Please welcome Em Petrova, the author of hot, steamy, smoking paranormal romances. She has no fear of controversy and will go to bat for her stories, her characters and their locales.
Let's get to know Em a little better.
Are you married? Children?
Married with five children, four surviving. It is a crazy house!
Where were you born and raised?
Born in NY, raised all over PA
Where do you currently live?
Well, that's right down the road from me! Small world!
When did you realize that you wanted to write fiction?
When I was twelve years old, I started a series which was a spin-off of the Sweet Valley High series. I scribbled my stories in wide-ruled notebooks and shared them with a friend. Soon, she was passing them through the 7th grade. My stories were being read by dozens of girls! That was my first taste of success.
Do you write full time or do you have a ‘day job’?
I am lucky enough to stay home and write, although I do clean houses twice a week for cash. You’d be amazed at the plots I come up with while mindlessly scrubbing floors, my iPod plugged into my ear.
How many titles have you had published? What genres?
As of this moment, while I’m answering these questions, I have one release, RUNES, from Red Sage. RUNES is a paranormal ménage a trois and Book One of the Immortal Series. But I have ten other books on contract! In January, I have a Valentine’s Day Anthology releasing with Sizzler Intoxications and TATTOO DREAM, a contemporary ménage a trois. In March, I have two more. You can check my website http://www.empetrova.comto read some hot excerpts and blurbs.
How long does it take to complete a manuscript, on average?
My philosophy is write fast, write tight. I’m lucky enough to be a very quick and prolific writer. I can crank out a 70k word novel in 4-6 weeks. Novellas can take a couple weeks. Short stories can be pounded out in a day or two.
How many hours per day do you devote to writing? Do you have a strict schedule?
With four kids, I can’t have a strict schedule. And only two of them are in school full time (two preschoolers), so I write between slinging grub, loads of laundry, and carting little people to school and practices. But my butt is in that chair many, many hours a day. If you don’t sit down with your manuscript, you have nothing. A blank page. I encourage writers to carve out time. If I’m sitting in the car, I’m scribbling on a note pad or leaving voice memos. All this said, I typically demand a couple hours of undisturbed writing from my family. I tell them to get their own snacks and drinks, that they’re on their own for an hour.
Do you have a space where you create your work?
My space is a little unusual. The best thing is to see a picture. http://tiny.cc/odnpu
Do you like music playing when you are writing or is it a distraction? What music do you prefer to listen to?
I have my iPod on all day and night, tuned low and in one ear. Music centers me in a crazy loud world of children. My faves are Tori Amos and Bush.
Are you a disciplined writer with a set routine?
If I don’t write every day, I feel cheated, and beware of my bad mood!
The publishing world is undergoing enormous change - do you think the novel in book form will become obsolete?
I don’t think people will ever stop loving the feel of pages ruffling under their fingertips or the papery scent of books. But e-books are here to stay, just like the CD and the superstore.
Do you find yourself needing to schedule your offline activities more carefully?
I’m a FB junkie, so I struggle to schedule my ONLINE time carefully. Some days I have to force myself to unplug and get some words down.
Have you always had a fascination with writing romance?
I’ve always been drawn to the angst and the heart tugs that go along with falling in love. In my teen years, it was the foundation of my writing. (Ahh, teen love.) In every story there is love in some form. So even if I’m not setting out to write a romance, there are always relationships.
Do you have a particular sub-genre that you enjoy ‘the most’ and why?
Paranormal and erotic. I love the mystery, and of course, the steamy.
Do you have a favorite character in your work(s) and why?
One of my all-time favorite heroes is Nathan Halbrook, an immortal from TREFOIL, which is Book Two of the Immortal Series, to be released spring 2011. He is everything I would ask for in a guy—sexy, smoldering, perfectly possessive, romantic and talented. His quiet pain needed unlocked in that story, and I love that I could do it!
People always want to know – where do your ideas come from? Inquiring minds and all that…
Inspiration is everywhere. For me, it can be a single word. I’ll give you an example. One lyric in a song is the word, “blue.” So my mind took that and envisioned a woman’s blue dress, silky and Grecian-style, swirling around her legs, and her mahogany waves streaming down her spine. Of course, this picture doubled, to include her hero, watching her unobserved, and the mysterious feelings she evokes in him.
If you have been reviewed, do you have a favorite quote you’d like to share with us [happy-faced or cringe-worthy]?
I had a reviewer call my book “a guilty pleasure of mine.” That was good enough for me. I love taking readers to a new realm in their comfort zones. This particular reviewer wasn’t an erotic romance reader, but when she saw my cover and read my blurb for RUNES, she emailed me, saying she had to read it! That was a huge compliment.
Where would you like to see yourself both personally and professionally in 2011?
In 2010, I sold ten books. I’d like to break that in 2011. But most of all, I’d like to make connections with people, whether it’s helping other writers or chatting on FB about what to make for dinner. Relationships are important to me.
Can you give us a hint as to what we can look forward to – new projects, new ventures, or new directions?
In October 2011, I have my first mainstream title MOON CHILD releasing under the name Em Peters. It’s a coming-of-age love story with a paranormal twist.
As for my erotic romance, I am currently cranking out a sequel to RUNES titled RUNE STONE, a forced seduction novella, and another paranormal fiction title. I’m always writing, and you can read about it at http://www.empetrova.com/In_the_Works.html
Thanks so much for taking the time to visit. I, for one, can't wait to dive into Runes!