Character Days: Emma Roberts from How to Date Dead Guys
My name is Emma Roberts. I grew up in Hudson, Wisconsin and now attend University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. I'm an only child. (Please don't ask me if I was spoiled. Fine. I was. I got everything I ever wanted. Actually, that's a lie. Does anyone ever get everything they want? And what if you want all the wrong things?)
I fell in love with the UW-Eau Claire campus when our state high school music contest was held here. I stood on the bridge gazing out at the beautiful trees lining the Chippewa River which runs right through the middle of campus. Everything looked so lovely, I thought I would feel at home here. But I was wrong.
I never realized that the river would try to kill me.
Tell us your most closely guarded secret?
Mom told me not to tell you. I think sometimes she gets overprotective just because I'm an only child. She had so many rules when I went to college: "Don't sleep around, don't burp in public, and don't tell anyone you see ghosts." Whoops, that just kind of slipped out. Now you know the truth. I usually don't talk about it because most people think I'm crazy enough as it is.
Tell us about your single most important memory. What was it and how does it affect you now?
I started hearing voices in junior high. One strange day, while I played in the woods near my home, the skin on my neck prickled with the creepy feeling I was being followed. When I spun around there was no one there.
At least at first. Then I spotted a girl among the trees, wearing a gingham dress and a bonnet. She waved her arms and invited me to walk with her.
We spent the rest of the afternoon together. Her name was Elsie. She told me about her life, which sounded just like my Laura Ingalls Wilder books.
When Elsie told me how she'd died of scarlet fever, I guess I should've run away. Or at least been frightened. But I wasn't.
When I got home and told Mom about my new friend, she scolded me, saying I was much too old for "imaginary playmates".
The next time I saw Elsie I tearfully begged her to go away and leave me alone.
Ever since Elsie, I've been seeing ghosts a couple times a year. I rarely speak with them. Instead, I pretend they don't exist.
But after Mike died, this changed, and maybe not for the better.
What type of person are you? Are you a hero or do you shy away from conflict?
A hero? That's a laugh. I can't even win a single argument with my roommate. She gets whatever she wants. And I get so nervous that I find it hard to form complete sentences around men I find attractive.
To be honest, I would've even shied away from this interview if you had asked me before I found the Book of Shadows. But the book gives me strength.
Do you have any hobbies, any special talents?
I get good grades and read a lot, but I don't want people to think I'm a total weenie so I never tell them my gradepoint average. I don't know if getting good grades even counts as a "special talent". You just have to put in the time and effort.
Hmmm…special talents. Does raising people from the dead count?
And in that line, what would be your ideal day?
If I could fix everyone's problems and still have time to study for that Zoology quiz tomorrow.
Do you have anyone close to you, any family or friends of interest?
After being bullied relentlessly in junior high and highschool, I didn't trust anyone enough to consider them a "true friend" once I got to college. Girls are so fickle. One minute they're your best friend and the next they're talking behind your back. Why do they do that?
Oh well, perhaps I'm more comfortable with the dead than the living.
What is your most prized possession?
The Book of Shadows. Now that it's mine I'm never giving it back.
What initially spurred your actions in this story. Obviously it had to start somewhere for you, give us an idea of where that starting point is and where it all started.
Mike Carlson drowned in the Chippewa River on his 21st birthday. I was there babysitting him, because he was really drunk. So it was all my fault. I don't even know how it happened. He just slipped away without a sound.
Mike's death changed everything for me. I would've given my life for his.
How do you envision your future?
That's a really difficult question for a college sophomore who changes her major every other week. I only wish I knew.
Tell us where we can read more about you?
Book One of the Under a Blood Moon series, entitled HOW TO DATE DEAD GUYS will be released July 2014. Books Two and Three will follow.
Author: Ann M. Noser
Author's blog or website:
@AnnMNoser (twitter handle)
Back of the book blurb:
College sophomore Emma Roberts remembers her mother’s sage advice: “don’t sleep around, don’t burp in public, and don’t tell anyone you see ghosts”. But when charming Mike Carlson drowns in the campus river under her watch, Emma’s sheltered life shatters.
Blamed for Mike’s death and haunted by nightmares, Emma turns to witchcraft and a mysterious Book of Shadows to bring him back. Under a Blood Moon, she lights candles, draws a pentacle on the campus bridge, and casts a spell. The invoked river rages up against her, but she escapes its fury. As she stumbles back to the dorm, a stranger drags himself from the water and follows her home. And he isn't the only one.
Instead of raising Mike, Emma assists the others she stole back from the dead—a pre-med student who jumped off the bridge, a desperate victim determined to solve his own murder, and a frat boy Emma can’t stand…at first. More comfortable with the dead than the living, Emma delves deeper into the seductive Book of Shadows. Her powers grow, but witchcraft may not be enough to protect her against the vengeful river and the killers that feed it their victims.
Inspired by the controversial Smiley Face Murders, HOW TO DATE DEAD GUYS will ignite the secret powers hidden deep within each of us.