*SLIDES INTO THE ROOM* Welcome to the Well, my friend. Not only is this THE place for entertainment, but it also features the latest and greatest in bookish news.
Today, I will be interviewing Emily Hayse in celebration of her latest release, The Last Atlantean.
*CAVORTS IN A CIRCLE, CACKLING WITH BARELY CONTROLLED GLEE*
I just finished featuring Emily’s last book, Seventh City, over on Instagram, so you can bet I nearly jumped out of my socks at the chance to promote her latest release! Let’s get down to it!
EMILY HAYSE is a lover of log cabins, strong coffee, and the smell of old books. Her writing is fueled by good characters and a lifelong passion for storytelling. When she is not busy turning words into worlds, she can often be found baking, singing, or caring for one of the many dogs and horses in her life. She lives with her family in Michigan.
“Watch, ye sons of the sea, your doom is at hand. With soundless storm rises the fate of Atlantis.”
As a lighthouse keeper’s daughter, Hattie has always been able to handle anything the Atlantic throws at her. But when a stranger washes ashore in a storm, she finds herself unraveling a mystery that will change her life. Caught up in a high-stakes game of intrigue and hidden loyalties, Hattie watches legends take shape before her eyes. But as kings and pawns prepare for a showdown that will determine the fate of an ancient world, she wonders whether she has thrown in her lot with the hero or the villain.
THAT COVER. THAT SYNOPSIS. THIS AUTHOR. Let it be known to all the people that NOW IS THE TIME TO BE EXCITED.
WHO ELSE IS GETTING COLD CHILLS???
Okay, okay – enough of me squealing. Let is get to the crux of the post. Without further ado (or anticipatory shrieks) the interview!
Welcome, Emily! What inspired The Last Atlantean?
That’s a good question! I had the idea for the title in the summer of 2018, but I didn’t actually get any ideas past that until that fall/winter. Things just started to come together. Certainly some of it came for my love of the Atlantis legends (something that has intrigued me from childhood) and then my love of Maine and the stormy northeast coast. But beyond that and perhaps a couple authors that I feel my style was similar to in this particular project (Rosemary Sutcliff and Patricia MacLachlan) I’m not sure I could point to anything particular for the story itself. It just came.
ROSEMARY SUTCLIFF? She’s one of my favorite authors of all time, so you can bet my ears just perked up! Can you tell us a little about the characters and the world of The Last Atlantean?
What I really wanted to show with this book was the contrast between two worlds: the stormy, tight-knit community feel of coastal Maine in 1912, and the bright, anciently unforgiving setting of Atlantis. My two main characters, Hattie Scrow and Isurus Lamnidae are thrust together and from the contrasting worlds, so you get to see how awkward it is for an Atlantean trying not to stick out in a small Maine community but then you also end up seeing the epic scale of Atlantis through the narrower lens of Hattie Scrow who knows her priorities and isn’t swayed by things like dooms and prophecies. And they are the only two who really translate between the two worlds. All the other characters are either fixtures in Maine or fixtures in Atlantis, which helps drive up the contrast.
Wow, just from that brief description, I am already captivated by this world building! How much research, if any, did you have to do for The Last Atlantean?
I did a fair bit of research on how lighthouses were run, what advances in technology they had for running the lights in 1912, and things like life and clothing and news during that time and then I did some looking around the original Atlantis myth, and lifestyle and food in the Mediterranean area, which is approximately where I set my version of Atlantis.
Who is your favorite character in The Last Atlantean and why?
Isurus Lamndiae. He is the other main character besides Hattie, and he’s just got this shine to him. He’s kind of like Frodo. He has a good heart and is very duty-bound and self-sacrificial, perhaps to the point where he shouldn’t be.
He sounds amazing! Tell us a little about your writing process! When is your favorite time to write? What is your favorite writing spot, snack, drink? Any peculiar writing habits or quirks?
I love to write in the morning. I’m an early bird, so being up with the sun and a cup of coffee is ideal for me. It doesn’t always happen, since I leave pretty early for work most mornings, but that’s my favorite. I have a beautiful desk that I love to write at but I find that I actually write a lot more on my bed or at a kitchen counter. Anywhere I can find an outlet and some quiet. I love coffee or tea while I’m writing and hands down, my favorite writing snack is shortbread, though sometimes I will cook or bake according to what’s in the book. With The Last Atlantean I tried a lot of Mediterranean foods. Quirks, hmm. One thing is I draft my books like I’m seeing a movie in my head, so often I have to cast the characters from the get-go and then the writing process is a lot like writing down what I see them do as they do it. Also, I whisper the words as I write. I have one sister who finds that extremely amusing.
I love seeing these little details about how you work! What are the easiest, and the most difficult, parts of publishing? (outlining, drafting, etc).
I love coming up with new story ideas and building the world and the characters. In some ways that’s probably the easiest for me, the setting everything up and then the drafting. For difficult, I would say formatting and stuff, but I have someone who does my formatting for me (it still scares me). Probably the hardest is editing at home (for some reason it’s next to impossible for me) and then just reaching my audience. I love interacting with people on Instagram, but outside of that, I find putting myself out there really hard.
Boy, I hear you on the formatting fear! Can you tell us a bit about your future writing plans or projects?
My next release is slated for late fall or early winter of this year, and it will be a collection of Seventh City short stories and novellas. So fans of Seventh City can keep their eyes out for that! As for my next novel, that’s still undecided, but I’m working on a fantasy Yankee whaler vs. pirates series with some twisty Agatha Christie vibes, a fantasy western based on a well-known legend, and a series set in Wales in the 30s, involving a small village bakery with dangerous connections to Faerie.
*SPITS OUT WATER* Oh my GOOOOOODNESSSSSSSSSS. This sound AMAZING. I gasped and squealed out loud when I read those tidbits! AH, I NEED THEM NOW!
But, sadly, I guess I’ll have to wait! Thank you so much for this fabulous interview, Emily! I can’t wait to sink into the adventure of The Last Atlantean!
Blog Tour Dates and Stops:
Emily Hayse // Kickoff Post:
Schuyler McConkey // Review/Guest Post
Anne Rhys // Author Interview
Allison’s Well // Author Interview
Claire Banschbach // Author Interview
Esther Jackson // Author Interview
Cheyenne van Lengevelde // Author Interview / Review:
Rae Graham // Guest Post / Review
Jameson C. Smith // Author Interview // Review
Gabrielle Emmons // Book Review
SO WHO’S EXCITED FOR THE LAST ATLANTEAN???? I’ll tell you who’s excited – *points thumbs towards chest* – THIS GIRL, RIGHT HERE.
Do you follow Emily on social media? Have you read any of her other books? Speak to me, chums!