Thursday, February 23, 2012

Alex Kosmitoras may be blind, but he can still "see" things others can't - Author Emlyn Chand VBT Pit stop Feb 23

Click on the image to visit the Meet & Greet with Emlyn at VBT Cafe

Alex Kosmitoras may be blind, but he can still "see" things others can't. When his unwanted visions of the future begin to suggest that the girl he likes could be in danger, he has no choice but to take on destiny and demand it reconsider.

Today Emlyn Chand, YA Author, stops by to chat about her new release Farsighted and how she became a writer. 

      From an early age, Emlyn Chand has counted books among her best friends. She loves to hear and tell stories and emerged from the womb with a fountain pen grasped firmly in her left hand (true story). Her affinity for the written word extends to absolutely every area of her life: she has written two-and-a-half novels, leads a classics book group with over three hundred members, and, of course, runs the whole shebang at Novel Publicity.

      The book that changed Emlyn’s life is Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crocket Johnson. It opened her eyes to the world that could exist if only she was willing to create it—a lesson she has never forgotten. While she enjoys all types of novels, her greatest loves are literary fiction and YA. Farsighted is her first novel.

Let's give Emlyn a warm welcome!

Louise: Emlyn, welcome to my blog! I’m so excited you could join me for a chat. When did you first decide to submit your work to be published? Tell us what or who encouraged you to take this big step.

Emlyn: I was just ready. Farsighted is my second novel and I felt confident enough in it and the feedback from early readers was strong enough that I just decided to take the plunge.

Louise: Please tell us a little about your new release Farsighted without giving too much of a spoiler away.

Emlyn:  Farsighted tells the story of Alex Kosmitoras. Here’s my mini teaser:  Alex Kosmitoras may be blind, but he can still “see” things others can’t.  When his unwanted visions of the future begin to suggest that the girl he likes could be in danger, he has no choice but to take on destiny and demand it reconsider.

      Alex Kosmitoras’s life has never been easy. The only other student who will talk to him is the school bully, his parents are dead-broke and insanely overprotective, and to complicate matters even more, he's blind. Just when he thinks he'll never have a shot at a normal life, a new girl from India moves into town. Simmi is smart, nice, and actually wants to be friends with Alex. Plus she smells like an Almond Joy bar. Yes, sophomore year might not be so bad after all.

      Unfortunately, Alex is in store for another new arrival—an unexpected and often embarrassing ability to “see” the future. Try as he may, Alex is unable to ignore his visions, especially when they begin to suggest that Simmi is in danger. With the help of the mysterious psychic next door and new friends who come bearing gifts of their own, Alex must embark on a journey to change his future.

Louise: The book teaser and blurb is intriguing. Do you plan all your characters out before you start a story or do they develop as you write?

Emlyn:  Generally, I’m a planner, but for each manuscript I write, I have one minor character that refuses to remain minor. These players take over the stage and throw-out my previous plans. In Farsighted, this character was Shapri. She’s definitely the readers’ favorite as well as my own, but she was not supposed to be a main character. She demanded it, and I’m so glad I listened!

Louise: How much research do you do for your books? Have you found any cool tidbits in your research?

Emlyn:  I spent about three months trying to talk myself out of writing Farsighted. It’s too ambitious, my inner critic pointed out. You’ll never get it done, not in the way it deserves to be done, it pressed. But there was another part of me that couldn’t resist; I knew I had to at least try before giving up. I started by reading tons and tons of books—I read about world folklore and superstitions, religions especially Zoroastrianism, Hinduism, and Sikhism, psychic powers, the occult, blindness, and even Nostradamus. I learned how to cast runes and perform a ten-card Celtic Cross Tarot reading. I had nightmares for several weeks, but then they eventually stopped, and I started writing.

Louise: What is your writing process? Do you outline, write by the seat of your pants (Pantser) or a combination of both?

Emlyn:  I’m kind of both... and neither. I begin with a seed of an idea and work out from there. With Farsighted, I started with Alex and created the rest of the story and characters to fit around him. Using the runes as a structural framework for this novel created an outline for me too. I’m a numbers person as well as a word person. I love things to be organized just so. If you set a stack of papers in front of me; I’m going to fuss with them until they are lined up in a perfect stack. It’s just the way I am. Shaping each chapter around a rune gave the story order, which made me feel happy and comfortable. Whenever I got stuck and didn’t know what should happen next, I was able to learn more about that chapter’s rune and get the inspiration I needed to continue. The runes themselves tell a story, one that is successfully completed. I felt that boded well for Farsighted.

Louise: Do you write full time? What did you do before you became a writer or still do?

Emlyn: I don’t write full time, but books are literally my existence. I own a popular book marketing firm called Novel Publicity. That means I’m constantly reading, interacting with authors, running blog tours, and even messing around on social media as part of my job. The business has grown so quickly that now I spend most of my time managing the 15 great people I have on staff and interacting with the indie community through our various networks. It’s a rewarding existence, and I’m so pleased to be able to pursue BOTH of my passions and just live the dream.

Louise: Describe a typical writing day for you. Do you have a ritual when it comes to writing? 
Example….get coffee, blanket, paper, pen, laptop and a comfy place.

Emlyn:  I work from whatever time I wake up (which is usually between 4 and 5 AM) to 7 PM. I work all day every day, because I truly love my job. And since I enjoy working as a publicist so much, I have to set-up strict writing times in order to work on my fiction (which I love too). I find I’m most productive when I force myself to write for a long block of time. I call this being a “writing hostage.” I just go to my local Panera when it opens at 6 AM, order a coffee and a sandwich, and start working. I stay there until around 3 or 4. I love the background noise and the constant availability of caffeine and munchies. Panera puts me in the zone!

Louise: Please give us a sneak peek at your future books. What’s on the horizon?

Emlyn: I’m currently working on Open Heart, which is the second book in the Farsighted series. I’m also beginning a new YA science fiction series called The Timewalker Chronicles; the first book is Fall Back. Both of these should be out before the year is up!

Louise: What is your favorite genre to read and who is your favorite author?

Emlyn:  I LOVE YA—I read it, write it, and love it! It all comes down to the enjoyment factor. I like the vulnerability and changeability of the characters. I love the ease of language and the connection that is created by writing in first person point-of-view. Nothing quite compares. As for my favorite author—well, I have so many favorites—but I consider JK Rowling to be “literary God.” She just masters every aspect of the craft, and she nurtured me during my first trek into YA; now I write it for myself. Thank you, JK!

Louise: Being a hardcore Harry Potter fan, I wonder if JK will release a prequel on Lily and James; such is the rumor. Is there anything else you would like to tell the readers we have not touched on?

Emlyn:  Hello, potential readers. I hope you’ll enjoy Farsighted. My primary goal is to tell an interesting story that people will find entertaining and be glad they read. Secondly, I’d like to infuse contemporary Young Adult fiction with a bit more diversity and teach readers about the beauty of other cultures and other ways of life. Hopefully, I’ve accomplished that, but it’s up to you to decide!

Louise: Where can the readers learn more about you and find your books on the web?

Emlyn: The best place to find me is on my website, I’m also pretty much always available via social media. Here are the links to my favorite sites below:

Louise: I visited your web site. Love it! Emlyn, thank you for visiting with me today! This has been fun. Reader's be sure to comment, Emlyn has a surprise for a drawing.

Emlyn: Thank you for the interview *smiles* I'm thrilled to offer an eBook copy of Farsighted for a giveaway to one lucky commenter!


Purchase Links for Farsighted:

Book Trailer Link:

Playlist Link:

Coming Soon Open Heart - follow Emlyn for updates 


  1. Awesome interview and oh I love the cover for Open Heart! YAY!

    Thanks for hosting Emlyn today :)

  2. Hi Emlyn & Bk!
    Emlyn, thanks again for stopping by today!

  3. Hi Louise! Thank you so much for giving me a home on your blog and asking such fantastic questions. Hopefully, JK will heed your advice and release an HP sequel. I'm waiting anxiously for it.

    Em ;-)

  4. Well it's all over the news she will be releasing an adult book - ummm wonder what genre will this be. I'm heading over to her website now! LOL