Welcome back to 20 Questions! Today we have with us Emily Liebert, author, home cook and mama to two little boys. Emily published her first book, Facebook Fairytales, in 2010, and her first novel, You Knew Me When, in 2013. Her second novel, When We Fall, was just released on Tuesday! Emily is witty, honest and charming, and her career as a writer is enviable! Here are her answers to my 20 Questions.
20 Questions — Soul-Style
1. Who are you?
I’m a mother, wife, sister, daughter, granddaughter and a damn good friend. Professionally, I’m an author. One day I’d like to add gourmet chef and comedienne to that list.
2. What do you do?
I try to balance all of those titles in the best way I know how. Some days it works. Some days it doesn’t. I also love to cook and eat. Cooking is to me what yoga is to others. NUMaste.
3. Why do you do it?
Because it fuels me. And because I hate to be bored. My mind constantly needs to be revolving. It’s both a gift and a curse.
4. How did you find your way to it?
Through perseverance and support from family and friends. Ever since I was a child, I’ve loved telling stories. Now I just have more people listening!
5. How do you feel when you do it?
Exhilarated and sometimes exhausted. I give 100% to everything I do. Again, both a gift and a curse.
6. What is the joy that keeps you up at night?
The unbelievable promise of everything to come! Tomorrow is always a new day with potentially exciting things in store. Of course, it’s not usually joy that keeps me up at night…it’s stress!
7. What is one thing you still have to practice every day?
Pure Barre! I’m at the Westport, CT studio six times a week. It keeps my rear end from sagging and, on a good day, it centers me. Come LTB (Lift, Tone, Burn) with me!
8. What are you always searching for?
I’m not searching anymore. I’ve found my happiness.
9. What have you found after searching?
You should focus your energy on what you want, not on what others think you should have. And you can’t pay attention to the haters.
10. How do you stay connected to your inner core of peace?
I’m not sure I do. It’s something I need to work on.
11. What makes you feel led or guided?
My family and friends. Any time I’ve taken a wrong turn, they’ve been there to redirect me down the right path.
12. What do you do when you can’t hear God (or the Universe, or Source, or your intuition) speaking to you?
I always hear my intuition. I feel fortunate for this because, without your intuition, I think you’re lost.
13. What is the difference between resistance and fear?
Intuition! It’s okay to resist something when your intuition is telling you it doesn’t feel right. I try not to resist things purely out of fear.
14. Where does the idea come from that we are broken, unworthy or undeserving?
From within ourselves and the negative people we surround ourselves with. My advice is: tune out the noise. Stay true to yourself.
15. How do you move past that to connect with others on a soul level?
Generally speaking, I have a keen sense of who I connect with and who I do not. You have to trust your gut.
16. How do you relate to the characters in your books — are they all made up of bits and pieces of you?
Very rarely do I completely make up a character. Typically, there’s one character who’s very loosely based on me. In my first novel, You Knew Me When, it was Katherine. She and I share many similar personality traits, which always makes it easier to “get in the head” of a character. In When We Fall, there are parts of me in Allison and parts of me in Charlotte. But, overall, Allison is based on one of my oldest and dearest friends. And Charlotte is based loosely on another close friend.
17. What can you share with us about your writing habits (eg, when you do your best work, what works/what doesn't, how to silence the inner critic)?
I don’t think I’ll ever silence my inner critic. She’s here to stay and that pertains to most all aspects of my life, not just writing. I’m always striving to be a better mom, a better wife, even a better friend. I start writing in the mid-morning, around 11am or so. I write for about 3-4 hours/day. Once it’s 3pm, I’m ready to eat lunch while returning emails and attending to the parts of my job that do not include writing and do not require total silence — like marketing, publicity and conference calls. I know there a number of authors who write at night after their kids have gone to sleep. By that time, I’m a glass of wine in and all that my mind can wrap around is reality TV.
18. What do you do when inspiration is lacking — do you get writer's block, or is that a thing of the past?
Thankfully, I’ve never been one to suffer from serious writer’s block. I always write a thorough outline before I start a new book. To me, that’s the hard part. Once I know where I’m going, I find it easier to just sit down and write. Don’t get me wrong, there are days when I’m not feeling it. If I’m really not feeling it, sometimes I’ll give myself a break. But if I’m on a deadline, I push myself to write that first paragraph or two and things usually start flowing from there.
19. How do you turn off a busy, restless mind at the end of the day?
It is so, so hard. I find that lately, because my days are so full and I have two young kids, I’m pretty exhausted by the time my head hits the pillow. What’s annoying is when I wake up in the middle of the night and then my mind starts racing in every direction. Sometimes, I’ll be up for three hours in the middle of the night. Not fun!
20. What would be your best writing tip for other women like you who are in a similar position — juggling work and kids?
If your kids are school age, then write when they’re in school. I do have a babysitter who comes in the afternoon and takes my boys out for a fun activity, but you can never depend on that absolutely. Some days the kids just want to come home and play, or one or both kids are under the weather. While I do have a home office, once the kids are in the house they want to hang with me or check in every twenty minutes and I can’t concentrate that way.
Thanks, Emily! I love how she gives us such a clean snapshot of her personality and her work life. Finding commonality in all of these interviews is what makes the series so special to me. Stick around next week for the one and only Mastin Kipp from The Daily Love!!! Sign up below if you haven't already so that you don't miss it!
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