Thomas M. Watt: Today we’re featuring one of my favorite indie authors, Lisa Emme. She’s the author of the Harry Russo Diaries series, and the first installment (Dead and Kicking) continues to receive 5 star reviews. What motivated you to write this series?
Lisa Emme: It sounds totally cliché, but the characters motivated me. I had this idea for Harry, the entire opening scene of Dead and Kicking in fact, playing out in my head for some time. I couldn’t stop thinking about it. What happened next? Who was Harry? I’m a huge urban fantasy and paranormal romance fan, so it was natural for me to think that this was a story I wanted to learn more about, a story I’d want to read, so I started writing it. I had to write it so I could find out what happened!
Dead and Kicking features zombies, vampires and communication with the dead. Does the sequel introduce any new horrifying characters or paranormal activities that you’d be kind enough to warn us about?
LE: As a matter-of-fact, yes. Book two, Tooth and Claw, introduces you more to the Fae side of the supernatural world. There’s a psychotic ‘elf’ (he hates being called that), blood-thirsty pixies and even homicidal redcaps. For those not familiar with redcaps, they are called that because they soak their hats in the blood of their victims so that it drips continually down their faces in gory streaks. Of course, werewolves, vampires and zombies are still in the mix as well. Harry’s world is bursting with supernatural beings. There’s never a dull moment.
If Harry Russo met Cole Sear from The Sixth Sense, how do you think their conversation would go?
LE: Ha! That’s a good question. Hmmm, maybe something like….
Cole: I see dead people.
Harry: Yeah, kid. I know. Me too.
Cole: They’re just walking around like regular people…They don’t know they’re dead.
Harry: Yeah, I get that, but listen kid, you probably shouldn’t go around telling everyone that you see dead people. They’re going to think you’re not right in the head. You know what I mean? They’ll think you’re a…
Cole: That I’m a freak.
Harry: Yeah, something like that. So keep it on the down-low, all right? And if a ghost is bugging you, just tell them to take a hike. You’re not their grief counsellor.
Cole: You ever feel the prickly things on the back of your neck? And the tiny hairs on your arms, you know when they stand up?
Harry: Okay, now you’re kind of just creeping me out, kid. Enough already.
Cole: I don’t wanna be scared anymore.
Harry: Look…if all else fails, use this. [Harry hands Cole a Taser] Nothing gets rid of ghosts faster than a 1200 volt jolt.
Cole: [Looks at the Taser with glee] Thanks, Harry.
Harry: Don’t mention it, kid. I mean, really…don’t tell your mom I gave you that. And if Tommy Tammisimo ends up flopping on the ground like a fish, I’ll deny ever having met you.
Before Harry Russo embarks on her second journey, she stops by your house and asks for some advice. What do you tell her?
LE: I would probably tell her to get her head out of the sand and quit denying her abilities. I’d also tell her to quit pretending she doesn’t just want to throw herself at Nash and to go for it. But that’s just me, and maybe I’ve been single too long…
You’ve mentioned that you were an avid reader before deciding to craft your own tales. Do you view stories any differently now that you’re designing them?
LE: That’s a tough one. I guess I do. I think it’s hard to take off that writer hat once you have it on. I find myself analysing an author’s style. How they write their dialog, how they handle scene transitions, the POV they write in, etc. Everything I read is a learning opportunity, a chance to think about what really worked and didn’t for the story. I actually think that the way I see stories changed before I started writing. In fact, it’s probably why I decided to start writing. I can remember reading a book and it turned out that it wasn’t particularly well written (it was just plain awful), yet it was hugely popular, I mean insanely popular and I thought to myself that I could write a much better story.
Thank you so much for dropping by, Lisa!
Thanks for having me. I appreciate the opportunity for your readers to get to know me. I hope if they want to know more they’ll stop by my website (www.lisaemme.com). I’d love to hear from them.
Lisa Emme is a Canadian who proudly ends her ABC’s with ‘zed’. A self-professed book-a-holic, she has spent the last few years trying to stem her book hoarding tendencies by writing her own stories and by avoiding the bargain table at the bookstore like the plague.
A bit of a thrill seeker, Lisa has tried such death defying activities as bungy jumping off a bridge and rappelling down the side of a 17 storey building. She’s also single-handedly raising a teenager.
Lisa has worked as a veterinary assistant, playground instructor, bank teller, store clerk, waitress, telephone solicitor, research writer for an environmental think tank, computer programmer, and systems analyst. Her passion, however, is writing. What else is she going to do during the long, cold, prairie winter?
Lisa would love to hear from you. You can find her here:
- Thomas M. Watt
Thanks so much for the interview. I had fun. Loved the question about Cole!
You’re welcome, Lisa! I enjoyed it too. I loved your answer!