Interview with Emily Hussey
Most Recent Book
I am about to release Trust Your Heart, the second in the Red Centre Series. The first was The Red Heart, and this series is set in Alice Springs in the centre of Australia. This book will be launched in mid-November, and like the first, has a strong aviation theme. The Centralian region is a strong setting for the series.
Tell us about yourself
I never expected to find myself moving to Melbourne to take up a new job so late in my working career. Adelaide is my home base, but my work in the property industry has taken me to employment on Sydney Airport, and all-around South Australia. Currently, I am land adviser to the Level Crossing Removal Authority with the Victorian Government.
I am fortunate to have very affordable accommodation in the Melbourne CBD and have enjoyed getting to know the city over the two years I have been here. My morning walks help with that. Moving to a new city can be a lonely experience but joining writing groups has made all the difference to both my writing career and my sanity. In particular, joining the Melbourne Romance Writers Group has introduced me to a supportive group of women.
How do you find the time to write?
The major turning point for me was moving to Melbourne, because I am now living in an apartment, instead of a large house with garden as I did in Adelaide. I miss the amenity I had in my house, but I don’t miss the work that is entailed in looking after and managing it all. I’m an early riser, so now I can just roll out of bed and turn on the computer. I will usually do a bit of work before leaving for the day job. My 9-5 office is only a 5-minute walk away, so time that might otherwise be used by the commute is used for writing.
The only distraction I have here is my little black cat. She seems to think I should be providing a lap for her or should at least be petting her. I now pull up a chair with a comfy cushion alongside me while I write, and she can be close but not on my lap.
I don’t always write at home. I always have a notebook with me and may take advantage of a local café or library for a change in environment. Writing freehand is a great way for dealing with writer’s block or for brain-storming.
What are your publishing tips?
The writing is the easy part, or that’s how it seems. Marketing can seem overwhelming, and it helps to break it down into small chunks and to deal with those. There are many online courses available, and some of those will cost an arm and a leg. As writers starting out, it is difficult to justify that cost. Alexandra Torre offers a course that is practical and affordable and that helped me to get my head around the steps to take.
There are two aspects to marketing. Your individual marketing program revolves around your social media campaign; developing your website, your mailing list and newsletter, and your promotional materials. The other is developing a combined program with writers in your genre. You can cross-post on newsletters, organise joint presentations at libraries or book groups, and provide mutual support.
Knowing your target market is so important. Different audiences will be found on different platforms and that will help make the decision whether to publish your work wide (on all online platforms) or narrow (only on Kindle Unlimited). I have found for instance that readers of my recent work are in an older age group, and they tend not to be Amazon customers. They buy from iBooks or Kobo. For me, going wide makes sense. Experiment though and see what works for you.
Tell us about your recent book
When I first wrote The Red Heart, I intended it to be a standalone. In that book, Sarah was the best friend of the protagonist. She was a likeable character and I decided she deserved the opportunity to find her own HEA and so, Trust Your Heart evolved.
Living and working in Alice Springs, Sarah is still grieving the death of her fiancé who had leukaemia. She has a vivacious personality, but in part that is a barrier against the world, hiding her pain and hurt. When Joel, a new manager for the local radio station arrives in town, Sarah is cautiously interested, but is not ready to lay her heart on the line. She senses that Joel has secrets in his life, and that makes her wary of involvement.
Sarah takes steps to create a new path in her life, but when the normally dry river bed floods after days of rain, the consequences cause everyone to re-think their actions and relationships.
There is still the third book in this series to come, and that will be released early in 2019.