By day, Emma Chase is a devoted wife and mother who resides in a small town in New Jersey. By night she is a keyboard crusader, toiling away the hours to bring her colorful characters and their endless antics to life. She has a long standing love/hate relationship with caffeine.
Emma is an avid reader. Before her children were born she was known to consume whole books in a single day. Writing has also always been a passion and with the 2013 release of her debut romantic comedy, Tangled, the ability to now call herself an author is nothing less than a dream come true.
It's amazing to get to feature you today! Readers, here's a bit about the book, which just hit shelves last week:
Emma Chase, New York Times bestselling author of the Tangled series, returns with a brand new funny, romantic, sexy story!
A knight in tarnished armor is still a knight.When you’re a defense attorney in Washington, DC, you see firsthand how hard life can be, and that sometimes the only way to survive is to be harder. I, Jake Becker, have a reputation for being cold, callous, and intimidating—and that suits me just fine. In fact, it’s necessary when I’m breaking down a witness on the stand.
Complications don’t work for me—I’m a “need-to-know” type of man. If you’re my client, tell me the basic facts. If you’re my date, stick to what will turn you on. I’m not a therapist or Prince Charming—and I don’t pretend to be.
Then Chelsea McQuaid and her six orphaned nieces and nephews came along and complicated the ever-loving hell out of my life. Now I’m going to Mommy and Me classes, One Direction concerts, the emergency room, and arguing cases in the principal’s office.
Chelsea’s too sweet, too innocent, and too gorgeous for her own good. She tries to be tough, but she’s not. She needs someone to help her, defend her... and the kids.
And that—that, I know how to do.
Describe Sustained in six words (or less!).
Fun, sexy, heartwarming, hilarious, sweet, memorable.
How did you arrive at writing romance? Are there any other genres you’d like to try your hand at, or any you want to stay away from?
I started writing romance because that was mostly what I read. I love books that I’ll smile thinking about after I’ve read them and romance fits that bill perfectly.
I would love to try my hand at horror one day. I was a big horror movie kid growing up and every once in a while I’ll get the urge to write something spooky, dark and thrilling.
I adore reading historical romances, but I’m not sure I could write one. I’d be too caught up in the research—the clothes, the mannerisms, the endearments and phrases—to ever actually write the book.
I agree; writing a historical seems like too much work! What was the inspiration for the book?
The idea for the series came when I was in Washington DD for a book signing; I fell in love with the vibrant energy of the city. The three male leads in the series all have very distinct personalities: Stanton is the southern charmer, Jake the serious protector, and Brent, the carefree playboy.
With Jake being the tough, silent type, I thought it’d be fun to throw a sweet, beautiful woman and a bunch of precocious kids at him and see what happened.
I don’t use an alarm clock.It’s funny, because I didn’t think too deeply about it at the time, but these few words really say so much about who Jake Becker is. He’s very regimented, disciplined—even in his sleep. He’s also very self-sufficient, an “if you want something done right you have to do it yourself” type of guy. He doesn’t like to depend on anyone; he’s the kind of man other people depend on instead.
Tell us about your road to publication, such as how you first queried, unexpected challenges, and things you picked up along the way.
I finished writing my first book, Tangled, when the Fifty Shades phenomenon first began. It gave me the idea to try sending my manuscript out to publishers. I received about a dozen rejection letters, and got to the point where I thought maybe the story just wasn’t good. My husband pointed out that though the manuscript had been rejected, the feedback was pretty positive and that I should keep trying. So I did—and within a few weeks, I’d had three offers from small houses to publish my book.
Throughout the process I revised my query letter and summary several times. There’s a lot of information online about what makes an eye catching query letter and for me, this was very helpful.
Are the characters from your book based off anyone you know in real life? How much else of your actual life gets written into your fiction?
None of my characters are based on one individual person I know. But pieces of my husband and friends definitely make their way into their personalities—particularly with my male characters. Sustained has the most real-to-life inspired situations, in that a lot of my children went into the McQuaid kids and many of Jake’s interactions with them were inspired by my own experiences with them.
Which character from Sustained was most difficult to write?
None of them were really difficult. One area that was tricky was how much page time the kids should get. This is a romance so I didn’t want it to be all about squabbling children and changing diapers. But it was important to show Jake falling in love with Chelsea and the family as a whole.
It turned out wonderful, because each of the kids has their own personality which brings something different out in Jake. And his interactions with them—the honest, tender way he deals with them is very entertaining and attractive.
What do you consider your biggest strengths and weaknesses as an author?
My biggest strength is writing from the male point of view. There’s a freedom when I’m in a male character’s head that makes the writing so humorous and snappy.
My biggest weakness is procrastination.
Who DOESN'T have that weakness? :) What's the greatest thing you ever learned?
Never pass up an opportunity to try new things.
How do you react to a negative or harsh review to your books?
Everyone has their own experiences and opinions. Reviews are feedback on the work—but they’re also a reflection of the tastes of the reviewer. I’ve read reviews of books that I love—that other people absolutely hate, and books that I thought were “meh” that others adore. The world would be horrendously boring if we all liked the same thing. When you know that, negative reviews become par for the course.
Blog babes, click "Read more" to find out Emma's random favorites, her best writing and personal advice, and what makes Sustained stand out as a book from all the rest. We're also hosting a giveaway for a finished copy of Sustained, so you don't want to miss that either!