuzzy socks then get to writing!
I have to be comfortable; I must have some sort of caffeinated beverage because I usually work until well after midnight, and I always need music and a snack on hand.
Why do you write? How does the act of storytelling affect you?
Storytelling is one of those things that feels ingrained in me. I’m filled with ideas and am endlessly inspired in my daily life, whether it’s from playing with my son, or having a discussion with someone, or people-watching or whatever the case may be, I take a piece of every day with me and incorporate it somehow into my writing. It’s cathartic, it gives me a release, and it’s something that is wholly mine. I couldn’t imagine not doing it anymore.
Think about yourself back when you first started writing. If you could travel back in time, what would you say to that version of you (about the writing process, publishing, the world, etc.) that might help prepare them for today?
Don’t hold back. Write whatever you’re passionate about, regardless of [whether] it’s popular or not. There will always be a reader for you. Research endlessly. Don’t worry about negative reviews. People can be mean, but that just means they’re not your people. Find the writing community as soon as you can, and for the love of everything, start building up that email list early!
What are your recommendations for fueling your writing energy and promoting inspiration?
Find your people. Join a writing group or have a buddy that you can call when you feel the imposter syndrome or when you need to bounce an idea around. Read a ton, especially outside of your genre. Learn what other people do well that you want to emulate. Surround yourself with people who understand the writing lifestyle because it can be lonely. And always pay attention to your surroundings because inspiration can be found any and everywhere.
How intuitive are you and does your intuition affect your writing?
I’ve always been extremely intuitive since I was a child. There have been several instances where my intuition allowed for me to know things before anyone else. It used to scare me, but now I let it guide everything I do. I take my gut instinct to heart and believe it’s my intuition telling me what I should or shouldn’t do. Though it’s on a much smaller scale, I use my intuition to let me know if something is working well within my story. In the last book I published, I ended up switching two major scenes right before sending it to the formatter—when it was essentially finished—because I knew something just wasn’t right.
Tell us about your long-term writing and publishing goals.
The dream, of course, is to make enough money off my books to support the lifestyle I want. Until then, I plan on exploring different genres. I want to write a thriller, a sci-fi, perhaps even a romance novel. I have plans to co-author a time travel book with one of my best friends, so I’m really looking forward to that and any other collaborations. I also would like to one day expand my imprint to include other authors as well. Perhaps one day I’ll traditionally publish a novel, too. For now, I enjoy the freedom self-publishing allows me.
For what or whom are you most grateful right now and why?
I’m beyond grateful for my best friends who are an endless support to me, both personally and professionally. I’m grateful for having the time to write and expand my business efforts. I’m grateful for my readers who continually ask me when the next book is coming out. I’m grateful for the opportunities being a part of the writing community have afforded me.
Besides writing, what activities bring you joy?
Discovering the world through my son’s eyes will always be my favorite joy. The way he views life and the conclusions he makes are so simple yet incredibly insightful for a four-year-old.
My other joys include traveling, working on my mental and physical fitness, trying new foods, and getting out in nature.
Which book are you reading right now?
The Heart Principle by Helen Hoang and Another Beast’s Skin by Jessika Grewe Glover
What’s the best book you’ve read in the past year?
Gleam by Raven Kennedy and Where the Road Leads Us by Robin Reul
Fill in the blank: Magic is...
Magic is in everything.
Stay connected with Emmie! Here’s where you can find her:
Next up, the spotlight shines on a special blog feature: author and Career Success Coach Grisel Scarantino!
In her more than thirty years as a storyteller and visual designer, Amanda “Mandy” Hughes has written and designed over a dozen works of upmarket, literary, and women’s fiction under pen names A. Lee Hughes and Mandy Lee.
Mandy is the founder of Haint Blue Creative, a space for readers and storytellers to explore, learn, and create. Although she earned a Bachelor and Master of Science in Psychology, she has yet to figure out her family, much less herself.
When she’s not writing, Mandy loves going to the movies, theater, traveling, nature walks, birdwatching, margarita-making, and binge-watching The Office. She is a tarot enthusiast who uses the cards to promote wellness and enhance creativity. She lives in Georgia with her husband and four boys, two of whom are furrier than the others (but not by much). Visit her website at haintbluecreative.com and follow her on Instagram @haintbluecreative or on Facebook at @haintbluebooks.