From steamy hot to supremely detailed history, Emma knows how to please readers. She’s with several houses, including Siren and Phaze, and her backlist is formidable. For a naughty taste in short bites, Phaze has recently released three of her novellas in one package, Secret Sins.
Not just a talented writer, Emma is also a charming and sweet person, and she was kind enough to take some time for an interview with me. So meet Emma Wildes.
1) Who are some of your favorite writers, and how do you think they've influenced you?
I love Mary Stewart, Dick Francis, John Sanford, John Dickson Carr, and Kimberley Cates…plus a million others. Just love to read. Mary Stewart taught me every word needs to count. Dick Francis that it doesn’t have to be whodunit, John Sanford has suspense nailed to the floor…etc.
They are all great writers and I have many more I love.
2) I love that you're into the historical romance or "regency" romance genre. Where did you initially get your inspiration for diving into those different settings? Is it the customs or "manners" that attract you most, or the culture, or something else?
I have really always enjoyed historical. I am not sure why, maybe the escapism aspect of it. That said, part of the joy of writing erotic Regency is the characters are very polite everywhere else, but not in the bedroom
3) Your books are loaded with details of the times. Does working in the historical genre require a lot of research for each novel? Or have you now built a good knowledge base so that you can write with such detail and get it correct?
Oh my goodness, ask me anything about Wellington’s Campaign during the Napoleonic wars. Sitting next to my desk are books on the Iberian Peninsula, Bonaparte himself…etc. Want to talk about the battle at Badajoz? I’m all about it…Talavera? Ciudad Rodrigo? Well, you get my drift…
4) You kind of turn the notion of "regency" romance on its head by making it erotic. Was that an intention, or just happy coincidence?
I know…how odd! I didn’t really set out to write Regency erotic, it just happened. I’ve also written three Scottish historical novels (also set during turbulent political times), but when people think Regency, they think polite. When I hear it, I think about the impact that war had on the English people (not to mention Spain, Portugal, Austria, and of course, France). It was a very influential force on English culture. So, to answer the question, I think coincidence applies.
5) When did you first get the feeling not that you wanted to write, but that you could be so successful at it? What are you working on now?
I used to rewrite endings of books, even when I was about ten, changing them to what I would do in my head. Might have been a sign…
Then I got that lovely call from an editor a few years ago, who said she loved my book. But honestly, I think I would write anyway, success or not. I just love doing it. The stories call…all authors say this and there is reason for that, it is because it is true. A recent example…well, my book, The Letter, from Siren Publishing. I can’t believe it has sold so well because it breaks all the rules, but see, I didn’t know that when I wrote it (Regency, the characters are already married when the book starts…oh my, could you make more mistakes?) It really wouldn’t matter to me because I love the story and it was so fun to tell it.
What am I working on now? A suspense/erotic set in southern Tennessee that an NY agent is interested in called Dead in the Water. Yes, I also write erotic suspense as Kate Watterson. Just this morning I finished a book for Samhain Publishing called Lawless, which is a western.
6) Stock question: Dinner with anyone, dead or alive. Who is it?
7) Stock question 2: One book, one CD, one DVD. What are they?
The Crystal Cave, Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos, and A Few Good Men. How could I live without those three?
8) Other than fiction writing, what's the biggest lie you ever told?
Whoof…I told my parents I was going to a friend’s house to spend the night and instead we went camping in the mountains of New Mexico (so stupid, no one knew where we were, teenaged girls…good grief). If you want a really good laugh, a chipmunk (not making this up) ate through our Styrofoam cooler and devoured our food. We were hungry. I think I decided not to lie much after that. Years later (married, children at the table) I mentioned it because something came up in conversation, and my father was still shocked and upset.
I was like…thirty. It made me decide I don’t want to know everything my children do as long as they live through it
9)Suppose you can't have both: Would you rather have respect from your peers and critical acclaim (but not making cash from writing), or would you rather be a bestselling author with the fat coin?
Oh man…that’s a hard one. You don’t pull punches.
Okay…here’s the thing. My books that have the highest reviews and ratings, actually don’t necessarily sell the best. I have decided I can’t figure out the formula for what is going to sell. So I am going to sidestep your question in a way by saying I want to write the books I enjoy writing. I don’t think of any book as a career decision, and maybe that is best. For instance: write the book with the married characters (how many romances start out that way?) and tell their story, go ahead. Do I want great reviews and high sales, well, of course.
Would I sell my soul for them? No. Never.
I’ve loved being here! Thanks, Susan.