Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Emlyn Chand - Farsighted - Author Interview

My thanks to Emlyn Chand for stopping by City Girl Who Loves to Read for an author interview during the blog tour for her book, Farsighted.

Author Interview

1. Why did you choose this setting?
Farsighted takes place in Grandon Township, a fictional Midwest town. Grandon is a lot like my hometown Oxford, Michigan. It’s very small, boring, and can be a bit suffocating, especially if you don’t fit in with the main crowd or excel at sports. The main character Alex lives a very lonely life in Grandon, which is why it means so much to him when he finally makes a friend.

2. How is it a fundamental part of your overall theme?
The setting isn’t defined by place itself but rather how that place is presented. Alex is blind, and he tells his story in the first person point-of-view, which means that visual details are completely absent, and instead we see Grandon through our ears, noses, and fingertips.

3. How challenging was it to write about?
It was difficult to cut off my senses at first, but it got easier and easier as I began to identify with Alex and his way of life. I still had to go back through and proofread multiple times and with the help of multiple readers to make sure that no accidental visual details slipped through.

4. How did you develop your setting as you wrote your book?
Since Alex is visually impaired, he doesn’t have a big world. Most of the action takes place in three primary locations: Alex’s home, the high school, and the strip mall that houses Alex’s mother’s floral shop and the neighbor’s psychic shop.

5. How do you transport them there through your writing? How do you go about making the setting come alive for the reader?
I paid special attention to describing how places and people smell. I also described the sounds of people’s voices and actions and occasionally the feel of the air. Not having visual descriptions to fall back on meant I had to be very creative in setting the scene!

6. How do you introduce them to an area they may not be familiar with?
When Alex first enters the new psychic shop, he is extremely careful. He swings his cane before him like a metronome and proceeds carefully. Of course, he still stubs his toe on a trunk and sends a crystal ball rolling across the room. When the psychic lady, Miss Teak, appears in the empty room, he is very attuned to the sound of her voice. New places are especially hard for Alex, which is why the number of settings is limited in Farsighted.

About the Book

Book Details:
Publisher: Blue Crown Press
Published: October 2011
Genre: Young Adult
Pages: 224
Format: paperback, ebook
Price: $12.95 paperback, $0.99 ebook
Buy Links: Amazon, Kindle

Alex Kosmitoras's life has never been easy. The only other student who will talk to him is the school bully, his parents are dead-broke and insanely overprotective, and to complicate matters even more, he's blind. Just when he thinks he'll never have a shot at a normal life, a new girl from India moves into town. Simmi is smart, nice, and actually wants to be friends with Alex. Plus she smells like an Almond Joy bar. Yes, sophomore year might not be so bad after all.

Unfortunately, Alex is in store for another new arrival--an unexpected and often embarrassing ability to "see" the future. Try as he may, Alex is unable to ignore his visions, especially when they begin to suggest that Simmi is in danger. With the help of the mysterious psychic next door and new friends who come bearing gifts of their own, Alex must embark on a journey to change his future.

Simmi and I arrive at this rally point together from Mrs. Warszynski’s to wait for Shapri. Several minutes go by. I want to suggest we leave without her but don’t think that’ll score me any points with Simmi.

“You didn’t want Shapri to come tonight, did you?” Simmi asks.

“Well, I—no, I mean, it’s fine. I’m glad she could come,” I sputter.

“You’re such a horrible liar,” Simmi teases, pushing me playfully.

“Hey, that’s not fair. I can’t hit you back. You’re a girl.”

“I’m just teasing you.” Simmi blows a raspberry and pulls her body up onto the circular wall surrounding the flagpole area. I hesitate before pulling myself up too. Simmi scootches over so we touch at the hip. She loops her hand through the crook of my arm and places her head on my shoulder. “I never would have gotten away with this in India,” she says. “But I’m glad I can here. I’m a psychic feeler. I need to be in touch with others.” She pauses and strokes my arm with her free hand. “You know, when I touch someone I can make them feel what I want them to, but I can also sense their existing emotions. It’s almost the same as being able to read minds. Everything important has to do with the heart, not logic.” She lightens her tone. “But don’t tell Dr. Brown I said that, he’d take marks off of my next chem exam out of spite.”

I laugh nervously. Is she like Miss Teak in a way? Can she read my feelings for her? If she can, why hasn’t she said anything? I contemplate reaching over and kissing her, so I can know for sure how she feels. But I’ve never kissed anyone before. I’m not sure how I’m supposed to initiate it. Do I take her out for dinner and a movie first? Or make some lengthy speech declaring my intentions? Do I kiss her, just like that? Or do I ask for her permission before making my big move?

I decide to ask if it’s okay. Simmi is a classy girl. She needs respect. I swallow, hoping the motion will open up my airway, because right now, I’m kind of having trouble catching my breath. “Simmi,” I start.

“Yeah, Alex?” She lifts her head and links her hand in mine, nudging her slender fingers in between each of mine.

“Would it be okay if I…”

“There you two are!” Shapri says, running over to us, panting heavily. “I thought we were meeting in the commons.”

“No, we agreed on the flagpole,” Simmi says, hopping down from the wall.

The moment is gone. I don’t know when I’ll get the chance and the nerve again. My opinion of Shapri transforms from cautious indifference into outright hatred. Why did she invite herself along?

Shapri clears her throat. “Did I—Did I interrupt something here? Maybe a little romance?”

“What? No, no,” Simmi says shaking her head adamantly. “Nothing like that, Alex is like a brother to me.”

Ouch. Pain. Stabbed in my heart. I’m like a brother to her? I guess this means romance is off the table…

About the Author
Emily Chand

Emlyn Chand has always loved to hear and tell stories, having emerged from the womb with a fountain pen grasped firmly in her left hand (true story). When she's not writing, she runs a large book club in Ann Arbor and is the president of author PR firm, Novel Publicity. Emlyn loves to connect with readers and is available throughout the social media interweb. Visit for more info. Don't forget to say "hi" to her sun conure Ducky!

Connect With Emlyn:
Web Site

Google +
Novel Publicity

About the Tour

Goddess Fish Promotions

A $50 Amazon gift card to one randomly drawn commenter during the tour. Follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning.

Tour Participants:

November 28: Lisa Haselton's Reviews and Interviews
November 29: I Just Wanna Sit Here and Read!
November 30: BK Walker Books
December 1: The Character Connection
December 2: The Book Sisterhood
December 5: Judge Not By The Covers
December 6: A Bookish Affair
December 7: A Pen and Fire
December 8: Hope. Dreams. Life... Love
December 9: The Plot Thickens
December 12: Fresh Pot of Tea
December 13: Reader Girls
December 14: City Girl Who Loves to Read
December 15: Dawn's Reading Nook
December 16: Good Family Reads
December 19: This is the Life
December 20: We Fancy Books
December 21: It's Raining Books
December 22: Sarah Ballance
December 23: J.C. Martin, Fighter Writer


  1. Point #6 really stood out for me. Of course, Alex cannot see so locations must be explained or minimized. Great question.


  2. I was just reading the book description on Amazon and I don't recall you mentioning this part of the blurb in any of your posts on this tour. This is what it said: "Alex Kosmitoras's life has never been easy. The only other student who will talk to him is the school bully, his parents are dead-broke and insanely overprotective". I thought this was a rather interesting statement. What more can you tell us about it?

  3. Thank you for the wonderful interview, Ms. City Girl! Hello to my faithful blog tour follow friends, Karen and Marybelle. Gosh, I sure hope one of you wins the prize. Am I allowed to play favorites? :-D

    Karen, Alex's father is unemployed and his mother runs a struggling floral shop. He's had a pretty isolated life due to being so visibly different in such a small town and is bullied mercilessly. Poor Alex! :-(

  4. I'm enjoying following the tour. Emlyn...I will email you for your ideas on promoting books to reluctant YA readers...especially the young fellas out there. We have found that urban fiction has been a popular addition to our library.


  5. Emlyn, you are a book blog rock star! A pleasure to have you stop by.

    Thanks everyone for commenting and supporting Emlyn.