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We are writers mainly from Australia and New Zealand who write speculative fiction with romantic elements. Be it fantasy, paranormal, dark urban fantasy, futuristic and everything in between.

Saturday 9 April 2011

Darklight on...Emmeline Lock Q&A

Today's Darklight On... is with Emmeline Lock. Welcome Emmeline!

How did you come to write speculative fiction? What attracted you to the genre? 

I write spec fic, because it’s what I love to read. The first novel can recall adoring was Tolkein’s Lord of the Rings, when I was ten. Amazing, really because I would be asleep by page fifteen these days! I watched movies like The Dark Crystal, Labyrinth, The Lost Boys and I devoured books like The Neverending Story and The Borrowers. I loved the fantastic, and I still do. If it had a happy ending, I was hooked. 

Everyone else was reading Sweet Valley High, and I had phoenix and sirens in my school bag. If a story had dragons it was a must read, and I was addicted to Celtic and Greek fables and myths. I swoon at pointy ears and get twitchy about big, curved swords. Which led to my thing for Johanna Lindsey’s heroes in my teens… 

You write novellas. What drew you to this length? 
The fact that it’s impossible to fit more than 24 hours in a day? Having three small kids, I find I’m only currently able to work in whatever little chunks of time I can grab throughout the day. Novellas seemed to be the answer, early on. Of course, many would argue it’s just as difficult, if not more so, to write a short story as a long one, so it’s been a baptism of fire. Early in my foray into writing, I met my critique partners, the lovely Anna Hackett (Silhouette Nocturne Bites) and the gorgeous Rach, who also write short, and it’s worked beautifully for us. All three of us are also working with longer pieces.

Are you a plotter? Pantser? Or somewhere in-between? 
A plantser? I think I am in the middle somewhere, with heavy plotter tendencies. I’m a visual person, so I need to ‘see’ where a story is going before I can write it with any kind of success!

Do have a favourite of your characters? 
It seems always to be the one I’m working on at the moment. Does this mean my characterization is improving? Let’s hope so!

What are you currently working on? 
Right now, I’m mentally sorting through a new story, which entails me making lots of notes, scribbling down scenes as they come to me, and doing things to fuel the writing fire, like reading and watching movies. This work is in a new vein for me—I’m still working out what it is. It’s lighter in tone than my previous pieces, and may even have a teenage heroine, or perhaps an older heroine who needs to grow up! The only thing I know for sure is that is revolves around the Fae, and a hero who needs redemption. Who knows? I’m just hanging on for the ride at this stage.

What is your favourite part of the process of writing? 
I love this early discovery phase, where anything is possible, and I get to know the characters and the story. I also love typing THE END and hitting send. Unusual, eh?  J 

What can we expect from Emmeline Lock in the future? 
I believe I’m still finding my writing voice, so for the near future, at least, I’m going to be writing, writing, writing to nail that down. I’m also subbing novellas and working closely with Anna and Rach. I’ve also committed to entering at least one contest this year. Gulp!

Who are your favourite authors? 
That’s a dynamic list! I love Anna’s work, and I admire other Aussie authors like DSDU’s own Keri Arthur, Denise Rossetti and Tracey O’Hara. Mmm, let me think…Kresley Cole, Patricia Briggs, Gena Showalter, Larissa Ione, Michele Hauf, Christine Feehan, Elisabeth Naughton, Vicki Pettersson, Joey W Hill and Nalini Singh for paranormal and urban fantasy. 

Fiona McIntosh, David & Leigh Eddings, JK Rowling, JRR Tolkein for fantasy, Meljean Brook for steampunk. I read a lot outside of spec fic, too. Jenny Crusie, Lisa Kleypas, Monica McInerney, Nora Roberts (JD Robb) and Kristan Higgins for women’s fic. Anna Campbell and Stephanie Laurens for historical. Of course, I’m open to suggestion. 

One of the most exciting things about reading is that authors and their stories are always changing, so there’s a never-ending supply of romantic gold to dig up!

What are you currently reading? 
I’ve got two craft books on the go (Creating Short Fiction, by Damon Knight and Vogler’s, The Writer’s Journey), and I’m about to embark on books by two Aussie authors, Tracey O’Hara (Death’s Sweet Embrace) and Jess Anastasi (Sanctuary). I loved Night’s Cold Kiss, and I’ve heard excellent things about Sanctuary, so I’m dying to dive in!


Do you have a favourite spec fiction movie or tv series?
The TV is a sought-after commodity in our house, so my viewing time is infrequent, and sometimes, I admit, I’m just in it for the man-candy (NCIS, or Castle, anyone?), but I love movies. It recently occurred to me I hadn’t seen a movie in years--you know, really sat down and concentrated on it--so I’ve made a big pile and I’m working through them. I’ve got some I know I love, like The Princess Bride, How To Train Your Dragon, Enchanted, The Shreks (Bonus—the kids watch too!), Serenity (Hello, Nathan Fillion) and Labyrinth

I also need to get cracking on popular ones like Avatar, Stargate and The Matrix. I must watch anything with Hugh Jackman in it, even the tea commercial. Bonus points for shirt-off action. A big pile of extra gold stars if Hugh indulges in shirt-off action.

Do you have advice for emerging writers? 
Hone your skills--Get in there and write. Get up, get coffee. Repeat.

Build your arsenal—read books on craft, do good online courses.

Share your journey—a good critique partner or group will save your life and your sanity. Get networking!

Thanks for having me, Eleni & DSDU! 


Emmeline is also the social network queen for SARA (South Australian Romance Authors) being responsible for the good news page (blog) and Twitter, and does much on Facebook. All of which I'm grateful for, being the webmistress on the site! J


  1. Hi Emmeline

    Nice to know a little more about you. I think you're amazing being able to write anything with three small kids.

  2. Hi Em, hi Eleni =)

    Great post! Bloody kids =P

    Can I second the thanks for being the SARA social network queen? You're doing a great job of doing everything. Well done to both of you and keep up the long, hard, sometimes torturous work =)


  3. Hi Janni,

    Thanks for stopping to say hello! I'm lucky my kids respond beautifully to bribes... :)

    Hey, I've just read your first Allegra Fairweather book, I thought it was awesome. Congrats to you!

  4. Hello there Bron, lovely to see you on the DarkSide! :)

    Thank you for your kind words. Really, I love doing it. Kinda just an excuse to play on the computer. I'm a big geek.

    Congrats on your recent contest coup, Bron, and good luck with your writing. x

  5. Hey Eleni!

    Thanks, you sweetheart! :)

    Seriously, if I'm the social networking queen, you must be the WebGoddess of the Universe! You rock. At so many things. Thanks for putting this interview together. xx

  6. Emmaline,

    Sorry to take so long to get here and comment! Been super busy this week.

    I'm guessing you're a Johanna Lindsey fan (ie.Warrior's Woman series! curved swords and all)! I devoured them too!

    Please tell me, if you've discovered Nathan Fillion & Serenity, you've enjoyed Firefly?!?!

    So, with your current WIP involving the Fae, is it a fantasy using known legends with a twist or paranormal historical piece of work?

  7. Hi Kylie,

    It's never too late! Glad you could drop in. :)

    WARRIOR'S WOMAN is the first romance I can remember reading. Challen, in his Fabio-esque glory on the front cover, is forever seared into my brain. I then went through and read all of the Lindsey books I could get my mitts on. She's awesome.

    I've actually *ahem* not seen Firefly. *gasp*. I KNOW! It's on my To Do list.

    My fae? I think they will be fairly traditional, dark and light, and the setting is definitely urban, current time. But you know, ain't nothing set in stone! Do you know the Tale of Tam Lin? I can pin down my fae addiction to the time I first read it. Thats my find of faery. Karen Marie Moning wins over Disney! :)

    Looking forward to your impending release, Kylie!

  8. Sorry about the delay about actual commenting Em! Thanks for the compliment - LOL - can I put that one my resume - WebGoddess of the Universe?!! Ha ha.

  9. Hi Eleni! You're totally forgiven. Thanks for dropping back in.

    I think WebGoddess of the Universe would look awesome on a business card. There can't be too many of those around. :)

    E x


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