Author Interview with Tanya Karen Gough
I’m happy to host an interview with author Tanya Karen Gough today. Tanya is the author of “Root Bound”, the first book in the Emma and the Elementals series.
1) When did you know you wanted to become an author?
I don’t think of it in terms of “becoming an author”: it’s more a case of finally having something to say. I’ve been writing in one form or another my whole life, from short stories and poetry when I was young, to academic papers and textbooks as a teacher, and marketing copy when I moved into the corporate world. I danced around the main themes of ROOT BOUND for a long time, and it happened when I finally understood how to structure the book to tie those themes together properly.
2) How long did it take you to write Root Bound from start to finish?
The first few chapters of the book took me several months to figure out, but once I got past that, the rest of the book came very quickly, maybe six months in total. Then I moved and changed jobs, so I spent about a year cleaning it up in what spare time I could find. I started shopping the book to agents, but that was some time ago. The response was very encouraging, but I kept coming up just short of an offer, so I pulled the book to do another six months of edits. Unfortunately, that was right around the time the publishing industry started to panic about the recession and the then-unknown threat from eBooks, so I sat on the manuscript for a while. Eventually, self-publishing felt like the right way to go, so I did another round of revisions, which left me with the book you see today.
3) Is Root Bound part of a series? How many parts would there be in the series?
Yes, ROOT BOUND is volume one in a series called Emma & the Elementals. There are four elements, so there will be four books: ROOT BOUND is the earth book and deals with finding your home in the world. The next three books will be water, fire and air, respectively. Each book covers a different aspect of Emma’s growth, and each one pulls from specific mythologies, fairy tales and locations that relate to the themes central to that story.
4) What are your writing goals for 2013?
It’s a bit tricky for me right now because I have a shoulder and back injury that slow me down quite a bit. I’m concentrating on getting that better, first and foremost. I am writing, but very slowly, and I’m just concentrating on Book Two right now. On the upside, I have lots of time to think, even when I’m unable to sit down and write. I’ll be able to project a release date once I finish the first draft.
5) What is your editing process like?
I try very hard not to nitpick in my first drafts. I handwrite initially, and then type up the chapter before I move to the next one. That way, I can work on getting the story out in the first round, and then make critical changes and tighten things up as I type. Then I try not to go back again until the entire first draft is complete. After that, I take an outside-in approach: first, fix the plot, tone and story elements, and then go back and fix the grammar and typos.
6) Are you working on something right now? If so, can you tell us more about it?
As I’ve already mentioned, I’m focusing my efforts on Book Two in the Emma & the Elementals series. It’s called WATER WORKS.
WATER WORKS is about ways of thinking about the world. Things that were true in Book One may not be true in Book Two, or they may have changed because things change over time,especially in a world that operates with a different set of logic rules. And because this book is about changing realities, she won’t be travelling in the classic Greek and Roman mythological world this time. She’s going someplace less familiar. I’d like the reader to discover new worlds, too.
About Root Bound
Author: Tanya Karen Gough
Genre: YA Fantasy
How far will you go to find your way home?
Emma and her father are always on the move, travelling from place to place as her father’s work demands. Their new home, however, is different. There’s a frightening woman who lives down the hall: she bears an uncanny resemblance to a witch. A mysterious light comes from her apartment, and a small boy seems to be trapped inside.
School in this town is no happy place either, with an odd principal and a gang of girls who make tormenting Emma their special project. And strangest of all is the fact that there seem to be brownies – basement brownies, in the air vent in her bedroom.
Haunted by visions of her mother, Emma travels through the brownie burrow to the valley of Hades to visit with the goddess Ceres, following a series of clues that lead her across the sea of memory to the centre of the world.
There, on an inhospitable rock floating in a sea of steaming lava, Emma must find a way to release her mother from the sea of memory and restore magic to both the brownie burrow and the human world above.
Tanya Karen Gough owned and published The Poor Yorick Shakespeare Catalogue from 1997-2007, earning a strong international customer base of world class academics and high school educators. Tanya was also a contributing editor for the Internet Shakespeare Editions at the University of Victoria (BC), audio advisor for the Sourcebooks Shakespeare textbook series, and theatre reviewer for Playshakespeare.com. Tanya grew up in New Hampshire and currently lives in Toronto, Ontario.