Introducing Emma Newman
Like many writers, nothing fills me with more dread than having to introduce myself. Author bios are in the top three on my list of Unpleasant Things Not to be Faced Before Elevenses, just below dental appointments and being chased by rabid dogs, so the prospect of having to write an entire blog post to do this is… worrisome. It is, I add, late afternoon and I have a comforting cup of tea beside me.
The joy of hiding behind words
The picture that I have on Twitter says it all: I am hiding behind a book. It’s a damn good book too; The Kraken Wakes by John Wyhndham who is one of my favourite authors, even though his name is so tricky to spell I have to look it up every time.
I hide behind my own books too. I say hide… perhaps I should invite people to seek me there, because I feel the best of me is within them. And the darkest parts too.
But I will put on my “I am brave” badge and step out for a few moments, as I have learnt over the past two and a half years that having courage and meeting other writers is one of the best things a writer can do.
The first deep breath
Hello. My name is Emma. I write novels and dark short stories. My debut short story anthology has just been published and my debut novel will be released in a matter of weeks. I started writing short stories thirty years ago (when I was four years old), and started the quest to have my novel published five years ago. And, like long-awaited buses, both books have arrived close together.
This is one of the most important years of my life.
Sounds grand, doesn’t it? Am I overstating it? No. I have worked incredibly hard, been incredibly lucky and now this is it. I am published in the short story world, about to be published in the YA post-apocalyptic novel world and can, for the first time in my life put my hand over my heart and say I am a professional author.
But is that really what you want to know about me?
Perhaps you’d be more interested in other details, such as the fact I suffer from anxiety ranging from a constant background nervousness to bouts of crippling terror that stop me from doing anything. Or that when I was fifteen I was the only Starship Captain out of seven to not only survive a Kobayashi Maru-esque scenario, but take out the two Klingon Birds of Prey too? Oh, and I’m a geeky roleplayer, maybe I should have mentioned that first…
I drink lots of tea, I am scared of everything (apart from… actually, I don’t think there are any exceptions) and we are meeting just as I am coming out into the world to promote the launches of two books, for completely different markets, in the space of four months. Did I mention I don’t do things by half?
Launching your first book is like standing on the edge of a cliff with a bungee rope tied around your ankles and no guarantee the other end is secured to anything. Launching two books so close together is just silly. But that’s the way life is sometimes. My plan is to take you on this crazy ride with me. I’m not an expert in anything, and I won’t pretend to know what I’m doing; I learn as I go. All I am aiming for here is helping you learn the same lessons with me, but without having to experience the pain and worry first hand.
Ready? Another deep breath… let’s close our eyes and… jump!