Emily Marshall grew up in Fort Wayne, Indiana, and now lives in Michigan. She works as a library assistant and writes young adult fiction, primarily for girls. She is currently seeking representation for her novels.
Emily loves photography, traveling, playing board games, reading, watching way too much TV, and is not afraid to admit that she loves Disney Channel and ABC Family original movies. She also enjoys spending time with her husband who is gracious enough to critique the "musical" aspects of her novels, but sadly does not like to play board games as much as she would like.
☼ Visit Emily's MySpace Page
☼ Read about Emily's love of TV, movies, reading, and writing on her blog
☼ Check out Emily weekly on the Author2Author blog along with the other A2A Misses
1.) When did you know you wanted to be a writer?
It seems so many bios of authors have stories of how he or she knew at an early age they were destined to be a novelist. I wish I had a cool story to tell about how I penned my first book when I was seven about a girl who saved the world from evil--or just her brother and sister--all while wearing a sparkly pink purse and eating plenty of Fruitloops. But I have no stories like that, mainly because I never owned a sparkly pink purse and Captain Crunch is my cereal of choice. The best I can do was that I "think" I wrote a book for school in 3rd grade, and the cover may or may not have been blue.
Despite my lack of cool stories about how many books I wrote as a child, I think I've always been a writer at heart. I used to be the friend that would write you a heart felt 10-page letter just because I could. And I have a book somewhere filled with over 200 poems I wrote in high school. But I never realized I wanted to be a novelist until I was in my mid-20s.
2.) What is your writing training?
I think the most important tool to growing as a writer is what everyone says: just write. And then read! I'm amazed at what gets on paper and what comes out of my head, when I make time for writing. I'm not formally trained in creative writing. Although, I do have a Bachelor's Degree in Journalism and a Master's degree in Public Relations/Communications, which have helped me tremendously in understanding the written word.
3.) Are you writing 'The Next Great American Novel'? (This is the question, I surprisingly get asked the most.)
It probably depends on what your definition of 'The Next Great American Novel' is. But chances are pretty high that the answer is NO.
4.) Why are chances pretty high, that you aren't writing 'The Next Great American Novel'?
For some reason, the general public does not see writing chick lit for teens very high on The Next Great American Novel scale. When I mention that I write for primarily teen girls, people usually say, "oh," or "Well, someone has to." And frankly, all I can say to these people is: have you ever tried to understand the motivations of a teen girl? I'm sure anyone could write about a blind, Civil War veteran returning home from war, but how many people can put a teen girl's thoughts into words?
The truth is, I love writing for teenagers. They are such fascinating people and lead the most fun lives. And I get to incorporate my own life as a teen into all my novels, and make it much more exciting or turn out the way I wished it would have.
5.) And you just come up with ideas, all by yourself?
Um, I never really know what this question means, but I get it a lot. So, contrary to popular belief, writers do not have a team of idea-generating people assisting them. We do usually have wonderful friends, family members, and critique partners who help us along the way, but primarily all the ideas are our own.
So, I guess I'm to interpret this question to mean: "Where do you get your inspiration for your novels?" To be honest, I have no idea. Ideas are just everywhere. I got the idea for DON'T ASK ALLY when I was brainstorming story ideas. I tried to think of all the books I read as a teen, and all I could think about was my obsession with Chicken Soup for the Soul books, because they just started coming out when I was a teen. That led me to thinking about self-help books. And I just asked "What if some girl gave advice to someone that she read in a self-help book?" and my story was born.
6.) Can you really call yourself a writer if you are unpublished?
I have written three books, so I think that qualifies me as a writer. Plus, I think it's only a matter of time I remain unpublished. Determination, willingness to open yourself up for failure, and a desire to improve your writing and yourself can take you many places in life. And I have no doubt that if I write 100 more books in my life, that at least one of them will find a home in traditional publishing. I just really hope it doesn't take me that long. More for my husband's sake than my own.
7.) What's your advice to young writers?
Write as much as you can and read as much as you can. Also, don't forget to have fun when you are writing. You have to believe in your story, because if you don't, no one else will either. And don't be afraid of failing. Every time I open myself up to be critiqued by a fellow writer or friend or submitting materials to agents, I learn something about my story and myself.
8.) So if you like to travel and you like photography, can we see some of the pictures from your travels?
Sure, click here to see my gallery of photos from my travels to Italy and my time studying abroad in France and Belgium or this gallery from my trip to the Czech Repulic and Hungary. Or And please NOTE: I am always available to take pictures for free...all you have to do is send me some place.
If you actually want to know more, check out my MySpace page or send me a message. I love mail of any kind!