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LRR: What inspired you to write "Farsighted"?
EC: Everything started with a single image—my face in these tacky oversized sunglasses reflecting out at me from the car’s side mirror. I was daydreaming while my husband drove us across Michigan for my sister’s wedding. Something about my image really struck me in an almost horrific way. I felt the glasses made me look blind but found it so weird that there was still a clear image within them; it seemed so contradictory. At the time, my book club was reading The Odyssey, which features the blind Theban prophet, Tieresias. I started thinking about what it would be like to have non-visual visions of the future and began forming a modern Tieresias in my mind. Lo and behold, Alex Kosmitoras was born. I didn’t want him to be alone in his psychic subculture, so I found other characters with other powers to keep him company. Thank God for my poor fashion sense. =]
LRR: How was the writing process for you?
EC: Farsighted is the first novel I’ve felt good about enough to publish, but I actually wrote another book before it (last year). The first novel was done in one fell swoop by devoting an hour-and-a-half per day for roughly three months until I got it done. Farsighted was more of an all-or-nothing proposition. I would spend twelve hours one day on it and then walk away for several weeks. The whole process took close to a year. I finished two-thirds of it this summer when I decided to hold myself “writing hostage” at Panera. I went there when they opened at 6 AM and stayed from 8 hours at a stretch. I did this every day for about three weeks until draft 1# was done and my self-editing was complete. Then it was on to my critiquers and my editor—great, wonderful, helpful, and absolutely crucial people.
LRR: Why did you choose this particular genre and how much research did you have to do in order to make this story a success?
EC: Well, first I spent about three months trying to talk myself out of writing Farsighted. It’s too ambitious, my inner critic pointed out. You’ll never get it done, not in the way it deserves to be done, it pressed. But there was another part of me that couldn’t resist; I knew I had to at least try before giving up. I started by reading tons and tons of books—I read about world folklore and superstitions, religions especially Zoroastrianism, Hinduism, and Sikhism, psychic powers, the occult, blindness, and even Nostradamus. I learned how to cast runes and perform a ten-card Celtic Cross Tarot reading. I had nightmares for several weeks, but then they eventually stopped, and I started writing.
LRR: Who was your favorite character to write?
EC: 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.
LRR: I know it is fiction, but were there any little tidbits of your own life that you snuck into your novel?
EC: Oh, gosh. The only thing I can think of is the multiculturalism. Grandon is based on my hometown; it’s small and kind of boring. I couldn’t wait to escape and move on to bigger and better things. My home town was mostly Caucasian, but somehow I ended up with a very diverse set of friends even though they made up less than 1% of the student body. Fast forward a few years, and I end up marrying a man from India. He’s from New Delhi, like Simmi. I’ve always been fascinated by other cultures; I even decided to pursue my Master’s in Sociology for this very reason. I credit two early life influences for this attraction: 1) My adoration of A.C. Slater in Saved by the Bell, 2) Disney’s Aladdin being the best movie ever.
LRR: When I read, I picture a whole movie in my head. If you could cast anyone as your main characters, who would they be?
EC: Oh man! I wouldn’t mind having Taylor Lautner play Alex. As for the others, it’s just so hard to say. I wrote the entire book with only vague ideas of what they looked like, since the story is told from Alex’s point-of-view, and he’s blind. I guess I’m pretty open to the others. Definitely Taylor Lautner for Alex though ;-)
LRR: Any works in progress?
EC: I’m working on book two in the Farsighted series. It’s called Open Heart and will be written from the point-of-view of a different main character. I’m also toying with the idea of a special hardcover edition of Farsighted Book 1 with new chapters added to the end and a sneak peek of Open Heart.
LRR: Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?
EC: My advice is this: Have fun with your writing. Don’t put pressure on yourself or your story and don’t try to fit either into some type of mold. Not every work HAS to be published, but every work will teach you something, and it will make you a better writer. Find the joy in writing, and you won’t go wrong.
Keep a look out for more to come. Including: my review of the book, book excerpts, and author guest posts!
Blog Tour Notes
THE BOOK: 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. Get your copy today by visiting Amazon.com’s Kindle store or the eBook retailer of your choice. The paperback edition will be available on November 24 (for the author’s birthday).
THE CASH PRIZES: Guess what? You could win a $100 Amazon gift card as part of this special blog tour. That’s right! Just leave a comment below saying something about the post you just read, and you’ll be entered into the raffle. I could win $100 too! Please help by voting for my blog in the traffic-breaker poll. To cast your vote, visit the official Farsighted blog tour page and scroll all the way to the bottom. Thank you for your help with that.
THE GIVEAWAYS: Win 1 of 10 autographed copies of Farsighted before its paperback release by entering the giveaway on GoodReads. Perhaps you’d like an autographed postcard from the author; you can request one on her site.
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 www.emlynchand.com for more info. Don’t forget to say “hi” to her sun conure Ducky!
MORE FUN: There's more fun below. Watch the live action Farsighted book trailer and take the quiz to find out which character is most like you!