A British writer who takes great pride in snarky comebacks, Emma Hart has released more than 30 romance novels, putting sassy heroines in simultaneously sexy and hilarious situations. In 2013, the first book in her Game series, The Love Game, hit both the New York Times and USA Today bestseller lists, helping her to secure publishing deals with Hachette and Simon & Schuster for that series and her Burke Brothers books. Hart has remained largely self-published, however, maintaining total control over stand-alone releases and fan favorites like her romantic mystery series, the Holly Woods Files. She spoke with us about becoming a writer and using her own unique taste to craft romances that stand out from the crowd.
What was the first book that you published?
It was actually a young adult paranormal titled A Magic Like No Other. It’s now unpublished and gives me all sorts of cringe moments when I read it, but I’m so glad I did it. I first made it onto bestseller lists with The Love Game, the first book in the Game series, back in April 2013. It hit both USA Today and the New York Times [bestseller lists]
When did you decide to pursue writing full-time?
I was lucky enough to start writing when I was a full-time parent. My daughter was a little over 1 year old, and I suffered post-partum depression, so after reading a lot and my husband telling me to “write a book instead,” I did just that. I’ve never looked back.
What drew you to writing romances?
I’m not entirely sure. Even when I wrote YA paranormal romance, it was always a subtheme. When I discovered the indie world for real, I read a few and I guess I just thought, “Hey. I want to write a romance,” so I did. It was when New Adult was at its height of taking over the publishing world, and since I was 19, I was in that age bracket, and I think it fascinated me.
What is unique about your novels?
I want to say my humor, without being that person. I’m British, and I write to an American audience with American characters, but I can’t kill my inner Brit. That dry sense of wit is probably what makes me stand out most.
How have you tried to get readers’ attention in the often crowded romance genre?
By just being myself, honestly. We’re lucky that we have social media to connect with readers. My online persona is quite witty and sarcastic, and I think that helps to keep the personal connection. I also have quite unique covers being that my romantic comedies are femalecentric, so I think that helps me stand out from the solo male/couple covers.
What’s been the best thing about self-publishing for you?
The flexibility. I just recently had carpal tunnel surgery, and I was able to adjust my schedule to allow the time I needed for the recovery. I also love the control over my book covers and branding—I’m quite particular about that, and giving that up for traditional books has always made me superanxious!
What can readers look forward to next?
I’m getting ready to publish Four Day Fling, a stand-alone rom-com about what happens when you take your one-night stand to your sister’s wedding and he turns out to be a famous hockey player…whom your entire family adore. And, of course, you have no idea who he is, because it’s no fun if you do! My next release is Best Served Cold, an enemies-to-lovers, second-chance romantic comedy about your a-hole ex opening an ice-cream store next to yours and stealing all your ideas in the name of revenge for breaking up with him.
Rhett Morgan is a writer and translator based in Paris.