Meet Author Emily VanderBent
Emily VanderBent is a writer and historian. A natural born storyteller, she desires to relay and celebrate the stories of powerful women in history. Her premier novel, Crimson Time, is the first in a series that uses elements of history to creatively engage readers with the past. She hopes her writing will encourage young women to fearlessly pursue their passions and own the narrative of their own stories.
With a degree in history, Emily uses her talent for writing, graphic design, and brand building to create blog posts, online content and design for Girl Museum and Makeover Your Brand. While living in the real world, Emily wishes to exist in the pages of a book.
What is the title of your latest book?
Crimson Time is both the title of my debut novel set to publish July 27th and the name of the series the novel starts. Crimson Time follows Adelaide as she is thrust into the world of the Red Rose Society: a secret society made up of the descendants of historical figures.
Why did you write it?
I wrote Crimson Time for several reasons, but the core drive behind the novel and series is my passion for writing and history and desire to see the stories of women in the past told and acknowledged. I think we’ve grown use to thinking there is one grand narrative of history and it is the one we are taught in school, but as important as it is to know that narrative, it is equally as important to recognize that it is not the only one. I also think the way history is taught turns people off it because they think it is either boring or unnecessary to know, but the truth is history is so much more than memorizing dates and a few well-known figures. History is layered and complex. It is people, their actions, and reactions. I think the more people truly begin to understand what history is, the more people will love it and see its importance. I think the weight of that knowledge causes you to live a little differently, knowing your present will be someone else’s past and set the stage for someone else’s future.
What have you found to be the most challenging aspects of being a writer?
Writing, itself, presents its own set of challenges, but for me the most difficult parts of being a writer, especially a new, young writer, is getting the word out about my work and establishing credibility. Although I use a hybrid press, I am largely an indie author, so much of my marketing I do on my own. It has definitely been a learning process. I think often, as young writers, the task of writing a book seems so daunting we don’t look farther than the actual writing. But there is so much more that goes into writing a book and establishing yourself as a writer than just getting the words out of your mind and onto paper.
And the most rewarding?
I think the most rewarding part of being a writer, other than holding the physical novel after publishing, is seeing people get excited about your book. I’ve been blown away by all the love and support of close family and friends, people I haven’t talked to in a while, and complete strangers. You’ve poured so much of yourself into the creation of your book, it’s such a wonderful feeling to see others appreciate and enjoy that.
What is your top tip for an aspiring writer?
If you are waiting to feel like you are ready before starting a novel, series, blog, etc., I think it’s important to know you are never going to feel ready. You don’t have to have a ground-breaking idea or know all the ins and outs of the writing process to start. You just have to sit down and write. That doesn’t mean it will be easy, but don’t overwhelm yourself by trying to jump three steps ahead of where you are. Tackle each step as it comes and don’t be afraid to reach out to other writers for guidance. The truth is, none of us really know what we’re doing, but we have learned some helpful things along the way as we’ve fumbled our own way through.
What do you like to read?
I like to read Young Adult Fantasy (Cassandra Clare, JK Rowling, Victoria Aveyard) Young Adult Fiction (Lauren Oliver, Ally Carter, Maureen Johnson), Historical Fiction (Lynn Austin, Pam Jenoff, Lisa T Bergren), Historical Narrative Nonfiction (Karen Abbott, Erik Larson), and Poetry (Atticus, Amanda Lovelace, Robert M. Drake). I tend to jump between genres depending on what I’m in the mood for. I also like classics like F. Scott Fitzgerald and Ray Bradbury.
What are you working on at the moment?
Writing-wise, I am outlining and plotting book two and three of the Crimson Time series as well as idea dumping for a couple historical fiction novels. I also write for an online museum called Girl Museum, so I’m putting blogs out for them a couple times a month as well as doing some graphic design for their social media posts.
I do some graphic design, web design, and content creation for a small branding company called Makeover Your Brand, so I am currently working on some websites and graphics for clients.
Where can readers find you?
Readers can find me on both Facebook and Instagram at emilyvanderbent_author or Twitter @emvan6. They can also stay up to date on Crimson Time news or subscribe to my newsletter at my website https://www.emilyvanderbent.org/
Readers can find my blog posts for Girl Museum at girlmuseum.org.
Readers can purchase Crimson Time from Amazon Books, or directly from me on my website https://www.emilyvanderbent.org/. In the coming weeks it will also be available through a variety of other retailers.
Crimson Time – the burb:
The past, a host of lies, and a pair of earrings may not be the only barriers between Adelaide Anson and the truth about her parents’ deaths.
Adelaide still can’t shake the feeling that the fire wasn’t an accident. No one else seems to believe there may be more to the story; that is until a mysterious letter shows up confirming Adelaide’s suspicions. Lured by the promise of answers, Adelaide follows the letter and finds herself thrust into the world of the Red Rose Society, a secret order composed of the descendants of historical figures. If Adelaide wants to get into the Red Rose Society and gain the answers she seeks, she’ll have to survive a trip to the past and outwit the other initiates before the clock runs down.
Crimson Timeis the first book in an exciting YA fiction series that combines elements of history and time travel to tell the stories of women in the past. Young adults, as well as the young at heart, will be swept up in the past and carried into a world of secrets and lies.