We’re thrilled to host local debut author Emma Berquist on Saturday, April 14 at 6 p.m. to discuss her YA book, Devils Unto Dust. Mark your calendars and check out our Q&A with the author below!
BP: What has been the biggest surprise about publishing your debut novel?
EB: How long it takes! I didn’t realize how much time it would take for my book to go from a draft on my computer to an actual physical copy in my hands. There’s multiple rounds of edits, then picking the cover, then the advanced copies before you finally get to hold the finished product in your hands.
BP: Who are your YA influences?
EB: Some writers that are currently inspiring me: Kendare Blake, Mindy McGinnis, Sabaa Tahir, and Leigh Bardugo.
BP: Your book Devils Unto Dust has been described as “The Walking Dead meets West World”. What two pop culture connections would YOU use to describe your book to potential readers?
EB: I would say it’s a combination of True Grit and 28 Days Later.
BP: How did your Texas upbringing affect your writing style, specifically in writing this novel?
EB: They say “write what you know,” and I definitely drew on my experiences in west Texas to write this book. Knowing what the landscape looks like, knowing how the sun feels in the summer, knowing how people talk, knowing what it smells like — all of that helps to create a setting that feels real and lived in.
BP: What books did you love as a child?
EB: I loved fantasy as kid (still do!) and my favorite series were the Enchanted Forest Chronicles by Patricia C. Wrede and anything by Tamora Pierce.
BP: What is the hardest thing about writing?
EB: Having to actually sit down and get the words on the page. It’s easy to come up with an idea but a lot harder to turn that idea into an entire book.
BP: What’s the best thing about writing?
EB: I love that I get to create my own world and all the players in it. And it’s the best feeling when other people like visiting the world you’ve created. (Also, it’s pretty sweet that you get to write off books on your taxes.)
BP: What’s your favorite word?
EB: I like beautiful words that mean awful things, like “abattoir” or “oubliette”.
BP: What’s a sentence you’ve loved and remembered from a book?
EB: A line that’s repeated in Garth Nix’s Abhorsen books: “Does the walker choose the path, or the path the walker?”
BP: What would you be doing if you weren’t a writer?
EB: Probably working at a library!
BP: What are you currently reading?
EB: Forest of a Thousand Lanterns by Julie C. Dao and People Like Us by Dana Mele
Come meet Emma Berquist at BookPeople on Saturday, April 14th at 6 p.m. Can’t make the event? You can still preorder a signed copy online!
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