Saturday 7 June 2014

Blog Tour Interview & Giveaway - The Wasteland by Emily Sims

The Wasteland
by Emily Sims

In another world, one far removed in time and space altogether, a timeless journey awaits. The path is steep, the road is long, and it encompasses a wild evil. Here, in a place entirely different from our own, we discover the lost remains of a once vast empire and a love story long forgotten.

In The Wasteland, set against a barren landscape, we find a terrified woman named Lylah. She races along the overgrown highways of a war-torn country, pursued by a deadly enemy. Try as she might, Lylah remembers nothing about her past or who she is. Without quite meaning to, she stumbles upon a sinister forest and a small tribe of people. They have dark skin and hair. They speak in thick accents. Nothing about them is familiar, but at least they’re safe.

As she struggles to unlock the keys to her past, Lylah falls deeply in love with this primitive way of life…a way of life she’s never known before. The tribe’s leader is a fearless man they call “Matteo.” He is formidable and abrasive, but Lylah is inexplicably drawn to him.

In spite of uncertainty, one thing remains: an evil force governs this rugged land. The Opposition uses its power to oppress thetribes-people and they are quickly closing in on Lylah. Will she summon the courage to face her past in time? Somehow, Lylah’s memories hold secrets that could destroy the Opposition and break its tyrannical power.

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Author Interview

1. What inspired you to write your first book? 

The inspiration for me probably started as a kid. I would read books by Victoria Holt (an oldie, but a goodie!) and T.C. Andrews (among others) and they would just suck me in completely. I was so passionate about them that I found myself wanting to create something that could really move people; I wanted to give people a great adventure that they could be involved in. I was also inspired by Stephenie Myers’ story. She was a mom at home with kids and just jumped into a story of her own. That may sound cheesy, but I was very much at the same point when I began writing The Wasteland. I thought, “I want to write something simply because I love it and I don’t care if it ever goes anywhere!”

2. Do you have a specific writing style?

I don’t really have a style, except to say that I have to come to a very vulnerable place inside when I write.  I have to be okay with letting go of control and not caring what others may think and when I do that then the style and substance of my writing begins to take shape. I hope my writing is poetic. I try to weave words together so they seem more like art than anything else. There is no formula, it’s about freedom.

3. How did you come up with the title?

I thought about the original picture in my mind when I began writing the book. In its simplest form, I was writing about a desert or a wasteland. I pictured two women lost and confused and a very handsome, elusive stranger who was determined to protect them. All around there was red dirt and wind and a complete lack of life. The title was an overflow of that picture.

4. Is there a message in The Wasteland that you want readers to grasp?

Oh wow! It’s about so many things. There isn’t one central message. Just like we learn so many lessons in life, this book evolved to include an array of subjects. One of my favorites has to do with a crossing of socioeconomic borders. No matter where you are, there are beautiful people.  They maybe hidden underneath rags or stress or downcast eyes, but they are there and if you search for it, you’ll find beauty everywhere. This was inspired by my visits to the country of Haiti. The country is in complete disarray, but the people are incredible and ferocious and beautiful! To the point where I could’ve given up my life here and lived there (and I don’t say that lightly).

This leads me to another message I would love people to grasp when they read my book…that of powerful love. How love can come in many forms and it really does have power. Love between a man and woman, between siblings and friends; between a woman and her children. Life could be crumbling around you, but you are still strong if you have love. I’m not talking about rainbows and bunny rabbits. No, I’m talking about the tough, abrasive, heart-shattering stuff.

And I believe everyone…everyone…has capacity for this passionate kind of love.

5. How much of the book is realistic?

Well, the setting is a different world filled with Kingdoms, glowing Guardians, untainted Royals and all the magic that can come from a place such as that. However, I believe very much that the relationships within the book are realistic. The subject matter has a great undercurrent of realism.

6. What book are you reading now?

I’m the mom of five kids with a brain that never stops whirling, so naturally I read more than one book at a time! I’m rereading “The Wasteland” because I’m prepping to write the sequel and I want to make sure I have all the details of what I wrote cemented in my brain. I’m also reading “Writing Down the Bones” by Natalie Goldberg and a book about schooling called “Dumbing us Down” by John Taylor Gatto. That last one is fairly controversial, but I’m curious to read what he has to say.

7. Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?

In the past year, I’ve been focusing all my energy on having babies and adjusting to our newly adopted children and lifestyle. I’ve been reading more self-help books than fiction because sometimes it feels like I’m drowning in a sea of kids! I haven’t had a chance to check out any new authors lately, but I am very much looking forward to the day when I can. I dream of sitting down in the quiet with a good book DAILY!

8. What are your current projects? 

We’ve recently added a new baby and two children from Haiti to our family, so my life has been a whirlwind! I’m working on writing more regularly for my blog. I’m also working on the sequel to “The Wasteland”. In the near future, I’ll be working on some more stories based on people I’ve interviewed.  Stay tuned!!

9. Did you learn anything from writing this book and what was it?

To trust myself. I struggle with being afraid that I won’t measure up or that people won’t respond to the things I have to say.  This experience has taught me to let go and simple BE who I am.

10. What were the challenges (research, psychological etc) in bringing this story to life? 

Finding time to write was a challenge.  That still takes a great amount of discipline.  I wrote a completely horrible first draft and it was tough to decide what parts to keep and what to throw out. Mostly, it was perseverance.  I just had to keep going and not give up.  That was the biggest challenge.

About the Author

Emily is a mother, writer, photographer, and home-schooler. She loves family, thrift shopping, chai lattes, good books, nature, and learning new things. She strives to find beauty and divinity in imperfect things…she searches for God in the earthy and thegrit and the ordinary and the joyful stuff of life.

She lives in Texas with her husband and five children.

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3 Winners will receive a Copy of  The Wasteland by Emily Sims.

2 Winners will receive a $20.00 Amazon Gift Card.

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