Hello, hello, and welcome to the book birthday celebration for FOOLISH HEARTS, by Emma Mills!
FOOLISH HEARTS is a contemporary young adult novel that, when I read it this summer, simply filled me with happiness. I'm pretty sure there were parts at which I giggled like a middle schooler with a crush, and others where I cried and clutched my heart like an overdramatic elderly woman at a wedding.
It was, quite simply, adorable.
So I was stoked to also get the chance to chat a little with Emma, the author! We talked about her life as a multi-tasker who has a writing career, is pursuing a Ph.D in cell biology and occasionally moonlights as a vlogger, as well as some other interesting topics. The Q&A is below!
I know you’re pursuing a PhD in cell biology — what interested you in that field?
I have always been fascinated by biological sciences and it seemed like a natural progression from my college studies. I love being a student and really wanted to continue my education after college.
How do you time-manage in order to be an author, vlogger, PhD student (and also have time to be enthusiastic about Nutella!)?
It’s definitely a juggling act! I’ve become really good at writing when I should be cleaning my apartment.
What tips do you have for aspiring writers who also want to pursue careers in different fields as to how to do it all?
In my experience, it comes with a degree of compromise about certain things--maybe less lounging around time, less nights out on the town!—but if you’re really interested in pursuing two different areas, you can definitely make it work.
What initially interested you in vlogging, and why is it something you still do?
I got into Youtube when I was in college. It was such a fun community to be a part of at that time, and I loved watching videos as much as I loved making them. It’s not something I’m able to do as often as I’d like these days, but I still really enjoy it when I can!
Would you recommend blogging or vlogging to aspiring authors?
If it’s something you’re in interested in, definitely! I’ve been able to meet some amazing people and have some really cool experiences through my work online.
On a craft level, how did you develop your writing and your voice?
Practice practice practice! I did a lot of writing growing up, both in school and out. I wrote a lot of stories back then that will probably never see the light of day, but they really helped me learn some of the mechanics and technique involved in telling a story effectively.
What advice would you give aspiring writers who want to have their own signature style and voice?
Reading widely is really helpful; it helps you identify what you like and don’t like, what works for you and what doesn’t.
What advice would you give aspiring writers on how to find an agent and an editor to love their work, especially if it’s out of the “mainstream” in either genre or subject matter?
I don’t necessarily think being outside the “mainstream” is a disadvantage—I think people are often looking for something new and outside-the-box! I would just say to do your research prior to approaching specific agents or editors, and make sure you’re contacting them in line with their guidelines for submission.