Hello! Em Woods here...I hope everyone is enjoying the holidays so far. I know here with my crew it's a hectic, hectic time. Parties, dinners, school, work, etc. Add in shopping with the crazies (I think I might go online this year? Hmm...) and you've got a recipe for disaster. LOL!
So, rambling aside, I've been invited here to chat up my newest release coming this Monday - A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens and myself. Yep, he's billed on the cover as well. This is for Total E Bound's Clandestine Classics line where the original text is left alone (it is hard to improve on a great story) and I work my magic to create the romantic erotic story line.
I think it bears repeating - over and over - that A Christmas Carol is a truly inspiring story. I try to read it every year and I have to confess that my bookshelf pride and joy is a 1908 copy I stumbled onto at a garage sale a few years ago. However, each time I join Dickens on his journey, I wondered at the reasons behind Scrooge's behavior.
What would drive someone who obviously had family to act so awful as to drive everyone away, and keep them away? To me, those reasons could be just as fascinating as the delightful story Mr. Dickens told. Before I wrote a word of the additional storyline, I fiddled around with those reasons. Was it Marley? Was it the fiancé? Should the story be about the loss of a woman? A man? A family?
Or were there deeper social and personal issues to Scrooge's behaviour? Maybe it was Marley...or maybe Marley was a contributor. I love the way A Christmas Carol turned out, with Marley and Scrooge and a new character, Alex, who I think you will love as well.
AND NOW TO MY INTERVIEW WITH EM......
TSP: Knowing what you do today, would you have done anything differently with your writing career?
EW: Honestly, no. I think I am in a pretty good place. I have a good readership, a great publisher, and a group of writer friends (the Story Orgy) that I wouldn’t change for anything. I am however trying to figure out the social networking side of promotion. I’m awful at promoting myself. lol
TSP: What does your writing space look like and do you keep any inspirational items around you while writing?
EW: Let’s see…my writing space is very typical, I think. I have my desk, lamp, writing technique books (I love Dwight Swain!) and notes scattered or stuck everywhere. I do have pictures of my two of my best friends and my kids and hubby on top, but alas, there are no “inspirational” pictures…my desk is on one side of my living room so that I can be near my kids while I write.
TSP: How do you get yourself in the holiday spirit when writing a holiday-themed book in the middle of summer?
EW: Lots and lots of Christmas music! Which is a problem now that it is the holiday season because I don’t want to hear a single note!
TSP: What book are you proudest of and why?
EW: That is a hard question. And the answer is three-fold. I am so proud of Not Anymore because it is my first, which is an incredible task in itself. I am very proud of my last release Holding On because it was very personal to me and it makes me happy to think people will read and love that story as much as I did. Lastly, I am proud to have given my spin on A Christmas Carol because Charles Dickens is an amazing writer and I loved the challenge of writing similar to him.
TSP: Besides its synopsis, what do you want us to know about your unique take on A Christmas Carol?
EW: A Christmas Carol is an amazing story, with a wonderful premise. My take on Christmas Carol is one that filled in the whys that felt missing. I loved unfolding Scrooge’s story from his childhood to when we leave him with his happily-ever-after. I hope the readers will enjoy it and take away the same sense of happiness.
TSP: When you picture the main characters of A Christmas Carol in your head, which actors do you see?
EW: I have to admit I am always disappointed in the movies that depict Scrooge as an old, old man. I prefer to think of him as someone distinguished but crotchety because of his temper. I see Harrison Ford as Scrooge and Dermot Mulroney as Marley…and, as you’ll see in the story, the third main character Alex would be Richard Gere. Distinguished, regal, masculine.
TSP: What books do you have coming out next?
EW: I had a lazy second half of the year, so I’m not slated for any releases yet, but I have three stories that I am working on for my publisher that I’m sure they are tapping their toes over, waiting on me.
TSP: How has the digital revolution affected your career and how you market yourself? Do you have an eReader yourself?
EW: I credit the digital revolution wholly for my career. Total E Bound is a mostly digital publisher and all of my stories have released that way. I love eReaders. I love their portability, their privacy features…and I do have one myself. I have the Kindle Fire, which I have to fight my two kids for if I want to use it.
TSP: My site is all about favorite things, so what are your favorite things/the things you can’t do without?
EW: The stock answer is my kids and hubby are my favorite things. But…once you get past them, my absolute favorite can not do without thing is my Samsung Galaxy SIII. I do everything on that thing. My schedule, to do lists, shopping lists, email, fb, pics, and recently I found a kick butt app that will let me write on it in a pinch. I am definitely one of those people that everyone jokes about freaking out if they lose their phone. That’s me. A close second is my laptop. LOL.
Love at first sight is a beautiful thing, but sometimes, true love waits a lifetime to shine...and then needs a little help from the Three Ghosts of Christmas.
As a young man, Ebenezer Scrooge felt the sharp pain of loss and resolved to protect his heart from all others, taking solace in his gold and silver. Years of discarding his own emotions, and those of anyone around him, has turned Scrooge cold.
When deceased lover and partner Jacob Marley pays miserly Scrooge a late night visit, pride and disbelief buoy Scrooge's courage. As the fabled Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Yet-to-Come arrive to show Scrooge the error of his ways, they also give him brief glimpses of a love so strong it has stood the test of time.
In an inspiring tale of change, a deep-seated need flares to life, leaving Scrooge without a doubt that love and family are what really matter at Christmas.
Scrooge straightened upon his chair in the counting room, Marley hunched over his work at his own desk. Spirals of dark hair had escaped his pigtail, brushing the pale skin of Marley’s neck. Scrooge clenched his fist to prevent the overwhelming need to touch the expanse of skin exposed.
“What has your attention, sir?” Marley’s dark eyes rose to meet Scrooge’s stare. “Is Townsend’s ledger complete?”
Feeling himself properly chastised, Scrooge dropped his gaze to the columns of numbers scratched on paper before him. They all blurred together, disappointment colouring his vision. Scrooge berated himself silently for the failing. He knew to get his work done. He knew it as surely as he knew the last lump of coal had fed the fire near to an hour ago, and there’d not be another until the morn. “Nearly.”
The scrape of chair legs along the floorboards signalled Marley’s rise from his stool. Heavy footsteps preceded Marley’s declaration to their clerk that they needed to speak and privacy was of utmost importance. Then wood met wood and metal clicked as Marley locked the door. The rustle of cloth rasped against Scrooge’s hearing as he kept his gaze on his desk, feigning work.
“I’ll ask again. What has your fancy, Ebenezer?”
Scrooge shivered at the authority of the question, at the harshness in Marley’s tone. “You, sir.”
His partner’s footsteps were lighter, nearly imperceptible, as he crossed the room to latch the shutters on the window. Softer still when Marley returned to his stool. “Then come show proper attention where it belongs.”
The only light in the room was thrown from a candle on Scrooge’s desk, and it left Marley’s face in shadows, sending another shiver along Scrooge’s spine. He cast a glance around, though he knew no one else occupied the room but he and Jacob.
“You dare leave me waiting?”
Scrooge leaped from his seat, heart pounding, sweat tracking a crooked path along his spine. He stood rooted to the spot where his feet had landed on the floor. “No! Jacob, Sir. No! I…but it is still mid-day.”
“Then best you be quick about it.” One eyebrow rose, daring Scrooge to challenge Marley.
All about little ol' me? Hmm. Okay, the normal stuff first. I currently live in the Midwest near Detroit, Michigan with my husband and two sons who are six and three years old. All three keep me on my toes. I work in the automotive industry making sure all the parts inside the car look pretty along with handling all the paperwork that goes along with that (you'd be amazed at how much I have).
Not so normal stuff now. I am an eclectic soul, having lived in three out of the four corners of the United States. I can count as personal friends people from many walks of life (dare I say, some are family too?). I think this is what allows me to see past the things that make us different to the things that make us alike. Hence, I am a person who will accept anyone for what they are, almost to a fault sometimes.
I love angst (as you very well know if you've read one of my stories). I adore digging into an issue, touching on it and those people it effects, and then giving it a happily-ever-after. Research is probably one of my favorite parts of writing. Finding out new facts, meeting new people while I do that…asking them questions they would never expect.
Em is giving away a digital copy of A Christmas Carol.
-Giveaway is OPEN TO EVERYONE.
-To be entered, leave a comment telling me your favorite Christmas movie, along with your email addy.
-Giveaway ends at 11:59 PM CST on 12/8.