The odds will always be against you, do it anyway!

Emma Pullar is a writer of dark fiction and children’s books. She is  a self-taught writer from Kent, England who learned the craft from reading and exchanging feedback with other writers. Her picture book, Curly from Shirley, was a national bestseller and named best opening lines by NZ Post. Emma’s horror story, London’s Crawling, published in the Dark Minds Charity Collection was shortlisted for the SJV Award and a finalist for Create50. Another of Emma’s stories, Old Trees Don’t bend, was published in The Anthropocene Chronicles. Three of Emma’s short stories have been shortlisted for competitions. Her horror story, WORMS, was a Twisted Vol2 WINNER! Her debut novel, Skeletal, was published by Bloodhound Books in autumn 2017 and was nominated for The Reader’s Choice Award. Skeletal is part of a duology and book two will be out summer 2018.

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Skeletal emma 2

What is the story behind your book? Where did you get your idea for the book?

Skeletal is set in a dark, futuristic city and is about a young woman who does not want to become a host (surrogate) for the upper echelons. She decides to run away and change her life but things don’t quite go to plan. The idea came to me when a local supermarket was caught selling horse meat burgers packaged as beef burgers. This deception made me wonder what else powerful companies or governments might lie to us about? That’s when the Morbihan – an obese race of highly intelligent, hover-chair bound beings – came to me.

Challenges you faced while writing this book and in your life as an author?

I wrote Skeletal over two years while suffering with PTSD. A deadly earthquake caused my family to relocate back to the UK with little more than the clothes on our backs. It was tough. What was even more challenging, was that growing up I didn’t receive a good formal education. When I started on my writing journey, I couldn’t spell and my grammar was terrible. I had to teach myself the basics before I could even begin to write a novel. That was hard. My learning is ongoing.

What is your life mantra?

The odds will always be against you, do it anyway!

What is your writing process like?

I think a lot. I scribble in notebooks. I write bits of chapter eighteen or five before I’ve finished chapter one. For me, writing is like putting pieces of a jigsaw puzzle together. You don’t have the picture on the box to refer to but you have an idea of what the finished puzzle will look like. The outline is the puzzle boarder. Always connect the puzzle pieces with the flat edges together before you attempt to fill in the middle. I never start work on a project without an outline in place.

Anything special about your book that you want to share?

I grew up in London, which is a melting pot of skin colours and nationalities. Gale City is similar to that. Although, the dystopian world I have created is much worse than reality. I took all the loathsome traits and ideas of our world and made them even more spiteful. This book is not for the faint-hearted.

According to you, what are the three qualities an author must have to achieve success?

Persistence. Practise. Participate. That last one refers to networking and collaboration. Successful writers do not work alone.

What are your plans for next book?

Skeletal is part of a duology. Book two will be published summer 2018.

What advice do you have for young writers?

Write every single day. Seek out experienced writers for advice and feedback.

Share a quote or line that has been your inspiration.

“Laser focus.” – Lucy V Hay. Lucy is my mentor. I’m flighty and a dreamer, when she says “laser focus” to me, I know I have to really concentrate, work harder. My husband has also started saying this to me.

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