A Bookish Chat with Romance Author Emma Hartley @theemmahartley

Emma Hartley is an author and artist living in picturesque Maine. She has been writing and making art since childhood and has been insatiably curious and industrious her whole life. Emma was a double major in English and Fine Arts and she received her Masters in Art and Design Education. She is a specialist in ceramics and includes much of this expertise in her novel The Nature of Entangled Hearts. Her other interests include playing drums, making art and exploring every square inch of the Maine coastline. The Nature of Entangled Hearts is her first novel.



Q: Welcome to The Writer's Life!  Now that your book has been published, we’d love to find out more about the process.  Can we begin by having you take us at the beginning?  When did you come up with the idea to write your book?

Thank you so much for hosting me.  My debut novel, The Nature of Entangled Hearts, began as a conversation in my mind that played out in a thousand different variations.  It was inspired by a strange encounter I had with a man in the Public Market.  I noticed him looking at me from across the room and I couldn’t figure out what his deal was.  This scene in the book was drawn very much from life, except that in real life I didn’t have the gumption to confront him.  He left the store but not before he glanced back at me in a melancholy farewell.  I couldn’t get the encounter out of my mind.  For weeks I wondered if he had though he knew me or if we had perhaps known each other in a past life.  I decided to explore that possibility in this novel.

Q: How hard was it to write a book like this and do you have any tips that you could pass on
which would make the journey easier for other writers?

Writing is hard work, but I’ve always loved a challenge.  I find that when I dedicate a set amount of time every week to my work I can maintain the required momentum to finish a project.  I enjoy the process of writing.  I love editing.  I am a total grammar geek.  Finding a typo in my work, even after several read-throughs drives me insane!  If I could pass on any information to aspiring writers, I would give them the advice that I wish I had been given: write anything and everything you can, from contests to writing prompts to poetry.  Just keep writing because sometimes even the smallest ideas have a way of taking on a life of their own. 

Q: Who is your publisher and how did you find them or did you self-publish?

I am with Melange Books, LLC under their Satin Romance imprint.  I bought a copy of Writer’s Market and cross-referenced all of the publishers that took work like mine, unsolicited.  Although I don’t feel like I fully fit into the Romance genre, it’s a good fit because Melange values good writing and solid storytelling.

Q: Is there anything that surprised you about getting your first book published?

The elation I felt at getting the email that my work had been accepted was extraordinary.  I was beside myself.  It was very emotional.  I had the same exact reaction when my novel got its first five-star review. 

Q: What other books are you working on and when will they be published?

My next work will be published in July 2018.  This work centers on an actress who is trying to find herself again after an abusive relationship and how much work building trust takes once a person’s faith in relationships has been shattered.  I am currently writing another novel about a painter in NYC and her escapades and artistic process and the love story that guides her.

Q: What’s one fact about your book that would surprise people?

People might be surprised that I really believe that love stories like this can happen—that we are connected to people in ways that we can’t begin to understand.  Those mysteries—those connections — are why we should never give up on love.

Q: Finally, what message are you trying to get across with your book?

The message of The Nature of Entangled Hearts is one of hope that, even across time and place, our connections with the people we love are eternal, and that love is the connecting force in the universe.

Q: Thank you again for this interview!  Do you have any final words?

 I just want to thank my readers and fans for their loyal dedication to my work.  I love writing for you!

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