Time and Eternity the first LDS market novel by E.M. Tippetts was published last month by Covenant. Tippetts, who writes speculative fiction under the name Emily Mah, lives in New Mexico with her husband Trevor. A convert to the LDS church, Tippetts is currently writing full-time.
She and I traveled in some of the same online circles several years ago, and when I found out that she had a Mormon novel coming out, I asked her to do a Q&A. She kindly accepted.
The main focus of your writing career up to now has been speculative fiction. How and why did you decide to write a romance novel for the Mormon market?
There are a lot of answers to this question. The mundane ones include the fact that the national market can move very slowly with submissions processes that can take years and the LDS market isn’t so bogged down. That market is more accessible, writer’s don’t need agents and the publishing companies all take unsolicited manuscripts. It’s also a very large, vibrant market and a fascinating community of writers and artists all working to express their gospel influences creatively. I could just give those answers, but I suppose the real answer is that I had been working on my writing for five years and it occurred to me that something I could do to better in my spiritual life and not take significantly more time in the day was to try my hand at writing something for the LDS market. Writing was another part of myself that I found I could dedicate to the Lord. I didn’t specifically choose romance, but decided to try to write a plot driven novel. My favorite plot-smith of all time is Jane Austen, and I spent the months that I wrote Time and Eternity pulling apart her stories, trying to pick up on some of her techniques. My novel isn’t much like one of hers at all, except that I hope the ending is both well set up and happy, not a foregone conclusion, but not a convenient coincidence either. I wanted readers to put it down with a sense of satisfaction. Continue reading “Q&A: LDS Fiction Author E.M. Tippetts”