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Sunday, December 11, 2011

Interview: Emlyn Chand - Farsighted

Alex Kosmitoras may be blind, but he can still "see" things others can't. When his unwanted visions of the future begin to suggest that the girl he likes could be in danger, he has no choice but to take on destiny and demand it reconsider.
Alex Kosmitoras's life has never been easy. The only other student who will talk to him is the school bully, his parents are dead-broke and insanely overprotective, and to complicate matters even more, he's blind. Just when he thinks he'll never have a shot at a normal life, a new girl from India moves into town. Simmi is smart, nice, and actually wants to be friends with Alex. Plus she smells like an Almond Joy bar. Yes, sophomore year might not be so bad after all.
Unfortunately, Alex is in store for another new arrival--an unexpected and often embarrassing ability to "see" the future. Try as he may, Alex is unable to ignore his visions, especially when they begin to suggest that Simmi is in danger. With the help of the mysterious psychic next door and new friends who come bearing gifts of their own, Alex must embark on a journey to change his future.
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Today we have with us Emlyn Chand, the author of Farsighted.  I've been seeing accolades of this book left and right, and I'm sure it is on everyone's wish list this year! But let's not waste time, and get to the good stuff!  And be sure to check after the interview for an excerpt from Farsighted and a giveaway!

Hello Emlyn!  It’s very nice to meet you and thank you so much for this interview!  First let me just give very heartfelt congratulations on all of your Farsighted success!  

Awards, rave reviews, public adoration...  Were you prepared for how much the public loves you and your work?
Haha, I think that’s a bit of a stretch :-P I was hoping people would enjoy Farsighted. That was my primary goal in writing it—to tell a good story. I’ve been very pleased with how the public has embraced it. These enthusiastic readers have truly made my dreams come true. I know that sounds very corny, but it’s how I feel!

Let’s jump back in time a little bit.  When you started writing Farsighted, did you have a clear vision of where it was going to go, what path Alex and Simmi would have?
Yes and no. I had the final showdown scene in my head before I even started writing the book. I also knew very early on that I was going to follow the path of the Nordic runes. I studied the runes for quite a while, learning what each of them mean. Together they tell the story of the hero’s journey. I didn’t write a chapter and then pick which rune I would assign to it; I molded each chapter to fit the next sequential rune in the aett. That gave me direction—sometimes too much direction, since some of the runes were really hard to work into the story. But, it kept me going.

And if Alex were here with us, how do you think he would react to the great positive reaction from the public?
Oh, he would bask in it like a cat in the sun. Alex wants nothing more than to be accepted (okay, and admired). Having such a positive response from readers, and female readers in particular, would ice his cake, baby.

Your husband is from India, and you are American.  How did this impact your story? 
Well, if you’ll notice, American Alex falls for Indian Simmi :-P Alex is also from a town that is molded after my hometown of Oxford, Michigan. Simmi is from my husband’s hometown of New Delhi. India has been such an inspiration to my writing; it just seems to bring a truth out of me that nothing else can. Even if I wanted to, I don’t think I could ever write a book with zero Indian characters in it. I love cultural diversity, and India in particular.

I’m sure the readers are dying to know, do you have any writing habits?  Things you do, listen to, munch on?
Oh, I have all kinds of weird writing habits. I’m addicted to everything at Panera. Everything. I find I can’t write in small blocks of time, because something will come and break my attention. So I write in 6 to 10 hour chunks by holing up at Panera (thus the addiction to caffeine and baked goods). Oddly enough, it seems that each main character has a different food craving. Yeah, it’s kind of like growing a baby (I’d guess). The protagonist from my first unpublished novel loved vanilla bean scones. Alex likes Taco Bell. I sincerely hope the next viewpoint character likes organic carrots or something else that will help me lose my Alex weight!

Now, for some easy stuff J

I see you and I are actually pretty close neighbors in MI (I live a couple counties east of you).  Winter is right on top of us.  Are you a winter girl, or summer girl?
Oh, yay, for Michigan girls! Me personally? I love the winter (I have to).

What is your favorite music? 
I like old time crooners—Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole, those who sing what I call “happy music.”

Favorite dessert?

Heels or sneakers?
Ballet flats because they’re easy. I’m not athletic, but I am 5’10, which effectively eliminates both heels and sneakers :-D

Favorite travel destination?
Oooo. Most frequent travel destination is India. I’ve spent a total of 9 weeks there. I think I’d really love London too but haven’t had the chance to go yet.

Ok, I think that about sums it up.  Thank you for taking the time to chat with me, I really appreciate it!  Best of luck for continued success!

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Excerpt, Farsighted:
“Did Dad tell you? A new tenant moved into the old pharmacy next door.”
“Really?” I ask, not letting on I already know. If I feign ignorance, Mom’ll divulge all the details. “What is it?”
“It’s a psychic shop,” Her voice crackles with excitement like a fire that’s just beginning to burn. “The All-Seeing Miss Teak. Isn’t that cute? Miss Teak, Mystic. Ha, I wonder if that’s her real name.”
I laugh. “That is funny. Never had a psychic in town before. What’s she like?”
“Oh, she’s very friendly. Why don’t you go over and say ‘hi.’  I’m sure she’d like to meet you.”
“Okay, I think I will.” I’m incredibly intrigued, because first off, it’s a psychic shop—how weird is that?—and second, its presence made Dad super uncomfortable—also very cool. I waste no time heading next door to check out the scene.
As I step cautiously into the new shop, a recording of soft, instrumental music greets me. I can make out chimes and a string instrument I don’t recognize but for some reason reminds me of snake charmers. The smell of incense fills my nostrils, which explains the burning I detected earlier.
“Hello?” I call out into the otherwise quiet room.
Nobody answers. I walk in deeper, sweeping my cane out in front of me in a metronome fashion. This place is new to me, so I need to be especially careful while moving around.
Thump! Despite my precautions, I stub my toe on something hard, big, and made of wood. Just my luck to stub the same toe twice in one day. I reach down to press my fingers into my throbbing foot to alleviate some of the pain. Something teeters before rolling off of the chest and across the floor; the sound it makes indicates a curved path. Suddenly, the object stops. Somebody’s stopped it.
“Hello?” I call again.
“Hello,” a deep, feminine voice responds, placing more emphasis on the first syllable than the second.
“I- I’m sorry I knocked that thing over. I didn’t mean to…” I hope she’s not angry. Probably not a good idea to get on a psychic’s bad side.
“That wasn’t just a thing, it’s a crystal ball,” she says as she walks over, sending my blood pulsing through my veins. I sense her looking at me for a moment before she places the ball back on top of the chest.
“Can it see the future?” I ask, allowing my curiosity to outweigh my uneasiness.
“No.” After a pause lasting several beats, she continues. “But I can see the future sometimes when I look into it.”
“Oh, okay.” I tighten my hand around my cane and turn to leave. It may not be the most polite thing to do, but all of this hocus-pocus stuff is freaking me out more than I would’ve guessed.
The psychic lady speaks again, stopping me cold. “Don’t run away, Alex Kosmitoras.” She must’ve spoken to Mom earlier today. That must be how she knows my name.
“I’m not running away,” I say meekly. “I’m just going back over to Sweet Blossoms.”
“Don’t run away,” she repeats—this time she speaks louder and with more energy. “Don’t run away from your abilities. They are gifts.”
“What?” I ask in confusion. What abilities is she talking about?
“You already know. Watch. Listen. Be open to your gifts.”
I turn to face Miss Teak, but find she’s already gone, returning to wherever she was before I got there.
Is it safe to leave? I trail my fingers across the wooden box I ran into earlier; a thick coat of dust clings to the tips as I pull away. If this shop just opened, why is it already so dirty? I wipe my hands over my shirt to get the gritty substance off. Shivers rock my whole body. Something about this place is wrong, and I’m not sticking around to figure out what. Tapping my cane along the floor, I’m able to find the exit without knocking into anything else.

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Emlyn Chand has always loved to hear and tell stories, having emerged from the womb with a fountain pen grasped firmly in her left hand (true story). When she's not writing, she runs a large book club in Ann Arbor and is the president of author PR firm, Novel Publicity. Emlyn loves to connect with readers and is available throughout the social media interweb.
Visit for more info. 

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There is also an End of Tour Giveaway HERE
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12/10: Sandra's Blog 
12/11: Fictional Candy 
12/12: DowntownYA 
12/22: Book Talk 
12/26: Release Notes 
12/29: BookBreather