10 questions with ‘The Silent Daughter’ author Emma Christie: ‘Meditation helps me focus’

Emma Christie, author of the The Silent Daughter, published by Welbeck

Much like me, Emma Christie started her career as a local news reporter. Born and raised in Ayrshire, she spent five years working at The Press and Journal, covering crime, court proceedings and politics and was briefly the ‘Trump reporter’. She now lives in Barcelona and works as a tour guide. Her debut novel is a page-turner with family secrets at its heart. Set in Edinburgh, The Silent Daughter is a thriller which raises questions over the truth of the lives we portray online, and the opportunities for deceit that social media offers – a particularly fascinating conversation at the moment as more and more of our time is spent on the web.

  1. What’s your name and where do you come from?
    I’m Emma Christie. I grew up in a wee coal-mining town near Glasgow but studied in Aberdeen and then worked there for five years, as a news reporter. I’ve lived all over Central America but am now happily settled in Barcelona – although I come back to Scotland all the time!

  2. Do you write fact or fiction and in what genre?
    I write psychological suspense novels.

  3. Are you traditionally or self-published and which route do you consider best?
    I am traditionally published by Welbeck publishing and represented by my fantastic agent, Caroline Hardman. As for what is best, traditional was best for me – but each to their own!

  4. What is your work schedule like when you are writing? 
    I work to a very strict timetable. I love alarms and time each session. When I’m writing, I work five sessions a day, and each session is 48 minutes exactly! During each session I switch off social media etc and focus only on the book – but allow myself to check on the short breaks between each session.

  5. What advice would you give to budding writers? 
    Persevere, persevere, persevere. It might sound like a cliché but it’s true. I’m sure many great books never make the light of day because the author loses faith and gives up. I received literally dozens and dozens of rejections before I finally got a deal. It won’t happen for everybody, but it could happen for you.

  6. Who/what are YOUR favourite authors/ books? 
    Hmm, that’s a tricky one. I read a lot of non-fiction connected to my tour guiding work – I especially love medieval history and also books about modern Spain. In terms of novels…one of my favourites in recent years was All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr.

  7. Are you a plotter or a pantster? (i.e do you plan out your work or fly by the seat of your pants?)
    I plan most parts of my life meticulously, including my timed writing sessions, but when it comes the plot etc I’m a total pantster. I’m often amazed at the end of each day when I read over my work and I wonder – how on earth did I think of that?

  8. What helps you focus? 
    My morning meditation. All music by Sigur Ros! And chewing gum while I type.

  9. How long did it take you to write you book/books?
    That’s a hard one to answer. From day one of writing The Silent Daughter to getting the book deal was around two years, but I wasn’t writing full-time. I also work as a tour director and spend several months every year on the road – plus I frequently visit my family in Scotland, and I think I wrote three drafts in that time! But I quit my journalism job TEN years ago to try writing a novel, so you could say it took me a decade to get it right!

  10. Where can we find your book?
    My book is available in the major supermarkets – Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury’s. It’s also in Waterstones and WH Smith, and of course Amazon! It may also be available for order from your local independent bookstore.

The Silent Daughter by Emma Christie was published 3rd  September 2020 by Welbeck, £8.99 in paperback original.

Look up Emma’s website

Emma working as a tour guide

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