Harper Impulse author of Secrets In The Shadows, Hannah Emery, offers us an inside look on what inspires her:
The Age of Innocence
I can’t remember a time when I didn’t write. I used to read constantly and then try to somehow recreate what I’d just read. I talk about the Sweet Valley series a lot when I’m asked about what started me writing, because these were really the books that inspired me the most. I think it was because I wanted to be a part of the world in those books, and writing my own version of it seemed to get me even closer than reading about it. I could never read a book without wanting to write my own and I’m still the same now.
Brave New World
Once I’d grown up and been to university, I tried writing a full novel. But then I got to the point where I knew it wasn’t good enough and didn’t know how to make it better. So I enrolled on an online writing course. I’d heard about the terrors of giving someone your work to read for the first time: the tears of agony that ensued when the criticism thundered into your inbox. But actually, I quite liked the constructive comments from my tutor, and I got a kick out of someone else discussing my characters. When the course ended, I felt a bit lost. I needed a new goal, and my tutor gave me one: she told me to join the Romantic Novelists’ Association.
The Pursuit of Love
They say the road to love is never smooth. It’s true: the RNA New Writers’ Scheme was full the first time I tried to apply, and I had to wait another year to join. I went to an RNA conference anyway as a non-member, and felt out of my depth but massively inspired and excited too.
A year passed, and I managed to join the RNA. This time, when I went to the annual conference, I booked a short slot with Charlotte Ledger from the new imprint, Harper Impulse. But true love hadn’t conquered all yet. A broken down train, my appalling sense of navigation and a morning so frenzied it actually hurt meant that I almost missed my slot with Charlotte.
Ah, but I didn’t miss the slot! I ran a lot, was way too hot, went the wrong way and paid an extortionate taxi fare, but I made it on time! Charlotte loved the chapters I’d sent, and wanted more. I tried not to scream in excitement, preened my final draft, emailed it off, waited and, if I’m completely honest, secretly stalked Charlotte on Twitter a little. Then I finally got an email asking if I’d like to chat about my submission…
When Charlotte called me, she offered me a two book deal with Harper Impulse. Since then, there’s been a lot of champagne, a lot of writing and a lot of amazing online excitement such as this: blogging, tweeting, and chatting about all things writerly with fabulous people who I didn’t even know existed a year ago.
I always saw being published as an end goal, when really it’s clearly only the beginning. It’s probably not quite Utopia, because I can’t drink champagne all day, and I sometimes struggle to fit everything in that I want to do.
But it’s pretty close.
More about Hannah-
I love writing about how fragile the present is and how so much of it depends on chance events that took place years ago. I studied English at the University of Chester, England and I now work in a College where I mentor degree students.
My favourite things in life are my family, my friends, books, exciting makeup products, champagne and dinner dates, zoo trips with my little girl, cosy weekends away and watching things like Gossip Girl and Sex and the City.