By Janette Turner
Edmonds writer and publisher Emily Hill spent the summer in Transylvanian territory gathering legends to populate her ghost and supernatural stories. To find out more about her travels and a new book release, we checked in with the top-of-the-supernatural-charts author.
My Edmonds News: Please tell us about your latest book release.
E.H.: I’ve just released a dual edition of “The Ghost Chaser’s Daughter.” The eBook format is five fresh folklore stories inspired by my travels in Transylvania and Hungary this past summer. My husband and I had the opportunity to live in Budapest through July and August in the (Raday utca district), on the “Pest” side of the twin city. The paperback format of “The Ghost Chaser’s Daughter” is a 24-story anthology of all of my published short stories, arranged in autobiographical sequence. It was suggested by one of my online friends from Italy (author Luca Lazzari) that I “consolidate” my stories into an autobiographical format — and it made sense. I was able to complete the project while in Budapest.
I’m very proud of ‘The Ghost Chaser’s Daughter’ from a publishing perspective because it is my first “designed-interior” book. The woman who usually does my book covers used InDesign for the interior with features that will appeal to readers who actually look at books from a font, design, format viewpoint. The chapter headers are stunning, even the footers and page numbers are “designed” and look so much better than a simple “Word.doc” format, which most publishing houses (even Simon & Schuster) are using for their “mass market trade” books. So the design is spectacular.
My Edmonds News: Can you bring us up to date on your travels this summer and your writing?
E.H.: Being in Hungary was a writer’s dream because of the opportunities I had to collect first-hand stories about Hungarians living under the Communist occupation; and families living in the countryside who remember the stories of witches and legends that permeated the Hungarian culture even through the 1940s and 1950s.
I had dinner with a classical musician (in his early 60s) who, growing up in Hungary under Russian rule, did not see ANY fresh fruit as a child. Gustav Hona told me of seeing his first banana as a 13-year old when his father was able to take him to Vienna. I heard stories of children standing in line for two hours for a quart of milk.
For two months I collected stories and wrote furiously — I was in a Writer’s Heaven.
My Edmonds News: What is one of your favorite lines (or stories) in your new book?
E.H.: “To Kill Ivan Gorsky” is my favorite (new) short story. “Ivan Gorsky” came to me during a tour of the Budapest Opera House. It is a story of a man who believes he is “right” and doing all the things in life that are correct for his society and political position. The only problem is that he is a Russian (Communist) agent, about to capture a dissident student involved in the 1956 uprising against the Communists. In a Hitchcock-esque plot, everything goes wrong for Gorsky. The story plays out so that even the angels who sing at midnight in the Budapest Opera House (folklore) celebrate the death of Ivan Gorsky.
The beauty and intrigue of the opera house make it the perfect setting as the opera house is a “house of mirrors.” And it’s eerie. It was used as a meeting place during the Communist occupation of Hungary – and as such is the perfect writer’s stage.
My Edmonds News: Any other news that you want to share with readers?
E.H.: (1) A.V. Harrison Publishing will begin publishing for the French-speaking market this year. I’ve added an interpreter, Catherine Bedeski, to our publishing team.
(2) All of our books will be designed using InDesign technology by Kathi Humphries Design & New Media.
(3) I am negotiating to purchase the American-distribution rights to several Hungarian titles.
(4) I’ve always felt the new potential for micro-publishing was in leveraging the global market, and I am in a position to do just that for this little Edmonds, Washington-based company. I’m very proud of what our five-member team of women (passionate about publishing) has been able to accomplish.
(5) My first book in the supernatural genre has been on the Amazon Top Ten list (for its category) for forty-eight weekends straight, and has been the #1 Amazon UK Best Seller six times this past year. This one book is financing all of the potential for A.V. Harrison Publishing. I don’t know how that happened. And I hope readers enjoy reading these stories in their new paperback format.