BY MATT MACKINDER
Clarkston News Editor
When Emily Ziesmer was teenager, she would often read books and think to herself, “If I wrote the book, I would have done this instead of making that decision.”
Fast forward a couple years and Ziesmer has penned two books with a third set to come out this Christmas to complete the trilogy.
“After a while, I decided to move forward with writing the stories in my way, which turned into a lot of daydreaming and scribbling down ideas of characters and dialogue,” Ziesmer said. “In high school, I would carry journals around with ideas and pieces to let my close friends read. Before I created The Queen’s Games, I had never thought seriously about publishing any of my works.”
Ziesmer’s latest work, The Queen’s War, is the sequel to The Queen’s Games. She said the book is an extension of the journey the main character, Ember DelGado, and her new friends started after surviving the Queen’s Games in the first book.
“It furthers the path they take to end the war within their kingdom’s nobility system, but they are in for a few surprises,” said Ziesmer, who said the books are appropriate for middle school-aged children on up who are drawn to fantasy.
According to the author, the trilogy is about a kingdom named Celeste with archaic values that lie within misogyny and an equally unfair social hierarchy. Ember is a member of the House of Inferno, a noble house evoked of its standing after a falling out between the royal family and the house. All of the house members, whether they are citizens or of the noble class, have powers that correlate to their house i.e. Ember can manipulate fire and draw warmth from her surroundings.
Where does Ziesmer get her ideas?
“My inspiration to write comes from my fascination to read stories packed with creativity,” she said. “I draw ideas not only from stories I hear and read every day but also from my daydreams. When I put it all together, sometimes it is very different from where it started, but in the end, readers have told me they do not wish to put down my books until the very end.”
A 2015 Clarkston High School graduate who also attended Clarkston Elementary, Ziesmer said while writing books isn’t her full-time job, working as a flight attendant certainly helps with the books.
“My office gives me the best views for creating new worlds when we have downtime on the aircraft,” said Ziesmer.
While Ziesmer is pleased with how her books have turned out, there are critics out there, she said.
“I have received both constructive criticism and adoration for my books,” said Ziesmer. “My favorite compliment I hear the most is that people would love to see my books turned into a movie. Several of my readers have also admitted they would typically not choose to read my books’ genre, but they fall in love with the story and enjoy every page. A few people have commented on spelling or grammatical errors I am working through currently. Still, seeing as I do my own writing, editing, and publishing, I can miss certain mistakes.”
Growing up in Clarkston was “always excellent,” said Ziesmer, who noted she worked downtown at the Clarkston Village Bakeshop during a summer when she was in college and has many memories of enjoying the Village of Clarkston, including biking to the ice cream store with her family, walking her sisters (Julia, now 19, who goes to Renaisaance High School for post high school adult services, and Madison, now 12, who attends Sashabaw Middle School virtually) to Depot Park when she was babysitting them, and running around downtown with her friends after school before they would go to Drama Club and build sets for musicals.
Ziesmer’s parents are Michelle and Dennis Ziesmer, and she also has a rat terrier chihuahua named Bailey who she said makes sure her books are pet friendly.
In school is where Ziesmer said she learned about the intricacies of writing.
“The teachers who made the most significant impact on me were Mr. (Jeff) Tice, who allowed me to develop my creativity in the physical form through an independent study class during my senior year, Mr. (Ryan) Eisele, who opened my eyes to what draws a reader’s attention and how each person can examine the same information but get a significantly different outlook and impact, and last but not least, Ms. (Erin) Shaw, who gave our entire class the freedom to learn in a way that suited us best and continually supported me through all of my time in her class,” said Ziesmer.
For more information, visit emilyziesmer.com or find her on Amazon at amazon.com/Emily-Ziesmer/e/B088P6R5N1.