Meet E.C. Woodham. She is a Charleston, SC based author of New Adult Fiction, primarily Summer Beach Reads. She is releasing her debut novel, The Lights Out Club, on July 26th, 2019.
I asked Emma how old she was when she started writing, and if she always wanted to be a writer. She explains, "I think I’ve been writing since I first learned how to spell. My mom (who homeschooled us) really encouraged us to read and write at a young age, and I credit her with fostering my love of writing. I don’t know when I made the conscious decision to be a writer—I just always have been. I started writing fan-fiction for “LOST”, that ABC show that was so popular way back, when I was in middle school, and then I wrote my first “novel.” It’s so comically awful (I still have it saved) but I think that was the beginning of it all. And then I just kept writing—all through high school and through college. It’s just always been a part of who I am."
When I asked Emma if she planned to make writing her full-time career she said, "Yes and no. Let me explain. I want writing to be a PART of my full-time career. But, what a lot of people may not know is that I have a life + style blog, and I really enjoy doing that. So I’d like to be a fiction writer AND a blogger. So I guess it’s technically ALL writing, but I don’t want to strictly be a fiction writer.”
Emma's debut novel The Lights Out Club was published today! When asked to give a brief synopsis of her novel she said, "Yes, my debut novel, The Lights Out Club, comes out today on July 26th, 2019, and I’m so excited to share it with the world. I’ve been working on it for almost two years now (a shameful length of time. The second book will NOT take this long). It’s the story of Ellie & Olivia, two best friends who have the good fortune to housesit a beach house on Sullivan’s Island, SC. They expect it to be a quiet summer, but Ellie soon meets a handsome local while Olivia’s busy coping with some crazy problems in her own love life—her marriage is crumbling. One summer will change both of their lives forever, and it’s a story of love, maturing, and friendship. You can also read a full synopsis on my website.”
Her website is linked down below!
When asked about her favorite character in a novel, Emma said, "Wow. This is a tough one. I really love Elizabeth Bennett from Pride & Prejudice. She’s spunky and spirited, and she doesn’t need Darcy’s high regard. She also has flaws, like all of us do, but she doesn’t always see them. I like that she’s loyal to her family, even when they test her patience. Plus, she loves to read!”
Elizabeth is one of my favorite fictional characters too!
I also asked Emma what her favorite part of the writing process was and she said, "I really enjoy the developmental stage of the story. I love creating the characters and figuring out the entire storyline at the beginning, though the final version of my story is SOOOO much different from what I originally start out with. I think that’s my favorite part, even though I do enjoy drafting and the satisfaction of finishing chapter after chapter." When asked what she considered the hardest part of the writing process she replied, "Finishing the 1st draft. It’s such a mental hurdle that you have to get past. It’s tough, and it’s mentally exhausting. But honestly, you just have to write the damn book! If you get to a section that’s tough and creating a mental block, leave a placeholder and keep going. Try not to lose momentum. It’s so difficult, but when you finish the first draft, you will have such an amazing sense of accomplishment. And so what if it’s crap? You’ve finished it! You have a full draft to start editing and re-writing. Yeah, first drafts are the hardest part for me. I can’t count the number of stories that I started and didn’t finished before I finally wrote and completed The Lights Out Club.”
I asked Emma if she had any writing quirks and she said, "I don’t like writing with absolute silence. I really like to have background noise—honestly, it’s usually endless reruns of Friends and the sound of my dogs wrestling. I need noise that I don’t have to focus on, which is why Friends is great—I know every episode so well. Other than that, I don’t have many quirks. I can write anywhere. I can write anytime, though I write best in the early mornings (5am Writers Club is tough, but it works well for me)." When asked if any other authors had inspired her she said, "I love Mary Alice Monroe, and most people my age have no idea who she is, but she’s a NY Times Bestselling Author of amazing summer beach books. She actually lives close to me, on the South Carolina coast, and I’ve met her many times. She’s so passionate, and she’s such a talented storyteller—she inspires me so much, and I always keep her books close at hand if I’m feeling stuck in a story. Another author who inspired me is Bethany Atazadeh. I started following her on IG about eighteen months ago (give or take a few months), and she’s probably the first person who ever made me realize that I could self-publish my book. I love following along in her writing journey, and I was so excited when I got to meet her at BookCon 2019. I may have fangirled a little bit!.”
I asked Emma how long it typically takes her to write a book and she said, "Oh gosh, this is embarrassing. It took me two whole years to write The Lights Out Club, but I refuse to spend that much time working on a book again. I think (read: pray and hope) that I can write my next book within six months—that’s with drafting, editing, beta readers, more revising, proofreading, formatting—all of it. I’m keeping my fingers crossed, though.” Emma also has advice for writers just starting out on their writing journey stating, "Gosh, it’s so hard to think of where to start. I think my advice would be to try and find a writing community—the one on Instagram is where it’s at—and find writerly friends (even if they’re IG friends) because surrounding yourself with those people will really help inspire & motivate you. I don’t think I would be where I am today without my writing community. After that, I would say just try to find a trusty laptop and SAVE everything you write. Back everything up!"
I asked Emma about her plans for future books. She said, "Funny you mention it… I actually have about three books lined up, but the next one I’m currently brainstorming is still untitled. It’s another summer beach book, much like The Lights Out Club, that deals with a young woman in her twenties, navigating the murky waters of her hometown after she runs away from her wedding.”
Um…please write this. I would totally read it!
To wrap up our interview, I asked Emma what she was currently reading. She replied, "Well, I just finished Jenny Han’s “The Summer I Turned Pretty” series and I’m about to start “The Idea Of You” and “Ember Dragon Daughter”, which is Rebecca K Sampson’s debut novel.”