Who is not ready for summer to end? Because if you’re still loving summer, then you’ll really enjoy 100 Days of Sunlight! Aka, 100 days of summery feels.
I’ve been following Abbie Emmon’s blog and youtube for a long while, so I was really excited to read her debut novel AND interview her for today’s post! Very excited! (Have I mentioned I love writing interview questions?)
Also, since Abbie Emmon’s is a self-published, I really wanted to ask her about self-publishing. Maybe I should do a whole blog post where I talk to self-published authors??? is that an idea now? maybe. We’ll see.
Can you describe 100 days of Sunlight in ten words or less?
When life knocks you down, you can always get up. 🙂
Since you’re self-published, I know you did a lot of the work yourself for your book. Can you share the three best things about self-publishing and the three biggest challenges?
I love this question, because I’m super passionate about self-publishing. My top 3 favorite things about it are:
► The control. Being able to have full control over every aspect of your book (the cover, design, formatting, blurb, packaging, promotion, etc.) is priceless.
►Higher royalties. Since I’m in the process of making writing my career, it’s always nice to get some income from your efforts. Compared to traditional publishing, authors are compensated much better going indie.
► It’s the new cool thing. Just like indie music has become cooler than record-label music, I believe the indie authoring world is on the cusp of making history and changing the publishing game. The tide has already started to shift and I’m thrilled to be a part of this movement.
Of course, there are plenty of challenges with indie publishing. Like…
► Doing all the work yourself (or having to hire help.) With traditional publishing, you are working with a team. Indies have to do much of the technical work on their own.
► The stigma still lingers a bit. Unfortunately, there are still a lot of people who assume self-published authors just “aren’t good enough to get a publishing deal.” Of course, this might be true of some indie authors who don’t try very hard to create quality works of fiction – but it’s certainly not true of every author, and sometimes it can be hard to prove this point.
► If something is wrong, it’s your fault. This one is funny because it can also be looked at as a benefit. Personally, I like the idea of being the only one to blame if anything goes sideways in my publishing process – but this is a scary prospect to face for new indies who aren’t sure they can pull this off without a team to help them.
I loved the setting for 100 Days of Sunlight! Have you always wanted to write contemporary fiction? Since you’re a blogger, did you model Tessa’s internet life after your own experience?
Aw, thank you so much! I love contemporary fiction; it’s definitely my favorite genre to both read and write. The setting for 100 Days of Sunlight is very much inspired by my hometown, and Tessa and I definitely share a lot of the same personality traits! It was cool to write about an introverted blogger like myself, because it came very natural to me and I could relate to a lot of Tessa’s fears and anxieties. Also, her control-freak tendencies… not at all guilty of that… (nervous laughter)
I love tea and coffee, so I always like to ask, if your characters were a coffee or tea order, what signature drink would they be?
Oooh, I love this question! Tessa would be a chai latte with coconut milk and cinnamon on top… and Weston would probably be a caramel waffle cone frappuccino. That just seems like them, haha!
Can you share about any future writing projects you have up your sleeves?
I can’t give away too much, but I will say that my next book will be another standalone in the same sort of genre. I think y’all are gonna love it. 🙂
Terrified that her vision might never return, Tessa feels like she has nothing left to be happy about. But when her grandparents place an ad in the local newspaper looking for a typist to help Tessa continue writing and blogging, an unlikely answer knocks at their door: Weston Ludovico, a boy her age with bright eyes, an optimistic smile…and no legs.
Knowing how angry and afraid Tessa is feeling, Weston thinks he can help her. But he has one condition — no one can tell Tessa about his disability. And because she can’t see him, she treats him with contempt: screaming at him to get out of her house and never come back. But for Weston, it’s the most amazing feeling: to be treated like a normal person, not just a sob story. So he comes back. Again and again and again.
Tessa spurns Weston’s “obnoxious optimism”, convinced that he has no idea what she’s going through. But Weston knows exactly how she feels and reaches into her darkness to show her that there is more than one way to experience the world. As Tessa grows closer to Weston, she finds it harder and harder to imagine life without him — and Weston can’t imagine life without her. But he still hasn’t told her the truth, and when Tessa’s sight returns he’ll have to make the hardest decision of his life: vanish from Tessa’s world…or overcome his fear of being seen.
Abbie’s writing is light and summery, so this is the perfect summer contemporary. I read it quickly and easily, and it’s a GREAT debut.
I loved a lot of the small aspects, the descriptions and poetic writing, and the breezy way the story moved along. Sometimes, I’m nervous about countdowns in stories, but it felt really natural and right for 100 Days of Sunlight.
I also loved the friendships! Weston and Rudy were the best best friends I’ve read in a long time. I was cheering their friendship on!
The theming around senses. I loved feeling through the five senses, and felt like that was a lovely way to tie the different parts of the story together.
And the romance was sweet (even if it had cheesy moments) It was a sweet summer romance kind of read – which is what I expected! So, yay!
On the other hand, I didn’t really like some parts of the storytelling. As a survivor of PTSD, I felt like the main characters’ diagnosis was treated too flippantly.
And Tessa, the main character, could be really, really annoying. Like, super annoying. She complained a lot and was super demanding. I LOVED Weston so I wasn’t expecting to really dislike Tessa. But I definitely didn’t enjoy reading her perspective that much. And Tessa borders on a self-insert main character and if you’ve heard me chat about Again but Better, you KNOW I don’t like that AT ALL.
I also know the author worked REALLY hard to not be preachy in her writing, but sometimes the message seemed to override some parts of the storytelling. Since this is Abbie Emmon’s first book, I can imagine she’ll only get better as a writer. And I definitely plan to read her future books!
Are you a fan of contemporary summer romance? Or waffles?
Would you be interested in reading more about self-published authors and how publishing works for them?