Friday, December 16, 2011

Interview with Emlyn Chand and 'Farsighted' e-book Giveaway!

Today I have an interview with Emlyn Chand, author of Farsighted.

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.

Emlyn, welcome to Hardcover Feedback! Would you tell us a little about yourself?
Hi there! I’m Emlyn, a just-turned 27-year old YA author. I am also the president of Novel Publicity and a crazy bird lady too. And, oh yeah, I emerged from the womb with a fountain pen grasped firmly in my left hand (at least that’s what my Twitter bio says).

What are you currently working on?
Open Heart, which is book #2 of the Farsighted series. Each book will be told from a different character’s point-of-view, so in Open Heart, we’ll actually be able to see what Grandon looks like!

What or who made the biggest influence on you wanting to become a writer?
Definitely my mom. She’s the one who fostered a love of reading in me, both through genetics and by rereading my favorite childhood stories over and over again. That’s why I dedicated the book to her ;-)

What was the first book you ever wrote about and was it ever published?
My first novel was literary women’s fiction. It didn’t capture who I am or what my strengths are— that’s why it’s taken up permanent residence in my desk drawer. When I was ready to write my second novel, I had 4 ideas that really excited me—a dystopian novel, historical fiction, chick lit, and what became Farsighted. I thought each idea out and wrote sample pages or character sketches as practice (I call this the left-brained approach to brainstorming books as described in the article I wrote here). The Farsighted pages were the easiest to write, and they were the ones my trusted beta readers liked best too, so I decided to give it a try.

Do you have any writing habits that people might find unusual?
I do! I find that I need to lock myself up at a coffee house or bake shop for hours on end in order to be productive. There’s something about the soothing hum of these environments that puts me to work. I call this holding myself “writing hostage.” Luckily for me, my captive is more than humane.

I have heard that some authors listen to music while they write. Do you? If so, what do you usually listen to?
I don’t like to listen to music when I write, but I do love listening to the white noise of patrons coming and going from a coffee shop. The constant availability of caffeine and sweet treats is another reason why I love to write at the local barista station.

Do you have a favorite character or one that is especially close to your heart?
My favorite character would have to be Shapri; she’s kind of the person I wish I could have been like back then. She’s strong, always true to herself, and won’t let anyone disrespect her. Sure, she has fears, but we all do. Shapri is the kind of girl I would love to be friends with. You know she’ll always go to bat for you when you’re too tired to step up to the plate.

What is the best gift you have ever received and who gave it to you?
For my first birthday after we were married my husband surprised me with a gorgeous wooden cuckoo clock. It was the perfect gift for me, because I am a crazy bird lady who likes eccentric things and prefers people to be on time.

What are three things (not people) that you wouldn't want to live without?
My laptop, my Kindle, and my favorite pillow.

What is something that you have always wanted to do, but just haven't gotten around to it yet?
Visit Europe. I’ve spent a lot of time in India but haven’t walked the streets of Jolly ol’ London or floated across Venice in a gondola. These are must-do’s!

All the music in the world is being destroyed and you can only save one album, what would you save and why?
Frank Sinatra’s Greatest Love Songs. His music makes me happy, and that would be especially important in a world practically devoid of song and dance!

What is your all-time favorite book? What is your favorite book you have read this year?
My favorite book is A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving, definitely. The novel has so many layers and entertains on so many levels. Also the characters in that novel seem more real than those from any other I’ve ever read. It’s just beautiful—that’s the only word for it. Favorite books this year? Hunger Games! Go, Katniss, go :-P

What do you like to do in your spare time?
I like to work, haha. No, seriously. I run my own company, and I love my job. Work is relaxing. When I’ve worked too hard and have to call it quits for the day, I like reading on my Kindle, taking bubble baths, and watching Glee. I also have 5 birds, a dog, and a husband.

Are you an early bird or a night owl?
Oh, I’m such an early bird that I’m practically a night owl! I often find myself waking up at 2 or 3 AM to start work.

If you were throwing a dinner party and you could invite five people (fictional or real, dead or alive) who would you invite?
Oh, gosh! Um... James Joyce, Edgar Allan Poe, and Ken Kesey – all enormously talented authors; all certifiably insane (and therefore they’d make interesting dinner guests). I’d also take along DH Lawrence and JK Rowling. We’d have quite the literary round table while eating... I don’t know... shepherd’s pie? Gotta accommodate my dead British author friends!

You are given a ticket that will bring you anywhere that you want to go, at anytime in history. Where would you want to go and why?
Ooo, fun! I’ve been hooked on the concept of time travel ever since I read HG Wells’s Time Machine. I would NOT travel to the place in time that is populated by Eloi and Morlocks, because that is scary! But I would love the chance to hob-knob with the governesses of 19th century Britain ala Jane Eyre and Becky Sharp.

Where can people connect with you online?
I’m everywhere. Seriously, Google “Emlyn Chand” plus your favorite social media site, and you’ll find me. My website is and my favorite networking sites are GoodReads, Twitter, Google+ and Facebook.

Thanks you so much Emlyn for being on Hardcover Feedback!

“Did Dad tell you? A new tenant moved into the old pharmacy next door.”

“Really?” I ask, not letting on I already know. If I feign ignorance, Mom’ll divulge all the details. “What is it?”

“It’s a psychic shop,” Her voice crackles with excitement like a fire that’s just beginning to burn. “The All-Seeing Miss Teak. Isn’t that cute? Miss Teak, Mystic. Ha, I wonder if that’s her real name.”

I laugh. “That is funny. Never had a psychic in town before. What’s she like?”

“Oh, she’s very friendly. Why don’t you go over and say ‘hi.’ I’m sure she’d like to meet you.”

“Okay, I think I will.” I’m incredibly intrigued, because first off, it’s a psychic shop—how weird is that?—and second, its presence made Dad super uncomfortable—also very cool. I waste no time heading next door to check out the scene.

As I step cautiously into the new shop, a recording of soft, instrumental music greets me. I can make out chimes and a string instrument I don’t recognize but for some reason reminds me of snake charmers. The smell of incense fills my nostrils, which explains the burning I detected earlier.

“Hello?” I call out into the otherwise quiet room.

Nobody answers. I walk in deeper, sweeping my cane out in front of me in a metronome fashion. This place is new to me, so I need to be especially careful while moving around.

Thump! Despite my precautions, I stub my toe on something hard, big, and made of wood. Just my luck to stub the same toe twice in one day. I reach down to press my fingers into my throbbing foot to alleviate some of the pain. Something teeters before rolling off of the chest and across the floor; the sound it makes indicates a curved path. Suddenly, the object stops. Somebody’s stopped it.

“Hello,” a deep, feminine voice responds, placing more emphasis on the first syllable than the second.

“I- I’m sorry I knocked that thing over. I didn’t mean to…” I hope she’s not angry. Probably not a good idea to get on a psychic’s bad side.

“That wasn’t just a thing, it’s a crystal ball,” she says as she walks over, sending my blood pulsing through my veins. I sense her looking at me for a moment before she places the ball back on top of the chest.

“Can it see the future?” I ask, allowing my curiosity to outweigh my uneasiness.

“No.” After a pause lasting several beats, she continues. “But I can see the future sometimes when I look into it.”

“Oh, okay.” I tighten my hand around my cane and turn to leave. It may not be the most polite thing to do, but all of this hocus-pocus stuff is freaking me out more than I would’ve guessed.

The psychic lady speaks again, stopping me cold. “Don’t run away, Alex Kosmitoras.” She must’ve spoken to Mom earlier today. That must be how she knows my name.

“I’m not running away,” I say meekly. “I’m just going back over to Sweet Blossoms.”

“Don’t run away,” she repeats—this time she speaks louder and with more energy. “Don’t run away from your abilities. They are gifts.”

“What?” I ask in confusion. What abilities is she talking about?

“You already know. Watch. Listen. Be open to your gifts.”

I turn to face Miss Teak, but find she’s already gone, returning to wherever she was before I got there.

Is it safe to leave? I trail my fingers across the wooden box I ran into earlier; a thick coat of dust clings to the tips as I pull away. If this shop just opened, why is it already so dirty? I wipe my hands over my shirt to get the gritty substance off. Shivers rock my whole body. Something about this place is wrong, and I’m not sticking around to figure out what. Tapping my cane along the floor, I’m able to find the exit without knocking into anything else.

Reviews for Farsighted:
Alex Kosmitoras might not have a magic wand or vampiric strength and speed, but he is a totally swoon-worthy hero that any mom would be proud to let her daughter date.
 -- Melissa Luznicky Garrett, author of Turning Point

You don't have to be psychic to know that Farsighted is going to take the world by storm. Vampires are so last year.
-- Kimberly Kinrade, author of Forbidden Mind

An epic battle of good versus evil that moves at breakneck speed to a stunning and totally unexpected conclusion.
-- Terri Giuliano Long, author of In Leah's Wake

Is Alex blind? Yes. Bullied? Yes. A victim? Absolutely not! Emlyn Chand expertly tackles high school bullying, making Farsighted both an entertaining and an educational read.
-- Kevin Carey-Infante, Author of Bani's Dilemma

There's nothing blurry about Farsighted. With keen insight, Emlyn Chand creates complex characters that pop off the page.
-- Lauren Clark, author of Stay Tuned

Psychic or not, you'll never see the end for this one coming! Emlyn Chand is pioneering "the next big thing" for YA.
-- Emily Reese, author of Second Death

*Winner of the Alternative Booker Award, 2011
*Winner of the WritersType First Chapter Competition, September 2011

Places to Purchase FarsightedAmazonB&N, and Smashwords

About the author:
Emlyn Chand has always loved to hear and tell stories, having emerged from the womb with a fountain pen grasped firmly in her left hand (true story). When she's not writing, she runs a large book club in Ann Arbor and is the president of author PR firm, Novel Publicity. Emlyn loves to connect with readers and is available throughout the social media interweb.

Visit for more info. Don’t forget to say “hi” to her sun conure Ducky!

I am giving away an e-copy of Farsighted by Emlyn Chand. To enter, all you have to do is follow this blog in at least one way and then complete whichever extra entries you want in the Rafflecopter form below. The giveaway is open internationally and ends January 6 at 11:59pm (EST).

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  1. Thank you for having me today, Megan. You asked some really fun and quirky interview questions :-D

  2. Great interview and nice giveaway.