An interview with author Abbie Emmons
Sample interview featuring the best FAQs.
Why do you write?
I write because I truly believe that words make a difference in the world. I write because I love it... but I also write because I believe the world needs more good stories – stories that uplift and inspire and encourage and shine a light in the dark places. I believe that words have a huge impact – stories have a huge impact. And if I could impact even one person’s life, I would feel incredibly fulfilled.
In 100 Days of Sunlight, Tessa greatly admires the poetry of Emily Dickinson – naturally, so do I, and one of her poems answers this question more eloquently than I can:
If I can stop one heart from breaking,
I shall not live in vain:
If I can ease one life the aching,
Or cool one pain,
Or help one fainting robin
Unto his nest again,
I shall not live in vain.
- Emily Dickinson
What inspired the characters of Tessa and Weston in 100 Days of Sunlight?
This probably isn’t a surprise to those of you who know me, but Tessa and I share a lot of the same personality traits and habits: blogger, writer, perfectionist, neat-freak, introvert, waffle-eater, book-lover… One day I was thinking about my own lifestyle and how much I use my sense of sight for everything I do: blogging, writing, making videos, reading, everything — and then I thought how different all that would be if, for some reason, I suddenly went blind. How would I respond? How would I adapt and eventually come to feel gratitude for the things I still have, instead of focusing on what I’ve lost? That’s where the whole idea for Tessa’s internal journey started.
Weston was inspired by every person who has overcome incredible challenges and limitations without losing their spirit, humor, or zest for life. People like Nick Vujicic, Rob Jones, and Travis Mills, to name a few inspiring individuals. Weston’s story was an incredible opportunity for me to explore the emotional journey of getting back up when life knocks you down. (Or, as Weston calls it, “punching Life in the face.”) With Weston, I wanted to show that even when a person seems to be all sunshine and rainbows, you don’t know how much they are struggling with fear and doubt. Life is a constant challenge of getting back up and not letting anything stand in your way.
What inspired 100 Days of Sunlight? What made you want it to be your debut novel?
100 Days of Sunlight is a story that I feel has always been in my heart, I just didn’t know it until April 2017. It came to me quite literally like a lightbulb turning on. I immediately fell in love with the idea — two characters experiencing loss, recovery, and hope; two characters connecting to help each other heal in ways they wouldn’t have been able to alone. I knew it would be a love story, but not just about romantic love — it would be about the love between brothers, and grandparents, and friends.
The story captured my heart before I even knew how it would end. I knew right from the start that this novel would be my debut — I love the characters in this story and what they stand for.
What made you want to become a writer?
I fell in love with stories when I was growing up. My mom would read tons of books with me and my sister, and English was my favorite subject in school because of all the reading I had to do. I think that’s what first inspired me to become a writer – I was amazed by the way stories can transport you to another world and make you feel. It struck me as being pretty darn magical, and I immediately wanted to write stories of my own.
What is your best advice for an aspiring writer?
Story isn’t about what happens. It’s about how what happens affects and transforms the characters. < If anyone out there follows my YouTube channel, they’ve probably heard me say this a lot. In my opinion, it is the golden rule of writing. When you make everything in your story matter to your characters (given their motivations and fears) you can truly engage your reader and leave them thinking long after they turn the final page of your story. Secondly, you always have to remember why your story matters to you. Remembering your “why” will keep your passion alive through the darkest days and lead you to those gloriously satisfying words: the end.