I'm so pleased to welcome to the blog another favorite author of mine and I'm a bit ashamed this is the first time. I've read almost everything she's written, enjoyed both her stand-alones and her series and it's about time I've gotten around to inviting her to the blog.
She is here today to talk about her just released yesterday novel #3 in her Goddess Anonymous series, No River Too Wide.
Please enjoy our short chat and I've included my review courtesy of RT Reviews below.
Emilie its all yours!
Read an Excerpt:
I'm so happy to have on The Reading Frenzy another favorite author of mine Emilie Richards.
Emilie it's so good to have you finally visit.
Emilie it's so good to have you finally visit.
Can you tell us where the original series idea came from?
I always enjoy writing series because I need to know what happens to significant characters after a first book ends. The Goddesses Anonymous series came about when the economy dipped and unemployment soared. I began thinking about the way women reach out to other women in times of need, and I decided this was a wonderful moment in history to explore what's always been a fact. Whether women are part of a formal group or just something called a "neighbor," we always find ways to help each other, and I wanted to explore what happens when a small group of women band together on purpose to do just that.
Was it always going to be a series or did you discover you weren't done telling the initial story?
From the beginning I planned for this to be a series, although that's not always the case.
How many books are planned?
I've been contracted for one more, then we'll see. Authors generally feel more strongly about continuing a series than publishers do, but with independent publishing so well-received these days, more and more authors are choosing to finish series on their own time.
I have to admit that I'm really drawn to your series and I can still remember all the novels and characters in your Shenandoah Album novels. For me a series is special because not only do you get to meet new characters; solve a crime or fall in love but you also get to check up on the past characters you've come to know from previous titles. From an author's standpoint why do series work for you?
For many of the same reasons, Debbie. I often write "questions" into a book, questions about what a character will do about a particular problem, or questions about what fate has in store for him or her. I'm a fan of the happy ending, but not for every character or plot twist. So those unanswered questions nag at me. Even more important, I fall in love with characters I create, and I just want to sit down with them for the length of one more book and have a nice long chat about their lives. Even when a series is finished, they still live in my head. Yesterday I found myself comparing a local bakery pie to one Wanda would sell in my Happiness Key books. I wanted to sit down with her and tell her to get the recipe for the pecan pie we bought. Because it was "Wanda-good."
Emilie I've read almost everything you've ever written and am so impressed by the diversity in your novels and by your “gentle handed”morality tales without the sermon/storytelling. And I'm particularly in love with the ministering style of your one Goddess, Analiese. Is she based on anyone in particular?
Thanks, Debbie. Social issues intrigue me, and fuel many of my stories. I like exploring gray areas of life, not preaching, and I'm glad that comes through to you. I just want to think and make my readers think, too. My readers don't always agree with what my characters do, but I hope I give them something to consider.
You probably know my husband is a minister—now retired after forty years. I suspect Analiese is based on the best of the many ministers I have known, including Michael. I also like that we are inside her head and privy to her thoughts, because ministers are not saints, just human beings who try to live the word they preach. I like reminding readers of that.
I'm also particularly fond of Aggie from your Ministry is Murder series. I'm chuckling just thinking of her. She's funny; she's devoted; she's a hoot with eclectic family and friends. Tell us where the idea for this series came from?
Aggie was and is my favorite characters to write. Michael swears Aggie is me, but absolutely not. One, she's much more patient, and two, she's always finding dead bodies. Luckily for me, not only did we never have to live in a parsonage, I never found a dead body on my front porch, parsonage or no.
I hope to return to the Ministry is Murder series when I get other commitments behind me. They just make me happy, and I already have the next plot and title.
Emilie, I was just admiring your new website, it's a beauty and it got me to thinking. You've been an author since before the social media/internet craze, but you're a very “connected” author. Are you a big fan or do you wish we all still used landline phones and the US Mail?
Thanks for the compliments. I love my new website, and think we really got it right. I have to confess I like doing social media. It's a great way to connect with people when you spend a lot of each day sitting at a computer. I never, ever kept a journal, but I really enjoy blogging. Facebook is a guilty pleasure. Twitter? I suspect it was put on earth to teach me to "write short." Not that it's working, but there's always hope.
Emilie according to your bio, novel writing was not on your College course list, and yet you have published more than 70 novels. So looking back, when was the first time you really fell in love with being an author?
I was so seldom encouraged to write fiction that every attempt is crystal clear in my mind.
My first story (third grade) was about a murderer who left handprints at the crime scene. Needless to say my teacher was not impressed. My sixth grade attempt (for a Sunday school play) was about a mad scientist (truly) who ignores his only child as he conducts countless experiments. Mad Scientist is killed in his laboratory at which time he realizes man needs more than chemicals and beakers to really live.
The next one (seventh grade) was about an teenager on a bus who gets good advice about being truly thankful.
And I am sad to say those were the extent of my public school fiction writing experiences because diagramming sentences was the order of the day. In college I took a short story class just for fun and fell completely, utterly in love with my own imagination and trying to transcribe it. In the end I majored in American Studies and later for my master's degree, Family Development and Counseling. But now I write novels about American families, and really, how much better could my choices have been?
Emilie, thanks so much for taking the time to chat with me today. Good Luck with the new novel. Will there be any events/signings for this release?
Thank you for having me, Debbie. I spend the summer in rural New York, so there's nothing on my agenda until the Buckeye Bookfair in Wooster Ohio on November 1st. But I will be busy online and readers can always send me an SASE to receive lovely bookplates. Info's on my website.
Be sure and check out Emilie's website for contests, and up to date information
Emilie Richards’s many novels feature complex characterizations and in-depth explorations of social issues, a result of her training and experience as a family counselor, which contribute to her fascination with relationships of all kinds. Emilie, a mother of four, lives with her husband in northern Virginia, where she is currently working on her next novel for MIRA Books.
My Review of No River Too Wide
Courtesy RT Reviews Magazine
Courtesy RT Reviews Magazine