This week, I interviewed author Emé Savage. Emé is the oldest of four kids, born in Central Illinois on 80 acres of land. She is married to writer A.M. Holmes, and currently lives in South East Michigan with their two cats, Rosie and Tilly. She has written Echoes of the Gidat and Tetarul Parallel within the Genesis Chronicles.
The Genesis Chronicles is a series of novels that weave two timelines together. The Genesis Timeline tells the story of Minkos and the Origal Foten, who were left here by the Creator. Their stories have been forgotten until the time of the Third Prophecy. T’Gan has been chosen by the Creator to lead Sadat into an age of Enlightenment. The King of Sadat has acquired unnatural powers with the help of Etevun (The Evil One) who arrived on Georia at the same time as the Origal Foten. Can the echoes of long-forgotten stories help T’Gan and the others save Sadat?
1. Tetarul Parallel: Book 2 of The Genesis Chronicles, is the second in a series. What’s your elevator pitch for Book 1, and how does Book 2 connect?
A King with unnatural powers, the genocide of the Gidat, and a boy who will save them all.
Book 2 takes place five years after Book 1. We continue with Kayfa, who is simply known as Kay to the Melodians. She has a secret and is afraid if her friends knew her true origins that they would never look at her the same way again. The Lady gives her a magically enhanced book which holds the secret to defeating the entity called Etevun. Felana’s Story begins not long after Minkos’ returned from his journey. He has been keeping secrets that could have a deadly effect on her people. With the help of a novice mage and an ingenious hunter, they have a fighting chance at defeating Etevun.
2. Tetarul Parallel seems like a complex story, spanning multiple timelines. What was your inspiration?
I started with the Genesis Timeline first. I was inspired by the land I grew up on. I would go down to the crik bottoms and collect fossils and artifacts. I imagined what life must have been like for the First People. I am also an avid fan of epic fantasy and science fiction. My favorite book is Many Waters by Madeleine L’Engle. I loved her descriptions and how she weaves hope into every word. Her characters travel to different times and become a part of the fabric of the past. I wanted to do something like that, but with my own twist.
3. How did you take on the challenge of weaving two timelines together simultaneously in a story?
It took me awhile to get the mix just right. Each chapter I start with a basic concept and then link that concept between the two storylines. With book two, I added a few flashback scenes to flesh out the villain as seen through Kayfa’s eyes—to add an additional layer of depth.
4. Is there a Book 3 coming?
Absolutely! I’m drafting it right now. It will take on another pair of MCs who have been introduced in the previous two novels.
5. How do you approach worldbuilding?
I adore worldbuilding. I am a firm believer that the world I build should be as varied as the one we live in, and then some, when you write fantasy. I start with the geology, topography, interesting weather phenomena, magic systems, economic systems, available technology, living quarters, clothing, language, historical documents, religion, what they eat, how they fight, what weapons they use, political structures, how they tell time, music, entertainment—all the way down to how many moons there are for this planet. It’s three, by the way. I have notebooks filled with notes on everything under the sun and then some. I will take a concept and then fill a page of notes on where the research takes me. I call it homework. I am currently building the world that my science fiction novels will reside in. I started with the setting first, and am adding the layers on top of that.
6. Do you ever suffer from writer’s block? If so, how do you overcome or work around it?
Whenever I’ve encountered writer’s block, it usually means I’ve hit a snag with the plot. I can sense something isn’t working, and that is why I’ve stopped. The only way to work it out is to keep writing. It’s funny. When I draft, I am convinced that the whole thing is horrible and convoluted, but then I go back and read it and it really isn’t bad at all.
7. What early experience taught you writing had power?
I suppose when I started reading. I grew up without having access to a library card. I would see other kids going to the library, but we couldn’t afford the fee. My Da fixed tractors for local farmers and he would get books and old magazines on trade and give them to me. There were stories that sparked the imagination and facts that opened up my understanding of the world. When I was nine, I learned I had that power too. After a few creative writing assignments, I learned I had the knack for storytelling. And yes, even then they were elaborate. One story was about the formation of the Big Dipper. Then, there was the fairytale about 12 little spotted cows complete with illustrations. Then, there were the horror serials where I would write the scariest thing I could think of, also with illustrations, and then write a page of story before leaving off with a cliffhanger.
8. Do you have any favorite writing craft/reference books?
In all honesty, no. I do have a few on my TBR list, but I haven’t gotten to them yet. I would like to get a book on quantum physics first.
9. What’s your favorite and least favorite part of the publishing journey? Any advice for writers starting their publishing journey?
My favorite part of publishing is holding the physical copy of my work, and smelling it. Nothing smells as good as a freshly printed book. Except petrichor. My least favorite thing at the moment is marketing. Just when I think I understand marketing, I find out I really don’t. But then I hated writing a synopsis the first time I did it, and now I don’t mind it too much. So I suppose I’ll get used to marketing too. My advice is to tackle one thing at a time. You don’t have to know it all at once. When you make your monthly goals—and you should definitely be making goals—pick one thing that you know will move you forward. Maybe it is the draft, maybe it’s researching cover designers, maybe it is finding an editor, or maybe it’s creating a budget to help you save for those things. Every little bit is progress.
10. If you could give advice to other aspiring authors or game makers, what would it be?
DO NOT COMPARE YOURSELF TO OTHERS.
I see so many writers and creatives become discouraged because they start comparing where they are with someone who has published five novels in a year. I admit, I get a bit jealous when I see that myself. Stop. Your journey—my journey—is not their journey. Nor should it be. If you are going to compare, compare with your past writing. You will see just how much you have improved.
Thanks for being willing to sit down for an interview Emé!