Welcome to another Author Tuesday at the Christian Writer’s Den. I’m thrilled to share another talented writer with you! Today’s guest is Emily Parke Chase, archaeologist, speaker and author of seven books. Emily and I met in 2012 when she attended the Christian Communicators Conference at the Billy Graham Training Center at The Cove.
She’s an amazing speaker, counselor to women in crisis pregnancies, and an author who hits the hard subjects for young people. The titles alone will make you want to get her books for the teens and young adults you know. Be sure to check out her books by clicking on the book covers. I know you’re gonna love her as much as I do!
Welcome, Emily. Let’s start at the beginning. When did you first begin writing?
When I was in first grade, I wrote a story called â€śThe Lucky Lady.â€ť In the story, an older woman lived by herself, and a robber broke into her home, beat her and tied her up. The end. When I showed the story to my aunt, she was a bit confused. â€śWhy was she the Lucky Lady?â€ť she asked. With all the confidence of a 7 year old, I replied, â€śHe didn’t kill her.â€ť I like to think my writing skills have improved a degree since then!
I love it! And I agree, that did make her lucky! So when did writing become a serious pursuit?
After my oldest son finished homeschooling and went to college, I asked the Lord for direction as where to invest my time. During that period of prayer, a dear friend named Joy Jacobs, author of They Were Women Too, stopped by and asked if I would consider co-authoring a book with her. My heart leaped at the idea. As it turned out, Joy and I never did end up co-authoring together but God used her to reveal a long dormant passion I had for writing. That event was almost 20 years ago and the passion is still there.
Wow. Don’t you love how God orchestrates the details of our lives to bring about His perfect will? And now you now have seven books in print, all from standard publishers. Did you ever consider self-publishing?
No, when I first began looking at publishers, I wanted to go with a standard publisher for several reasons. First, I was not confident of my abilities as a writer and so I wanted the affirmation of an editor who thought my writing was strong enough to invest his company’s dollars in my project. Second, at that time I still considered writing to be my private hobby and I didn’t want to tie up my husband’s income by investing in a book that might not sell. Third, because marketing is my weakest area, I needed the expertise of a standard publisher to get the word out about my books.
There seems to be an assumption that all writers wake up at 4AM to work, drink pots of coffee, and rarely eat. What does a typical day look like for you?
You can’t see my face turning red. I am not as disciplined as some writers who put in a specific number of hours each day or set a goal of writing 1500 words a day. My schedule is all over the place as I do speaking engagements. Sometimes I go for days without writing. Then I’ll have a week off and produce three chapters of a novel and several more short articles. I work best with large chunks of time where I can sit for hours and get into the world of my characters. Still, there are times when I find myself sitting in an airport for an hour and I will jot a rough draft of a short article.
Do you ever experience the infamous â€śwriters blockâ€ť?
Not really. One thing that helps me to avoid this problem is to have a variety of styles of writing.Â In addition to my non-fiction books and the novels I’m working on, I also write devotionals â€“ check out my website at EmilyChase.com to see samples there â€“ and I prepare technical abstracts for a theological journal. I also write for Chicken Soup for the Soul. If I can’t get motivated to work on my novel, I usually turn to another genre and work on a different project. If that doesn’t work? Mixing up a batch of chocolate chip cookies is a good cure!
Hey, I like that idea! So, do you have any advice for new writers?
Don’t limit yourself to a single genre. And carry your skills from one area into the other areas. For example, I found that, in writing non-fiction, I need to use my story-telling skills just as much as when I am writing fiction. True life stories need dialogue, setting, and character development just as much as any novel. Draw your readers in and make them care about your subject material.
If people have further questions, feel free to have them contact me at email@example.com.Â I have a passion for writing, but I also have a passion for helping new writers!
I know you do, Emily! Thank you for being with us today and sharing your journey.
And readers, I’ve made it easy for you to read about Emily’s books on Amazon. Just click on the picture for a direct link.
Don’t forget to leave a comment for Emily and you’ll be in the drawing for a free book! Be sure to come back next week to see if you’re the winner!
Bio: Trained originally as an archaeologist, Emily Chase moved from the jungles of Laos and Mexico back to the USA to establish a pro-life counseling ministry. Instead of repairing old pottery shards, she now glues lives of her clients back together. A popular speaker at conferences and retreats, Emily is the author of seven books, including Help! My Family’s Messed Up! (Kregel) and Standing Tall After Falling Short (Moody). Learn more about Emily at emilychase.com.
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