Have you read Farsighted yet? Tell me what you think! It’s really stuck with me. I had a dream about a blind guy named Alex, ha! Anyway, for today’s Farsighted Monday, I’m posting an interview with the author, Emyln Chand. She was so nice to take the time out of her ridiculously busy schedule, so I’d like to thank her for all that she does.
Feel free to add questions as comments if I didn’t ask them. Who knows? Maybe she’ll answer them. Also:
***THIS INTERVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS!! WAIT TO READ THIS UNTIL YOU FINISH THE BOOK!!***
Okay, you’ve been warned.
Tell us how you came up with the idea for Farsighted.
Everything started with a single image—my face in these tacky oversized sunglasses reflecting out at me from the car’s side mirror. I was daydreaming while my husband drove us across Michigan for my sister’s wedding. Something about my image really struck me in an almost horrific way. I felt the glasses made me look blind but found it so weird that there was still a clear image within them; it seemed so contradictory. At the time, my book club was reading The Odyssey, which features the blind Theban prophet, Tieresias. I started thinking about what it would be like to have non-visual visions of the future and began forming a modern Tieresias in my mind. Lo and behold, Alex Kosmitoras was born. I didn’t want him to be alone in his psychic subculture, so I found other characters with other powers to keep him company. Thank God for my poor fashion sense. : )
Why did you decided to make this a YA novel?
I actually just wrote a blog post about that (it’s here). It all comes down to the enjoyment factor. YA is my favorite genre to read, so it’s only natural that I would choose to write it as well. I like the vulnerability and changeability of the characters. I love the ease of language and the connection that is created by writing in first person point-of-view. But mostly, I like the readers of YA. YA readers WANT to enjoy books .Their primary goal is not to dissect the literary merit of a story but rather to find a bit of entertainment. YA readers are also extremely loyal to authors they like and can border on fanatical. It makes you feel good as an author 😉
Which character do you relate to the most?
My favorite character would have to be Shapri; she’s kind of the person I wish I could have been like back then. She’s strong, always true to herself, and won’t let anyone disrespect her. Sure, she has fears, but we all do. Shapri is the kind of girl I would love to be friends with. You know she’ll always go to bat for you when you’re too tired to step up to the plate.
If Alex barely likes Shapri, how did they almost kiss?
Hmmm… I don’t know. I guess she kind of grows on him. He’s also a pretty disoriented kind of guy.
There are plans for a sequel; are we meeting new psychics, and on what kind of scale?
We’ll get to know the viewpoint character’s family members much better. There may be a few new psychics as minor characters, but the series will basically stick to 5 major characters.
Brady picked on Alex and only harassed Simmi and Shapri as they related to Alex. Kids are cruel. Why we the girls spared and what the heck is Brady’s problem with Alex? Who picks on a blind kid?
That’s what Alex would love to know! Brady has his own issues, obviously. It’s not very nice to pick on anyone, let alone to pick on Alex. I can promise that we’ll learn much more about Brady and what his deal is later in the series.
Give us three words that tell us why we should read Farsighted.
Entertaining. Relatable. Different.
How did the idea of Novel Publicity come about?
About a year ago, I thought the only way to be a writer was to land an agent and get a traditional publishing contract, which is what a lot of aspiring writers think. Then in December of last year, I started my blog and, more importantly, became addicted to Twitter. Within a couple of weeks, I amassed a pretty large following. Just like that. A few months in, I realized I had a unique gift for social media and launched my book marketing business, Novel Publicity. One month after that, my business made enough to sustain me, and I was able to quit my lackluster day job. Since then, I’ve only been getting better at managing social media and using it to promote my clients’ books and my own blog. In the past few weeks, I’ve had to hire seven new people, so something’s working right!
What advice would you give to authors, especially those considering indie publishing?
My advice is this: Have fun with your writing. Don’t put pressure on yourself or your story and don’t try to fit either into some type of mold. Not every work HAS to be published, but every work will teach you something, and it will make you a better writer. Find the joy in writing, and you won’t go wrong.
What type of book have you been dying to read that hasn’t been written yet?
I’d like to read more YA with ethnically diverse characters. There aren’t very many books out there with colorful casts, and some books throw in characters of other races as asides (like the Patel twins and Cho Chang in Harry Potter). I really want to see people of other cultures represented as major characters.
What’s on your nightstand/e-reader right now?
I’m currently reading Matched by Ally Condie on my Kindle and am absolutely loving it.
What would you like readers to take away from Farsighted? Is there a different message for adults, (who often read YA novels,) than for the target age group?
First and foremost, I hope that readers will enjoy themselves. My primary goal is to tell an interesting story that people will find entertaining and be glad they read. Secondly, I’d like to infuse contemporary Young Adult fiction with a bit more diversity and teach readers about the beauty of other cultures and other ways of life. I also hope that Farsighted is a book that leads to introspection—what would I do if put in Alex’s place? Did Alex ever have a choice or was this path his destiny? What would it be like to see the world the way he sees the world?
I like to think of anything I write as being kind of like a Disney movie, in that the primary audience will be children, but there are extra tidbits for the adults too. Farsighted has been infused with a great deal of research about runes, classic mythology, and Eastern spirituality, but you don’t need to understand any of that to be entertained by the story.
Thank you again Emlyn! Next week, I’ll post my review of Farsighted, and after that… well, I haven’t decided. Just more goodies I guess. In the near future I will be addressing the new ABC series Once Upon a Time, because I haven’t decided if I like it enough yet and I need to write it out.
Happy reading, happy writing!
Blog Tour Notes
THE BOOK: Alex Kosmitoras may be blind, but he can still “see” things others can’t. When his unwanted visions of the future begin to suggest that the girl he likes could be in danger, he has no choice but to take on destiny and demand it reconsider. Get your copy today by visiting Amazon.com’s Kindle store or the eBook retailer of your choice. The paperback edition will be available on November 24 (for the author’s birthday).
THE CASH PRIZES: Guess what? You could win a $100 Amazon gift card as part of this special blog tour. That’s right! Just leave a comment below saying something about the post you just read, and you’ll be entered into the raffle. I could win $100 too! Please help by voting for my blog in the traffic-breaker poll. To cast your vote, visit the official Farsighted blog tour page and scroll all the way to the bottom. Thank you for your help with that.
THE GIVEAWAYS: Win 1 of 10 autographed copies of Farsighted before its paperback release by entering the giveaway on GoodReads. Perhaps you’d like an autographed postcard from the author; you can request one on her site.
THE AUTHOR: Emlyn Chand has always loved to hear and tell stories, having emerged from the womb with a fountain pen grasped firmly in her left hand (true story). When she’s not writing, she runs a large book club in Ann Arbor and is the president of author PR firm, Novel Publicity. Emlyn loves to connect with readers and is available throughout the social media interweb. Visit http://www.emlynchand.com for more info. Don’t forget to say “hi” to her sun conure Ducky!
MORE FUN: There’s more fun below. Watch the live action Farsighted book trailer and take the quiz to find out which character is most like you!