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Our interview with the amazingly talented Emma Chase, author of the Tangled series.
The character of Drew is brilliant! Where did he come from? Any personal inspirations?
“Thank you so much! He’s such a fun character to write – I actually never know what he’ll say or think next. I grew up with a great bunch of guy friends who were very similar to Drew in their lack of filter and creative language. Many of Drew’s stories and opinions were inspired by them.”
“A few reasons. First off, I wanted Kate Brooks to shake up Drew’s entire life – professionally and personally. Also, the woman who would bring Drew Evans to his knees would have to be as formidable in her intelligence as she is in her beauty. Drew’s known lots of beautiful women, but what makes Kate stand out to him is that she’s his equal in the boardroom as well as the bedroom. I love that Kate goes toe to toe with Drew – matches him snark for snark – it makes for the most entertaining exchanges between them.”
Tangled is on our Recommended Must Read list. When you were writing it, did you know that you would make it into a series?
“Yes. Although I love where Tangled left off, for me there was still more of Drew & Kate’s story to tell. Twisted was almost complete before Tangled was published. I always knew I wanted to explore Kate’s backstory and flesh out her character more. I also really like the idea of playing with perspective. For example, so many readers despised Billy in Tangled – and mostly it was because Drew despised him, so all his negative qualities were magnified. In Twisted Billy was still the exact same character, but because we saw him through Kate’s eyes he was in a better light, and I think readers then understood why she stayed in a relationship with him as long as she did. Changing perspective is a really fun way to present the whole picture of a character to an audience – the good, the bad and everything in between. In Tamed, it was a lot of fun to go back to the Tangled time period and fill in all that was happening between Matthew and Delores “off screen” which rounds out their characters in a terrific way as well. But for me, the whole series (except Tamed) is really all about Drew Evans – how he grows and evolves. Tangled is Drew’s story of dealing with falling in love for the first time. Twisted, though it’s told mostly from Kate’s perspective, is a real turning point for Drew. He realizes what he’s willing to do – to sacrifice – to keep the woman he loves and to truly put her feelings before his own. Then, it all comes together in Tied, and we see if a reformed playboy like Drew can sustain a happily ever after.”
Tell us how it all works for you. What is your writing process?
“Music is a big inspiration for me. So usually, I’ll be running or driving in my car and a song – could be a song I’ve heard before – will inspire a scene or character exchange to pop into my head. It always starts with one scene – usually a scene from the end of the story. Within a few minutes, I’ll have a basic plot outlined in my head about how the characters got to that scene. I write it down (because if I don’t I’ll forget it), and over the next few days, the story will get fleshed out – the character’s names, who they are and the events in their life that made them that way, the setting. I’m big on notes – so I’m constantly jotting down notes of dialogue and future scenes. I also almost always write my books chronologically. So I’ll start at chapter 1 or the prologue and go from there. Each day, before I write any new material I go back and revise what I wrote the day before – that tweaking has produced some of readers’ most favorite lines in the series.”
“It really did! The entire experience has been amazing and unexpected and just wonderful. Making the New York Times Bestseller list was a thrilling dream come true. Also, hearing from readers, from all over the world, who have connected with, laughed and cried with these characters is the best thing ever.”
Have you considered writing in any other genres?
“I would love to try my hand at suspense – a thriller. The attention to detail, foreshadowing would be a lot of fun. But romance was my first love as a reader and writer, so I think any future project would still have strong romantic elements.”
Are there any recent books that you just loved?
“I’ve really enjoyed the Original Sinners Series by Tiffany Reisz. It’s different from what I usually read, but the characters are so vibrant – I can’t decide which one is my favorite!”
Your writing style is refreshingly unique. Who are some of the authors that have influenced you?
“Thank you! The historical romances of Johanna Lindsey and Julie Garwood were a huge influence. I like the balance of light humor and tender moments in historicals as well as the spunky heroines and rakish heroes who sometimes behave like jerks – but you can’t help but love them anyway. The style of the Tangled Series was really inspired by the characters themselves – who they are, how they think, speak and view the world.”
Are you working on any new projects?
“I’m currently working on a holiday novella involving the Tangled Series characters for the anthology Baby It’s Cold Outside, which will be released October 28, 2014. I’m very thrilled to be included in a compilation with such talented authors.”
Is there a book that changed you? A book that you love and treasure and never gets old for you?
“Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte. I love the passion between Cathy and Heathcliff – and yes, the drama. I find their need for each other, and the idea that the person we love most is also the person who has the power to destroy us, very compelling. I don’t think it’s a story I’d like to live myself – but it’s wonderful to read about and experience through the characters.”
“**Thank you for such great questions! I had a terrific time answering them :)”
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