E.M. Tippetts on her novel Paint Me True

Back in 2008, I interviewed E.M. Tippetts when her novel Time and Eternity was published by Covenant. She graciously accepted my request for a follow-up interview about her next LDS-themed novel Paint Me True, which she chose to self-publish through Amazon.

For more E.M. Tippetts, visit her author site. Emily as writes science fiction and fantasy. Visit emilymah.com or follow her on Twitter.

I read the Amazon description of Paint Me True. Could you expand on it just a bit? Without giving out too many spoilers can you tell me a little more about Eliza and the scruffy video gamer?

Eliza is the last surviving daughter in a family cursed with the BRCA gene mutation, which makes the carriers susceptible to breast and ovarian cancer. On top of this, the family’s had awful luck. Women don’t tend to see their fortieth birthdays and Eliza’s lost two sisters, two aunts, and a lot of cousins. Of all her female relatives on her mother’s side, only her Aunt Nora survives, so these two share a very close bond as survivors in a silent war. It’s Aunt Nora who suggested that Eliza follow her dreams and become an artist and who continues to give emotional support as Eliza struggles financially. At the opening of the book, Eliza is living rent free in her stepmother’s old house in Portland. She’s thirty years old, and about to age out of the singles ward. None of the daring life decisions she’s made have paid off. She’s broke, single, and there’s no end to either condition in sight.

Len, the scruffy nerd, works as a sysadmin at a law firm and likes to spend his free time playing video games. He’s had a crush on Eliza for a long time, but he’s aware of the fact that she’s only dating him because she has no other prospects. At the beginning of the book, he’s finally coming around to the idea that he doesn’t deserve to be treated this way. I assume most readers will identify with him in the first scene, as I think he is the most sympathetic character. Continue reading “E.M. Tippetts on her novel Paint Me True”

Andrew’s Mormon Literature Year in Review, Part II: Mormon Market Books 2008

Wm writes: Every year since 2000, Andrew Hall has put together a Year in Review for all of the major genres of Mormon letters.  AMV is pleased to bring you Andrew’s Year in Review for 2008. Today — a look at the Mormon market for books. Read the other entries in the series.

Andrew Hall’s Mormon Literature Year in Review — Part II: Mormon market books

Click here to view data on the number of books published per publisher from 2000-2008.

There was a slight drop in the number of fiction books published by Mormon publishing houses in 2008, from 94 in 2007 to 86 in 2008. The dip was due largely to a decrease in the number of books published by independent publishers, such as Cedar Fort, the third largest publisher. Covenant and Deseret Book, which are now both owned by the Church, published slightly more novels in 2008 than they did in 2007. As a result, the Covenant/Deseret Book combination published 65% of the novels in the Mormon market in 2008. That is up from 56% in 2007, and around 50% in the five years before that.  I have heard from some independent publishers that Deseret Book’s bookstore division makes it difficult for them to get even standard Mormon-themed novels onto their shelves. That is a very disconcerting trend.  In any case, it is a good bet that the total number of Mormon fiction titles will go down again in 2009, because of the dip in the economic outlook. Continue reading “Andrew’s Mormon Literature Year in Review, Part II: Mormon Market Books 2008”

Q&A: LDS Fiction Author E.M. Tippetts

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.

For more on Time and Eternity, visit the E.M. Tippetts author site. If you are more interested in her speculative fiction career, check out the Emily Mah site.

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”