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Indie Author Spotlight Interview: Emily Antoinette

In anticipation of Emily Antoinette's Debut novel release tomorrow on August 8th 2023 I reached out to see if she'd be willing to give us an interview. She agreeded and I have to say it was fun working with her. She's a very sweet woman and I truly enjoyed having been able to be an ACR reader for her book.


Anyway, let's get into this interview! Oh and be sure to go order her book if you've got a taste for alien romance. After all, they're real now might wanna see what you're in for. ;)



Picture of Emily Antoinette, The Cover of her Alien Roamance novel featuring a purple haired plus size woman and an alien lover embracing.




Let us get to know you:


1. Where are you from? Does that have any impact on your writing?

a. I’m from North Carolina, which I don’t think has a big impact on my writing other

than that I have to resist using the word “y’all” a lot.  


2. How old were you when you first started writing your own stories?

a.  I didn’t start writing in earnest until last year, so 34. I’ve always loved telling

stories through tabletop roleplaying games, and went through a phase where I

wrote some spicy fanfics about ten years ago. But I never thought I’d be good

enough to write a novel. Then one day I woke up and thought, “You know what? I

can do this.” And then I sat down every day for a month and wrote Space for

Love.


3. Do you enjoy reading? If so, who would you say is your favorite author?

a. I love reading! I fell out of love with it for a long time, but then gave romance a

chance. Now I read all the time. Maybe too much. Some of my favorite romance

authors (because I can’t pick just one) are Ruby Dixon, Lily Mayne, and Zoey

Draven.


4. Did you always want to be an author?

a.  Kind of? I always thought it would be cool to write books, but never really let

myself imagine it as a reality because I thought I was a bad writer. Turns out, I

just am very self-critical and have an anxiety disorder.


5. Do you have any hobbies? 

a. Tons! I play TTRPGs and have a D&D podcast called Roll for Romance. I love

playing video games, though writing has taken over a lot of my gaming time. I

was a professional belly dancer, and I’m slowly trying to pick that back up after

taking a big break during the pandemic. I like crafting and cosplay, though I’m

mediocre at best. I have more, but I don’t think anyone wants a list of all of my

weird interests.


6. How many unfinished novel ideas do you have lying around?

a. TOO MANY. It’s a problem. I have so many ideas and they’re all fighting for me

to write them instead of what I’m supposed to be writing.  


7. Are you more of a morning person or a Night owl? 

a.  A bit of both. I try to be productive in the morning as much as I can before my

day job. Then, when I’m done with that for the day, I crash for a while and rally

later in the evening to get more stuff done.


8. Coffee or tea?

a.  Coffee. I like tea but coffee is life.


9. Does anyone in your family read your books?

a. My sibling helped beta read Space for Love and I let my mom read it after a long

internal struggle. I was worried about scandalizing her, but it ended up being fine.

Though she’s absolutely not allowed to read my next book—it’s way too spicy.


10. Is there any snack or drink that you must have when writing?

a. Water. Not very exciting, but I gotta stay hydrated.


11. May we have some book recommendations, please? Something you love that you think

your fans would too.

a. If you love cozy monster romance with great spice, I recently read Lily Mayne’s

Berries and Greed and Ashley Bennett’s Mantras and Minotaurs. They both are

excellent!


A bit about your writing:


12. How do you go about writing? Are you a planner or do you just write?

a.  With Space for Love, most of it was just sitting down and writing. I’d imagine

upcoming scenes and story beats as I went about my day, so I guess that is a

form of planning, but it wasn’t plotting out the entire story. I’ve written more since

then and now I do a very basic outline, but it morphs as I write. Scenes go in

unexpected directions and my characters surprise me a lot. It’s a lot like how I

approach being a DM for D&D. I make some loose notes and plans and then

expect for it all to change when the story actually unfolds.


13. How do you come up with your characters? Are any of them inspired by people in your

life?

a. I come up with a loose idea for the character and then fill out a character

interview from their perspective to learn who they are.

Most of my characters are a version of me, at least in part. Maybe with time I’ll

learn to write characters that don’t have any element of me in them, but it makes

writing them a lot more natural. I think one of the reasons why I enjoy writing is

that I’m able to explore myself through my characters. They help me accept the

imperfect parts of myself because I fall in love with the characters who embody

those difficult feelings.


14. Are you a full-time or a part-time writer? How do you think that affects your writing?

a. Part-time. I’d love to be a full-time writer, but that’s a long-term goal because I’m

a single person who has to pay all my bills. Having a day job keeps me from

writing as much as I’d like.


15. Knowing this is your first published book, could you tell us a little about the journey from

beginning to end? How do you feel now that it’s finally out there?

a.  I dove into this process without a plan, which wasn’t the best idea. I learned

about all the details of self-publishing as I went and it’s been overwhelming at

times. The hardest part for me wasn’t the writing, editing, formatting, etc. It was

forcing myself to post on social media. I loathe self-promotion and am socially

anxious, even on the internet. Once I pushed through that fear, I realized that

there are some amazing, supportive people out there and it’s made the self-

publishing journey much more enjoyable.

I’ll have to get back to you about how I feel post book launch when that happens.

Right now I’m dying for it to be out in the world and anxious about how it will go.


16. What do you find to be the most difficult part about writing? The easiest?

a. The hardest part is making myself write. As much as I love it, it’s like pulling teeth

to convince myself to get started most days. The easiest part is imagining all the

fun spicy scenarios to put my characters in because I have a dirty mind. 


17. What comes first, plot or characters?

a. Characters. I’ll have a very vague concept of a plot, but even then it’s working

from the characters and type of romance I want to write for them.


18. Do you prefer writing and planning all digitally or do you keep some notes and drafts on

paper?

a.  I do everything digitally.


19.  Is there any writing advice you would like to give to a writer working on their first novel

a. Even if you think everything you’re writing is garbage, keep going. Write the

garbage. The worst that will happen is that when you go back to edit it (after

giving yourself some time away from the book), it’ll need a lot of work. That’s

better than getting in your own way and keeping yourself from trying—this is

coming from someone who’s done that for almost my entire life. Doing something

is better than doing nothing at all. So write and stop being so damn mean to

yourself!


20. Why did you choose to self-publish your books?

a. I didn’t think a publisher would be interested in my very niche book.


Warning that if you read forward there may be spoilers about her current release Space for Love.


Book Specific:


21. Do you have a favorite character? Scene?

a. I love both of the protagonists in Space for Love so much, I can’t choose

between them! My favorite scene (that doesn’t give any spoilers) is when they

get together for the first time. It’s very spicy and romantic, but also has some fun

twists that I was excited to write.


22. Were there any parts of the novel you found challenging to write?

a.  I had a bit of trouble at first figuring out how to create tension, since I knew I

didn’t want there to be the standard third act breakup (sorry for the very minor

spoiler).


23. Who designed your book cover?

a. The cover art is by a wonderful artist I found on Twitter (@fires_00). I knew I

wanted an illustrated cover and found her during my search when most other

artists had their commissions closed. And I feel so lucky that I did because she’s

an amazing artist and such a lovely person to work with.

I did the cover layout and typography myself, which was kind of a nightmare. But

like everything else in this process, I’ve learned from my mistakes and think it’ll

be much easier for the next cover. But I highly recommend having someone else

do that for you if you can afford it!


24. Your world building was really in depth for a book that’s mostly seen as a spicy alien

romance. What got you started with the cultural aspect of the alien spices in your world?

a. Oh, thank you! Maerlon and the seladin were what I developed first, and that

came up as I was doing a character interview for him. After that, I made myself a

little index of the different aliens I wanted to see, starting first with the human’s

alien best friend, Mezli. I wish I could say I had an elaborate plan going into

writing, but I didn’t. I’m used to world building on the fly from running D&D

campaigns and letting little seeds of ideas grow as the story develops. The nice

thing about writing versus D&D is that if there’s a continuity error, I can just go

back and edit things.


25. Are you planning anything special for your next book? Will we be seeing more of Fina

and Maerlon in the coming book?

a. I know some people will be annoyed, but my next book has nothing to do with the

Space for Love universe. I had a whole other concept take over my brain, and I

needed to write it. It’s a monster romance with a modern day setting and is spicy

and emotional, but still has cozy vibes.


But don’t worry if you want more aliens! I’m working on Mezli’s book now, which

we see a preview of in Space for Love’s epilogue. Fina and Maerlon will be

present, but it will mostly be a stand-alone story focused on Mezli’s romance.

There’s also a spicy bonus story for Maerlon and Fina that will be out once the

book releases for anyone who gets my newsletter.


26. And lastly, is there anything you wished someone would ask you but hasn’t yet? If so,

share that with us.

a. I can’t think of anything. Thank you for the interview!

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