Written by JJ Barnes
I interviewed author Emily Craig about her writing career, what inspires her, and the writing of her new book, Where Will We Go?
Tell me a bit about who you are.
My name is Emily Craig. I am a fiction author, poet, and blogger. I work full-time as a Window and Doors Estimator and Social Media Coordinator for a family-run business. My true passions lie in writing.
When did you first WANT to write a book?
I started falling in love with writing when I was 10 years old and in the fifth grade. I owe my love for stories to my teaches growing up but especially, Mrs. Coulter (Fifth Grade), who helped me strengthen not only my writing but my reading as well.
When did you take a step to start writing?
Since I was ten years old, I’ve had a love for writing. But I didn’t start thinking in book terms until I was 20. After many dead-end tries, I started writing my first book, “Will You Love Me Again?” at the age of 21.
How long did it take you to complete your first book from the first idea to release?
Nearly 4 years. I created the main characters during my first tires when I was 20, but I kept getting stuck. Nothing seemed right. In April 2017, out of the blue, I found my niche. It took me two years write, and almost another year to publish.
How long did it take you to complete your latest book from the first idea to release?
From the initial idea in June 2019 to opening it back up in March 2020 when I release my second book, Where Will We Go? I will have been on this book for a total of 2 and a half years. My idea started in 2019, but again I found myself in a writing runt. I stopped writing for 9 months while my first book was going through the editing and publishing process. Finally following my debut release, the full idea hit me and I have been on a roll ever since.
Focusing on your latest release. What made you want to write Where Will We Go??
Lucy (my main character) and I needed closure; therefore, we needed more chapters. I faced my heartbreak demons and started writing a sequel that I and my characters needed and deserved.
What were your biggest challenges with writing Where Will We Go??
Imposter Syndrome and Writer’s Block.
Who or what inspired you when creating your Protagonist?
My protagonist, Lucy Berry, is based off me. Yes, we are different as well, for example when I was 18, I had a wreck that caused me to have driving anxiety. But Lucy never had that wreck so she doesn’t mind driving at all. More in the theme of my book, I gave Lucy better tools to cope with her heartbreak that I gave myself in years prior. Even though she still has nightmares, I made her strong and reminded her that heartbreak is only a season and she would come out the other side in due time.
Who or what inspired you when creating your Antagonist?
My antagonist is more in my main character, Lucy’s head in my second book, but he didn’t come from nowhere. David Lee is Lucy’s ex-husband and a combination of two of my exes over the last few years. My college boyfriends were a rollercoaster of emotions and situations but they made for a great Antagonist. In turn, writing their attributes into my book helped me appreciate how far I had come since that time in my life. I wanted the same thing for Lucy.
What is the inciting incident of Where Will We Go??
Lucy is recently divorced from her high school sweetheart, David Lee, and his memory is haunting her dreams even a year later. He announces his engagement to his mistress (the woman that broke them up) and Lucy decides it is her turn to find happiness again, too! She lands the Writer Position at Getaway Travel Magazine and she’s off to Paris, France to write, spend time with her best friends, and find herself.
What is the main conflict of Where Will We Go??
Lucy’s battle with moving on after heartbreak and finding herself again.
Did you plot Where Will We Go? in advance, or fly by the seat of your pants and write freely?
Unlike my first book, I wrote my second freely and without a clear outline in mind. I didn’t know where my characters would end up and I liked that. I liked the mystery of writing in order and building Lucy’s story scene by scene without a clear-cut plan and end goal. To be honest, I didn’t know the ending of my book until 6 and half months into writing the story. But I am so glad I took my time. I couldn’t be happier with the ending of book two.
Did you get support with editing, and how much editing did Where Will We Go? need?
Yes, and my book needed a lot of editing. I edited my book for almost a year. Editing started in January 2021 as I was finishing the Epilogue. Editing will end in November 2021, the month before publication.
What is the first piece of writing advice you would give to anyone inspired to write a story?
I would say, “You have so much to give to this world, so many stories to tell. Don’t let the fear of haters keep you from sharing your heart.”
Can you give me a hint about any further books you’re planning to write?
Yes! I plan on continuing Lucy’s story into at least one more book. I actually started writing it back in January, but stopped to focus on my current book. Lucy is definitely going to have more books in the future, and I can’t wait to keep sharing them.
And, finally, are your proud of your accomplishment? Was it worth the effort?
I am. All of the stress, tears, and waiting is so worth holding my words in my hands at the end of a long trek. Catch me in 2022 staring at my new book baby, Where Will We Go? for hours at a time.
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