Meet the Author: Emerald Dodge
Good Morning Everyone,
I have a special announcement to make. This Meet the Author post will be the last one for 2019, and I’m super happy that the last one for the year got to be with my dear friend and fellow author Emerald Dodge.
Emerald and I first met back in my Scribophile days, and I very quickly became a hardcore fan of anything she wrote. Believe me when I say that she is an extremely talented writer.
Emerald is a science fiction and fantasy author of The Battlecry and Oceanus series.
Anywho, let’s get into this review before I get too carried away.
USA Today bestselling author Emerald Dodge lives with her husband and two sons. She enjoys studying esthetics and plans to obtain an esthetician license at a future date. Emerald and her husband enjoy playing with their children, date nights, hosting dinner parties for their friends, and watching movies. They are a Navy family and look forward to traveling around the nation and meeting new people.
Hi Emerald, thanks so much for stopping by. To keep things interesting, I like to ask my interviewees a random question to get the blood flowing. Here’s yours!
In a strange twist of fate, you inherit a vast fortune from an unknown relative that has recently passed. What do you do with the money?
I would pay off my debts, tithe, set aside a portion for my children’s private K-12 education, give sums to NGOs and charities I support, hire a part-time nanny so I can write, and put the rest in savings. I would then continue to live much as I do now, though I’d perhaps Uber more because I don’t like driving very much. Oh, and maybe subscribe to a few more subscription boxes. ☺
That’s such a great plan, seriously! I would pretty much do the same. Paying off debts and putting most of the rest in savings is a very wise decision, and actually you could live off the interest depending on what kind of savings account you put it into (sorry, I’m nerding out on the finance aspect a bit).
Ooo, I would love some subscription boxes! I actually don’t subscribe to any right now, but if I had a ton of money, heck yes, bring on the boxes!
Emerald and the Writing Process
For starters, tell us a little bit about your writing.
I say my books are urban fantasy, but that’s only in the broadest sense. I take fantastical concepts—superheroes, ghost ships—and approach them from a logical perspective. For example, how would a superhero team be administered? What government organization runs them? What are their private lives like? Similarly, what is “life” like on a ghost ship? What if it were a ghost US Navy vessel?
I’m a big fan of anything urban fantasy and have loved superheroes since I was a kid. I think that’s why your work resonates with me so much. That and the writing is superb of course. Can’t wait to see what other great concepts you explore!
What kind of setting do you write in most times?
I prefer to write with ambient music, typically at my kitchen table (though it’s terrible for my posture.)
I usually write with ambient music too! My favorites are nature sounds lately, but I’ve explored a lot of great ambient tunes over the years if you ever need something new.
Today was a snow day and the world was quiet, so I was able to write without my usual audio aids.
I have a small desk in my room that I write at, but sometimes I’ll take my laptop in the living room to switch it up, maybe even light candles for added ambience.
I always find it interesting how authors and bloggers alike lead multiple lives. What is your dayjob? Do you enjoy it?
I’m a homemaker, though before I married I was an administrative assistant for the head of HR in a large multinational corporation.
Very nice! I still work at a legal firm in downtown KC doing finance work. It’s a lot of problem solving with constant new issues, and I put on a lot of different hats during the day.
Why do you write?
Here’s the tea: writing is one of the few things I do that I think I’m actually good at. I have dyscalculia, which means I’m terrible at both math and anything math-based, like music. I have no patience for needlecraft. I can’t draw. But I can create characters that move my readers. I can create worlds that people fall into and never want to leave. I can write heartbreaking scenes that make readers cry. And every time I write, I get better.
Having read your work, I believe every word of this. You have a great ability to write compelling characters in exciting worlds and complex situations that the reader wants to be a part of.
What is your favorite part of writing?
The connection between author and reader. I live for that moment when someone says they loved my story and couldn’t put it down.
Oh my gosh, right? I totally agree, especially starting out when no one knows you. Making those fans really means a world of difference and makes you feel that you make the right choice in choosing writing as a profession.
What is the hardest lesson you had to learn as a writer?
If one person doesn’t like a character/plot line/scene, it’s possibly just them. If two people feel that way, there’s a problem.
So true, and it’s a great way to grow and learn from mistakes, be they large or small.
For the longest time, I was really sensitive about my writing and getting critiques, but you and several others on Scribophile helped me see the light and grow as a writer.
Nowadays, I’ll wait until I have several people critique a chapter. Then I put them side by side. If different people didn’t like the same thing, I’ll start to look into ways to remedy whatever it was they didn’t like while maintaining the storyline.
What are some of the challenges you face as a writer?
I’ve had to set aside my projects recently because of my responsibilities as a homemaker and mother. I have less and less time as my children grow older. I may have to wait until my eldest son is in Kindergarten to pick up writing again.
Ah time, the bane of my existence as well. There really never is enough of it, is there? Sometimes life just happens and we have to take a break. I’ve definitely been there before. That said, you’ll always have a fan in me.
Fun Facts About Emerald
Could you tell us a couple fun facts about you?
In 2012 I completed the Army ROTC program. I was only months away from commissioning as a Transportation officer when I was medically discharged. I still hold a deep love and respect for the US military.
I am an excellent baker. I love to send baked goods to my husband’s office, because I tend to be hugely popular when I do this. I even take requests. My favorite recipe to bake is buttermilk pie.
I swore off playing The Sims a few years ago when I accidentally spent 7 hours straight playing one day. I honestly had no idea that such a large amount of time had passed.
Wow, these are great fun facts. My brother is actually in the US military, and while he loves it, I can definitely understand that it’s not for everyone.
Uh oh, now you have to prove it by sending me some pie! Just kidding. I’m pretty good with cooking, but I don’t tend to bake very often unless I’m making a cheesecake or my favorite dessert, which is brownies. Cake, move aside!
Haha, good for you! When I was in high school I would log so many hours on The Sims that it was nuts, so I definitely know where you are coming from.
Pancakes or waffles?
Waffles, hands down. I don’t even like pancakes.
Thank you! I can stomach pancakes, but I probably won’t be happy about it afterwards.
If you had to choose one type of food to eat for the rest of your life, what would it be?
American Chinese food. I never get tired of it.
Oh my gosh, you too? Anything asian I can eat for days. Speaking of which, two days this past weekend all I ate was chinese/thai food. Nom nom nom!
If you could choose to be any supernatural creature, what would you be and why?
I’d be a mermaid! Swimming in the vast ocean, seeing its mysteries and treasures, communing with sea life… wow. That would be amazing.
Actually, I’ve always been terrified of natural bodies of water, but I can see the allure from a bird’s eye view. The mystery and intrigue especially. There are parts of the ocean we’ve never been to before! Who knows what is there?
You know what? I’ll take anything with wings today. I would love to be able to fly the skies (when it’s not freezing like it is now, ha!) and feel the wind in my hair.
If you could meet anyone who ever lived, past or present, who would that be?
I’d like to meet my great-grandmother, Marianna. She emigrated to the US from Sicily when she was about 20, and she never learned English. Nobody can tell me anything about her except that she cooked a lot and apparently loved her grandchildren. I would like to talk to her and learn who she was. What were her dreams? Was she content in that house?
Aw, that’s a very heartfelt response. I’d like to bring back my grandma Helen to reminisce and have some quality time like all those years ago. She cooked a lot, and years later I found out that her secret ingredient was butter lol.
What are your favorite tv shows and movies?
I’ll watch anything about the British royal family, past or present. My current favorite show is The Crown.
Oh, very interesting! I can’t say that I’ve seen that show. Some of my recent faves were Watchmen and Hereditary. Superheroes and horror, what’s not to love?
What are you reading now?
I’m on a kick for thrillers right now. I’m awaiting my Book of the Month choice, The Wives.
Hey, I’ll always take a chance on a good thriller. I just checked out The Wives on GoodReads and man that sounds interesting!
Right now I’m reading Pet Sematary. I’m liking it, though I predicted my uncomfortability with the whole pet death thing. It’s a very soft spot for me and it’s made me a little sad here and there, but the story is a lot of fun and creepy as hell.
What is your favorite genre to read? Why?
That’s really hard for me because I have many interests. I love a good thriller, but I also love “what life was like” books about various times in history.
I hear ya there. I wouldn’t say I necessarily have a favorite genre per se, but more of a style of writing. The YA style of writing seems to get me because it’s so simple and easy to blaze through. Nothing makes me feel better than finishing a book in a day without actually trying to.
What did you read as a kid? What stuck with you the most?
I read a lot of fantasy when I was a kid. Don’t laugh, but the book that had the most impact on me was Twilight by Stephenie Meyer. I loved her characters, world-building, and how she braided a love story with urban fantasy. She was also a GENIUS at roping in female teenage readers.
You’ll get no judgment from me! I actually read the entire series when I was in my early twenties, and enjoyed it immensely, though I will say I sided with Victoria’s POV pretty much the entire time lol.
The main ones that stuck with me were Goosebumps and Animorphs, though classics like The Hobbit also stuck with me as well.
If someone wrote a biography about you, what do you think the title should be?
She Doesn’t Know What’s Going On, Either – A Biography of Emerald Dodge
LOL I love your response on this one!
“The Art of Being Indecisive, No Wait, Scratch That” by Jonny Pongratz
Emerald and Her Works
Tell us about your new book.
Excalibur is the prequel to my debut series, The Battlecry Series. It takes place in 1994 San Diego and chronicles a few momentous weeks in the life of a superhero there. It’s a new adult romantic fantasy and a loose retelling of Beauty and the Beast.
I really enjoyed this one, especially the elements that tied in loosely with the story Beauty and the Beast (that’s my favorite Disney movie btw). It’s sitting nice and comfortable on my bookshelf at home.
How did you come up with the title for this book?
Excalibur is both the codename of the narrator and the name of her weapon.
This definitely fits in with the naming of your other titles in the Battlecry series, and I think it’s a perfect naming.
What was your favorite part about writing this book?
The narrator, Heather, is a television junkie. I loved researching what shows were on air in August 1994 and incorporating her love of television into her narration.
Definitely! There’s a ton of great history in television. I love how each of your characters has their own great set of quirks.
What kind of research went into writing your book?
I researched a lot. The television lineup of the time, gangs of Southern California, a lot of Spanish translation (including slang of that time period), neighborhoods of San Diego, and Mexican American culture.
Based on my reading, you definitely put a lot of thought into portraying things the right way. I felt like I was there, honestly.
Well, it looks like our time is nearly up here. Before we go, what other projects do you have in store for the world to see in the future? Anything you can share with us?
I’m working on Oceanus #2 and the second part of the Battlecry series!
Oh goodie! I loved Sea of Lost Souls!
And Battlecry? There’s more?!?! This is such great news. Can’t wait to hear on more developments!
That’s a Wrap!
All righty book worms, that wraps up my interview with Emerald Dodge. I always love chatting it up with her, and I hope you enjoyed the experience too!
If you’d like to learn more about Emerald and her work, she can be reached at the social media and purchase links provided below.
Thank you for stopping by, and have a great day!
Social Media Links
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Well if you’re going to be good at only one thing, it’s fabulous to be good at writing! Nice interview!
Thanks friend, I had a lot of fun!