|join the fun at www.theherosinger.wordpress.com|
Friends and fellow bibliophiles, I am dancing (a respectable, dignified dance) inside from excitement! Today I get to introduce you to a very dear friend and her debut blog, The Herosinger. Emily Hayse and I met at a Christian girl's conference when we were just teetering into our young teens, and we've been close friends ever since. She has a heart for honoring the Lord, a heart for adventurous stories, a fierce love for her Scottish and Asian heritage, and a yummy knack for making chocolate cake. Her blog will be a delightful journal on the web you won't want to miss.
And today, to help you get to know her better, we're sitting down for an interview chat. Grab a cup of iced-tea or lemonade and join us!
Schuyler: Hi Emily! I can't tell you how thrilled I am to host you for your debut blog launch! Tell us a little about yourself. Jobs? Hobbies? Family? Favorite dessert?
Emily: Thank you so much, Schuyler!
Well, to start, I am the second oldest of eleven children, in a delightful (sometimes loud), happy family, which I am very blessed to be in. There is--very honestly--never a dull moment at home, and while that can be challenging at times, it also makes for some great stories! I currently work mornings at a horse barn, cleaning stalls, feeding, turning horses in and out, etc. And my boss lets me ride, which is a great perk! In addition, this past school year I taught American Sign Language to a couple classes of 6-9th graders. Wow, hobbies. Let's see...riding, dry mushing (with just one dog), Irish Dance, tall ships (never sailed one, but want to), learning languages, and playing/singing music. My favorite dessert is basically whichever I am baking at the moment, though you can never go wrong with chocolate. Take one look at my Pinterest boards and you'll see how dessert and I get along!
Schuyler: I've had some of your tasty chocolate desserts. ;) They're something to write home about, for sure! Ok, so you call yourself the Herosinger, and promise us some grand adventures. I love it! :) What are some of the bold adventures you've dreamed up in your stories?
Schuyler: Oh my goodness. I want to read them all right now. :) You'll have some awesome snippets lined up for the future, I hope! Did some well-loved books or authors inspire you to write these grand adventures of your own?
Emily: Oh yes! Far more than I could count. But I'll throw out just a few (I'll try to do just a few) that came to mind as you asked that: J.R.R. Tolkien, Robert Louis Stevenson, Rosemary Sutcliff, Eloise Jarvis McGraw, Marguerite Henry, Jean Lee Latham, and Charlotte Yonge. Specific books that I see as being instrumental in inspiring what I write and the spirit in which I write, include Rosemary Sutcliff's The Shield Ring, The Shining Company, and The Mark of the Horse Lord, Johnny Tremain by Esther Forbes, The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien (need I even say that one?), The Scottish Chiefs by Jane Porter, San Domingo, Medicine Hat Stallion, by Marguerite Henry, Sweet Land of Michigan, by August Derleth, Mr. Revere and I, by Robert Lawson, and Call it Courage by Armstrong Sperry. However, a lot of my inspiration also comes from history and real life. There is never one single place my adventures spring from, but a thousand little ones.
Schuyler: Many of those are well loved, and some of them I have you to thank for introducing me to them. :) I'm intrigued by Sweet Land of Michigan. I've never heard of it before. When you're not reading or writing, what's your favorite way to spend a relaxing evening?
Emily: Baking something while watching and discussing a movie with my family. We can never seem to just watch a movie; the story, script, score, acting, cinematography, etc. all get thoroughly analyzed. And brownies or lemon bars just make it better!
Schuyler: One of my favorite memories will always be the night we watched The Hobbit together. :) And I think we had Ghiradelli brownies that visit, too, so it was a win-win! You have a big family; what are your favorite aspects of family/siblings? How do you balance your role as writer and big sis in a busy household?
Emily: I love the great sense of camaraderie in our family. Some of us are adults now, and none of us can bear to be apart from the rest of the family for long. We help rub each other's sharp corners and rough edges off, and you can never be lonely, even if you try. With younger children, not a day goes by where there isn't something cute said or done, you don't have to look far for opportunities to minister, and you get the sweetest compliments. My older sister has gotten multiple proposals of marriage from well-meaning two year olds, and one brother informed me that I was the best cook in the world and I should give the chefs on Food Network some pointers. And he was totally serious. And as a writer, there are endless blessings. I have a sister who is my fantastic editor, I have a built-in fan club, pre-beta readers, siblings who cover for me when I'm nearing a deadline, and little siblings who make me coffee out of the kindness of their hearts.
Ha! I could seriously write a comedy on balancing writing life with big sister life! Largely I find the balance in flexibility, mental preparedness, and consistency. The family can rarely spare me to lose myself for an entire day while I work feverishly on a book (they kindly did with my last WIP), but even on busy days they can usually give me an hour to myself, even if it's in fifteen minute chunks, and you had better believe that I capitalize on that time. And if I knock off a thousand words or so in that hour's time and do that every day for six days a week, then that's a moderate length novel done in two months. If I have to rock a baby to sleep or do dishes, I can't be actively writing, but I can be outlining or working out the scene in my head so that when I get the time, I know exactly what I want to say. And of course, you can't always plan for those times when the baby wakes up the minute you've started a word war, or when you have to type around the four-year-old in your lap, but that's where learning to make do and trust God with what He's given you at that moment comes in. I have by no means perfected the balance, but by God's grace and my family's cooperation, I have gotten much closer.
Schuyler: Wow, wow, wow. This is my favorite answer so far. I am always inspired by examples of other writers who have a heart for family and a heart for writing. As Pendragon says, "What God gives the vision to do, he gives the grace to accomplish." You've inspired me on many levels with your words here, and the Lord is doing some precious work in you.
I know you also play music. Can you tell your readers a little bit about your talent for instruments, and the local orchestras you've been part of?
Emily: I started playing violin when I was six, and when I was fourteen or so I became a "viola convert", as we are called in the orchestra world. It is actually a fairly rare thing to find a violist who wasn't a violinist first. And I've played viola primarily since. I also play just a little cello, pennywhistle, and piano. I have been in many orchestras over the years, but currently I play in my local symphony as principal violist (as I am quite often the only one!) and in a Christian community orchestra that pulls from a larger area. I have played everything from Aaron Copland's Hoedown to Mendelssohn's Reformation Symphony. My sisters and I play and sing together often for church and weddings.
Schuyler: A lot of us have bucket lists of places we'd like to travel. Any countries you are scheming to get to someday? :)
Emily: Yes! I have wanted to go over to the British Isles for almost my entire life and visit England, Scotland, Ireland, and Wales. My ancestors came from all four countries, and so it would be really neat to see where I came from. I also would really like to go to New Zealand. I think it's a gorgeous country, and through some of my stories my heart has become quite tied to it. And I would like to visit Australia. That's been an ambition ever since I was a little girl.
Schuyler: Many of your places are on my bucket list as well. We should go together! :) If we could peep at your music playlists and see some of the most played tracks, what artists and songs would we find?
Schuyler: That's an epic, adventurous list that really suits your writing style. :) What are some little things that make you happy on an everyday basis? (Food, weather, objects, songs, clothing, etc.)
Emily: A good writing project, rainy days, coffee, "In Pace", pizza, a new story character, Robert Louis Stevenson poetry, and new movies.
Schuyler: And last of all, give us one mission statement that the Lord has given you that you want to use your writing talents share with others.
Emily: The hardest battles are fought in the mind and heart. I believe that it is the small, everyday choices that condition the heart for great acts of courage, and if we learn to love truth and beauty and true, Christlike heroism, we are better armed for the fight.
Courage, truth and beauty. If you want to see all these things, head on over to Emily's new blog, The Herosinger, and follow her to keep updated on all her posts. You won't want to miss it. :) Emily has some treats to give away for her new blog launch, so be sure to enter for a chance to win!
Welcome to the internet world, my friend. Looking forward to more adventures with you!