An avid gardener, artist, musician and writer, Emily-Jane Hills Orford has fond memories and lots of stories that evolved from a childhood growing up in a haunted Victorian mansion. Told she had a ‘vivid imagination’, the author used this talent to create stories in her head to pass tedious hours while sick, waiting in a doctor’s office, listening to a teacher drone on about something she already knew, or enduring the long, stuffy family car rides. The author lived her stories in her head, allowing her imagination to lead her into a different world, one of her own making. As the author grew up, these stories, imaginings and fantasies took to the written form and, over the years, she developed a reputation for telling a good story. Emily-Jane can now boast that she is an award-winning author of several books, including Mrs. Murray’s Ghost (Telltale Publishing 2018), Queen Mary’s Daughter (Clean Reads 2018), Gerlinda (CFA 2016) which received an Honorable Mention in the 2016 Readers’ Favorite Book Awards, To Be a Duke (CFA 2014) which was named Finalist and Silver Medalist in the 2015 Next Generation Indie Book Awards and received an Honorable Mention in the 2015 Readers’ Favorite Book Awards and several other books. A retired teacher of music and creative writing, she writes about the extra-ordinary in life and the fantasies of dreams combined with memories.
What inspires you to write?
My family, my dog, my friends, the world around me and my vivid imagination. I read a lot and most of what I read inspires me. I also teach creative writing to aspiring authors of all ages. This also inspires me.
Tell us about your writing process.
I do a little bit of everything. I outline, but then enjoy the rollercoaster ride of multiple what if tangents. I carry a notebook (the paper kind) and write down thoughts and ideas while I sit waiting for appointments. Most of my characters are modelled after people I know (including myself). So, the old saying holds true, 'be careful what you say to me or it might end up in my book – or, worse, I might have to eliminate you.'
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
My characters visit me in my dreams. I live their lives. I communicate with them. We share ideas.
Who are your favorite authors?
I have too many, I don't know where to start. Here are some of them: Diana Raab, Tracy Chevalier, Jodi Picoult, John Grisham, David Rosenfelt – and many, many others.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
My early books were self-published. It took a lot of time promoting my books, so I decided to try the traditional publishing route. So far, it's been good. I work with some fantastic people at both my current publishers: Clean Reads and Tell-Tale Publishing.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I wish I had a crystal ball to answer this one. I'd like to see a future in the book industry, but, sadly, so many people today are more interested in texting on their smart (or not-so-smart) devices than reading a good book. They don't realize what they're missing.
What genres do you write?
creative nonfiction, memoirs, historical fiction, science fiction, fantasy, fiction
What formats are your books in?
Emily-Jane Hills Orford Home Page Link
All information is provided by the author and is presented as it was submitted so you the reader get to hear the author’s own “voice” in their interview.