Interview with Em West

What are you working on next?
A Prudent Man is a dramatic change to Turn A Different Corner, her first book. Due to be released in 2018, A Prudent Man is based upon one family's survival living under the Nazis during the occupation of Belgium 1940-1944.

A young girl happens upon an old lady in a café. Little does she know it at the time, but the two will become close friends and the story of Lina's family, the Vervloets, slowly unfolds. This is a tale of love, courage, tenacity to survive, the Belgian resistance movement and so much more.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
to sit down and start writing!
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Reading, being with my family and walking my rescue dog.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
I follow a lot of reviews and choose which books take my interest that way. My only criterion is that they must be well written with a good plot.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Yes, it was about a walk I went with my father. I once wrote a poem entitled "Snow" aged eleven, it won a national competition for the school.
What is your writing process?
It all starts with something or someone I see or overhear on the train or bus. I can weave a story around anything. I may read something that sparks my interest and so I delve into it and if it no longer interests me then I leave it alone; however, it I become interested then I will use my experience in research and explore further. I abhor writer who get their facts wrong!
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
Yes A story my mother used to read to me every night. It was Lucy Mabel Attwell, a story about a rabbit called Mrs Tomorrow Will Do who lived up to her name. I remember having empathy with Mrs Tomorrow Will Do, perhaps my Mother was trying to teach me a valuable lesson, I still have to fight off procrastination!
How do you approach cover design?
It is always best to know your book and choose an image to fit. Make sure it hints at what the book is about.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
I love a well written book. My taste is varied and I could not possibly choose one book. Some of my favourite books I tend to re-visit from time to time are: the Brontës, all of them, in particular "Villette" by Charlotte, because it is an insight as to how she lived, Henry James, I love, I concede he is not to everybody's taste, but I feel he is the master of the perfect ending, Annie Proulx and The Shipping News, because it is an inspired tale of life on the edge, she paints a picture with every phrase, I couldn't possibly leave out Cider With Rosie by Laurie Lee, or To Kill A Mocking Bird, E M Forster, Collette, particularly The Cat and last but not least the Gormanghast masterpiece of Mervyn Peake takes me far away to a world that darkly makes me giggle out loud!
What is your e-reading device of choice?
i must confess, I much prefer a paper book! but when I do read an e book it is on my iPad.
Describe your desk
Untidy, but I can find anything, I know where everything is.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in the little town of Barnoldswick. This town is the only one in the UK to have twelve different letters to its name. It is situated between the warring counties of Lancashire and Yorkshire. Indeed, up until 1974 it was considered to be in the county of Yorkshire, but the council changed the boundary over to Lancashire. Who I lived there, everybody knew everybody else, the town was closely knit and very colloquial and i think it is that has influenced me, not merely my writing.
When did you first start writing?
I have written all my life, even when writing Science articles, i would begin a fictional story, influenced by where in the world I was at the time or the people I worked with. Everybody has some story hidden within them.
What's the story behind your latest book?
My cousin's life in Belgium during the Nazi occupation of 1940-1944
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
To sit and let my imagination wander to places far more exciting. Writing is like acting, as you write a book you become that person, live in that place and lead your life differently.
Published 2017-04-15.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.