Episode #41: Emma’s Quarantine Novel

Hello, friends. Emma here. I am 100% terrified for you to hear today’s episode because this week Elsie and I talk about how I finished a novel recently and am trying to get it published. Ahh!!!!!

You can stream the episode here on the blog or on iTunesSpotifyGoogle PlayTuneInPocket Casts, and Stitcher. You can find the podcast posts archive here.

I talk about Stephen King’s book, On Writing, quite a bit. If you are interested in writing fiction, I highly recommend reading this (or listening to the audio version).

We mention our friend and past agent Lindsay and her e-course on How to Write and Pitch a Book Proposal, which is super helpful if you are looking to get your book published.

Thank you to everyone who has sent me (and the team) emails at podcast AT abeautifulmess DOT com and for all of your support as I’ve been working on this project. It really has meant the world to me! -Emma (& Elsie)

  • Loved the episode! What an accomplishment, Emma! Best fiction book to listen to hands down is Lincoln in The Bardo! SO MANY FUN CHARACTERS! Also, I just started a class that has an entire section dedicated to poisons. My targeted ads are about to go crazy. Love the pod!!

    • That’s what I’m most scared of… all the targeted ads getting weird as I research. Cloud Nine had a good amount of research on snakes so, got some weird ads for a while after that. Ha

      • Well done Emma- so nice to hear you have finished your first novel. Look froward to hearing what happens next in this journey.
        I also just wanted to say how much I’m enjoying these podcasts! They are keeping me sane amidst lockdown, a houseful of four teenagers and some pretty mundane boring house renovation! I’ve followed ABM right back from when it started and have always been a fan. So as I’m chipping plaster off my wall in my house in the U.K. I will escape into the world of ABM. Keep the podcasts coming!
        A question or possible podcast topic: As a mom I’m interested in the values I invest in my children – i would love a podcast on how your parents, grandparents or other relatives did things that you feel shaped you as a person.

        • Thank you so much Rachel! And have you heard the episode called “Childhood Magic”

          It’s about many of the things we learned from our parents growing up. Maybe you’ve already heard that though? It’s certainly an interesting subject and one we could expand on. Actually, it would be really cool to hear from other listeners experiences and things they learned from their parents growing up. It’s something that often comes up among my friend group and it’s I always come away feeling like I know the person so much better after I hear more about what their home life was like.

  • Great job Emma, so excited for where this journey takes you!

    I like calling the ‘self-help’ category personal development instead 🙂

  • Emma, I think I speak for so many of us when I say, we cannot wait to read your book! Remember that we love you guys and cheer on your successes! We’re rooting for you! I’ve thought over the past 4 years of wanting to write a book, because I love a good read and think it would be such a neat challenge to see what I could come up with. Congratulations to you for actually executing that dream!

  • Emma! You have to narrate your book! Haha! Your voice is great! I think books come across with the perfect inflections and what not when the author is reading it.

  • Even if you don’t get published, just having written a novel is a huge accomplishment. Be proud! Good luck on getting published though, that would just be the icing on the cake!

  • Congrats Emma, that’s huge! The story sounds so sweet, I’d love to read it. Also, I love your voice, I think it’s gonna be great! Fingers crossed! Xx

  • Congratulations on getting finished. That’s HUGE!!!

    With the age of your MC, I would guess this is a middle grade novel, rather than YA.

    As far as fiction audiobooks go, usually they are narrated by professional actors who do use different voices for the various characters. Audiobooks are a whole other can of worms for authors…depending on how you publish and how your agent sells your book, audio tends to be a totally separate contract.

  • Congratulations, What a wonderful achievement, the story sounds so fun.But don’t think you guys should refer to it as your quarantine novel, seems to diminish the effort, as i you were just trying to stay busy ! All the best

  • Emma – Congratulations on setting a goal and accomplishing it! I am in a doctoral program and honestly stuck in the writing phase. Hearing your progress and tips was just what I needed this week. Sending you all the best vibes and honestly can’t wait to read your work! ~Alise

  • So excited for you, Emma! That is a HUGE accomplishment, and we all support you! You and Elsie have built an incredible business, and I love to see your different personalities come through on the podcast.

    I’m a writer, and all of us can relate to feeling like we can’t or don’t deserve to write, but it’s not true! I love the idea for your novel. It reminds me of one of my favorite books I read as a preteen: A Year Down Yonder. (It’s also about a girl and her grandmother. ♥) Can’t wait to read yours when it’s published!

    P.S. I also just read On Writing and one called Bird By Bird. If you’re looking for more writing books, Bird by Bird is a great one!

  • Congrats, Emma! I am so excited for you, proud, even! 🙂 When I was writing my book there was a point when I, too, got stuck: I needed to have the “why” very clear and I think it took like a year to have the “aha!” moment and be able to move on. And yes it was archaeology… and things ended up surprising me! Isn’t it a wild ride, writing? It doesn’t go away 🙂 I really hope you get to have your book in your hands, nothing beats the feeling. BTW, new time frame concept, my book (which ended up being 3 short-ish books, a trilogy) took more than 10 years. Good thing I did that before having kids, ha!
    Congrats again! :*

  • I loooooooved this episode! Emma, you rock! And so does your voice! I can’t wait to read AND listen to this book❤️

  • This episode came at the perfect time. I am in the middle of writing my first book and I am stuck in the “this sucks” part right now. Going to stop thinking about it so much and just do it! Thanks for sharing your story about your story, Emma- it’s been very inspiring.

  • I’m so excited about this one! I’ve been following ABM for (what it feels like) forever and recently started listening to your podcast. I love the book recs Emma posts on her Instagram page and I’m so excited about the whole publishing thing and, mostly, how she went from “I think I’m gonna do it” to actually publishing. My sister is a writer too, she published her first novel a while ago and has all these amazing ideas on her head that I wished she put on paper. Long story short, I’m so excited and happy about your future writing career (?), you have a reader here! Stay safe!


  • I just finished this episode and I’m so excited for you: I think the book sounds fun! I’ll read it for sure!!

  • Book sounds fantastic! I must say though, be wary with calling the book YA and then having a 13 year old protagonist. 13-15 is sort of the dead spot between Middle Grade and YA. Booksellers won’t know exactly where to shelve it. The reason for this is that teenagers want to read up, so generally the bottom age for YA characters is 16. Whereas MG characters are around that 10-12 range. I guess you could push that to 13 too. It would all depend on the titles you comp to. I heard an interview with an author that said they purposely didn’t put the age on the blurb of the published book so that the booksellers didn’t wrongly shelve it. They see 13, they stick it in Middle Grade.

  • That’s so awesome, congrats and I soooooo want to read it and I hope that if it doesn’t get published you’ll self publish, at least in an ebook version.

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