Interview: Emme Rollins

Interview: Emme Rollins

SRNA: Congratulations on the early success of DEAR ROCKSTAR!

ER: Thank you! I couldn’t have asked for a better debut. The feedback has been tremendous, most of it wonderful. I’m smiling so much every time I read a new review, my face hurts! Thanks to readers, it made it to Amazon’s Top 100!

SRNA: The book is set in the 1980’s. What drew you to that time period?

ER: I was born in the 1980’s and while I grew up mostly listening to 90’s music (Greenday and Goo-Goo Dolls and Live and bands like that), my sisters were much older and totally into 80’s music so it was around all the time. My oldest sister is ten years older than I am, and she was so in love with Rick Springfield she actually fainted at one of his concerts. I think I was about five at the time, so I didn't go to the concert, but I heard all about it. People kind of laugh and roll their eyes about 80’s music, but they forget what it was like before the indie music movement came along, in the days when there were no music downloads, when you had to go to an actual record store for albums. My sisters used to record their favorite songs off the radio! And all their boyfriends would give them “mix tapes” – not playlists! LOL It was a time when “celebrity”meant something a little different than it does now. Setting Dear Rockstar in the 1980’s offered me the opportunity to explore rock and roll before Napster and downloads and reality shows like American Idol changed the face of music.

SRNA: Most of the characters attend an alternative high school for kids that have a wide range of issues that prevented them from attending, or finishing, high school in a traditional manner. Why this setting?

ER: I actually worked in an alternative high school setting for a year as a school psychologist, and I met a lot of great kids whose lives had often been turned upside down by circumstance or bad luck or bad choices. It seemed like the perfect setting for two troubled young adults to find each other, while they were both working toward moving into a precarious adult world that had hurt them both.

SRNA: Sara is an intriguing character. Is she based on someone in particular?

ER: She’s based a little on my sisters, whose obsession with rock stars from Rick Springfield to Sting to Axl Rose pervaded our house (I was more prone to being an author fangirl, myself!) but she’s also based a little on a close girlfriend I had in high school whose obsession with a rock star was a smaller version of Sara’s. We would wait in line at Ticketmaster (this was before Ticketmaster sold tickets online!) the night before to get the best possible seats. Her walls were literally wallpapered with his picture. Hers was a rather harmless (if a bit excessive!) obsession, one I know many young girls experience. In that scenario, I was the “Aimee” – her best friend who told her stories about meeting and falling in love with the rock star! In Dear Rockstar, though, I wanted to explore what would happen if such an obsessed fan-girl met a real, flesh and blood guy, who not only rivaled her fantasy-rockstar, but who surpassed him by far.

SRNA: Did you model the two rock stars, Dale Diamond and Tyler Vincent, after specific people?

ER: Nope. It’s likely they’re a conglomeration of many, but as I wrote, they became their own people. I've never met a Dale Diamond – but I would sure like to! :)

SRNA: This is a somewhat disturbing view into issues that affect teens and young adults today; domestic violence, eating disorders, and teen pregnancy – to name a few. What do you hope the reader will gain from this insight?

ER: That these things are real, and they happen. They’re happening all the time, all around us, and most people are pretty unaware. In my experience, working with troubled kids and young adults, they’re very good at keeping secrets, and most of the time they don’t do it to protect themselves—they do it to protect the adults in their lives. As teens become young adults and gain independence, they start to realize they aren't living their parents’ lives, they’re living their own—and the secrets they've been keeping haven’t helped anyone. Especially themselves. They realize they've been swallowing their feelings, swallowing the truth. It’s like slowly poisoning yourself. It eats at you. Until you can’t take it anymore. That point usually comes when a teen realizes—hey, I’m my own person. I’m independent. I can separate from you (usually the parent). So all these things—domestic violence, eating disorders, teen pregnancy—are explored in various ways, in characters who are at different points in their development. Dale has integrated his secret and is protecting someone. Sara has dissociated herself, protecting her psyche from the horrible truth, through her obsession with Tyler Vincent.

I know a few readers have objected to the way I kept readers in the dark (I did give a few hints!) throughout the book and then hit them “out of nowhere” at the end. This served two purposes—a) it was art imitating life. Sara and Dale were keeping big secrets, and I, as an author, helped keep those secrets from the reader too. B) it served to hit the reader hard, coming as it does near the end, and it serves as a metaphor. The characters are hit hard too, and their lives turned suddenly upside down. I wanted the reader to really feel that, how fast life can change. In an instant.

SRNA: In developing characters, there is a lot of information authors have about their characters that never makes it onto the page. What don’t we know about Sara, Dale, and Tyler Vincent?

ER: There are more secrets to uncover in all of their lives, for the reader, and for me too. Just in the past few days, thinking about the sequel (yes, the sequel! I wasn't planning to write one, but so many people have asked that it got me to thinking…) I've uncovered a few more shockers about all three of them. But I’m afraid I can’t tell you yet… you’re going to have to read the sequel to find out! I do know this much - it will be called Lucky Girl—and the release date will be some time in October 2013.

SRNA: This book has just been released, yet I see you are already working on your next book. Can you give us a preview?

ER: Buried Secrets is a new adult romance mixed with a little mystery and even a tiny little bit of horror. Dusty’s twin brother, Nick, has been killed, just before he was set to go off to college, and her tremendous loss morphs an obsession to find his killer. Instead of going off to college herself, like she’d planned, she stays in her little northern Michigan home town, determined to solve the mystery of her brother’s death. The more she digs, the more signs point to Shane, her brother’s best friend and town bad boy. The tension and rivalry between Dusty and Shane has always been palpable and sparks fly as the two collide. Dusty finds herself sinking in deeper with Shane and the mystery of what happened to her brother–and a lengthening list of victims–grows even stranger. When everything comes to a head, Dusty focuses on one thing: What happened the night her brother was killed in the cemetery? She’s sure Shane is keeping a secret and she’s determined to find out what it is, one way or another.

SRNA: When can we expect to see it hit the shelves, or e-readers?

ER: Buried Secrets will be released on August 5, 2013. I’m holding a Goodreads paperback giveaway, so you can enter to win one here!

SRNA: What are you reading currently?

ER: Me, Cinderella? By Aubrey Rose and Random Acts of Crazy by Julia Kent. Also in the middle of N0S4ATU by Joe Hill (Stephen King’s son). I’m a huge Stephen King fan! :)

Thanks so much for your time, Emme!

Fido Publishing

Emme Rollins is an up and coming author of New Adult/Mature Young Adult fiction. She’s been writing since she could hold a crayon and still chews her pen caps to a mangled plastic mess. She did not, however, eat paste as a kid.

She has two degrees, a bachelor’s and a master’s, one of which she’s still paying for, but neither of which she uses out in the “real world,” because when she isn’t writing, she spends her time growing an organic garden to feed her husband and children (and far too many rabbits and deer!) where they live on twenty gorgeous forested acres in rural Michigan.

She loves tending her beehives (bees are wonderful pollinators and Hello!? Honey!) and keeping up with her daily yoga practice and going for long walks in the woods with her boxer, Rodeo, who loves chasing squirrels almost as much as Emme loves writing!

Emme loves hearing from fans, so feel free to use the contact page on her site ( to connect with her.

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Lori L. Clark

She Reads New Adult Admin: Lori L. Clark

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