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PHOTO: Discover Emilie Haney's favorite reads, her writing process, and the authors who have shaped her career
An Author's Journey of Creating, Exploring, and Reading
Unveiling the World of a Multitalented Author,
Graphic Designer, and Podcaster
"Emilie Haney, a prolific author and creative powerhouse,
shares her passion for books, writing, and building a thriving community on Instagram."
Emilie Haney is an author, graphic designer, photographer, and podcaster living in Indiana with her husband, two dogs, and a cat named Pages. She’s a member of SCBWI and ACFW, and writes fiction in multiple genres. She spends more time on Instagram than she probably should and has built a thriving community around her Instagram platform and brand CreateExploreRead.
What’s the last great book you read?
I just finished reading Divine Rivals by Rebecca Ross and absolutely loved it. The WWII feeling mixed with fantasy was so perfect as was the characterization, world building, subtle magic system, and romance. Her writing is stunning and was a truly magical experience.
What do you read when you’re working on a book? And what kind of reading do you avoid while writing?
Often times I’m working on several books at the same time in different genres. Because of this, and the fact that I am such a mood reader, I just read whatever sounds good to me. I don’t “try” to avoid the genres I’m writing in, but I often find that I’ll read a lot of thrillers if I’m working on romance or young adult books for something different.
What genres do you especially enjoy reading?
I tend to gravitate toward science fiction (young adult or adult) and thrillers as my favorite books to read.
What books and authors have impacted your writing career?
It’s such a hard question because there have been so many, but ones that stand out or immediately come to mind are the Red Rising series by Pierce Brown, Brandon Sander’s Skyward series, and Jim Butchers Dresden Files.
What do you plan to read next?
I’d like to do a reread (probably via audiobook) of the Red Rising books before book 6 comes out!
What makes a great character?
Personally, I think a character that is well fleshed out will stand out over one who only has surface-level facts about them. Before I begin a book I like to dive deep into my characters (to an extent) to learn things about them that matter. I’m not just talking about eye color and height, but things like past trauma, how they respond in tough situations, and what their dreams and goals are. We can know what ice cream flavor they’ll choose, but do we know how they’ll respond if someone points a gun at them? Those things, the deep things, need to be things we understand about them.
What is one strength you have as a writer? One weakness?
I love a fast-paced plot. In fact, it’s a goal of mine for every book that there aren’t any parts that lag or are boring to me. That doesn’t always mean that everything beat is action, but it means that each scene and ever chapter is moving the story forward.
I struggle with dialogue tags sometimes and commas. I always seem to put commas in the wrong place, or don’t use them enough. Thanks to my editors for putting them where they need to go!
Do you plot or pants your novels?
I like to call myself a plantser – I plan but leave enough room for some “pantsing” (writing by the seat of my pants). It’s a lot more fun not knowing some aspects of the plot when I’m writing, but for contracted books that’s usually not an option so I have to be a bit more rigid. After publishing over 12 novels I probably error on the side of planning more than I used to though.
What’s your favorite part about writing?
I used to say that it was the idea stage – when you first sit down to write and you don’t know what’s going to happen and you get to discover it all for the first time. And, while I still love that aspect of writing, I now like to say that editing is slowing taking over as my favorite. It’s making something beautiful and refined either with self-editing or through the eyes of my editors. I like that type of challenge to address any issues and make the story as smooth and understandable as possible.
What’s one book (s) you always recommend?
For writers, I always like to recommend James Scott Bell’s Plot and Structure if you are wanting to learn about the basic plot structure for novels. But, if we’re talking fiction, I always love to recommend The Grace Year by Kim Liggett, Martha Well’s Murderbot series, and The Bone Season series by Samantha Shannon.