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About Me

Me in the hills behind our home in the Bay Area

Me in the hills behind our home in the Bay Area

Other Places to Find Me: You can get in touch with me through the contact page, or on Twitter @EmeryHannah


I’m Hannah B. Emery, a transplant from northern New England to the San Francisco Bay Area, who’s happy about the odd little corner of the US where she lives, but still misses the snow (no, seriously. And driving to it isn’t the same). Married to a fellow nerd (we met in a table-top role-playing game), 1 cat, 1 house, no kids (yet, at least).

As the title suggests, I’m a sociologist by training (said training culminating in a PhD from UC Berkeley in spring 2013) and a writer by vocation (since I was old enough to hold a pencil). After 25-odd years of noodling around at the writing life, when I completed my degree I decided to step back from the Academy and enter the writing life semi-full-time. That said, one hazard of ten years in academia is that the sociological side of things will inevitably filter through on this channel from time to time, so caveat lector.

My particular geeky obsessions (and the things I worldbuild into infinity) center around language, religion, education and cultural ritual. I’m a sometime guest blogger for Dan Koboldt’s Science in Sci-Fi, Fact in Fantasy series, writing posts about niche sociological knowledge that’s useful for worldbuilders (like how to create realistic magic academies and distinctive fantasy cultures). My biggest nerdery is names: I wrote my dissertation based on research about how parents choose names for their kids. So name-nerdery’s especially likely to surface on this blog from time to time, especially when the new Social Security Administration list comes out each May.

The Blog:

My goal for this space is to discuss writing, storytelling, and general nerdery. I try to post about twice a week: regular topics include book reviews (often with some craft-based musing about the work on the side), thoughts on the intersection between media and culture, and discussions of my own writing process. If you’re looking to get a sense of what I do, you might look at these:

I’m in the process of cleaning up tags and things to make specific topics easier to find, but my hope is that there will always be something interesting to read.

My Writing:

I’ve been writing genre fiction for a very long time, almost literally as long as I can remember. My current project is firmly in the heroic fantasy style, a fictional memoir in the tradition of Pat Rothfuss’s Kingkiller Chronicles and Jacqueline Carey’s Kushiel books. When I started trying to whip it into shape, I was thinking it might be three fat books: it’s now shaping up to be more like 9 or 10. I’m hoping to be looking for representation on the first book by the end of this year (2015).

My (conscious) influences are people like Ursula LeGuin, Patrick Rothfuss, and George RR Martin, with a bit of Stephen King thrown in (hey, I did say I was from New England). To date, I’ve had two short stories “published,” one urban fantasy-ish in an online literary magazine in 2006 (long since disappeared from their website, as far as I can tell) and the other in a little, obscurely-published horror anthology that you can apparently still purchase here. So I guess that proves I can do the short-story thing. But my true love is novels, and especially long ones.

My first novel-length project, a “drawer novel” written during my undergrad years, was dystopic YA fiction set in a near-future West Coast (ironic, given that I wrote it sitting in suburban Maine) and included arcology cities, the destruction of LA by rebels/terrorists, and waay too much worldbuilding pulled from Lois Lowry’s The Giver. Since then, most of my major projects have been collaborative work, most notably a pre/post/events-of-apocalyptic Earth piece of space opera that covers several long volumes’ worth of material at the moment, and may still turn into something “real” someday. The other half-formed ideas floating around my head include a story about a priest, an engineer, and the end of the world (notice a theme here?) and one about time-travel, Parisian history, and Notre Dame Cathedral (no apocalypse in that one. Promise!)

So that’s me. Stick around — read some stuff — tell your friends 🙂 Hopefully someday I’ll have a “real book” to boast about on here.

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