Wednesday, April 13, 2022

Interview with Emily-Jane Hills Orford, BEAUTY IN THE BEAST

Can you give us a brief overview of your latest book? Is it part of a series?

It’s not part of a series, but a stand-alone fantasy/ science fiction.


Priya, a name that suggests beautiful. Amell, a name that suggests all powerful. One is a beautiful young lady; the other a beast. Their paths have crossed before, only Priya doesn’t remember Amell from her past. Or does she? And what does it all mean? The Amell she meets is part beast. So are the others at Castle Mutasim. Is she one of them, too? How can this be? What manner of creature would experiment on other living creatures, to mutate them into something bizarre and, sometimes, downright dangerous? Priya has to know. She wants to know. And she wants to make things right.


Do you have a favorite character?

Priya, the main character. She’s beautiful, both inside and out. She cares about others. She loves dogs, books, music, history and a good cup of tea in a quaint tearoom. We have so much in common. Perhaps that’s why I wrote her the way I did:


“Priya stepped back, blending into the blackness of night. Spreading her arms, she felt the feathers surge forth giving her wings. Taking off, she soared mere feet above where she had left Roderick. He only glanced once, waved, then he, too, faded into the night. She soared higher, in broader circles, then took off into the night sky over the forest, seeking her feathered friends and a night of reckless abandon. Seeking the beauty embedded deep within every living creature. The beauty within the beast.”


Have you ever had a minor character evolve into a major one? Did that change the direction of the novel at all? Did the character become the hero/heroine of their own book?

I do in this book. Bear, the ever-faithful BFF, the rescued mutt. Only, upon arriving at Castle Mutasim, she discovers that Bear is really a mutant dog/human and who knows what else. Sitting next to her at the grand table in the castle’s dining room, Priya is stunned.

“Bear?” she gasped.

“Yes, Priya,” the creature replied. “It is I. The one you call Bear. Perhaps you could come up with another name. Like Gawain. Or Wayne, for short.”

“His suggestion was met with guffaws all around the table. “He fashions himself after the great Sir Gawain,” Roderick paused from his eating long enough to explain, pointing a fork at Bear. “Knight in shining armor. Rescuer of damsels in distress and all that.”

From BFF as a dog, to BFF as a mutant, Bear, now Wayne, aspires to capture Priya’s attention, only he has a hidden agenda which is not in Priya’s best interests or that of the other castle’s occupants. He always appears to be elbowing his way into the action. I really can’t say anymore without giving away the story.


Did you try the traditional route to publishing, i.e. querying agents/publishers?

I’ve tried both traditional and self-publishing. Both routes have their challenges. The biggest challenge that influences book sales no matter how the book is published is marketing. There are so many really good authors who are struggling, just as I am, to get recognized – a lot of competition. I don’t think either route is better than the other. The only real advantage to traditional publishing is you don’t have to put money up front for the cost of publishing the book.


How long before you got your offer of representation/your first contract? Was it for your first novel?

Each book was different process, a different timeline. I think the longest I’ve had to wait to find a good, reliable publisher was two years. I don’t have that problem now, as, thankfully, Tell-Tale Publishing is now my publisher for all of my books.


What factors influenced your decision to go with a particular agent or publisher?

Tell-Tale’s faith in my writing, in my stories and their willingness to work with me.


Briefly describe your journey in writing your first or latest book. Have you joined any FB author groups to inspire and help you along the way?

Every book is a writing journey. I tend to be rather secretive about my current writing projects. I don’t tend to share much on FB or other social media sites as I really don’t trust the big bad ‘web. I do realize, however, that it’s a necessary and useful tool to help with marketing my books.


Are you currently under a traditional publishing contract for future books or do you have manuscripts that you will self-publish? Are you doing both?

Yes. Tell-Tale Publishing.


What factors influenced your decision to self-publish your book(s)?

Self-publishing gave me a start. Now I have a traditional publisher.


Do you outline your story or just go where your muse takes you?

I allow the muse to take me wherever it will go. As the plot evolves, I often write margin notes to help me thicken the plot, or add more dimension or description or character development. Otherwise, I find an outline not very helpful.




AUTHOR Bio and Links:


Emily-Jane Hills Orford
is a country writer, living just outside the tiny community of North Gower, Ontario, near the nation’s capital. With degrees in art history, music and Canadian studies, the retired music teacher enjoys the quiet nature of her country home and the inspiration of working at her antique Jane Austen-style spinet desk, feeling quite complete as she writes and stares out the large picture window at the birds and the forest. She writes in several genres, including creative nonfiction, memoir, fantasy, and historical fiction.



Twitter: @ejhomusic

Amazon buy link:






Emily-Jane Hills Orford will be awarding a $10 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway



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