Interview with romance author Emma Carlyle

Today’s guest has a split identity and we’re focused on the romance novelist side, which is Emma Carlyle. She’s talking about her newest book, Someone To Watch Over Me.
Once upon a
time there was an author who began writing romance. She won awards for her
unpublished manuscripts and eventually sold two romances, both of which also
won awards. Life was all hearts and flowers and hunky heroes until one day she
was attacked by a glue gun wielding amateur sleuth who forced the romance
author to write her story. 

Thus, author Lois Winston turned her attentions from
romance to mystery, writing the critically acclaimed Anastasia Pollack Crafting
Mysteries. However, Lois found she had more romance stories to tell. So she decided
to split her personality, remaining Lois Winston for mystery, becoming Emma
Carlyle for romance, and diving into the digital publishing revolution. Read
more about Emma and Lois at their websites: and
Welcome Lois (as Emma), please tell
us about your current release.
My latest
release is Someone To Watch Over Me, a romantic suspense. Here’s a blurb:
Johnson’s life is built on lies and deceit. Six years ago she committed a
series of felonies in order to flee Philadelphia and save herself and her
siblings from a ruthless Russian crime boss. They’ve lived under the radar ever
since. But now Dori’s been offered a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that her
siblings insist she take. Within days her carefully constructed world begins
toppling around her, and when her life is threatened, the one man who can help
her is the one man she doesn’t dare trust.
inspired you to write this book?
Most people
are probably familiar with the Mafia’s long history in Philadelphia, especially
in South Philly. There have certainly been enough books and movies on the
subject. However, what most people don’t realize is that there was a large
influx of Russian immigrants into Philadelphia the last two decades of the
twentieth century, first from defections and later after the Iron Curtain fell.
Many settled in the northeast section of Philadelphia. And along with these
immigrants came the Russian Mafia. I lived in Philadelphia during this period
and met some of these people. Others, I read about in the newspaper. All became
fodder for Someone To Watch Over Me.
exciting story are you working on next?
Since I’m
both indie and traditionally published, next up for me is finishing the fourth
book in my Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mysteries series which has an early 2013
deadline. I took a break from writing it recently to launch Emma’s indie
career, but now I have to turn my attention back to Anastasia. She doesn’t take
rejection well after what her dead louse of a spouse put her through.

Thanks for that teaser!
When did
you first consider yourself a writer?
When I
finished my first book. Of course, it was totally unpublishable, which I
learned pretty quickly, but I wasn’t daunted by the rejections. I’d written a
50,000 word story! That was a huge sense of accomplishment, and it made me realize
I wanted to keep writing. So I set about learning how to write right, and ten
years (almost to the day) that I began writing that first story, I sold my
first book.
Do you
write full-time? If so, what’s your work day like? If not, what do you do other
than write and how do you find time to write?
actually juggling three full time careers. Along with writing, I’m a designer
in the consumer crafts industry (I’m the person who creates the needlework kits
you see in craft stores and the projects in crafts and women’s magazines.) I’m
also an associate of the literary agency that reps me.

I’m able to do all this because my kids are grown, and all three of my careers
are done from my home. I know women writers who work 40 hours a week outside
the home AND have young kids. I don’t know how they do it. I have huge
admiration for those women. I couldn’t do what they do.
What would
you say is your interesting writing quirk?
When I’m
writing, I employ what I refer to as “method” writing, similar to
method acting where the actor becomes the role she’s playing. I sit back, close
my eyes, and envision the scene as a movie with me as the point of view
character. I “become” my character so that I experience her feelings
and understand her reasons for acting the way she does in a given situation. I
find this method also works well for those times when writer’s block threatens.
If I’m experiencing what my heroine is experiencing, I don’t have time for
writer’s block.
I also like
to observe people. Anyone can wind up in one of my books. I have a T-shirt that
says, “Careful, or you’ll end up in my novel,” and I mean it. You
really need to watch what you say and do around me.
As a child,
what did you want to be when you grew up?
When I was
ten years old, I decided I wanted to be an astronaut, the first female
astronaut. Unfortunately, I learned that NASA isn’t interested in astronauts
who suffer from motion sickness. Scratch that career path. I gave up the
heavens and turned to my other love, Broadway theater. Again, I was confronted
with a major problem. Actually two major problems. I have a tin ear and two
left feet. Broadway isn’t interested in singers who can’t sing and dancers who
can’t dance. Good thing my third choice was something I could actually do. I
wound up going to art school where I majored in graphic design and
illustration. For several years after college I worked as a layout artist for
John Wanamaker.
additional you want to share with the readers?
One of my
summer goals was to launch my Emma Carlyle pen name and release five ebook
titles under that name. To celebrate having accomplished this before the end of
July, and inspired by the incredible generosity of fellow author and good
friend CJ Lyons, I decided to contribute part of the sales of my Emma Carlyle
books to charity. 

From August through October, I’m making a donation of $500 to breast cancer
research for every 1,000 Emma Carlyle books sold. Along with Someone To Watch
Over Me
, there’s another romantic suspense, Lost in Manhattan. Hooking Mr.
is a romantic comedy. Finding Hope is a romance, and Four Uncles and a
is chick lit. Blurbs, excerpts, and buy links can be found at Just think, for
less than the price of a latte, you can help save the tatas!

That’s great! Thanks, Lois/Emma.

15 thoughts on “Interview with romance author Emma Carlyle

  1. Unknown says:

    Wow, Emma/Lois, you are a whirlwind! Great post. I'm going to look for "Someone to Watch Over Me" at a nearby Kindle.

  2. Lois Winston says:

    Linda, I used to write one book at a time and still try to do that when I can. It helps me keep all the characters and the plot lines straight, but when you're juggling deadlines, it's not always possible.

    Thanks, Sheila and JoAnn! Hope you both enjoy the book. And if you do, maybe you'll give LOST IN MANHATTAN a try afterwards. It's also a romantic suspense.

  3. Diane Schultz says:

    Just finished my first Anastasia Pollock book and glad to hear there are a few more out there. I really loved her, Lois. I picked her up because of your chick-lit and romance/suspense and guess I'll have to bite the bullet and read an ebook to read your chick lit. I like suspense with strong female characters and a barrel of laughs, and if they get their man in more than one ways (or more than one man), all the better!

  4. Mia Marlowe says:

    I really like the concept of "method" writing. Do you employ first person POV or do you use this for all your characters?

  5. Lois Winston says:

    Hi Mia–
    My mystery series is in first person, so I'm only using it for my amateur sleuth protagonist for those books. However, I have used it for both hero and heroine plus some secondary characters in my romances. I have to admit, though, it's much easier to slip into the skin of one of the female characters than one of the male characters!

  6. Edith Maxwell says:

    I think I already do Method Writing without knowing the name for it! And as a fellow pseudonymer, I can acknowledge the juggling aspect! Thanks for sharing your story, Lois/Emma.

    aka Tace Baker

  7. Sally Carpenter says:

    I think I use "method writing" for my books. I visualize the scene in my head like a movie before putting it on paper. When actors prepare for a role they ask "what if?" (what if I was this character in this setting). Writers can use the same technique.

  8. Lois Winston says:

    Edith and Sally, I think many writers use a variation of method writing without realizing it. Thanks for stopping by.

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