I would like to introduce to you my featured author of the month, Emily Kimelman. Author of many books, including one that I have reviewed: “Unleashed“! Check out my amazing interview with her and take a look at my review of “Unleashed”!
Emily spends summers in the Hudson Valley on a boat with her husband, Sean, and their dog, Kinsey (named after Sue Grafton’s Kinsey Milhone). She loves to read, write, cook, and spend time with friends and family. In the winters Emily, her husband and dog, travel abroad to some place warm and different with a beach and preferably horses to ride. Emily thrives on change and tries to keep her life in flux.
Sierra: When did you first start writing and when did you finish your first book?
I wrote my first book the summer of my 11th year while staying in an old hotel in the Spanish Mountains with my family and some friends. It was titled “The Strange Guests” and featured nudity, drugs, booze, and murder. I hand wrote it filing each chapter away in this gorgeous leather file folder my mother bought me in town. It tied closed with a red ribbon. In the about the author section I wrote that Emily Kimelman was the author of many books including “The Unicorn Chronicles”. That was a lie.
While I never did write those chronicles and “The Strange Guests” remains in that file folder today I published the first book in my Sydney Rye series, UNLEASHED, in the fall of 2011. I started writing it in 2004 while still in college. I was working as a dog walker on the Upper East Side of Manhattan and thought the unique access it provided would make a good base for an amateur detective. I didn’t realize how dark the books were going to be until it was halfway done.
Sierra: Tell us a little bit about your first book or the first book in the series.
UNLEASHED (A Sydney Rye Novel, #1) is the geniuses of the Sydney Rye character. At the beginning of UNLEASHED she is named Joy Humbolt and is living in Brooklyn and working as a dog walker on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. When I set out to write UNLEASHED I wanted to understand how a normal person could change into a killer. Few people are born with the urge to murder and I wanted to take a normal girl and see if I could flip that switch.
Sierra: How did you choose the genre you write in?
It was natural for me to write hard boiled mysteries. I love Raymond Chandler and Dashiell Hammet. Their words always resonated with me. The themes that go along with the dogged detective who lives by his own rules have always been of interest to me. The Machiavellian philosophy of breaking laws to right justice. That’s my bread and butter.
I’ve tried writing fun paranormal romances but within a chapter or two people are getting killed and my character is out for justice. I just can’t help myself.
Sierra: What was your favorite chapter (or part) to write?
As I wrote the last 100 pages of UNLEASHED I felt like I was flying, in another world almost. And when I typed the last paragraph I felt absolutely exhilarated. I’ve managed to capture that feeling in my other books. It’s all about letting yourself disappear and allowing the story to reveal itself to you.
Sierra: Is anything in your book based on real life experiences or purely all imagination?
I use a lot of my real life experiences for my books. Especially places. I’ve been to almost every location I describe in my books… at least the ones that I could get access to. They don’t let people into the tunnels under Gracie Mansion. I’ve taken kick boxing classes and done some other training to aid in describing Sydney’s fighting scenes.
It’s funny because my husband will be reading something I wrote and be like. “That’s not how it happened. You didn’t drive the R.V through the sand dunes, I did.” I then point out to him that Sydney Rye is not me (which you’d think he would have noticed) and that he’s not even in the book so how could he drive the R.V?
Sierra: Is there any particular author or book that influenced you in any way either growing up or as
Tons of books influenced me. When thinking about writing my own mysteries I really gravitated toward the Raymond Chandler, Dashiell Hammet hard boiled school of the detective who makes up his own rules and fights for justice at any cost. But I also love P.D James and her ilk of literary detectives. I just can’t write like that.
Sierra: Do you ever experience writers block?
Sort of. Some days I just don’t want to write or do anything so I’ll watch T.V or read. I figured it’s OK because I’m studying plot and characters and how other people pull things off… at least that’s what I tell myself 🙂
Sierra: Is there an author that you would really like to meet?
Emily: I would like to meet Sue Grafton but I don’t know what I’d say to her. I’d probably just stand there and act goofy.
Sierra: Will you have a new book coming out soon? If so, can you tell us about it?
Emily: The fourth Sydney Rye Novel, STRINGS OF GLASS, is coming out in August. Sydney Rye is hanging out in India with her boyfriend, Dan, reading paperbacks and sipping beer. No violence and no reminders of her past. But when she and her dog, Blue, are attacked by a pact of wild dogs, Sydney starts to feel that old itch again; to do good by being bad.
Trouble finds Rye when she stops the attempted rape and murder of Anita, a reporter working on a story of corruption and human trafficking. The atrocities Anita describes send Sydney, Blue and Dan on a quest that takes them across India after a dangerous and, up until now, untouchable, figure. While Sydney struggles to accept her true nature she realizes that it is the only way to end decades of abuse and exploitation. But Rye fears that she will loose herself, becoming no better than the monster she fights against.
I wrote it over the course of six or seven months, two of which I spent in India… reading paperbacks and drinking beers. Luckily, trouble did not find me!
Sierra: If you could go back and do it all over again, is there any aspect of your first novel or getting
it published that you would change?
Emily: I would have published it sooner. I waited for a couple of reasons but mostly it was fear and time. I was running a business with my husband that took up the majority of my energy so that slowed me down. Also, I was afraid it wouldn’t work and that I would have destroyed any chance of getting a traditional publishing contract. But that was all silly and I should have just done it earlier and with more gusto. But I’ve learned my lesson and I’m no longer letting anything get in the way of my writing and publishing.
Sierra: Do you have any advise to give to aspiring writers?
Emily: The same advice I heard over and over again. Keep writing.
Sierra: Is there anything you would like to say to your readers and fans?
Emily: Thank you! I love you! You’ve changed my life and made my dreams come true!!!!!
Thank you so much!!
Here is my review once again of Emily’s first book, “Unleashed”!
Get a copy of Emily Kimelman’s book, “Unleashed” – The first book in the Sydney Rye Novels, FREE FOR A LIMITED TIME!!! The Links are below! I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!!