1. What is your name/pen name?
Emily A. Steward
2. What do you write?
All things Middle Grade! I just love the quirky, fun feel you can get away with in middle grade novels. My primary focus right now is fantasy, but I’ve also been dabbling in mystery, paranormal, and realistic fiction.
3. Tell us about yourself?
Well, I live with my husband and three daughters in the Pacific Northwest where I enjoy kayaking, disc golf, board games, reading, and of course, writing. I wrote my first book when I was in kindergarten. It was a blatant rip off of the Berenstain Bears, but I was pretty proud of it. I got a bit more creative after that. I wrote a short story in middle school about a shark attacking people. I called it “Fangs.” Ok… so it took a little while for me to become original, but I got there eventually!
4. What prompted you to pitch your book in #Pit2Pub?
I almost didn’t. I’d pitched my book in a couple Twitter pitch contests before, and I was afraid everyone who was potentially interested had already seen it. I was almost ready to shelve this project for a while to focus on my new novel, but a friend convinced me to pitch it one last time and I’m so glad I did!
5. Tell about your #Pit2Pub experience.
It was really fun. I enjoyed coming up with different pitches and tweaking them until they were just right. I also enjoyed the community and connections I made with fellow writers. There is really no downside to participating.
6. Which publisher did you sign with?
I signed with an awesome company called Clean Reads.
7. Tell us about your upcoming book.
Penelope Gilbert and the Children of Azure is a middle grade fantasy novel with an adventure that spans across two worlds. When 13 year-old Penelope Gilbert accidentally transforms into a stapler during math class, she’s sure she's going crazy. But she’s not imagining the men in black suits now patrolling the halls at school, nor is she imagining the new substitute teacher who orders the class to take a special new test. A test that requires blood. Hunted for her powers, and torn from the life she knows, Penny is swept up into a world in the clouds where magic meets machine and pirates rule the sky.
8. When is your book scheduled to be released?
9. What is at the top of your bucket list?
To be the best boy grip. Not second best mind you. I always see this title in the end credits of movies. I’m not really sure what they do, but it seems like a worthy goal. Other than that, I would love to explore some ancient ruins Indiana Jones style, or find some buried treasure.
10. Parting words for other authors?
Listen and learn from other’s feedback on your work, but ultimately trust your gut. Don’t get discouraged when you run up against harsh criticism. Use that criticism to fuel your fire. Edit like crazy and show them you do have a story worth sharing that only you can tell. And those rejections you have piling up in your inbox… they really are subjective. Somewhere, someone is looking for your book, it just needs to fall into the right hands at the right time.