Have I got a treat today! Debut novelist Emily Liebert is here to talk about books, friendship, social media, agents, and nailpolish. Oh, and that includes a give-a-way! Not just one, but TWO lucky winners will receive a copy of her book, YOU KNEW ME WHEN (NAL Trade, 2013) and custom-designed nailpolish.
LL: Emily, thank you so very much for agreeing to be on Write On, Wednesday! The fun part of our connection is we found each other on Twitter. In what ways has social media brought the world of books closer to readers, and do you ever consider social media to be a burden to book lovers?
Emily Liebert: My pleasure! Love that we found each other via Twitter. 😉
I don’t consider social media to be a burden in any way! I think it’s opened up a worldwide conversation that’s truly revolutionary. My first book, FACEBOOK FAIRYTALES, which is narrative non-fiction is an anthology of 25 amazing stories that evolved from Facebook connections. So I’ve done a good deal of research in this area. As far as the literary space, there’s nothing I enjoy more than interacting with my fans via social media, learning what books people are reading and loving, and meeting amazing colleagues like yourself!
LL: Your book, YOU KNEW ME WHEN is about the staying power of female friendships. In such a connected world today, what factors do you think contribute to lost friendships? Do find the phenomenon somewhat ironic given all of the devices we have to stay connected?
Emily Liebert: As you point out, it’s pretty hard to “lose” anyone these days. Unfortunately, people still fight, which leads to falling outs. I think it reminds us that, despite all of these devices to stay connected, fundamentally you still need to be able to get along!
LL: The women in YOU KNEW ME WHEN reconvene at a Victorian mansion. How does the house become part of the landscape, and/or contribute overall character development? In some stories, inanimate objects become personified; do you feel the mansion becomes a character in a sense?
Emily Liebert: Well, Luella’s Victorian mansion is in Vermont…[and] I do think it became a character in a way. I love this question, because it was something I gave a lot of thought to when considering what the cover might look like. One idea (the one we didn’t end up using) was to have the house on the cover. Luella’s home and the inanimate objects in it embody her in so many ways, from start to finish. Her home also played an intricate roll in the relationships formed between Luella, Laney, and Katherine/Kitty.
LL: Many folks can only dream of writing a book. What advice would you give to serious writers on pursuing their dream?
Emily Liebert: Write what you know. Write what you’re passionate about. Write often. Develop a thick skin. There will be rejections. There will be doors slammed in your face. Kick them in!
LL: Let’s move into agents. What do you think you did right when looking for representation? Tips?
Emily Liebert: I’ve had two agents and loved both of them. My current agent, Alyssa Reuben, at Paradigm is a literary goddess. I call her this often. She gets me. She gets my writing. She reads the kinds of books I write by other authors. She’s not only my agent, but a dear friend. You have to work with someone you’re comfortable with. Someone who pays attention to you and will fight for you. Alyssa is all of that and so much more.
LL: What are you currently reading?
Emily Liebert: ALL THE SUMMER GIRLS by Meg Donohue. I can’t wait to read Jane Green’s new novel, TEMPTING FATE, which comes out in March! Her writing is genius.
LL: If you weren’t a writer, what would you be doing?
Emily Liebert: Therapist or chef.
LL:Finally, what’s next for you? More books?
Emily Liebert:My next novel WHEN WE FALL will publish with Penguin Random House in September 2014. After that, the plan is to write a novel every nine months. Livin’ the dream!
And now for the give-a-way! Emily has graciously offered TWO copies of her book, YOU KNEW ME WHEN and matching/cutomized nailpolish created for the book to TWO lucky blog readers. All you have to do share this interview via Facebook, WordPress, Twitter, Email, etc. and then let me know you shared by sending me a quick email at leslie_lindsay(at)hotmail.com, or by leaving a comment on this blog page. It’s that easy!!* Good luck!
*The Fine Print: Open to US resisdents only. Contest runs now (12.04.13) thru Friday (12.06.13 at 5pm). You will be contacted via email if your name is randomly selected. Please be sure to check your “junk” or “spam” folders for an email from me. Respond promptly with your mailing address. Books (and nailpolish!) will be mailed to you by an agent of Ms. Liebert.