I’m delighted to welcome Eileen Emerson, a fellow 2012 Golden Heart® Finalist in the Regency Category (and fellow Dashing Duchess) to the 2012 Regency Category Golden Heart® edition of In PRO-suit of publication.

I’ve come to know Eileen as a high-energy, tremendously talented writer and graphic artist. Her first manuscript, A Whisper to the Wild not only finaled in the 2012 Golden Heart®, it won the 2011 Emily (and that is one tough contest!) and finaled in the Marlene, the Sheila, the Royal Ascot, the Molly, and the Golden Pen–all equally large and respected contests. In addition, she finaled in this year’s Beau Monde’s Royal Ascot contest and the Sheila with her manuscript, Embracing an Unloved Earl.

So glad you could stop by for a visit, Eileen! To start, would you like to share a twitter-pitch of your GH finaling manuscript (140 characters or less)?

“A woman hiding a world of secrets must work with a nobleman to heal a damaged horse. To succeed, they have to heal their own wounds first.”

Marvelous! I love stories with horses. So, tell me, what do you love about this story?

The element that first drew me into this story is the very thing that makes it unusual for a Regency; the heroine’s dog. Yes, I know dogs abound in Regencies, but Tip has a very unique talent that many readers haven’t seen before; he’s slightly telepathic and inserts images into the heroine’s thoughts. I also love that the hero is a jolly, beta male who has to face some grim realities in order to make a life for himself. It’s the heroine who’s the strong, silent type (for good reason—she’s spent a dozen years hiding from a killer, and is loathe to reveal her true identity to anyone.) I’m a sucker for stories that turn a standard conceit on its ear.

OOOh, sounds fascinating. That trope-flip is sure to intrigue readers. Tip sounds like he’ll bring an additional twist to the story.

I also love call stories. Where were you when you received the GH call?

I was working on a new book in my tiny, red office. I didn’t anticipate the call, and was rocked when it came. I have no idea what I said to the poor woman, but I’m pretty sure I did the standard “shaking, crying, blathering” thing. The same board member who called me was the one to call my sister a few hours later—she told Elisa I was “fun.” Please tell me that that’s not a euphemism for “shockingly insane.”

For readers who may not know, Eileen’s sister is the talented Ruby sister and Regency Golden Heart® *Winner* Elisa Beatty! Congrats to you both!

You have reached the finalist milestone with multiple projects. Do you have any ah-ha moments related to writing that you can share with readers?

I’ve encountered so many ah-ha moments over the past two years that it’s almost like a string of pearls I’ve been counting off with each book I’ve opened or seminar I’ve attended. If I had to choose one mind-blowing thing, I’d have to say that Deanna Raybourn’s prose introduced me to a whole new way of writing. I’ve always liked dark, rich characterizations and lots of twisty, heart-clenching angst between the hero and heroine. But… ohhh…. Such gorgeous sentences, such complex, meaty construction! I found myself almost chewing the words to take them in fully.

Silent in the Grave has one of my all-time favorite opening paragraphs. It’s two sentences and it’s fantastic (No, Readers, I’m not telling).

Yes, yes, yes! I remember the thrill I got from reading that opening—it was like a lightning bolt to the brain. I seriously had the thought that this book would change my life, and all from those first twenty-seven words. I get shivers just thinking about it now.

Exactly! Do you have a favorite romance? 

Out of thousands of books I’ve read over the years, the one I keep going back to re-read is The Duchess of Asherwood by Mary A. Garrett. But I devour anything by Courtney Milan and Deanna Raybourn (obviously!) I’ve recently become a big fan of Cecilia Grant and Leigh LeValle for their excellent plotting and characterizations. I like sparkling, happy writing, too, and have read Julia Quinn for years and years.

I agree on all counts (although I haven’t yet read The Duchess of Asherwood). I just finished A Lady Awakened by Cecilia Grant and WOW. 

A Lady Awakened had the very best “black moment.” It was so very clear to me, as a writer, and deeply affecting for those characters. Really excellent, swoon-worthy stuff. And you totally have to go read A Gentleman Undone. I ached for their personal wounds, and adored the whole premise. Ms. Grant is on my auto-buy list forever!

A Gentleman Undone is on my to-be-read list and is soon to be in one lucky commenter’s mailbox! Leave a comment for Eileen and be entered to win a snail mailed copy of Cecilia Grant’s A Gentleman Undone. I’ll announce the winner tomorrow evening.

Any parting words of wisdom?

Keep writing – every day, even when you don’t feel like it. And get yourself a good set of critique partners. Each one can help you see what you do well and where you trip and fall in your writing. I’m blessed with my most excellent sister, who kicks my conflicts to new levels every time she reads what I send her. And I’ve connected with some beloved chaptermates and other writers through RWA, and they keep me honest, humble, and—most importantly—writing.

As Deanna Raybourn said on her blog recently: “there are really only two kinds of people in the world—diminishers and enhancers.” With every contest I judge and with every suggestion I make to my CPs, I do my best to always be an enhancer.

And I’d say you are succeeding!  Thank you so much for being here today.

46 Responses to In PRO-suit of Publication: An Interview with Eileen Emerson

  • What a lovely interview. Eileen, your book sound very interesting. I wish you all the best in the next step, getting pubished.

  • Thank so much , Ella. The big goal of publication is hovering in front of me, egging me on to better and better writing.

  • ‘Tremendously talented’ is a spot-on description of the lovely Ms. Emerson! Wonderful, interesting interview!

  • Looking forward to the day when another Golden Heart nominee is swooning over *your* novels, Eileen!

  • There’s not a thing wrong with” shockingly insane” at such a great moment, sweetie!  (Laugh.)  You ARE fun and we need to see more of your wonderful writing.

  • I have had the honor of reading the opening of Eileen’s GH finaling MS, and I would love to have the rest of it. I love me a beta hero, and Tip was great fun.

  • Wonderful post! You’ve just added a bunch to my TBR pile! Every time someone directs me to an author I haven’t read, and I get this feeling I’m about to fall in love with said author, I feel like a neophyte all over again. Not only is the discovery of a new author a good read, in one way or another, she ends up being an excellent teacher. Thanks, Eileen.

  • Big congrats on your success, Eileen! I love Regencies and look forward to reading your books one day.


  • Thanks, Susan! So kind of you to stop by. (And don’t think that it lets you off the hook for sending me pages, dearest CP!)

  • Hi, Eileen!  I SO need to get back to writing every day.  I have fallen off the wagon, I’m afraid.  And let me add my congrats on the Emily win–that’s my chapter contest, and I can confirm how extremely competitive it is.  Your manuscript sounds fascinating, can’t wait to see it on the shelves.

  • I guess I have to learn to love that I *am* shockingly insane. Let’s just hope that more people than just you, Miriam, think me “fun.” 😉

  • *blush* What a kind thing to say, Ashlyn! Like a proud mama, I love when people spark to Tip. He’s the best dog EVAH!

  • Hey, I’ve found some of my favorite auto-buys through recommendations — Deanna Raybourn being one of them!

  • Thanks, Adele! I love that you read such a wide variety of genres — it’s really astounding, and is, I’m sure, the reason you’re such a fine writer yourself.

  • Thanks, Carolyn. And thanks for using “swooning,” too. It really is the most dashing word and one of my very favorites. (Though, like “zoiks” is one I adore, but never use in my books.)

  • Okay, first, I want to claim Elisa as one of the Unsinkables, too!  🙂

    Eileen, when I saw your name on the Golden Heart finalist list I was SO THRILLED for you (we had The Molly connection).  I’m also a fan of beta males, so get that story sold pronto!

    Your parting words of wisdom are most excellent.

  • I don’t know if it’s my age, or the fact that I’ve been married for 21 years, but I do love me a beta male. A nice guy, who means to do the very best for the people around him despite some serious complications… *swoon*! I can handle an alpha male, but I find I lack patience for them sometimes.

    And ain’t Elisa grand?! The very best of sisters, writers, and friends.

  • Thanks, Kay! I was rocked by the Emily win last year — it was the first contest I ever entered, and WHISPER TO THE WILD was the first thing I’d ever written! And the Emily?! Seriously, I still can’t believe that one happened.

    I got to judge for your chapter this year and read some really excellent entries.

    Now… go write. Get back on the bandwagon. Otherwise, how will I ever get to pick up one of your books at Amazon?!

  • Woo-hoo!! Great interview!!

    I agree that an awesome critique partner is the key to brilliant writing (and, um, ahem…I’ll be sending you the latest DEVIL sometime today…while drinking out of my new “You Must Allow Me To Tell You….” mug!!!!)

  •  Oh, and Deanna Raybourn is definitely the bomb!!!

  • Eileen- Being a Golden Heart finalist is so much fun! I can’t wait to see what is next for you!

  • Yay — new pages from the bestest writer in the world! Heaven. (I’ll join you and drink from MY “You must allow me to tell you” mug. So glad it finally arrived.)

    For anyone wondering: http://www.etsy.com/listing/62522341/mr-darcy-proposal-mug

  • Hi, Leigh! Having witnessed it twice as a spectator (watching Elisa’s two GH finals and her most excellent WIN!!), I’m really looking forward to having the envious looks come *my* way when my dashing pink ribbon announces my wonderfullness. 🙂

    But I’m also shaking in my boots. I’m not sure I’m up for the whirl of Nationals yet. I’m seriously psyching myself up now… and desperately figuring out how to pitch my strange, little Regency, telepathic dog and all….

  • *swooooon*

    Terri Brisbin has promised to introduce me to her at Nationals, and the thought of going all fan-girl-cahraaaazy on Ms. Raybourn scares me more than my six-hour flight to Anaheim….

  • Look at y’all saying such nice things about me behind my back! I am so thrilled that my books played any part in inspiring you. Thank you both for your lovely remarks–and I can’t wait to meet y’all in Anaheim! (Terri is forty kinds of awesome, isn’t she?) Very best of luck in the GH!

  • That thunk you heard was me hitting the floor. (And this comes from someone with years of meeting some MAJOR stars — in their underwear — in costume fittings.)

    I’m a goofy fan-girl and will definitely be a blathering idiot at Nationals. I give you full permission to just nod and say I’m “nice.” (I’ll understand that you really mean I’m “shockingly insane.” I understand the code now…)

  • You had me at “jolly beta hero.” The telepathic dog is just gravy.

    Thank you both for the kind words about my books, and for picking one of them to give away. Eileen, best of luck in the Golden Heart and the Royal Ascot. I hope it will be a fabulous conference weekend for you 🙂

  • Eileen, your book sounds fabulous! I’m a fan of the same authors and look forward to the day your story is published too!
    You said, “Keep writing – every day, even when you don’t feel like it. And get yourself a good set of critique partners.”
    Awesome advice!
    Looking forward to seeing you this summer!

  • Okay… SERIOUSLY?  Wendy didn’t tell me all my hero authors were gonna show up today!!

    Thanks, Cecilia. Not only for commenting, but also for the incredibly enjoyable hours I sent deep inside the wounded souls of your wonderful, charming characters. Thankyouthankyouthankyou!

  • I love Eileen! She energizes our chapter with her sparkling laughter and her unfailing generosity. So glad she’s a Golden Heart Finalist – she really knows how to make a story work!

  • Can’t wait to hug a fellow “Firebird” in person, Tamra!

    And, as hard as it is to put your Butt in the Chair, Hands on the Keyboard, it’s absolutely necessary for me.

    Even if the whole GH hoopla has put a serious dent in my BICHOK time.

  • Yay, Lynnie! I’m so glad you popped in for a peek.

    If I’m laughing, it’s probably because you said something charming and snarky to make me guffaw! (Or I’m thinking about something you wrote or took a gorgeous picture of for your your blog: http://www.forloveorfunny.com/ )

    Girlfriend has the cutest dog in the world!

  • Congratulations, Eileen! What fun to celebrate with your sister at the conference… Love your plot and can’t wait to read it 🙂 See you in Anaheim…

  • Eileen, I’m certain you’ll get the call any moment now.  You’re a fantastic writer and any publishing house will be lucky to snap you up.  My fingers and toes are crossed that you walk away with that Golden Heart. 

    Jacki Kelly

  • Thanks, Jean. I’m loving being a Firebird — aren’t you? Anaheim seems like the most golden, honey-hued experience possible… and absolutely terrifying at the very same time.

    I’m looking forward to it. But there’s a little dread mixed in there, too!

  • Hey, Jacki! Ya know… I already feel like I walked away with the brass ring. After a lot of intense, hard, grueling work, I’ve hit a spot I only dreamed of hitting. If it never happens again or nothing comes of it, I’ll still have had this year.

    And that’s awesome!

  • I can’t wait for my autographed copy of your first book! Add great interviewee to talented writer. Best of luck with the Golden Heart, Eileen. 

  • Eileen, you’re such a well-propertied woman!  😉  Congratulations on all your contest wins and your GH nomination.  Wishing you the greatest success!

  • Hi Eileen! Historical Romance is my fav genre & I can’t believe that I’ve not come across your books so far. Soon to be rectified! 

  • Thank you SO much. I got a little squeeee moment at the thought of signing my name to an actual book. Woooot!

  • Thanks, Katherine. My mother would be very proud to hear me called “well-propertied”… though I think she would’ve hoped it meant I’d become a real estate baron. 😉

  • Well, Linda… I’m not published yet. But someday! SOMEDAY!!!

    For excellent published books, got hunt down my recommendations. I absolutely adore those writers!

  • All I can say is, you both rock! Much success to each of you!! 🙂

  • Thanks, lady! And right back at ya on the “much success to you” comment. I’m rooting for you, Carla.

  • Thank you Carolyn, Carla, Linda, Katherine, Jaqi, Jacki, Jean, Lynn, Tammy, Elisa, Abigail, Kg, Adele, Kathleen, Ashlynn, Miriam, Susan and Ella!! 

    And a very special thank you and Squee to Eileen’s favorite authors who posted. Deanna, Cecilia & Leigh–we are squee-happy you took the time to join us!!!!

    I’ll enter everyone into a random drawing tomorrow morning by 10 AM EST & will announce the winner then. 

    Thank you, Eileen, for being a marvelous guest.

  • And random.org chose commenter #4 to be our winner today–

    A Gentleman Undone goes to Miriam Newman!  Miriam, can you contact me off-line at wendy  wendy *at* acenteredlife. com ?

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