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A Center Stage Moment: E.M. Rinaldi

Rinaldi spotlight

Mason Cooley said, “Reading gives us some place to go when we have to stay where we are.”

A Center Stage Moment shines a spotlight on writers who give us great places to visit with the characters we love and want to call friends.

Today, I have the pleasure of introducing to you E.M. Rinaldi!


E.M. Rinaldi lives in Charlotte, North Carolina with her fiancé Milz, and their slightly psychotic pup, Boone. She works as a Registered Radiologic Technologist, taking pictures of mangled bones for hours on end- then she writes about all the bizarre situations her characters get themselves into while she was away. She is a Second Degree Blackbelt and can’t write a story without at least one fight scene in it.

When she’s not writing or trapped at work, E.M. likes to read (obsessively), clear her DVR, and have all night Buffy marathons with her friends, complete with cookies and cinnamon rolls. 
Her love for writing stems from an early age where she would create stories on an old computer program and force anyone within grabbing distance to read them. Not much has changed; be warned: stay out of grabbing distance.

E.M. is a new YA author and her debut novel, Evading The Dark, is available now.

I love reading author bios. Many of them did not start out as writers. Sometimes people stumble upon the craft. Did you always want to be a writer? Yes! Ever since I was a child I wrote stories on Storybook Weaver and dreamed of becoming a famous author and buried with all my books.

Why did you choose to write your genre? I fell in love with YA when I was forced to move the summer before my freshman year of high school. Reading became my escape. I didn’t know anyone in this new place and I had a lot of pent up anger and resentment for being pulled from my home.

What is the strangest story you’ve ever written? I don’t think I’ve had the opportunity to write on a strange topic yet. But to people not interested in magic and fantasy my books may seem strange to them.

What are you currently working on? Currently, I am writing Book 2 of the Cross Chronicles: Hiding Till Dawn.

What motivated the plot of your latest book? I stopped writing for a very long time after a middle school English teacher tore me down and ridiculed anything I did. I lost my creativity and self-confidence. For a long time, I didn’t want to write anything. Then one day, I woke up with this entire story unfolding in my head and ran to grab a notebook to put it all down. From there, Evading The Dark was born.


What was the hardest story for you to write? I’d have to say my first full novel, Evading The Dark. After having not written for a while, and only just gaining my self-confidence back with age and experience, it was a lot to create an entire novel and then throw it out for the world to see. I battled a lot with doubt in my abilities.

What process do you use to plan your novels? I have a notebook for each novel I write. It is filled with ideas, character traits and development, sticky notes from when I’ve written notes down, etc. I write bullet points and drafts in this notebook and then type it out and fluff it up later.

Who has been your favorite character to write and why? That’s tricky. At the moment it’s my main character, Casey. She is the first I’ve ever fleshed out and I love her. But she is very similar to me and as I write newer characters that she interacts with and befriends, I’ve been straying from attributes that I know personally. It’s kind of like experimenting and getting to create a whole new person. As such, I’m slowly falling in love with one of my other characters, Falon.



Have you ever experienced writer’s block? If so, how did you overcome it? Yes. As mentioned before I didn’t write for a long time. That block stemmed from severe negativity pushed on me at a young age. As I deal with it to this day, I sometimes find myself with a lack of confidence and have to give myself a break from writing. I read a good book, one that inspires me, or watch t.v., or stop thinking about writing altogether. After this break I’m normally recharged enough to get back to work.

Do any of your characters reflect facets of your personality? 100%. All of them have some part of me in them. Casey likes to be a little smart ass and eats her waffles in a specific way with chocolate chips. That comes directly from me. Falon’s hyper attitude is a huge chunk of me. I think the care and loyalty that we see from Cedric also stems from how I am with my own friends.

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If you were to choose another genre to write in, what would it be? I’m slowly leaning toward NA (new adult) but wouldn’t shy away from romance.

Which authors inspire you? I have four authors that are my absolute favorite and I will read any book by written by them without even knowing what it’s about: Tamora Pierce, Jennifer Armentrout, Sarah J. Maas, and Maria V. Snyder.

What novel would you read multiple times? Anything by Tamora Pierce. I’ve already read her books a million times.

 If you could meet anyone in the world, alive or deceased, who would it be and why? (Person could be a fictional character) Any of my favorite authors. I’ve already met two of them.

What is your favorite quote? 

Clare quote

What is your favorite animal, real or imaginary? Right now, a wolf.

What is your favorite color? Any shade of blue.

When you’re not writing… I work during the week as a server in an indoor water-park hotel called The Great Wolf Lodge. And I work weekends at a hospital as a Radiology Technologist.

Catch up with E.M. online at:




Join me next week when Sandy Goldsworthy drops by.

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