Hi Emilie! Thanks so much for venturing to other worlds with me today. Tell me a bit about where you’re from.
My roots go back to Northern California. I’m talking the true Northern California! I grew up in a small town called Yreka that’s about 30 miles from the Oregon Boarder. I’ve got a rich family history in and around that area. I moved to Southern California for college and ended up staying. Then, a little over three months ago I picked up everything and moved across the country to Washington, D.C. to be part of a church plant in the DC Metro area. It’s been a wild ride so far, but I’m loving this new adventure!
An interesting adventure, indeed! Tell me three things about yourself that would surprise your readers.
Hum. Well, first off, in addition to being a writer and working at my church, I’m a wedding, portrait, and events photographer! Crazy, I know. But writing and photography really overlap. They are both about telling stories, just in different mediums.
Secondly, I’m an only child. That may or may not surprise anyone, but more often than not, I’ve gotten shocked looks when I tell people.
Thirdly, I once fought off a lion with my bare hands! Okay, just kidding…but I do like Star Trek and am secretly—not so secretly—a Trekie at heart. In fact, I’ve written the first half of a speculative sci-fi novel set in space…not sure if anyone will ever get to read it, seeing as it’s book one in a three part series, but time will tell.
Admittedly, my jaw dropped – I really imagined you wresting a lion then casually adjusting your glasses and brushing off your hands! Okay, so if you love to write, you must love to read. Which author(s) do you most admire? Why?
I grew up reading Enid Blyton adventure books that my mom read when she was a kid. As I got older, I added Frank Peretti to the list, then Ted Dekker, Rachel Hauck, Dee Henderson, and now Ronie Kendig. There are many more, but those are kind of my base-line favorites. I think it makes sense, looking at my writing now, how it’s a combination of the elements I admire from each of these authors. Peretti and Dekker write some of the scariest stuff, but it’s so good! Hauck writes amazing characters with deep, rich stories. The romance and action Henderson combines bring the conflict to life. And Kendig rocks amazing plot lines with a character depth I can only hope to achieve someday. Her hero’s are definitely some of my favorites for their complete “male-ness”. Of course I could keep going…but I’ll leave it at that.
All great choices! What is your favorite genre to read? Write?
By far Suspense/Romantic Suspense. Good thing that’s what I like to write too, eh? But it’s true. I started out writing romance and enjoyed it, but I felt there was something lacking in not only my voice, but my plots as well. It eventually dawned on me that I like action and danger. Give me bullets flying and a plot to save the world over…anything else. I combined the two and got something I liked. It’s definitely a challenge though, because I find I love drawing out the character development and then sometimes put the action on the back burner. I’m still working on conquering that romance writer in me. I think it adds a great element to my writing though. I just need to keep pushing to find the perfect balance.
I like the romance aspect too. And I’m definitely learning to balance a combination of fantasy and romance in my stories. What is the best piece of writing advice you’ve received? The worst?
Best: Keep writing. I’m an advocate of National Novel Writing Month in November (check it out if you’ve never heard of it). It pushes you to turn off that internal editor that’s constantly telling you to revise. Hey, revision is great, but it really slows you down. Instead, push past the bad/ugly/awkward stages and get to writing. You can always go back, but you can’t always reclaim forward motion
Worst: You can’t. Maybe I’m a bit rebellious, but I don’t like being told I “can’t” do something. If I’d listened to the teachers in high school when they told me I couldn’t write a novel (yeah, they told me that) then I never would have pushed to write one.
You’re right, you can’t always claim forward motion. What advice do you have for fellow writers (published and unpublished)?
Find a friend. Find several. Do whatever it takes to surround yourself with people who believe in what you’re doing. ACFW is that place for me – along with the amazing friends I’ve made through Facebook.
Then, find someone willing to tell you what they really think. That’s the scary part for us creatives. I’d wager most of us really need some affirming here and there (maybe more than we’d like to admit?). But we also need the hard truth that a great critique partner can lavish on us. My tip for critique partners: Find someone willing to give you the bad and the good. It’s crucial that you have someone who is about building you up as much as they are about strengthening your writing through critique.
Then…read read read. That’s the fun part!
As we close, please share your favorite Bible verse and the ways in which it impacts your writing.
I hold onto 1 Corinthians 10:31, “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” I love that Paul reminds us to do everything (even the “small things” like eating and drinking) to God’s glory. That’s how I try and approach every aspect of my life.
Thanks so much for having me on your blog, Angie!
You are very welcome, Emilie. I wish you well in all of your writing endeavors.
Emilie Hendryx is a writer, photographer, and musician living in Washington, D.C. who’s shamelessly addicted to coffee and reading. Find out more about her writing at www.eahendryx.blogspot.com and her photography at www.eacreativephotography.com.
Emilie’s writing blog: www.eahendryx.blogspot.com
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