Aimee Laine and I, like so many writers, first met online. I don't recall when or where exactly. Probably on Twitter, likely through a mutual acquaintance. Our first publications occurred around the same time, in early 2012, and I came to recognize certain parallels between the two of us. Between the full time jobs and round-the-clock families, we're both marching down the road of publishing.
You aren’t just a writer, but also a photographer. How do the two mediums compliment or complicate each other?
One kinda led to the other. You see, I started with photography, seeing and visualizing images, searching for and pulling out the emotion in a face. That allowed me to understand the nuance in expression – when is a smile real vs. fake. And when I sat down to write my first novel, tada! I understood just how important those little details were. So for me, it’s a definite compliment.
You also – another duality here – write adult fiction as Aimee Laine and young adult books as Emi Gayle. Is that a struggle, switching back and forth between those voices, or is the variety refreshing?
The variety is totally refreshing. I write adult novels in third person. I write my YA novels in first person. So not only is it refreshing, it’s also a huge challenge because switching back and forth, especially while editing, can be tough. I have to both remember who’s POV I’m in, what person and what tense, because yes, I even switch that up! Call me crazy. It’s okay. I already know.
I completely understand the point of view shift. I can’t read books in third person when I’m writing in first, and don’t even get me started on what happens when I read present tense while writing in past (it’s so, so ugly). On the spot time! What are a few of your favorite lines that you’ve written?
This is one of my all time favorites:
“Dawn conceals what the dark of night reveals.”
This is where After Dark (an Emi Gayle novel) started. That one line. One idea. Three books later … it’s on a cover.
Now, for my adult books, this:
“Do you trust me, Lexi? Will you, just for a moment, or a few days, even a week, set aside the moral compass against which you measure me day in and day out and just trust me?”
is one of my favorites. Tripp is speaking here, and it’s indicative of what Lexi puts him through in the whole book. It’s exasperation and for him, he finally said it. It’s a turning point for them in fact.
I love that! Rarely does a bit of dialogue, out of context, feel like a precipice.
One thing that I discovered after I’d been writing for a while is that I was returning to the same themes again and again. The stories and characters were different, but in a way, writing helped me to recognize some of the things that I find most important in people and in life. Do you ever find that, a recognition of your own values in your stories?
Yes, absolutely. As a photographer, I focused on relationships. Yes, I did a lot of portraits of individuals and of big events, but my true love is putting 2 or 3 people together and seeing how they interact. It’s the same in my books. I love seeing my characters grow and fall in love. But I also love the mystery that surrounds all of that. So more and more, my stories are getting complex with mystery and complex with relationship dynamics.
Aren’t all our lives the same way? We love to love but at the same time, it’s getting harder and harder to do. Same with work. With parenting. With … anything. The complications in our lives (be it work, hobbies, commutes, etc) keep us from truly engaging with others. I love diving into that and finding ways to get around it.
Who are some of your favorite writers, either those who inspired you to write or those who delight you to read?
As a kid, I read classics. Classics. Classics. Classics. I remember very little of them. I was just too young to truly appreciate them. I only read them because I had a ‘chore’ (Yes, I did) to read 20 minutes every day and if my shelf of books came from our family room – a la Classics.
Somewhere in my early 20s, I found Nora Roberts’ romances and FELL IN LOVE (with capital letters). Is she my favorite? Maybe, maybe not. But she restarted my love of reading.
I am not, however, the voracious reader that so many are. I’m incredibly picky. When, however, I fall in love with an author’s style, I’ll read everything they have. This is true of my author friends (Jocelyn Adams, J.A. Belfield and Julie Reece for example) as well as some of the bigger names in books like Kristin Hannah, JD Robb and Sharon McCrumb.
Oh, I hear that. There are certain authors whose shopping lists I’d read if only I could get my hands on them. J
Emi has two books in The 19th Year series is due out in 2013, and Aimee’s Silent Echoes will be published in March. With that much on your plate, I’m hesitant to even ask, but what’s next for you?
Ha! Oh, there’s always more. I’ve just finished writing Perry Road, the first in a dystopian YA series and I’ve never, ever had my beta readers get back to me so fast with the ‘OMG, this is the best thing you’ve ever written’ comments, so we’ll have to see where that goes. I’m also writing the final in the Mimics of Rune series, Redeemed. It was supposed to be ready for 2013 production, but I’m kinda happy that it isn’t. :) Outside of that, I have another Games of Zeus book in editing and book two after Perry Road called Delta Street already started in my head.
Plus, I work full time, have three kids, a husband, two cats, two guinea pigs and some desire to sleep, eat and exercise, so I’m thinking that’s probably (maybe?) enough for this year. :)
*raises hands in surrender* That’s somewhere beyond plenty to do. I wish you the very best of luck with that, and can’t wait to see the new books! Thank you so much for stopping by, Aimee.
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