Welcome to Emma!
Emma at work in her shed Photo courtesy of author
Emma Calin was born in London in 1962. She currently lives in France and the UK.
She has been writing since childhood and has won numerous local, national and international prizes for poetry and short stories.
‘KNOCKOUT! A Passionate Police Romance’ is a love story set against a backdrop of international gambling corruption and deception. Interpol cop Anna Leyton finds herself torn between love and duty when her professional and private life intersects. 2 video teasers for this book are available in the right hand column of this author page, below the blog. This book is now available in both paperback and Kindle formats.
The ‘LOVE IN A HOPELESS PLACE COLLECTION’ – a complete ‘boxed set’ of 5 gritty hard-hitting novelettes and short stories which explore the human quest for love, compassion and survival. Available in July 2013 in print, digital e-book and audiobook formats.
‘SUB-PRIME’ is a prize-winning hard hitting short story about courage, exploitation and love. It is a raw and brutal exposé of life at the bottom in the aftermath of recession. Available in e-book formats for Kindle and Kindle Reader Apps. This is the first in Emma Calin’s novelette and short story series and is available as a single title or in the ‘LOVE IN A HOPELESS PLACE COLLECTION’.
‘THE CHOSEN’ – the second publication in the ‘LOVE IN A HOPELESS PLACE COLLECTION’ – is a short story set in modern times where working people struggle to keep their dreams alive. A world where the promise of love motivates desperate measures. Available as a single title in e-book format for Kindle and Kindle Reader Apps, or as part of the collection.
‘ESCAPE TO LOVE’ is a novelette set in an urban landscape, the third in Emma’s ‘LOVE IN A HOPELESS PLACE COLLECTION’. A mother and her autistic daughter are trying to start a new life. They have escaped an abusive relationship only to now find themselves tangled in further drama and controversy. Can she trust her instincts and make the right choices for her child? Their future depends on it. Available as a single title in e-book format for Kindle and Kindle Reader Apps.
‘ANGELA’ is a very short story of a late night taxi ride where the final passenger may not be all that she seems. The fourth story in the ‘LOVE IN A HOPELESS PLACE COLLECTION’.
‘LOVE IN A HOPELESS PLACE’ is a novelette which is the fifth and final book in Emma’s ‘boxed set’ and gives the name to the anthology – THE LOVE IN A HOPELESS PLACE COLLECTION. A mature woman finds the truth of herself. She cannot go back even though physical and emotional violence erupt around her. Dare she give in to love? Will sexual passion and fear overwhelm her stable life? Who can she trust to love her for herself? Available as a single title or as part of the collection.
Emma Calin is a featured author and editor on Loveahappyending.com and Venture Galleries Authors Collection.
Please summarise Shannon’s Law in 20 words or less.
Tough girl cop is new to green suburbs. Encounters sexy Earl and sets to work on love and unexpected crimes.
Did you do any research for your book? What resources did you use?
Shannon’s Law took a lot of research. It’s a hard crime story with a passionate romance. I research the love and passion at home ;-p! I travelled to stately homes to soak up history and ambiance. I get the inside track on police from befriended cops and read widely on forensic investigation techniques. I had to get the feel of what post-mortem examinations entail. It was fascinating but gruesome.
Do you have a most creative time of day?
Yes – I just wish I knew when it was! The truth is that it’s tough most of the time. Love scenes go better after a decent wine and not too much food.
How do your characters come into existence? Do they have a bio?
In the first sentence there is the atmosphere someone there, someone I don’t really know that well. I need their name down on the page almost straightaway unless I’m writing in the first person. In the case of main characters I have to get to know them. Generally I start to feel them when they speak. Sub characters are generally people I’ve met. Then they grow together. The danger is that many of them are different incarnations of me. Being a writer is to be a multi layered fantasist. It is a bizarre state of mind. If I didn’t have the excuse of being “creative” they’d be calling the doctor. There comes a magic day in the development of a book when the character rather than me starts to write. In the case of Shannon’s Law it was early on. She was there and she was real. She had already lived the events. All I had to do was keep up with her and write it down. This may sound fanciful, but being a writer is an odd place to be mentally. If these guys aren’t real to me, they sure won’t convince a reader. At the end of the book I do kinda have a bereavement because I want to be with them. It lasts until that moment in the next story when they start to write themselves. My big fear is that one day this metamorphosis won’t happen and I’ll be like Puff the magic dragon – just a woman sitting at a keyboard with no magic, thinking about gas bills and what’s on TV.
Are you a panster or a plotter?
Definitely a panster. Writing a book is the same process as reading a book. Imagine you are setting out on a journey by train. There will be stops and changes of faces around you. You may study another passenger. The view from the window will alter. You could see a man running to catch the train. Maybe he succeeds or not. In fifty years that train caught or missed may still be affecting the shape of lives or indeed the world. You can plan to go on a train journey and take a taxi from the station on arrival. Maybe there will be a waiting taxi or maybe not. A stranger offers you a lift perhaps or you could wait for a bus and get a coffee. The waiter looks familiar….like maybe a boy from your street who ran away a couple of years ago. Gossip suggested the father abused him and the family split up. You think about whether or not to check his name badge or leave it alone….. (love this!)
How could I deny myself all those possibilities by restricting myself to a plan. Once I have that character in my mind he or she is calling the shots anyway. Writing fiction is the legitimisation of a fantastic and wonderful mental illness. I often wonder how such an aspect of consciousness can have arisen from an evolutionary process. Clearly imagination confers a greater fitness to survive. The fact that fiction is so powerful in providing meaning perhaps says something about the nature of time and existence. (Maybe the terms real and true are not as fixed as we think?) I always allow my characters to free-style all manner of philosophies both established and anarchic. It would be impossible to plan.
If your book is part of a series, what is in the future?
“Shannon’s Law” is my second girl cop “Passion Patrol” novel following on from “Knockout”. There will be at least one more to follow. Each book is entirely separate but shares the “Scotland Yard” background. The ethos is of women who get the job done. They are tough enough to take on the crooks. They are tough enough to fall in love and be women. Risking love is as tough as it gets out there.
Which authors have influenced your writing?
Obviously there are the greats. George Orwell, Thomas Hardy, the Brontes, Wordsworth, Jane Austen and even Shakespeare. Then there are the likes of Saul Bellow, John Updike, WH Auden, Robert Frost and Seamus Heaney. There’s a sub group such Virginia Wolf and Evelyn Waugh. Somewhere I’m sure there’s bits of Martin Amis and Tom Sharp. Then there are the big hitters who are story tellers. This is the real metal end of the hammer. These are the life changers. Jack London, Joseph Conrad, Jeffrey Archer, Jackie Collins, John Grisham. Charles Dickens, Neville Shute, Victor Hugo, Dan Brown. Some of these are great great writers. A few are not. They tell the tale, they sew in the hooks. You believe!
Do you have a favourite book? Why? What is it about that book?
It was the first book I read as a kid. It made me realise what a book/story is. It completely carried me with it. It was called “Missing From Home” by Geoffrey Trease. Looking back it was something of a socialist propaganda work. Somehow in packing up a couple of homes and moving I lost it. It was my most valued possession and I have searched high and low for a copy for years. This book gave me an insight in how to write. I never wanted to be a posh writer. I want to get a reader turning pages. I do get a bit soggy and overindulgent at times but I’m always aware of what I have to do. If anyone has a copy or knows where I can steal one …….. (just had a search on Abe Books – no luck)
Do you think movie adaptations do books justice? Do you have a favourite?
Of course they never do. Our individual imaginations could cross this universe in a second. Even Hollywood cannot do that. No doubt about my favourite adaptation though. Roman Polanski’s version of Thomas Hardy’s Tess Of The D’Urbevilles is a total masterpiece.
What do you think a short story gives to the reader that a full-length novel doesn’t? Do you think the changes in the publishing world have affected the short story market?
The highest kind of writing for me is poetry. The next is the short story. Both of these forms contain elements of concealed meaning and revelation. I won’t bang on about poetry but this it remains the bedrock of my writing process. A sentence must balance. No one will notice except to say that your book was “easy to read” or something similar. The short story needs to get the maximum bounce out of every ball. You need to use the weather, the season, the colour of clothing, the design of car etc etc. The good short is in fact a shorthand yet written in bold lettering. As all fiction, it relies on a partial deception. You lead the reader to believe that this person or that place exist. In the case of the short, you enhance that deception process to lead them away deliberately from the place where the narrative is headed. Then – bang! Or booh! You jump out.
I like my reader to feel they’re on the same quest as my characters. We all find something out together. In the short we kinda kick ourselves for not having spotted something that was so obvious once the surprise was sprung. This is merely my own way of writing shorts. They are hard to write and can take as long as a novel. These stories are a fix like a double espresso. By comparison, a novel is a tea party and very likely, not everything gets eaten.
Short attention spans are a feature of the multi media flish-flash world. You would think that shorts would be more popular these days. My experience is to the contrary. My own collection “Love In A Hopeless Place” gets good reviews but no sales. My sense is that the novella is the coming form. No one thinks that “Animal Farm” or “Breakfast At Tiffany’s” are too short. Many novels are too long and just appear daunting.
What has been the worst part of your writing journey so far?
The realisation that I will never write that line I want to write. Out there in the ether of possibility, there is something to be said – probably in the form of poetry. It will take language and use it in a combination to construct an accessible understanding of what consciousness and the human experience is. We live in an age where we believe that explanation of phenomena equates to scientific analysis. We use mathematics to do a job once attempted by poetry. We deny ourselves the joy of intuition because it will not yield to scientific insight.
Of course, if one did ever write that line, it would probably attract a spiteful Amazon one star review as being too poetic.
Each last moment of writing is the worst – unless it fully and absolutely captured what you wanted it to say. And for sure – it did not. You just can’t do it can you!!!!
What tips do you have for aspiring writers?
A writer is a person who writes. Do you know what to do today or do you want me to say that again? OK – I know about the dog show, the concert, the theme park vomit fest for Billy’s birthday and the Smith’s dinner invite……A writer is a selfish cranky hermit who writes. They have to invent people cos they don’t deserve real ones…..
A very interesting interview Emma. Thank you for being in my hot seat!
A sexy aristocrat. A wild-child inner city cop. A crime wave of passion.
A steamy romance novel introducing a sassy female police officer who locks up criminals and always gets her man.
Moved out from the city after one-too-many maverick missions, Shannon discovers there’s more going on in the sleepy country village than meets the eye. The son of a local aristocrat arouses suspicion of drug crime activity… but his widower father arouses more animal instincts!
Could she really mix with the British royal family? Can she risk her heart and career on yet another high risk unauthorised investigation? Can she get justice for an innocent boy? Dare a kid from the gutter dream of being a countess?
Wild child inner city cop Shannon Aguerri walks a dangerous line between her methods and justice. When the bosses lose their nerve, she is transferred to green pastures to play out the role of a routine village cop. In Fleetworth-Green she encounters signs of people and drug trafficking and homes in on serious millionaire criminals.
As a loner she has attracted men but nothing has stuck. When she meets Spencer, the hunky and widowed Earl of Bloxington,
there is an immediate rapport between them. Their social differences mean nothing to their passion and need. Already in the mix is an upper class female rival who has long plotted her way into the Earl’s bed. The jealousy is an evil shade of green and the anger is a violent scarlet.
Often inhibited by a sense of duty and honour, Spencer is slow to reveal his feelings. When Shannon confronts him with the need
to choose between her word and that of her rival, he does not immediately support her.
All the same, when they are forced together to carry out a desperate rescue mission, their love is stronger than everything ranged against them.
Please note: This book contains joyful explicit sex between adults in a consenting relationship. There is also strong language in high-stress police confrontations with criminals.
Have you read any short stories/anthologies/a novella or poetry books lately?
If you have, what did you enjoy?
If you haven’t, would you try one now after reading Emma’s interview?
Comment below to enter the giveaway of an ecopy of Shannon’s Law and companion cook book Cop’s Kitchen.
Open Internationally. Giveaway closes 18th April 2014.