Please give a warm welcome to author Nadia Hasan / N.J. Embers
Tell us a bit about yourself…
Hi, I’m Nadia Hasan. I write urban fantasy and paranormal fiction under the name N.J. Ember. I also write poetry under my own name. I live in Michigan with my grandpa (who is one of my biggest fans,) and when I’m not reading or writing I’m usually watching shows like Criminal Minds and Supernatural.
Have you always wanted to become an author?
Pretty much. When I was very young I briefly thought about being some kind of singer, but it never felt right. It was my third grade teacher who actually made the suggestion that I become a writer. I was writing stories before then, (mostly short fairytale-type stories that I dictated to my grandmother,) but before my teacher suggested it I didn’t know it was something people could decide to do. After that, it was all I focused on. Which is just as well since I can’t sing to save my life.
What was your inspiration for your current book/series?
The initial ideas for the Heavy Metal Magic Series was all thanks to my amazing writing partner, author Amir Lane. They posted on Facebook about an idea they had to combine heavy metal, an all-female band and witches together, but they didn’t want to write it alone. They were looking for someone to co-write with, and I’d just recently added “publish a co-written book” to my list of things I wantet giving ourselves, the bonds of found family and what it means to be human. Plus, lots of monsters.
I admired the hell out of Amir as an author. I was already a fan of their “Barrier Witch” books, and I’m always trying to learn as much as I can from others in the community. When I find new opportunities to challenge myself with, I jump at them as often as possible. The truth is, the whole thing was serendipitous and surreal. Now I have best friend and a fantastic writing partner for life.
What are you working on now?
Right now I’m working on the second arc of the Heavy Metal Magic Series with Amir, which will pick up with book four. Technically, we have four books out because of the way we chose to number the series (1, 2, 2.5, 3,) which we did in part to differentiate Nadira’s journey from Lottie’s.
Personally, I’m working on a number of projects as N.J. Ember. I write much slower on my own, but a few short stories have been planned as well as a secret project I can’t talk about yet. Under my own name, I’m mostly working on voicing the character of Celia for a podcast show called “Space Mantis” and writing poetry for my next collection.
Do you have any quirks while working?
While I do write with an outline, I write in parts instead of chronologically. Scenes never come to me in order. I also either need music when I write or complete silence. There’s no in between. Usually, I create story playlists and listen to them before I begin to write. For the Heavy Metal Magic Series we have individual character playlists.
What are your hopes for the future?
I’m currently working on my BA in Creative Writing and English from Southern New Hampshire University, so my first hope is that I finally finish my degree. Professionally, I want to continue to improve my skills as an author. I want to continue my goals to write characters and stories that are true to life: complex, diverse, flawed, resilient, and achingly human, even when they’re dealing with the supernatural. I’m also hoping to continue collaborating on projects with authors I admire.
Personally, I’m still learning what happiness and fulfillment look like. I’m hoping that includes some healthier days, surrounded by people who love me unconditionally. I think many of us are hoping for that right now. I want to learn new skills and find ways to connect with the world around me. I’d really love to find a way to bridge my love of books and writing with ways to give back. Honestly, I’m always hoping to find ways to leave this world better than when I came into it.
Do you have any advice for new authors about the publishing world?
Research everything and don’t be afraid to ask questions. There’s so much information on the internet, social media, and books. Your favorite authors are human too, so sometimes they’ll be able to help you with some of your questions, but much of the time they won’t. Be polite in either case. And like my grandpa says, “the worst they can say is no.”
The most important thing is to be resilient. Write your story and believe in it. Even the stories that have been told before haven’t been told by you. Remember why you started and don’t let anyone convince you not to try. It’s okay to fail, but you haven’t really failed until you’ve given up. Publishing is always changing, so keep learning and don’t get discouraged if your path starts to look different than you’ve pictured it. When something doesn’t work out it’s usually so there’s space in your life for something even better.
Do you have anything to say to your followers?
Thank you so much! Thank you for all of your support and patience. Without my readers I couldn’t do what I do.