Q&A with Emma Lai

Please help me welcome multi-published romance author Emma Lai to the blog.

Q Would you please share a short bio about yourself?

A Thank you for hosting, Rebecca! I like a challenge. When I worked in corporate America, I first worked at an oil services company as a computer engineer. (Not a lot of women in the field at the time.) Then, I moved into managing software and IT project management. (Imagine being the focus of attention in large meetings.) I also worked as an analyst at a boarding school for high school and junior college students. (I had to deal with parents, students and other employees on a daily basis.)

Why was all this a challenge? Believe it, or not, I’m introverted.

Nowadays I stay home with my one year old son and write. It’s a rare day when I crave social interaction. I’m happy to limit my interaction with my family and one friend who lives on the next street over.

Q In what ways has being shy or introverted hindered your writing career?

A The biggest way in which being introverted hindered my writing career has to do with promotion. When I signed my first story, I was reluctant to approach other writers and ask for promo spots. However, a handful of really helpful, and far more extroverted, writers offered to do interviews for me and introduced me to other writers.

Q In what ways has being shy or introverted helped your writing career?

A Since I’m not a social butterfly, I don’t need to spend time with others. So, I can delve into a story and spend hours in it without guilt and without feeling as if I missed something by not being with others.

Another way it’s helped is by encouraging my imagination. One of my coping mechanisms for dealing with large groups of people is to first imagine how the scenario will play out. I picture the event the way I want it to happen. I also picture worst-case scenarios and envision how I will deal with them. Then I review it all in my head one last time.

I do have to add that like people in real life, my characters sometimes do completely off-the-wall things. In those cases, I just go with the flow and don’t try and mold the event into something it’s not. Less stress that way.

Both my first release, His Ship, Her Fantasy, and my latest release, Twice is Not Enough, were largely influenced by my introversion.

In His Ship, Her Fantasy, Ellie is the sole female engineer on a spaceship. Needless to say, my own personal experiences greatly shaped the story and her character. Ellie is isolated from the rest of the crew because of her gender, the shift she works and her introverted nature.

Click here to purchase from The Wild Rose Pres.

In Twice is Not Enough, Lady Minerva Peters witnesses another couple’s tryst because her natural reticence prevents her from announcing her presence until too late. She also has a nasty habit of putting other’s needs in front of hers, I think in part, because she’s hesitant to speak up and let others know what she wants.

Click here to purchase from The Wild Rose Press.

Q Where can my readers find you on the web?

A Website: http://www.emmalaiwrites.com

Blogs: http://emmalaiwrites.blogspot.com and http://emmalaivisitsthespicierside.blogspot.com

Twitter: @EmmaLaiWrites

Facebook: EmmaLaiWrites

Thanks again for hosting me, Rebecca! I’ll be giving away a copy of one of my stories to someone who leaves a comment on the blog.


  1. Thanks again, Rebecca, for letting me guest on your lovely blog. I mentioned in my post that being introverted has impacted my promo. Recently, I posted at my blog about feeling isolated on Twitter. Once again, more extroverted authors stepped in to show me the ropes. I've gained 20 followers in two days. Will that lead to book sales? Who knows? But, it's nice to know someone's listening to me. :)

  2. Very nice post, Emma. I am, by turns, introverted and extroverted, depending on whether I feel in control of a situation or not. This stems from being a person who stutters. So, at times, the thought of self-promotion scares me. Don't EVEN ask me to give a reading from my book--ain't happenin'! Thank goodness so much is done online now! Lucky me! And lucky you, too, that you've found your comfort zone. Much success to you. Write on!

  3. Thanks Vonnie. The internet is an amazing thing. Who'd have thought it would be used in all the ways it is?

  4. Hi Emma,
    Good interview. Even tho' I'm not shy at all, I thought it was funny that the one thing I have in common w/ you is that I don't crave social outlets either. I can give a speech to hundreds if needed, but I'm content to just stay home and write, speaking to no one (but myself-lol).
    BTW, don't know if I've told you how much I love the cover for TWICE. LOVE it! ;)

  5. Hi Emma, thanks so much for coming on today. Loved your answers to my Q&A.


  6. Hi Jennifer,

    Thanks for stopping in. The thought of speaking to hundreds has my knees knocking. Funny since I can, when necessary, corral twenty angry project workers with their own agendas, or talk to CEOs without breaking a sweat.

    Angela did an awesome job on the cover.

  7. Rebecca, I really enjoyed your questions. They're different from most interview questions and interesting to boot.

  8. Oh Emma, your post really struck home with me. I'm a total introvert by nature, too. Since my first book came out in October, I've given three talks to good sized groups and surprised myself at how well they've gone. However, I need plenty of alone time to recharge my batteries and keep everything in balance. And it really does help to have extroverted friends who constantly encourage you.

  9. Emma I think once you get the hang of Twitter you will love it! I am about as shy of a person as you can get. I hate to be the center of attention. I joined Twitter last November as a birthday present to myself. I have now found great tweeple to follow and who follow me. Some of my followers are my favorite authors too! I can speak my mind on twitter when I would never be able to face to face. Congratulations on your new release!

  10. Thanks Stacie. I'm definitely feeling Twitter.

  11. I'm listening to you, Emma. :) Of course, you probably figured that out already, huh?

    Great interview!


  12. I might have thought something like that, Sarah. :) I linked to your post on hashtags at my blog.

  13. Wonderful post, Emma! Keep at it. Perseverance is a writer's first, middle, and last name. Congrats on the release!
    Liz Arnold
    Message to Love
    The Wild Rose Press

  14. What post on hashtags???? I need all the Twitter help I can get, too.

  15. Rebecca,

    Here's the link...

  16. I've been painfully shy since I was a child, but over the years have overcome it enough that I can go up and speak to complete strangers without feeling uncomfortable. But I still prefer my own company and that of my characters over social events. I think being shy growing up, I was always constructing make believe stories in my head and this led me to writing when I got older.

    Congrats on your releases!

  17. Emma, thanks so much for being on my blog. :) I wish you TONS of success with your new release. You are welcome to come back on my blog any time.

    And thanks for the link to Sarah's blog.


  18. Susan, I was definitely one of those kids who hid behind their parents' legs when strangers came calling. Thanks for stopping by!

  19. Thanks for the well wishes, Becky! Hopefully, we'll share many more book releases in the future!

  20. Susan, the random number generator known as RANDBETWEEN in Excel chose you as the winner of a copy of Twice is Not Enough. Congratulations!

  21. Thanks, Emma! Look forward to reading it!

  22. I know I'm late but... Great interview ladies! Being.. um less social, provides the opportunity to observe and let your imagination roam.

    Good luck on the new release!