After a variety of jobs (waitress, sign painter for archeological sites, barmaid) Emma Fraser trained as a nurse in Edinburgh before going on to study English Literature at university. After graduating she and her husband travelled for a few years, living and working in Australia, rural Africa and the far north of Canada. When they returned to Britain, Emma worked in the Health Sector for a number of years before leaving to write full time. She wrote several medical romances for Harlequin under the name Anne Fraser before her first historical novel, When the Dawn Breaks was published by Sphere in 2013. Her second historical, We Shall Remember, is out in ebook and hardback now and paperback in October. Her stories are about ordinary, but strong and determined women who find themselves in extra-ordinary situations and are based on real people and events.
Emma's Five Favourite Books
I have so many, but these are five of my favourites
Into Thin Air Jon Krakauer
Rebecca Daphne du Maurier
Pride and Prejudice Jane Austen
The Heart of Darkness Joseph Conrad
Bleak House Charles Dickens
Emma's 5 Top Writing tips
Sometimes it feels as if writing a whole book is impossible – think of it in chunks and you'll get there. Which brings me to my next tip...
Write first - edit later
I'm a great believer that we use one side of our brain to write and the other to edit. If you try and apply the editing side while you are writing, you will constantly go over scenes and never get to the end.
Learn to love your delete key
After you've written your first draft, go back. If the scene doesn't push your story on, either by revealing character or advancing the plot, the scene has to go. Learn that this is a good thing. (Sometimes if it's too painful to delete something I have spent hours writing, I put it in a deleted scene file and pretend to myself I will use it in another book. I haven't done so far, but it easier for me to use that key.)
Try and write most days
I don't write at the weekends (unless I am close to a deadline then I write all the time) but I do try to write most days. If I take long periods off I find it more difficult to get back into my writing. It feels to me a little like when I haven't been to the gym for a while. As Stephen King says in his book On Writing, you can't wait for the muse to come to you. Sit down at your desk every day (or most days) and the muse will come and find you there.
Find someone you trust to be your ideal reader.
I'm lucky, I have my sisters and my daughter who I can show stuff to. They can be brutal, far too honest sometimes, but trust me that's better than having a first reader who doesn't want to hurt your feelings.
Emma's books are published by Sphere . When the Dawn Breaks is available in paperback and e-book and We Shall Remember is available in e-book and hardback with a paperback release planned for later this year.