Retrato/Entrevista de la autora Emily McBride

If you want to upset her, open your umbrella in her face (not cool bro!). 

“Her” is Emily McBride, a Canadian writer, established in Spain who describes her style as “literary fiction with a touch of magic”. During a coffee break in one of Barcelona’s lovely plazas, she told me more about what inspires her, what her new novel is about, and some personal stuff. Enough information for me to shake it all, let it rest and come up with ideas to portrait her. Quick interview!

Can you pitch me your last novel (the one you want to get published) ?

An urban folktale about motherhood and madness.

Where do you get your inspiration from?

Life maybe 20%, other books/media/photographs/playing with ideas 80%

With three kids, a cat and a boyfriend, when did you find time to write it?

And a full-time job! I gave myself targets for the first draft — 1000 words a day. And editing took a long time. I had many meltdowns thinking I would never be finished or that the book would always be terrible. I write some nights, some early mornings, some Saturday mornings I arrange to be alone…I wish I had more time but I know I’m more productive and organized with the time I have now than before I had kids.

What are the next steps for you in order to get published?

Find an agent (this is like a full-time job); then hopefully they will sell the book, then edits and corrections, then finally publication.

Is self publication a good option? (via ebook online ?)

Many people swear by it but it’s not for me. All the books I read are traditionally published and that’s what I aspire to. And I have a lot of respect for editors.

What is your biggest (professional) dream?

My mom always sends me links to super expensive houses to buy “when I sell the movie rights.” 😉 But actually my main dream is just for the book to be respected by book people and read by people who will enjoy it. Then I’d like to write another, better one. And repeat.

How was the experience of portrait shooting with me? 🙂

Great! I had lots of fun going on location and trying different moods and angles. We had a plan (a wild but urban background) and in the end it was pure urban, but we would never have got the final pictures if we weren’t there experimenting. I love photography so it was really fun to watch you at work too!

Are portraits/images important in the writing world?

Yes and no. In theory writers aren’t judged on their appearance but on their writing. But as in any industry, an iconic photograph that makes you look like a genius never goes amiss. 😉

Thanks for your trust Emily, good luck for the publication process!