Behind the Book with E.M. Fitch
This week I'd like to welcome the fabulous author, E.M. Fitch!
Liz - Can you start by telling us a little bit about your part of the world?
E.M. - Sure thing! I live in Connecticut, on the eastern seaboard of the United States. We’re not known for much… other than being somewhat smack-dab in between Boston and New York City. We do have spectacular seasons, though, summers warm enough to lounge on the shoreline, winters harsh enough for us to earn our New Englander attitudes (that we aim at anyone who can’t drive a stick shift car in a foot of snow), bright springs, and gorgeous autumns. I live in the hilly woods of Connecticut in a small, one-stoplight town. Have you ever seen Gilmore Girls? The episodes where the entire town is at the hoedown, or how about touring the local haunted graveyard? You know how Lorelai runs into someone she knows every time she heads into the local grocer? Yeah, that’s Connecticut. And for the most part, I do very much love my little hometown.
Liz - You like to travel around and go on adventures. What have been some of your favourite locations and why?
E.M. - I love anywhere I can be in nature, or learn something new. I love the beauty and force of Niagara Falls, the quiet home of the grassy hills in Ireland, the wild sea that thrashes at the Devil’s Teeth off the coast of San Francisco, ghost crabs in the Outer Banks, the whipping wind at Kitty Hawk, ghost hunting at the home Mark Twain built. The quiet solitude hiking, the rush of air as you step out of the plane and into a freefall, water and earth and bonfires and the whisper of footsteps from the past all around me: these are my happy places.
Liz - I’ve always admired people committed to journaling. I’ve always wanted to do it but can never stick with it! How long have you done it for and what do you like most about it? Do you have any tips?
E.M. - I have journaled since I was a teen, but I’ve been committed to it for the last, oh, I’d say four years or so. Have you read The Miracle Morning, by Hal Elrod? I did about two years ago and that really helped to cement the process. He suggests starting every day off with a process he calls SAVERS, and one of these bits is journaling. So every morning I wake up, take my journal, brew a cup of black coffee, and sit with myself. I journal, meditate, visualize the things I want, recite affirmations, read a little bit, and—if I’m really on task that morning—I exercise. Though, I will admit to the world that my habit trackers (yes, I use those too) show far more dedication to the journaling than they do to the exercise!
Liz - Your pet dog is the cutest (and also looks like they enjoy a good book!) can you tell us about them? Do you have any other pets?
E.M. - My pup is named Madness, Maddie for short, and she does, at times, live up to the name. She’s a rescue with attachment issues, which makes her the best snuggler in the world. It also makes her a little needy, but who isn’t at times? I do have one other pet, a cat named Spring. To be fair, Spring (though also a rescue, I found her stuck at the bottom of a drainage area) isn’t really my cat. She’s my daughter’s. Cats are funny that way, aren’t they? They pick one human and that’s that. I can’t blame Spring though; my daughter is pretty cool.
Liz - When you’re not writing, what do you enjoy doing for downtime?
E.M. - Downtime? What is downtime?
Liz - From one chocolate fan to another—what is your all-time favourite chocolate?
E.M. - Mmmm, all of it. Mocha coffees, sea salt chocolates, Ferrero Rocher, and Reese’s Peanut Butter Eggs (not the cups! The chocolate/peanut butter ratio is off with those) are some of my favorites.
Liz - You’re also a zombie fan! What are some of your favourite zombie books/movies/shows?
E.M. - A zombie book that has always stuck with me is Feed by Mira Grant. As for movies and shows? All of them! I love the zombie genre, everything from pseudo-zombies like I Am Legend to the classic George Romero stumblers. Dawn of the Dead is always good fun, as is Zombieland and Shaun of the Dead. And how could I answer without saying The Walking Dead. I still grieve for Glenn.
Liz - It’s always nice to find another tree lover! What is it about them that inspires you, especially with your writing?
E.M. - I have had a love affair with trees since I was a little girl climbing up them with scabby knees. They have always been my safety. I love the sounds they make in the winds, the rustle of leaves and creaking of branches, the shelter of sun rays peeping through branches. They are home. They ground me.
In my writing, the trees—and nature in general—tend to become a character.
Liz - Speaking of trees can you tell us about the Of the Trees Series?
E.M. - My Of the Trees Series is my dive into friendship, love, commitment, promises, and fear. There are choices you make that you can’t unmake, and the series explores this.
Liz - What can you tell us about your experience with the Teen Author Boot Camp?
E.M. - I loved everything about my experience with TABC! It’s a fantastic operation for teens who are interested in writing. The workshops are top notch, the organizers are energetic and amazing. I can’t recommend it enough!
When I was invited, I did a presentation on creating characters who struggle with Mental Health issues. The teens who attended were fantastic, engaged, and incredible.
Liz - I love your short story collection, The Veil! Can you tell us about the three stories you compiled for this?
E.M. - The Veil is an experiment in realities, what exists to the naked eye and what could exist beyond. You never really know, do you? Just what’s beyond your sight. I find that equally terrifying and fascinating.
Liz - You’re intrigued by weird theories. What are some the theories that have most captured your attention and why?
E.M. - I think I’m more intrigued by different beliefs and viewpoints. It’s what makes the world go ‘round, am I right? I love listening to people’s stories, their belief systems, how they pray, what folktales they tell their children. There are so many legends and monsters and beliefs out there in the world, different and yet oh so similar, and I find that beautiful.
Liz - Can you tell us about The Break Free series?
E.M. - Zombies. What more would I have to say?! No, of course there’s more. The concept came when I was watching I Am Legend. Remember the scene with Will Smith walking down the deserted street? And the creatures are inside the dark spaces of the city? I thought, wouldn’t it be interesting if the only safe spaces were in the dark? And that’s how Break Free the Night was born. The zombies collapse in the dark, and they rise ravenous in the light.
I am in the process of re-vamping this series. You can find the first two on Amazon now, but the third will be released by the end of this month (psst! For free!). I pulled the series at the beginning of the pandemic and slowly released again, free and then discounted. I thought giving people something to do when the lockdown hit was an important thing to offer.
Liz - From one lover of space to another, why black holes?
E.M. - Because what’s in there and what don’t we know?! Curiosity will be the death of me.
Liz - What does a day of writing look like for you?
E.M. - Incredibly varied. There are days I can write for hours, days I can only get to the laptop late at night, and mornings (like this one) where I reach for the laptop as soon as I rise. And there are days I don’t write at all. Those are okay too. Writing isn’t always putting words on paper, sometimes it’s quiet moments of reflection, or days of wild adventure, sometimes it’s about discovering pieces of yourself and deciding what you want to commit to paper.
Liz - What are you working on at the moment?
E.M. - I’m in between serious projects at the moment, but I have several brewing! One needs to pop up and demand my attention.
Liz - If you could work with any writer on the planet, who would it be and why?
E.M. - Diana Gabaldon. Hands down. Not only is her writing just gorgeous, she has accumulated more knowledge… I mean, it’s just wild how much knowledge gets packed into her books.
Liz - I always value fellow Harry Potter fans! Who is your favourite character and which volume was your favourite?
E.M. - Fav character: Tonks. She’s quirky and fun and dares to love as hard as she can. Fav volume? I get drawn back to the Prisoner of Azkaban. I just think it’s a tightly written book, and of course, Lupin. He’s an easy second favorite character.
Liz - Where can readers follow you?
E.M. - Any of my social media works! Twitter @ErinMFitch, or Insta E.M.Fitch, and of course Facebook at facebook.com/E.M.Fitch. And, if you’re interested in downloading a free short story, head over to my website www.emfitch.com and sign up for my newsletter! You’ll get a link to Buried Deep Down, a short story that explores a roaming circus and a Ringmaster who’s looking to collect your treasures.