The SHANNON MUIR’S INFINITE HOUSE OF BOOKS weekly column is a place at Shannon Muir’s author website open to interviews and guest posts from other authors. One thing Shannon firmly believes in for readers not only to learn about new books available, but about those who craft the tales behind them. As its name implies, SHANNON MUIR’S INFINITE HOUSE OF BOOKS weekly column features writers from all genres of fiction who want their potential audience to get to know them, and their works, better – and occasionally may offer features from Shannon herself that support readers to discover words.
This week, find out more about the book NATURE OF ENTANGLED HEARTS in an interview with its author.
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THE NATURE OF ENTANGLED HEARTS
Author: Emma Hartley
Publisher: Satin Romance
Genre: Contemporary Romance/Paranormal Romance/Thriller/Chick
Hearts is a fast-paced, edgy,
romantic thriller, with a subtly supernatural twist. Enter the story of
Elwyn and James, two strangers entangled by their past-life experiences, who are mired in an unquantifiable present. Throughout the novel they work to understand the bonds that hold them together, just as an unforeseen danger
threatens to tear them apart.
stranger across the market, everything she has taken for granted as reality is
thrown into question. Understanding blooms in fits and starts,
interrupted by her fears of attachment and eventually by the unwanted
attentions of an obsessed and disturbed art student.
challenges, endearing the reader with her feisty nature and her fierce desires
to create authentically, to love intensely and to transcend the destructive
links to her past. “The Nature of Entangled Hearts” takes us on a
thrilling ride through past and present, through love and dread, through loss
and reclamation, leaving us thankful that we don’t understand all the mysteries
of the universe just yet, and reminding us never to take our lives – or our loves
– for granted.
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What initially got you interested in writing?
I began writing when I was just a child. I wrote poems and stories of all kinds, some of which I still have. They reflect the same sense of wonder about the world, as well as the deep focus on relationships, that I still have today.
What genres do you prefer to write in?
My writing mixes the genres of literary fiction, romance, paranormal and thriller. I find that sticking with one genre doesn’t suit the way my mind works. Life isn’t that easy to define, and neither is my fiction.
Are there any authors you prefer to read and why?
Somerset Maugham, Evelyn Waugh, Ernest Hemingway, Charles Dickens, Jane Austen, everything by Haruki Murikami and P.G. Wodehouse, J.K. Rowlings, Mark Halperin, and Raymond Chandler, just to name a few. I have read hundreds of books, many of which have shaped me into the person – and the writer – that I am today. These writers create compelling, believable fiction and characters with authenticity and depth. I have no tolerance for poorly written fiction.
How did you make the move into being a published author?
After I finished my manuscript for The Nature of Entangled Hearts I decided that it was the kind of book that might resonate with other people. I resolved to find a publisher, so I bought a copy of Writer’s Market, cross-referenced all of the publishers who were accepting unsolicited manuscripts in my genre, and began sending them queries. It was not long before I heard back from Melange Books and getting the news that they would accept the manuscript was thrilling.
What do you find most rewarding about writing?
Developing realistic characters and allowing them to grow in my work is the most rewarding thing for me. I deeply enjoy thinking about my characters’ motivations, personal histories and emotional landscapes, and then crafting plot lines that allow them to become their fullest selves.
What do you find most challenging about writing?
Marketing is the most challenging thing about writing in my estimation so far. There is no way to assure yourself of reaching a wide marketplace and some of the things I’ve done to market the book have felt like calling into the dark wilderness. I think that just like anything my strategies for marketing will improve with experience.
Do you have any tips for writers who find themselves experiencing writer’s block?
Keep writing. Find a prompt from a contest online to write a piece of flash fiction. Find a poetry contest and enter it. Write a short story about the time your sister stole your silver dollars. Write anything and everything you can, and when you come back to your work you will be amazed to find that the words are flowing again. Another thing I like to do is write from the viewpoint of a character I’ve ignored. This provides me with a deeper look at the character’s motivations, feelings and reactions.
What advice would you give to people that want to enter the field?
For anyone who desires the life of the writer, I urge you to take a serious look at the work it takes to be successful. Writing the book is the easy part! Finding a publisher and marketing your book are endless jobs if you want people to read your book. A lot more energy goes into these tasks than you might imagine.
What do you want readers to take away from reading your works?
I hope that readers feel a sense of hope when they read my work. We don’t understand anything about how love works, but it is wonderful to think – to hope – that there is a connecting force that binds us together with the people we truly care for that may just outlast a mere lifetime.
Is there anything else about you that you think readers might find interesting?
I taught myself to play the drums and now I play in an indie rock band in my spare time! I’ve read that drummers have special brains that are wired for multitasking. I can speak to the truth of this!
“Ah, my Beloved, fill the Cup that clears
TO-DAY of past Regrets and future Fears –
To-morrow ? – Why, To-morrow I may be
Myself with Yesterday’s Sev’n Thousand Years.”
The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam
Translated by Edward FitzGerald
Insecurity nestled in my breast like a needy child. I grew restless as it sucked something essential from me, thriving on my offering just as I, in turn, withdrew. I didn’t wish anymore, it seemed so pointless. I didn’t wait for some great epiphany. I existed, and that was enough, I told myself, for in contrast with the suffering of the rest of the world, it seemed only right to be thankful for the quietude of Maine.
I created relative to this insecurity, allowing it to flow into my work like water moistening clay. Without water, clay is dust. I thought that without my flaws—insecurity the reigning tyrant of lesser beasts—that my work would crumble under the weight of its own mediocrity. So, I let it govern my forms, my choices, my superficial acceptance of appreciative art collectors. Insecurity was the excuse that allowed me to embrace inferiority. With hope all but lost of finding any true meaning besides beauty in the world about me, I crept catatonic through my life, eyes barely open, heart nearly closed.
I’d spent most of my adult life in the great state of Maine. Portland drew me in after grad school and never let me go. There was always some new allure: The skeletal remains of an ancient pier ascending bleached from the ravages of low tide, exposed like the ribcage of a long extinct behemoth; verdigris copper edging along a crumbling slate roof, tattered like the lace on an old prom dress; the punishing crash of waves against the ferry’s bough, speeding undaunted through winter waters, as I enjoyed my own private cruise. This place had almost everything I needed to thrive. Almost.
Might not love play a part, I wondered in weak moments, in this deceptive spring landscape? Like a lupine seed blown from afar, rooting along the roadside, might it flourish? Then, how could this fragile shoot grow strong enough, fast enough, to outpace the onslaught of winter, or can love thaw the very air around it, creating a protective shield against the elements? Would time then corrupt it? Erode it like tiny drops of water on stone, wearing away elasticity and alacrity, making barren what would have borne fruit?
I had felt winter’s claws dig in, pinning me down like prey, waiting to crush my spirit. I had felt the rebirth of sunshine and growth, spilling into crevices nearly abandoned, a resurgence of breath to revive the long dead. The lost, the lonely, the artistically bereft, we have found ourselves drawn to Maine for an age, it’s the mercurial edge between civilization and wilderness. We flock here yearning to flourish, as a tree may cling to a forbidding cliff, rooting desperate between chinks in granite, gaining purchase against elemental odds: we grow despite ourselves, our rugged forms belying the improbable tenacity of our hidden will to thrive, of our frozen desire for love.
“Listen again. One evening at the Close
Of Ramazan, ere the better Moon arose,
In that old Potter’s Shop I stood alone
With the clay Population round in Rows.
And, strange to tell, among that Earthen Lot
Some could articulate, while others not:
And suddenly one more impatient cried-
Who is the Potter, pray, and who the Pot?
Then said another with a long-drawn Sigh,
“My Clay with long oblivion is gone dry:
But, fill me with the old familiar juice,
Methinks I might recover by-and-by!”
The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam
Translated by Edward FitzGerald
artist living in picturesque Maine. She has been writing and making art since childhood and
has been insatiably curious and industrious her whole life. Emma was a double
major in English and Fine Arts and she received her Masters in Art and Design
Education. She is a specialist in ceramics and includes much of this expertise
in her novel The
Nature of Entangled Hearts. Her other interests include playing drums,
making art and exploring every square inch of the Maine coastline. The Nature of Entangled Hearts is her
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