Today I am pleased to welcome Emma Burstall on to the blog with a quick interview! She’s come up with some intriguing answers!
What is your favourite thing about writing books?
I love being able to create imaginary worlds inhabited by people I find interesting and whom I’d like to meet. The great thing is that I also get to determine what happens to them. I think that it must fulfil some deep human need in me to feel we have some control over our lives. Novelists are in the unique position of being able to settle issues and problems that might seem unsolvable in the real world and to bring together people who might never normally be reconciled. I’m also in the business of entertaining, of course, and when a reader tells me that my story has made then laugh, cry or touched them in some other way, well! That’s really something!
Who is your favourite character in your book and why?
I would have to say Rosie, who appears in all of my Tremarnock novels. At the start of Book One, she’s only ten and still in primary school, but she’s an old head on young shoulders and seems to possess wisdom far beyond her years. She suffers from cerebral palsy and has a lot to contend with, but there isn’t an ounce of self-pity in her and she never wants or expects special treatment. She’s kind and caring and sometimes it seems that she’s more of a mother to her mum, Liz, than the other way around.
What is your favourite drink to consume while writing
Fresh coffee – and masses of it! I usually make a big pot at the beginning of the day and work my through it.
Do you have any bad habits when writing?
As well as over-indulging in coffee, I’m all too easily distracted by the ads that pop up in my email box or on Facebook etc. I’ll follow the link, browse around a bit and before I know it, I’ve pressed ‘BUY’. Whoops! I seem to waste a lot of time at the post office returning hastily bought items that I don’t need.
Are you a plotter or a pantser?
A bit of both. I always write a three or four page synopsis, outlining roughly what’s going to happen, when and to whom, but I don’t plan each chapter in detail. I don’t think I’d like working to a rigid scheme, I prefer to get to know my characters little by little and leave enough room for them to surprise me.
If you could live in any fictional world, which would you choose and why?
Narnia would be a pretty amazing. After all, you have to get there through a wardrobe and there are talking animals, mythological creatures and enchantment. However, I think I’d really prefer to live in the world of Frances Hodgson Burnett’s The Secret Garden, where, set against the backdrop of the wild and magnificent Yorkshire moors, a more believable kind of magic occurs, thanks to love, friendship and the healing powers of Mother Nature.
If you could befriend any fictional character, who would you choose and why?
Jane Austen’s Emma, and not just because we share the same name. I warm to her because she’s very human and like most of us, she makes embarrassing mistakes. She can be arrogant and wilful, but deep down she’s a kind person with a good heart and a sense of humour, too. You’d have great fun with her on a girls’ night out and I’m sure she’d also stick by you in a crisis. Just the sort of best friend you need.
About the book
Bramble Challoner has had a very normal upbringing. She lives in a semi in the suburbs of London with her parents and works at the call centre down the road. She still goes out with the boy she met at school. At weekends they stay in and watch films on the telly and sometimes hold hands. Bramble is dying for an adventure.
So when her very grand grandfather, Lord Penrose, dies, leaving his huge, rambling house in Cornwall to her, Bramble packs her bags immediately, dragging along her best friend Katie. The sleepy village of Tremarnock had better be ready for its newest residents…
About the Author
Emma Burstall studied English at Cambridge University before becoming a journalist and author. Her latest novel, Tremarnock Summer, is the third in her bestselling series set in a fictional Cornish fishing village. The fourth – A Tremarnock Secret – will be published in hardback in October. Emma and her husband live in South West London. They have three children and two fats cats called Pablo and Dolly.