Thursday, August 20, 2009

An Interview with Emma Lai

Emma Lai, I just finished reading His Ship, Her Fantasy and enjoyed it so much. What a great imagination you have to dream such a lovely story. I like the touch of humor and the fast pace, the mix of modern technology and lively fantasy, the subtle sensuality and warm feelings. Even the villain ends up to be a man of honor.

How did you get the idea of this story?
I had this scene stuck in my head of a woman arguing with her spaceship. I started with that and it evolved from there. It actually took a slightly different path then I originally pictured, but who am I to argue with my characters?

Where do you get ideas for your books?
Most of the time, I literally dream them up. Sometimes, I get inspired by a history book or a science article.

Are you a pantser or a plotter?
All of my stories to date have been written via the seat of my pants. I planted my bottom in my chair and typed out the scenes that I dreamed up and let the characters have their heads. After delving into the Mates of the Guardians series, I discovered the value in plotting. I'm not saying that I'm going to be a dedicated plotter, but I'm carefully finishing up the Mates of the Guardians series with the knowledge that it will affect a book that I'm working on.

Do you get support from your family? from your friends?
Definitely. My mother-in-law is the one who encouraged me to submit, and my husband bugged me until I did. The rest of my family and friends think I'm brave for sticking my neck out there even though they don't necessarily read romance.

Blurb for His Ship, Her Fantasy:

Ellie Woods is in love…with a ship. When an argument with the ship results in a bump on the head, she finds herself in the strong arms of Alastair. But, who is he, and where did he come from?Alastair has loved Ellie from afar for years, but duty has kept him from revealing himself to her. When a grave threat reveals his true identity, he hopes that Ellie will choose reality over fantasy.


She fought to stay aware by focusing her gaze on the intriguing cleft in her rescuer’s chin. After a few moments, she tried to tilt her head back to get a look at the rest of his face, but the action made her dizzy once again. She gave up with a sigh and relaxed against his firm, broad chest.

She shrugged. Chances were she would not recognize him anyway. Over two hundred people served on the ship. She knew the dozen or so engineers who worked the first and third rotations and maybe another dozen crewmates by sight, others who worked the same rotation and happened to eat their meals in solitary silence at the same time she did. She would guess from the fact that he had to ask her name that he was not any of those two dozen individuals.

Maybe she should not have told him her real name. At least that way, when he talked about finding a woman helpless in the bowels of the ship, no one would have known who it was. Yeah, right, whom was she trying to fool? She was the sole person assigned duty to this area during fourth rotation. Her breath caught, and she stiffened in his arms. Who was he, and what was he doing in a restricted area?

“Relax,” he said.

“Who are you?” She tried to sit up in his arms, determined to get a look at him and an answer to her question.

He lifted her higher in his arms, which wedged her head between his head and shoulder and prevented her from getting a good look at his face. “Alastair.” His warm breath fluttered against her forehead and cheek.


StephB said...

Great interview, Mona. I love the idea of finding inspiration in your dreams as Emma has. A couple of dreams have inspired a few short stories of mine. Great excerpt and nice tease. You definately caught my interest.

Sandra Cox said...

Great interview, ladies. Love that cover:)

Margaret Tanner said...

Hi Emma and Mona,
Great interivew. Nice excerpt. Alistair sounds like my kind of man, Emma.I don't think I could find inspiration in my dreams, most of them are downright nightmarish.


P.L. Parker said...

I have always loved the name "Alistair." So romantic. Good choice. Love the cover.


Skhye said...

This short story is awesome. You're guaranteed a chuckle or two. :)

SarahAnn said...

Nice interview Ladies. This story really is a treat! And I agree with Skhye, there are lots of chuckles :-)

Emma Lai said...

Thanks so much for the kind words, Mona!

Emma Lai said...

Thanks for stopping by Steph. Hopefully your shorts have been published?

Emma Lai said...

Thanks, Sandra! I keep a magnet of the cover on my refrigerator!

Emma Lai said...

LOL, Margaret! I've had some pretty horrific dreams myself. I've turned some of them into flashes. Still waiting to hear back on them.

Emma Lai said...

Thanks for stopping by, Patsy!

Emma Lai said...

Skhye and SarahAnn, I always worry about whether or not my subtle humor will come out. I'm glad it did!

Mary Ricksen said...

Emma you rock!

and so do you Mona.

I loved this story, quick sign me up for some ship any ship!

Cate Masters said...

Great interview, ladies! I love that excerpt, Emma. And I agree, it's a great cover too! I just bought a copy, Emma, so no need to enter my name. I can't wait to read it! Congrats on being TWRP's #1 bestseller!

Helen Hardt said...

Still number one, Emma!

Mona Risk said...

Emma, I am so happy to have you here. Everyone will agree that you are one popular friend and such a nice person.

Most of the dreams I remember are nightmares. I'd rather forget them.
Alistair is a great hunk. Send him and his ship my way.

Judy said...

I often dream ABOUT my stories, but I've yet to dream one up! Maybe that's the ticket . . .
Enjoyed the excerpt!

Emma Lai said...

Thanks for the support Mary, Helen, Cate, Mona, and Judy! I keep waiting to be unseated and each day it doesn't happen, I'm surprised.

The funny thing is I'm not even a big fan of ships, but I would take Alastair and his ship out for a ride any day! Shh! Don't tell my husband. :)

Emma Lai said...

My worst dream recently was that I was a male serial killer. Talk about frightening and disconcerting.

Carol L. said...

Hi Emma and Mona,
I love that her dreams inspired this story. And I really like the name Alistair. He sounds like a sexy and hunky type of guy. :)Now I'll have to continue on and find out what becomes of these two.
Carol L.

Catherine Bybee said...

I'm so happy your family is supportive. I have HSHF in my hard drive and will read it before the weather turns... Promise!

Rebecca J. Clark said...

Emma--I'm so pleased with how well this story is doing for you. I just downloaded it to my iPod Touch. It's next in line to read. Can't wait--heard so many good things about it.


Emma Lai said...

Thanks for stopping by Carol, Catherine, and Rebecca. Be sure to let me know what you think of the story after you've read it!