Happy Memorial Day, friends! Today I have the pleasure of sharing an interview with Emily Chapman and Emily Ann Putske in lieu of the publication of their shiny new novella, Ain't We Got Fun! Keep reading to hear more behind the scenes of the book-writing process...
1. Introduce this book to us: what does it mean to you? What do you love about it? When can we get our hands on it?
E.C. : We first published the Ain't We Got Fun letters on our blogs back in January – and we actually wrote them throughout the month of January! I don't think either of us realized how close these characters would become to us. They're practically living people that we love to revisit, and we adore them.
E.A.P : We had attempted writing a couple stories together before, but we were both too busy, and we didn’t really have a solid plot. At the end of December, Emily suggested we try writing a new story, but this time posting the letters on our blogs. I think that helped us actually finish the book and stay on top of it. I agree with Emily … neither of us realized how dear these characters would become to us. We often would email each other with, “I love our characters so stinkin’ much!” It really helped us tell an entertaining story when we felt like our characters were real people. May 25th (today!) it is available in paperback and ebook through Amazon.com
2. The title "Ain't We Got Fun" comes from the iconic song of the era - what does that title mean to each of you/your characters?
E.C. : The words of of the song “Ain't We Got Fun” basically state that though there's not much money, we still have fun – if not more fun, if you look at things the right way. And it echoes the whole vibe of the book.
E.A.P. : Bess and Gi are both going through their own trying times, but in the midst of being poor, they learn to see life in a different way. They see that life is really fun and full of surprises!
3. What's something weird/funny/fantastic from behind the scenes of the writing process (preferably that you haven't shared before)?
E. C. : Well, it was kinda a surprise – to me, anyway – that romance became a primary theme in Ain't We Got Fun. It's a sweet, innocent romance, mind you, but I didn't quite expect both of us to choose that as a primary topic in our letters. It was amusing. We're such girls.
E.A.P. : I also didn’t realize it was going to be a romance of sorts. I mentioned that I may have a dashing journalist that Gi meets in NYC, but I wasn’t sure I wanted to write a love story. I decided to give it a try and wrote a scene with Will. Well, I kept him! He turned out to be my favorite character! He really balanced out Gi … she’s head strong, stubborn, and independent. Will’s calm, thinks before making decisions, and sees the beauty in the midst of the Depression. Also, Emily and I both really got into our characters. We both felt that we had actually become Bess and Gi. When Bess would send a letter in which she scolded Gi, I felt like I was actually be scolded and I’d get a little defensive. When she mentioned Will liking Gi, I’d grin. It was so weird … I’ve never felt like that with a character before!
4. Was it difficult writing a book together over Internet communications and with little live interaction? Would you do it again?
E.C. : A hearty YES to doing it again! Right now, it's kind of an issue of time because there is little of it, and as a senior preparing to head off to college, there's a lot going on in my life right now. However, I know I'd love to do it again. As for it being difficult, it wasn't terribly hard. Occasionally, toward the end, I found it would be easier to talk to Em in person just because there was SO MUCH we needed to talk about – primarily regarding publishing. But the actual writing part … that wasn't very hard at all.
E.A.P. : It wasn’t difficult to write the story over the internet. We sent the letters through Googledocs, which allowed us both to be able to add suggestions/edits to each other’s letters. We exchanged a ton of emails and googlechats, sorting out the plot and planning the ending letters. Like Emily said, we talked on the phone once we got into the publication process … I think the publication part was harder than the actual writing! All that to say, I would definitely do it again! If we both have time, we’d love to dive into a new story. =)
5. What do you want your audience to take away from this book?
E.C. : “What the world needs is a return to sweetness and decency.” That quote from Roman Holiday rather sums up what I want the audience to take away from Ain't We Got Fun. There is absolutely no need for raunchiness in today's romantic stories. I hope the audience will understand this, and that they will see Christ through the innocence of our little romances. But I must add that Ain't We Got Fun isn't entirely a romance. It involves all kinds of loves. Sisterly love, loves between fathers and daughters, grandfathers and grandsons, strangers and friends, loves for beauty and gladness … it's a story that basically echoes all the sweet loves.
E.A.P. : I’ll agree with Emily’s comment! Also, we want readers to see the joy and beauty in life amidst hard situations, misunderstandings, and our own sinfulness. We’re not perfect, and neither are our circumstances. But with God at our side, we can truly see how wonderful life and love is.
EMILY CHAPMAN, also known as Bess Rowland, is a young hobbit living in the dear old South, and she is entirely bonkers. She's a dreamer, an optimistic pessimist, and an introverted people person. Blue skies, dancing, Disney, and whipped cream make her happy, and she swears she's once been to Narnia. She's been a reader all her life, became a writer because of that, and published her first novel, Cry of Hope, in March of 2014. But without her Savior, all of this would mean nothing. It is in Him that she puts her hope.You can learn more about Emily Chapman and her books at www.emilychapmanauthor.com and www.facebook.com/
EMILY ANN PUTZKE and Gi Rowland have two big things in common: their love for God and coffee. Besides writing historical fiction, Emily enjoys being an aunty, photography, Irish dancing, spending time with family, attempting to play the guitar, reenacting, and reading. She loves polka dots, war movies, and all things vintage. Her first novella, It Took a War, was published in December of 2014. You can learn more about Emily Ann Putzke and her books at www.authoremilyannputzke.com and www.facebook.com/
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