Feature Friday: Emily Poirier

Today I am excited to feature author Emily Poirier, author of Vampires Don’t Need an Invitation & The Color Thief! I read her book, The Color Thief, a month ago and it was a wonderful story I encourage you to check out! I’ll be providing a review for the sequel, The Color Plague, sometime later this month.

Emily graduated from Hampshire College in 2017 where she studied Creative Writing and Literature. She spent her final year working on my Division III project, “No More Lions and Lambs: Examining and Re-Writing the Vampire Romance Novel,” which went on to become Vampires Don’t Need an Invitation. She enjoys cats, dragons, and magic. Her goal is to tell important and inclusive stories that also have magic and dragons. Girl power is a good start, but more than that is a better start. She loves Strong Women, but champions the Soft Boys. Apart from writing, she spends her days drawing, consuming media, and playing videogames – all those alone-in-your-room hobbies perfect for hermits. She likes salt and vinegar chips, pineapple on pizza, and loves tea but hates coffee.

Why did you choose indie publishing?

I indie published because my first book was a vampire romance novel. It was good, well-researched, and clever, and I stand by it, but I knew that no agent in their right mind would take a chance on a vampire romance novel from an unknown author at this stage of the game. Then, the more I wrote the more I realized my books aren’t marketable. No one is going to look at any of the books I’ve written or the ones I have planned and think, “Yes, this is perfect for the market as it stands.” These books are still worth writing, so I’ve got to do it all myself if I want them done.

What inspired you to write?

Generally: I’m an introverted only child and books and other media provided me a sense of companionship that didn’t drain my introvert batteries. I’ve dedicated so much of my heart to the fictional worlds of other people that I feel compelled to give some back.

Specifically: Vampires Don’t Need an Invitation is inspired first and foremost by Twilight, but also the vampire romance subgenre on a larger scale. I wanted to take it and bend it so that it retained the good and got rid of the bad. The Color Thief was inspired by a class I took my freshman year called The Philosophy of Color. We looked at color from every which angle, and I wanted to take those ideas and craft a magic system based on color. The Color Plague was inspired by me falling in love with my own characters and from a dissatisfaction by how much fantasy is set in pseudo-England and how little takes place on tropical archipelagos.

Are you working on any projects at the moment?

I’m writing a Beauty and the Beast retelling called Beauty and Beast. It’s morally grayer than the original, and I have unceremoniously described it as: Beauty and the Beast but Beast doesn’t give a shit and also Beauty doesn’t give a shit. I’m on the second draft now.

What is your writing routine like?

When I’m working on a project, I write every day. I have a daily minimum wordcount, but it’s only 500 words. Most days, I write more than that, but having such a low daily goal means that I still get something done on the hard days. I don’t always, but when I feel like I’m having trouble focusing, I set a 25 minute timer for writing. Another small burst that means I can chip away at my goals without overwhelming myself. If I hit the daily goal, great. If I don’t, I haven’t wasted too much time on a session that isn’t working. I re-calibrate and try again in an hour or so. I work until I finish a draft, then I take a few weeks to a month off to get distance, then I go back in and work every day on the next draft. I try to think ahead to my next project, but I don’t do any real work on it, just note taking and idea jotting so that I have something to start from when I’m ready.

Can you give us an out of context spoiler?

There is no Supreme Vampire Council, so Grayson calls his mom.

If you could give one piece of advise to your past-self about writing, what would it be?

Figure out what you’re trying to say. You can write through Writer’s Block, as long as you have something in the future to write toward; transitions are always weird. Revision is good, actually, and you should never sweat your first draft. Nothing about a first draft has to be good except for its ability to propel you into a second one.

Follow Emily Poirier


Vampires Don’t Need an Invitation

The last thing Grayson thought he’d have to worry about his freshman year of college was vampires. Making friends, getting his work done on time, the freshman fifteen? Sure. Vampires? Definitely not. Yet, here he is, the survivor of a vampire attack, nursing a huge crush on the vampire who rescued him.

Leah hasn’t been close with a human since she was one, twenty years ago. She hadn’t realized how much she missed it, missed being around someone with eighteen years worth of baggage instead of a hundred. When a dangerous group of vampires moves into town, she decides to fight for Grayson’s humanity since no one fought for hers.

In this clever reimagining of the vampire romance novel, Leah and Grayson come to question the pervasive tropes that keep influencing how their relationship forms and must decide for themselves which literary precedents they’ll allow to color their own feelings. 

The Color Thief

The King and Queen of Teqell have kept a terrible secret for twenty-seven years. Now, it’s killing them. Magic is draining them of their color, and they are dying. Princess Helena is obligated to marry and ascend to the throne, told to ignore what she has learned and accept their fate, but she cannot.

Instead, she hatches a flimsy plan with Dresden, one of her Royal Guards, to right this wrong. They must help each other travel across the kingdom that she helps rule but has largely never seen while evading other Guards who would bring them back to the castle and stop short their quest. On the way, Helena must also struggle with her changing and complicated feelings about her own family, keep her first and only friend, and reevaluate magic’s role in her kingdom.

The Color Plague

Iria should have been a Princess. Instead, she spent twenty-seven years struggling to survive in the Wasteland beyond her kingdom’s borders. Now, thanks to the love and bravery of her sister, Iria finally has the life she was born to. She never has to worry or struggle again.

So why is she still unhappy?

When her magic finds the source of the plague that has been killing witches, it becomes clear that Iria is the only person with a chance of stopping it. Iria hopes that this quest will allow her to avenge a fallen friend, but doing so would require her to stop grieving and move on, and she’s not sure how to do that yet. She’s not sure how to be part of a team, either, and she’ll be forced onto one that doesn’t know her but fears her anyway, and she’ll have to battle their distrust as well as the plague.

Currently, I am not accepting any more applications for Feature Friday. Follow me for updates regarding when I will be reopening the application. Until then, signing off.

E.S. Barrison

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