EMILY MCKAY INTERVIEW & SPOTLIGHT

Posted January 18, 2013 by sarah in Uncategorized / 8 Comments

 
 
 
BIO: Emily McKay has been reading romance novels since she was eleven years old.
Her first Harlequin Romance came free in a box of Hefty garbage bags. She
immediately fell in love with the genre and has been devouring them ever
since.

In her spare time, she loves to garden and cook … well, bake. Mostly cookies.
Naturally, she still loves to read a good romance. She’s been blissfully married
for eleven years. When they can ditch their five pets for a couple of weeks, she
and her husband like to travel to exotic and exciting locations like Greece,
Costa Rica, and Ignorant Flats, Texas.

She has a degree in English from Texas A&M University. After college, she
taught middle school for four years. While teaching America’s disenfranchised
youth to appreciate fine literature, she learned very little about writing
romance but a lot about finding humor in any situation. Eager for a job where
she wouldn’t have to dodge spitwads, she fled the teaching profession to write
full-time. Though her characters sometimes misbehave, they almost never throw
things at her.

In 1993, she followed the advice, “write what you love to read,” and began
writing her first romance novel. Eight years, five books, and multiple contest
finals later, she sold a book to Harlequin Temptation. Her first published book,
Baby, Be Mine was released in 2002 and was a nominated for RWA’s prestigious
Rita award for Best First Book and for Best Short Contemporary. Since then she’d
sold ten additional books to Harlequin, Temptation, Mills & Boon and
Silhouette Desire. Her books have been translated into eleven languages and
there are over half a million copies of her books in print.

A former teacher, she also loves sharing her knowledge with others. She’s
presented workshops for the Central Texas Library System, the Burnet Cultural
Arts Festival, five RWA Chapters, and three RWA national conferences.

Emily’s Website

The Farm’s Website

Emily’s Facebook

Emily’s Twitter

Emily’s Goodreads

I loved The Farm!  It was one of those books that you thought about after you finished it.  I couldn’t start another book right away because I couldn’t get this one out of my head.  This is a must read for sure! This book also was on both our Top 10 list for 2012.  I can’t wait for the second book where I’m willing to pay for the ARC.  Hint, hint Emily. 😉

OVERVIEW: Life was different in the Before: before vampires began devouring humans in a swarm across America; before the surviving young people were rounded up and quarantined. These days, we know what those quarantines are—holding pens where human blood is turned into more food for the undead monsters, known as Ticks. Surrounded by electrical fences, most kids try to survive the Farms by turning on each other…

And when trust is a thing of the past, escape is nearly impossible.

Lily and her twin sister Mel have a plan. Though Mel can barely communicate, her autism helps her notice things no one else notices—like the portion of electrical fence that gets turned off every night. Getting across won’t be easy, but as Lily gathers what they need to escape, a familiar face appears out of nowhere, offering to help…

Carter was a schoolmate of Lily’s in the Before. Managing to evade capture until now, he has valuable knowledge of the outside world. But like everyone on the Farm, Carter has his own agenda, and he knows that behind the Ticks is an even more dangerous threat to the human race…
Sarah’s Interview with Emily

What was the inspiration behind The Farm?
 I was sitting in a workshop about world
building at a writer’s conference and I was thinking about this basic
inconsistency in many vampire stories. If they’re really stronger, faster,
smarter than us, then why are they the ones who are hiding? Why not just
take over and farm us as food? 
 



Of
course, it took me a couple of years to get from that spark of an idea to an
actual story that made sense, but that was the spark.

 

It’s
really interesting to me that there are several YA’s out now with similar
themes (i.e. humans raised as food for vampires). So clearly there were several
of us writers all on a similar wave length.

 
 

If there was a movie who would you want to play Lily and Mel?

I always “cast” my books as I write. Unfortunately,
sometimes the actors I imagine when I’m writing the book aren’t really the
right age for play the characters. So keep that in mind as you read. Kate
Dennings as playing Mel and Lily. She’s one those actresses who is both tough
and sassy, while still having moments of vulnerablity.

 
 

How many books will there be in The Farm Series?
 I’m planning on there being three books in the
series, plus some on-line only content. I already have up a website for the
National Disease Pandemic Control Organization (NPDCO.org) where there’s info
about the spread of the Tick virus and the Farm facilities. Starting in
January, there will be a fun Twitter campaign that describes the spread of the
Tick virus. (You can follow that at: @EscapeTheFarm on Twitter here.) 

Also in January I’m putting out an e-novella prequel that’s Lily and
Mel’s story. So basically, there’s lots of fun things out there for people
interested in how we get from where we are now to the beginning of The Farm. I’ll
be doing more stuff like that between now when the next book comes out in
November of 2013.
 
 

What’s easier to write YA or Romance?

Oooh, tough question. I don’t know that either is easier than
the other. On one hand, YA readers are very sophisticated readers (as are
Romance readers). I think that’s just a function of how much they read. Any
reader that’s passionate about books and devours stories … well, you have to
work really hard as a writer to craft stories good enough for them. Does that
make sense?

When I’m writing a
Romance novel, that’s familiar territory. It’s more comfortable. When I was
working on The Farm, I was very aware that I had to prove myself to new
readers.

But as hard as I
worked on The Farm, as many long hours as I put in, it was still so much fun. I
got to kill people and shoot people and burn down buildings. Things I never get
to do in my fun, contemporary romances.
 

Favorite book you have ever read?
Wow. Just one? I really love Pride &
Prejudice and just adore the entire Harry Potter series, but I think I might
have to go with Emma. I feel this soul-deep connection to Emma. In some ways,
even though she’s not the most lovable of Jane Austen’s heroines, she’s the one
I relate to most. The horrible awkwardness of saying something that you intend
to be funny but that hurts someone? Ouch. I’ve done that so many times. And the
way her first inclination in life is go easy on herself, feel a little too
smug, but then she realizes that she’d been better served by striving harder rather
than putting up with good enough. Those are all really powerful messages. I
first read Emma when I was in college and it was a time when I really needed to
learn those lessons myself, so that book really had a profound impact on me.


Who inspires you to write?

Lots of people! Certainly, my best friend and CP, Robyn DeHart,
who loves story just as much as I do. And my hubby (who is a computer geek, not
a writer) but who has such an amazing work ethic. You can’t live in a house
with a person like that without feeling like you need to get work done! And my
other friends Tracy Deebs (who works so hard and writes such great books) and
Shellee Roberts (who has a great eye for story) and Sherry Thomas (who has such
an amazing eye for conflict).


 

If you could have lunch with any author who would it be?

Well, if we’re talking about a lunch in our real world (in some
weird make-a-wish sorta situation), then it would be J.K. Rowling, because …
well, she’s brilliant and a philanthropist. You just don’t get much cooler than
that.

If we’re talking about a fantasy, time travel
lunch … well, then I’d say Jane Austen. Because I’d make her watch the Colin
Firth P&P and the Mathew Macfadyn P&P and then I could be the one to
definitively end the debate about which is better.
 

Is there any future books/projects you can share with us?
Right now I’m working on The Lair, which is the sequel to The
Farm. I’m also working on a prequel to The Farm which I’m going to have up
on-line as an e-novella. That should be available sometime in January. 

 
What book are you reading now?

I just finished
reading The Host by Stephanie Meyer. I really loved it and (confession time),
I’ve just been rereading parts of it ever since. I thought it was so good. It
had everything, great world-building, fantastic characters, tight plot. I loved
it.

 
Favorite place to travel?

Costa Rica. I’ve been three times and it’s lovely and haunting
and fun. There, more than any place else I’ve ever been, it’s obvious how every
living creature effects the ecosystem as a whole. I’m awed by the
interconnectedness of life in the rainforest. At home, in Texas, it’s easy to
forget the impact we have on nature. In Costa Rica, it’s impossible to ignore
and I love that about it.

 
When you go to Starbucks what do you normally order?

 My usual is a tall
Pike’s Peak with room for coffee and sugar, but my “treat” coffee is a tall
Café Mocha. Yum!


 

Anything else we should know about you?
Only all of my social media stuff. You can follow me on Twitter
(my handle is @Emily_Mc_Kay) or Facebook or follow the book on facebook at Escape The Farm.
 

 
 
 

Thanks, Sarah for having me! I had a great time meeting you in
Vegas!
 
Emily McKay and myself at the Vegas Valley Book Festival.  November 2012

 

GIVEAWAY TIME

*Emily herself will be sending out the book to the winner.*

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