Gail's Book Nook

Monday, August 5, 2013

Looking Out the Window: Meet Emilie Hendryx--Photographer, National Novel Writing Month Winner and Church Office Manager

Welcome, Emily. Thanks for coming by to chat with us today about your photography and your writing projects. First, tell us a little about yourself.
 I’m a full-time office manager at my church, a photography business owner, and an author all rolled up in one. I grew up in a small town in Northern California and moved to Southern California to go to college and then ended up staying. I love coffee and am so looking forward to Fall and Winter, they are my favorite seasons!

Lots of people who write love to read. Were you an avid reader as a child? What did you read?
 My mother has always been a huge reader in our family and that trait was definitely passed down to me. Some of my favorite books growing up were the Enid Blyton Adventure Series, The Boxcar Children, and Nancy Drew mysteries. I loved anything to do with mystery and adventure.
Why do you write?

 I’m an only child and grew up in a small town. I think that created in me a deep love for a good story as well as a large imagination. I also believe that the Lord has gifted me to be able to craft stories. Writing is a passion as much as it is a privilege. I write because He has given me the words to use.

Where do you get ideas for your books?
 I write Romantic Suspense and am faced with ideas at every corner. Sometimes I will wake up in the middle of the night and have an idea, or I’ll just be driving down the road and something will strike my imagination. I also love watching television shows like Bones or NCIS (usually while editing photos) and they give me ideas as well. Right now, I’ve got pitches for five books I’m working on all from within the last month! My imagination has been working overtime recently ;)

 What themes do you write about?
 Each book is different, and each character has a different hurdle to face and overcome. In the past, I’ve tackled such topics as contentment, loss, fear, and trust. My next work will deal with the importance forgiveness and how the lack of it can lead to bitterness.

What is your writing schedule and where do you write?
 I’d love to say I have a set schedule, but I don’t. A lot of my writing time depends on my photo schedule. Since I work during the day, I usually come home and, after dinner, find myself behind my computer working on my next book. My room is my refuge and I have a comfy chair and handy lap desk that I use. I also would be lost without my small whiteboard. You can often find me scribbling out ideas, plots, or just to-do lists on this.

Do you have to juggle writing with a job, family responsibilities or other obligations? How do you balance it?
 Working full-time and being a photographer is hard enough. Add in author, and you’ve got to have some level of crazy going on! I find that, at this point in my life being single, I have the time to devote to these things. I won’t always be in this season of life, but for now I can take advantage of my free evenings. 

I also love National Novel Writing Month! I’ve participated 4 years and “won” the last 3 years. I love the challenge, and organization, of writing 50,000 words in 30 days. I break it up and try and be as disciplined as possible to write out 1,667 words a day during the month of November. During the rest of the year, I challenge myself with self-imposed deadlines to get things done. It’s very helpful!

Congratulations! Does your faith affect your writing? How?
I live by 1 Corinthians 10:31 and try to apply this verse to all of my life. Whatever I do, I want it to be done to the glory of God. I view my writing in the same way. Having a relationship with Christ and seeing the faithfulness of God to His people throughout the story of the Bible influence my writing. In any story that I tell, no matter what the “theme” of it is, I want it to reflect the fact that God is sovereign over all things. In my books I desire for it to be evident that God works all things together for His good just as he does in our lives.

What are you working on right now?
 I’m getting ready for the ACFW writers conference in September. I have a manuscript into an editor, so I’ve started my next book I’m tentatively titling, Shot In Action. This will follow a wedding photographer (borrowing from my real-life experience) who photographs a known criminal at her wedding event. Her only course of action is to call on her ex-boyfriend and FBI agent for help. I’m still working out the details of their story, but you can bet it will be filled with suspense and romance!

That sounds like a suspenseful book. Are you a plotter or a pantzer?
 I guess you could say I’m a little bit of both. I’m an organized person, but I’ve found that if I’m too organized, the creative side of me feels stifled. I plan just enough to get my feet off the ground then go from there.

What would you be doing if you weren’t writing?
 I can’t imagine not writing. I love working for my church and I really enjoy photographing weddings and portraits, but my heart is in creating stories. I think, no matter what stage in life I’m in, I’ll always be a writer!

What is the coolest, wackiest, most risk-taking thing you’ve ever done?
 Several years ago I was in Israel on a college choir tour. We had the night off and I went with several friends to explore. We ended up finding this old, abandoned hospital (it was pretty creepy) that looked like it had been burned down. We explored it and made our way to the very top (about 3 stories up) where we could see out over the city. It was frightening as well as exhilarating all at once.

Wow! That must have been a great trip. Thanks for sharing, Emilie.

Bio: Emilie is a small town girl who moved to the big city. Now living in Los Angeles, she is a writer, photographer/owner at E.A. Creative Photography, and a musician.  She is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers organization and loves to read and write Christian fiction in addition to writing her blog Thinking thoughts  She believes in doing all things for God’s glory (1 Cor. 10:31) and her passion for Christ fuels everything she does. She also likes spending time with the girls from the high school youth group she volunteers with and, in her free time, you can find her curled up with a book and a cup of coffee.

Blog: Thinking Thoughts:
Emilie’s twitter: @eacreativephoto
Emilie’s instagram: @eahendryx


Anonymous said...

Great interview about a great young woman!!

Linda Weaver Clarke said...

An author and photographer! Wow! I would think you would get many ideas for a novel through your photography and watching people. Good luck with your work.

Emilie Hendryx said...

Thank you so much for having me - it was a lot of fun filling out the questions! And Linda, my next novel is about a Wedding Photographer and it definitely "came to me" when I was getting ready for a wedding I was going to photograph :) And thanks for stopping by Mom ;)

Gail Pallotta said...

Hi Emilie,

Having you is my pleasure. It's nice to get to know you.

Finbar said...

Keep it up! Writing is an endeavor that can easily discourage even the most determined person. Do it because you enjoy it and feel you have something to say to the world. The in-depth photography knowledge can help you explain things many readers will not know about. Again, keep going......

Caroline said...

Lovely, fun interview. Enjoyed reading it, and especially about your wackiest event and the way you discipline your writing. Thanks for sharing!

JoAnn Durgin said...

Great interview. I'm so privileged to be one of Emilie's roommates at the upcoming ACFW, and I enjoyed this opportunity to get to know a little more about her in advance. Great interview. I think combining her love and obvious talent for photography will make her novel absolutely awesome, and I look forward to reading it. Blessings, and thanks for a great interview.

Eileen Rife said...

Great to get to know you a bit more, Emilie!

Deb Kastner said...

Hey Emilie!! <> I'm fortunate to have read some of Emilie's work. You can bet you'll see this woman in print soon! Can't wait to meet you in person (and you, JoAnn!) at ACFW.

Emilie Hendryx said...

Thanks for stopping by ladies - so good to hear from you all and thank you so much for the encouragement :)