"Reposition Your Crown": An Interview with Emma Ilene.
Emma Ilene is a young writer with a strong voice and some amazing projects in the works. I'm so happy to share this interview, because Emma has some great things to say about writing historical fantasy, her research, working with different genres, and keeping your head held high.
Please, tell us a little bit about yourself! Hello my name is Emma Ilene and I am a YA author who enjoys writing fantasy novels. However, I dabble in other genres as well. I am part of the Young Writers Initiative, a group that will be offering writing resources and contests for young writers. How long have you been writing for?
I've been seriously writing for nearly a year now. Actually, February 27th is my one year anniversary of when I started writing my first ever real story! I've been dreaming up plots and characters ideas since as long as I could remember. You have a wonderful account on Instagram, dedicated to writing. Why should people check it out? It's filled with helpful writing advice, updates on my own works, and quotes from my upcoming works. I also am going to be holding my first ever writing contest soon on there. I love to share my playlists, characters, and aesthetics as well.If you follow me on there you can stay updated on all of it! What are you currently working on?
Last Seen Alive is set in modern times and starts up on the scene of a murder. We dive deeper into the victims story and find out the events that ultimately lead to her brutal death. That story in particular deals with injustice and sheds light on the victims point of how the heart can often blind. Romanov is set in Imperial Russia and is based on the last Tzars of Russia. However, I'm putting my own magical, fantasy twist on the story. The young Grand Duchess, Anastasia who has forgotten about her origins after an injury, now lives in a new Russia-- ran by a dark magic wilder who can only come to his full power of the royal magik, the eternal flame, by destroying the last Romanov child. When she meets a mysterious young man, they embark on a quest that will split their world in two. What is your research process for Romanov? Well, my main process is making sure I'm doing the Romanov story justice. I want to bring in proper Russian culture, representing the characters correctly, and all the while giving a good story to the world. My main goal in writing this story is not only to bring an enchanting tale alive, but also to breathe a breath of fresh air into their story. I'm constantly researching locations, clothing, even what were common dishes at the time. I've also done extensive research on Anastasia's personality and I'm excited to bring that aspect of her into Romanov. What drew you to write about the Romanov family? As a little girl, I watched the 1997 film, "Anastasia." Immediately, I was hooked and her story has remained with me since. I started thinking of ways I can put my own spin on her story and that's how I got to plotting this book. What was the inspiration for your other project, Last Seen Alive? I don't think it was inspired from anything in specific. I am a big crime documentary junkie, so I suppose I got an idea of how to bring some pf the realistic snips into the story. When I first started writing, I did research on domestic violence, obsession, all of it and it just added more pieces to the puzzle.
Who is your favorite character to write? Personally, I love writing Anastasia. She's been through so much, and I feel for her. (That doesn't mean she will for sure get a happy ending, so you will have to find that out by checking out the novel!) Her character arc has been fun to play with and I hope at the end of the day I was able to give her some justice. What is the most rewarding aspect of writing? I love the adrenaline you get right after an amazing chapter. Of course, not ever chapter is amazing, so I also love just being able to progress my story and know that it might reach somebody out there who needed it. Book(s) that changed your life?
That would have to go to The Red Queen Series by Victoria Aveyard. That series got me hooked on writing and has set me down the path I'm on today. I've also been writing a fanfiction for that story that is out on Wattpad, and I'm excited to be finishing that story off soon. That title could also go to J.K Rowling's Harry Potter series since those were the book that made me into the avid reader I am today -What is on your TBR list?
What a long list! My top picks are Crooked Kingdom, A Darker Shade of Magic, Throne of Glass series, and A Court of Thorns and Roses. Crooked Kingdom and A Darker Shade of Magic are amazing. And to finish up, do you have any parting words of wisdom? Whether your 10 or 60, if you have a story in your mind it only takes a moment to pick up a pen or power on your laptop and start writing. Nobody produces a best-seller there first try, but if you keep writing you may be the next best-seller author one day. You just need to keep your chin up, reposition your crown, and keep at it.
Emma's Social Media Handles