Just one day left until My Unscripted Life hits shelves! To celebrate, today I’ve got Emery Lord, one of my very favorite women on the blog. I’ve loved Emery’s books since her debut, Open Road Summer, came out in 2014, and her latest, When We Collided, has some of the best writing about people struggling with mental illness (both their own and others) that I’ve ever read. Emery also loves Gilmore Girls as much as I do, and we recently stood on a street corner in Cambridge having a very in-depth conversation on our theories for the Gilmore Girls reboot. We really should have a podcast. #JusticeforLaneKim
Be sure to check out the end of the interview for a giveaway!
There are some people who are just good at Twitter. Tim Federle. Shannon Hale. Justina Ireland. And you. Your tweets are smart and sharp and pretty much always make me laugh out loud. Basically HOW DO YOU DO IT?! How did you get into Twitter and find your voice there?
Well, thank you! (And I couldn’t agree more about Justina, Tim, and Shannon!!) I found Twitter exhausting at first because I was- without really meaning to- trying to be wholly inoffensive. That lasted about a minute because I am not willing to be apolitical for anything- there is too much at stake, and I have to take opportunities to be vocal and amplify other voices. These days, I really like if I can bring levity to someone’s day or if I can criticize something with a twist of humor. And, while I’m at it, I try to be publicly honest about difficult things and pump people up to embrace their innate power. That is my particular ministry, I think, but I also deeply care about using whatever platform I have to learn about and elevate other people- their voices and their work. That’s a big draw of Twitter for me. So, I offer pop culture quips and mental health confessionals and how magical I think you are and I hope I introduce you to the people I am learning from and listening to every day.
I know I’ve definitely felt the struggle between being me and being the person who lives online. The noise, good and bad, can definitely stick in my brain in a way that pulls me out of real life sometimes. How do you separate @emerylord from Emery Lord?
Yeah, I definitely feel that too sometimes. But I actually don’t post a lot about my daily life on social media, so that helps! Almost all my relationships- and a lot of my interests- are completely off-line. (It wasn’t intentional, at first! Lots of things just don’t make for pithy or interesting tweets? And a lot of my friends just aren’t into social media anyway.) Also, I do step away a lot, when I need to point all my focus at my health or work or family! Sometimes for intentional spans of time, sometimes a day when I just need to get right with myself or whatever.
Your novels have dealt with a lot of themes, from friendship to family to mental health, but they always feature a romantic storyline. What is it about romance that draws you there as a writer?
This question has really made me think, Lauren!! Romance is “the excitement associated with love”- and so sometimes I think I write friendship romances- writing about the wonder and power of loving the people in your life. I think who you’re drawn to or bonded to is so often a reflection of where you are, emotionally, and what you are seeking. But romance with physical attraction is, in particular, is a rich soil for pining, banter, awkwardness, and heat. And I like all those things.
You’ve been very candid about how your own mental health struggles have informed your writing, and I think that really came through in When We Collided. Vivi’s narrative felt very real and immersive. What was it like writing that perspective?
Writing Vivi’s POV was completely second-nature- the easiest I’ve ever found a voice. But she’s also the result of years of experience, conversations, study, and edits from a bunch of betas/experts. So, it was catharsis and research, hand in hand. Both were good for me.
Can you tell us anything about what you’re working on now?
I’m finishing up my fourth book, THE NAMES THEY GAVE US, which is out next May. It’s about finding your work family, and camp, and daughterhood.
Thanks, Emery! Now, to win a copy of Emery’s When We Collided, comment below with your favorite author to follow on Twitter! Contest ends October 16, US only.
Seventeen year-old Jonah Daniels has lived in Verona Cove, California, his whole life, and only one thing has ever changed: his father used to be alive, and now he is not. With a mother lost in a deep bout of depression, Jonah and his five siblings struggle to keep up their home and the restaurant their dad left behind. But at the start of summer, a second change rolls in: Vivi Alexander, the new girl in town.
Vivi is in love with life. Charming and unfiltered, she refuses to be held down by the medicine she’s told should make her feel better. After meeting Jonah, she slides into the Daniels’ household seamlessly, winning over each sibling with her imagination and gameness. But it’s not long before Vivi’s zest for life begins to falter. Soon her adventurousness becomes all-out danger-seeking.
Through each high and low, Vivi and Jonah’s love is put to the test . . . but what happens when love simply isn’t enough?