Emma Hartley is an author and artist living in picturesque Maine. She has been writing and making art since childhood and has been insatiably curious and industrious her whole life. Emma was a double major in English and Fine Arts and she received her Masters in Art and Design Education. She is a specialist in ceramics and includes much of this expertise in her novel The Nature of Entangled Hearts. Her other interests include playing drums, making art and exploring every square inch of the Maine coastline. The Nature of Entangled Hearts is her first novel.

Book Description:

The Nature of Entangled Hearts is a fast-paced, edgy, romantic thriller, with a subtly supernatural twist.  Enter the story of Elwyn and James, two strangers entangled by their past-life experiences, who are mired in an unquantifiable present.  Throughout the novel they work to understand the bonds that hold them together, just as an unforeseen danger threatens to tear them apart.

Elwyn “Derrin” Derringer is a ceramic artist and a professor at the local college of art in Portland, Maine.  She has always felt insecure and disconnected, unsure of how or why she fits into the world, seeking through her art to fill in the missing pieces of herself.  When Elwyn’s eyes lock on those of a stranger across the market, everything she has taken for granted as reality is thrown into question.  Understanding blooms in fits and starts, interrupted by her fears of attachment and eventually by the unwanted attentions of an obsessed and disturbed art student.

Throughout the novel, Elwyn discovers reservoirs of strength and independence as she faces these challenges, endearing the reader with her feisty nature and her fierce desires to create authentically, to love intensely and to transcend the destructive links to her past.  “The Nature of Entangled Hearts” takes us on a thrilling ride through past and present, through love and dread, through loss and reclamation, leaving us thankful that we don’t understand all the mysteries of the universe just yet, and reminding us never to take our lives – or our loves – for granted.


Congratulations on your new release, The Nature of Entangled Hearts, Emma! Can you tell us how you came up with such an intriguing story?

Emma:  Hello and thank you for talking with me!  My debut novel, The Nature of Entangled Hearts, is based on some central questions, the first being: What connects us as humans?  We might go through our lives having little moments where we feel a strong connection with another person that we cannot explain.  Is there something at the subatomic level that entangles us?  Is love therefore a force of nature akin to gravity or magnetism?  Does love live on long after our bodies are gone?  What is love at first sight?  What would happen if you found your soul mate?

These are the essential questions I asked myself as I wrote the novel.  I wanted to explore what the deepest kind of connecting love might be between two people, how it formed in the first place and the mechanism of that love as a driving force for a one’s actions in life.

Can you give us a little background behind the lives of Elwyn and James?

Emma:  Elwyn “Derrin” Derringer is a ceramic artist and professor at the art college in Portland, Maine.  She has struggled with relationships for her whole life, pushing away one person after another, all the while feeling that something essential was missing from her world.  She seeks to create meaning through her artwork, or at least to assuage some of the deep loneliness she feels.

James is a businessman who runs his father’s investment firm.  He has suffered nightmares about holding a dying woman since he was a child.  He tries to live a normal life, but the pain and tangibility of that dream haunts every relationship he attempts.

When Elwyn and James meet, they both come to realize that they can help each other find the missing pieces of their lives and that they can ultimately help each other heal.

Would you consider them soul mates and why?

Emma:  I don’t want to give anything away, but suffice to say that James and Elwyn are definitely connected at the deepest level.  They are the very definition of what it means to be soul mates.

Where is your book set and why did you choose that location?

Emma:  The Nature of Entangled Hearts is set in Portland, Maine, one of my very favorite places in all the world.  I live in Maine and I find Portland to be an historic, picturesque place full of incredible architecture, lovely natural spaces, a working waterfront, an incredible art scene and wildly good restaurants.  Have I made you want to move there yet?  It’s just that great!

They say all books of fiction have at least one pivotal point when the reader just can’t put the book down. What’s one of the pivotal points in your book?

Emma:  When Elwyn and James touch for the first time, something incredible happens.  It creates the kind of suspense that will keep the reader turning the pages to find out what happens next.  This pivotal point, and Elwyn’s reaction to it, determines the fate of the characters.

What’s next for you, Emma?

Emma:  My next novel, The Annealing of Aliza Bennett, will be out in July, which is very exciting.  I am currently working on two more novels, one of which is nearly complete and the other of which is in the middle stages.  All of these works contain strong female characters who find courage and love to be the driving creative forces in their lives.

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