MY INTERVIEW WITH AUTHOR EMERALD DODGE!!
What’s your name and what genre would you consider your books to be?
I’m Emerald Dodge. I write superhero urban fantasy.
Tell me about your book. How did you come up with that (story, angle, idea)?
Battlecry (book one of the Battlecry series) is the brainchild of two of my longtime fascinations, cults and superheroes. I’ve always loved writing about superheroes, and when I sat down and decided to write a novel, I knew right away what I’d write about. The cult angle came just as naturally—I knew people in cults as a child. The confining, oppressive, faceless threat they pose seemed like a juicy antagonistic force.
How did you get interested in writing this particular genre (historical novels, mysteries, sci-fi, children’s books, etc.)?
When I was small, I watched action shows: Power Rangers, Xena: Warrior Princess, superhero shows, all of that. While I don’t read many action/thriller novels these days, my favorite parts of books that I read are the exciting action scenes.
What kind of research did you do for this book?
I heavily studied the psychology of cults and abusive organizations. I also watched a lot of self-defense tutorial videos.
Can you tell me about your Series?
The Battlecry series chronicles the adventures of a superhero team from (fictional) Saint Catherine, Georgia. They all grew up in the cult, except for their newest member, who is actually a reformed criminal. There’s a ton of action, drama, secrets, lies, and shocking twists. This team of scrappy superheroes takes down a century-old institution.
Do you have a favorite book out of this series?
Sentinel, the second book, is dedicated to the memory of my late younger brother. It’s a little closer to my heart than the others for that reason alone.
Was it always meant to become a series?
Yes and no. I’d always hoped to turn Battlecry into a series, but I didn’t have the overarching story in mind when I started writing it.
What’s a typical working day like for you? When and where do you write? Do you set a daily writing goal?
I have two small children, so there’s a lot of putting down the laptop and attending to their needs. I normally write the bulk of my material during naptimes or in the evenings. I’ve had to start giving myself a break—a daily goal right now would just lead to disappointment in myself.
How important are character names to you in your books? Is there a special meaning to any of the names?
My character names are occasionally significant, but mostly I aim for these criteria:
Easy to read/say
Distinct from other character names
Not an obvious “super special name for a super special character” (I hate that.)
That said, my narrator’s name, Jillian Johnson, is alliterative as a nod to all the classic comic book superheroes with alliterative names. Her younger brother is named after my own. A character in Sentinel, Dean, is this brash and cocky warrior-type guy with a tortured past—so I named him after my favorite television character of the same type, Dean Winchester.
Is there a genre that you’ve been wanting to experiment with?
Paranormal thriller and space opera!
What is the hardest part of writing for you?
Getting over Imposter Syndrome. I often feel like a fake, or so amateur that I shouldn’t be taken seriously. I’ve been writing for the public for fifteen years, yet I’m still surprised when I get a gushing review from a total stranger.
What’s the best thing about being an author?
Entertaining people. Life is hard, people get down, and sometimes they just need a few hours to get lost in a good story where the good guys win, the bad guys get their butt kicked, and all is well in the end.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
The mother of many children, a happy wife to my husband, and the author of at least ten books.
What writing advice do you have for aspiring authors?
Write what you like to read. Your passion will come through, and you’ll be more likely to finish.
If you didn’t like writing books, or weren’t any good at it, what would you like to do for a living?
When my kids were older, I’d get my esthetician state certification and work at a fancy spa.
What are you working on now?
I’m finishing up the final draft of Mercury, the third book in the Battlecry series.
Where did your love of books come from?
My mother is also an author, and my father is a huge reader. I grew up surrounded by books and reading. Living around the corner from a large public library didn’t hurt, either. The librarians knew me by name!
Does writing energize or exhaust you?
It energizes me! If I go long periods without producing something, I get really down.
What is your writing Kryptonite?
The internet. Or more specifically, being able to access it easily. I get distracted.
What question have you always wanted to be asked in an interview? How would you answer that question?
“What was your first piece of fiction, and what was it about?”
My first piece of fiction was a Teen Titans fanfiction called Know Thine Enemy, written all the way back in 2004 for fanfiction dot net. In it, Slade and Wintergreen rebuilt the Puppetmaster’s body-switching device, but something went wrong and they switched places with Raven and Starfire instead of Robin and Cyborg. “Raven” and “Starfire” (who are teenaged girls, by the way) rather suddenly turned evil and took over the city.
Meanwhile, the two teenaged girls woke up in the bodies of grown men and were just trying to figure out what happened.
It was hilarious, and taught me the first lesson of writing: if you don’t enjoy writing it, you’re wasting your time.
Where can your fans find you and follow??
I prefer to interact with my fans on my Tumblr page: https://emeralddodge.tumblr.com
You can also follow me on Twitter: https://twitter.com/emerald_dodge
And Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/emeralddodgewrites/
Thank you for taking your time to do this interview ❤️