Sunday, November 28, 2010

Interview of Em Petrova

I want to welcome my good friend Em Petrova to Nocturnal Nights. I meet Em a while back in a critique group and have since found her to be a very helpful, supportive critique partner and friend. I'm thrilled to see all the success she'd had and I wish her a great deal more. Read on to find out more about this amazing author.

Tell us a little about your writing. What type of stories do you like to write? Any characters you like to write about? Any themes you find especially inspiring?

I like to write stories about the characters no one would ordinarily like. Real life relationships aren’t always so cut and dry or fairytale as those we read. Real people struggle with problems—mental illness, drug addiction, anger management. These flaws help me to create 3D characters. At the end of the book, I want my readers to love the person they disliked on page one.

When and why did you begin writing?

I began writing at the age of 12, when I created a spinoff of the Sweet Valley High Series for my friends to read. Before I knew it, notebooks filled with my stories were circulating the halls. It didn’t take me long to feel the rush of having someone read your work and like it. During my teens, I was never seen without a notebook and a pen. I didn’t begin writing erotic romance until 2010, when I found myself struggling to withhold the heat from my stories. At this point, I learned I can write a pretty damn hot sex scene!

What is your favorite part of the writing process? What are your most dreaded tasks? Anything special you do to get through the tough parts?

My favorite part of the writing process is actually the editing. I can typically bang out a rough draft in 2 weeks for a novella, or 4-6 weeks for a full length novel. But during the edits I can finesse the language, tweak the conflict, deepen the characters.
My most dreaded task is the technical aspects of writing. I am becoming more adept at the blurbs and synopses, but don’t even ask me to write a 3-line pitch!

During the sagging middles, I tend to get lost and flounder. At this point, I go back and read what I have so far. The beginning of a book is about building the worlds and characters. The middles are sort of the pinnacle in my mind—the time when your threads start to weave together to create that amazing climax. I also use a plot technique I made up called The Plot Target, which keeps me on track.

What is your favorite way to promote?

My name is Em, and I’m a Facebook addict. Yes, that’s right. It is a wonderful place to promote my writing, but actually, I am on there for the friends. I have met some amazing people through FB, and even heard a hot story or two.

What’s a typical day look like for you? What’s your writing schedule? When you’re not writing what are you doing?

I have four kids, so a typical day consists of hauling my ass out of bed at 6 am—no small task to a night owl! After I get their lunches ready, I spend half an hour guzzling coffee and sneaking in a few paragraphs before I wake everyone up and send them out the door. You can’t imagine my relief when they all climb into Daddy’s car and drive away!

I live with a lot of interruptions when I write, because even when the kids are at school, you can imagine the mountain of laundry 6 people generate. Most of my word count comes before noon. However, I’ve found my creative muse kicks in at 4 pm and this is when words tend to pour from me, which sometimes means my family sacrifices a good meal for a store bought pizza. In a perfect world, I write best at night, but during the school year, I’m trapped in the body of a morning person. I try to deal with it.

What do you do to relax?

To me, writing is relaxing. Dealing with kids, homework, a crazy practice schedule, and running a household is chaotic, not to mention that I clean houses as a day job, allowing me the freedom to write. For me, settling down in front of my laptop with an enormous mug of coffee is the ultimate release.

What author is your work most like? What author would you like to be more like?

I’d like to think of myself as a fledgling Anne Rice, though I can only hope to someday master her storytelling skills. I am a huge descriptive writer, which mirrors her style. I also love the macabre and the sensuality behind all of her work.

What books have most influenced your life most?

I'm a huge fan of the classics. Give me Dickens. Alcott. Wharton. Austen. The rich characters live forever in my heart.

What would you like readers to take away from your stories?

Through my characters, I hope readers take away insight into their own relationships or personal struggles. Problems always look different through someone else’s eyes.

Do you have any advice for other writers?

Writers always hear that you should study your craft and write. And this is absolutely true. Practice will drive you to the next level—not a magic formula. Listen and open your mind to suggestions. And always remember that if someone gives feedback that upsets you, it’s most likely because it’s true, and deep down you know it. In these instances, take a day or a week and distance yourself. Then go back in with a fresh eye. Take workshops when you can, check how-to books out of the library. And most of all, read. If you find a passage that stimulates you, mark the page, then dissect the paragraph and see if you can learn from that writer. Most of all, take your time. Everyone works at different paces, and you can’t compare yourself to someone else.

Please tell us about your current projects and where we can purchase it. Where can we find you on the web?

RUNES—a paranormal ménage a trois my debut novel is available from Red Sage Publishing. ~Two men learn to satisfy their lusts for one woman, and eventually each other~

When Will Cochran straightened away from the woman on the bathroom floor, they were both bleeding. She was not fully conscious, but he had to escape before she recognized him. He grabbed a hand towel from the sink, clutched it to his bleeding forearm and swung toward the door.

She would be all right. It might take a few hours for the drugs to wear off, but eventually she would awaken to a new existence. Before he disappeared through the doorway and from her life, he allowed himself a final glance.

Sprawled on the white floor tile, she looked waifish and vulnerable. She wore dark clothing—a black off-the-shoulder top and dark violet miniskirt that matched the purple streak at the front of her pixie-short black hair. The blood had ceased to flow from the wound on her neck, and as he watched, the blue-black lines of runes and dainty stars climbed the bare flesh of her shoulder, up her throat, to curl around her ear and end in a spattering of stars across her temple—the immortal tattoo.
RUNES, is available from Red Sage. You can purchase it directly from Red Sage, or from Amazon.

You can also find me at I have several titles coming out beginning in February. On my site, you can read the blurbs and find out where to look for the upcoming releases. Also, you can find out what I’m currently writing.

If you could be any paranormal creature, what would you be?

A fairy. I'd love to flit gracefully around on a wicked set of wings.
Thanks so much for sharing with us Em. I wish you all the success in the world.


Brenda said...

I love reading author interviews, getting to know fellow writers.

Sheri Fredricks said...

Oh man, I thought I was busy...Em's truly an inspiration. Scheduling time to write and organization - I think that's jumped out at me. I hope to one day pound out a novel in 6 wks - that'd be awesome. Thanks for the wonderful interview, Willa!!

S.E. Holden said...

I find it amazing that you can be as prolific with all the interruptions. Keep it up, Em.

Robin said...

Wow Em! I'm impressed! You're an inspiration to us slugs who have lots of time, but whose writing muse is ADD on a good day! I enjoy your humor!

Sarah J. McNeal said...

Runes looks like a fabulous book, Em. I enjoyed reading your interview and your commentary on flawed characters.
I wish you all the best.

Lorrie said...

I envy your energy and being able to write in the midst of all the confusion and work that you do.
The book sounds fabulous.
Thanks for sharing. This post makes me feel so lazy, I better give myself a swift kick in the arse to hit the computer more often.
Thanks for sharing.

susan said...

You sound so much like me. Years ago I had four kids, two jobs and went to night school and studied in the mornings between jobs. How did I do it.. I am still wondering how. ha ha I love the sounds of your books and thanks for the great is fun to hear what authors are doing in their daily lives. Thanks so much for sharing. susan leech

Talina Perkins said...

This was an awesome interview, Em. You are an inspiration to all, writers and non-writers. You have the stamina and desire to always want to better yourself and your work. thanks for sharing, Em!

I loved Runes and I can't wait for the sequel to come out!