Feelings — bleh! Who needs them anyway? Not Dee, the star of Emily Lloyd Jones’ The Hearts We Sold. Dee gives her heart away to the devil — yes, she literally makes a deal with the devil — only to find that being heartless isn’t all it’s cracked up to be… especially with dreamy boys around. Come for the intriguing premise, stay for the gorgeous prose and a romance that will win your heart. We caught up with Lloyd Jones and chatted creativity, inspiration, and the newest books on her to-read list. Scroll on to hear more from this brilliant author!

Brit + Co: Describe your book in six words or less.

Emily Lloyd Jones: Lose your heart to find yourself.

B+C: Where/when do you do your best writing?

ELJ: First and foremost — alone. I need the quiet of my own thoughts. I’ll make myself a cup of tea, settle on the couch with my laptop, and start typing. I’ve noticed I do my best work either in the morning or the evening — so I’ll use the middle of the day for answering emails or running errands.

B+C: What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever done for book research?

ELJ: All of my books include an element of the fantastical, so research is invaluable to me. Speculative fiction is about convincing the reader that this imaginary world could be real, so I try to ground my stories in as much truth as possible. To achieve this, I’ll do pretty much anything in the name of research. I’ve traveled internationally, learned how to load and fire a gun, spent a month using an app to track my REM sleep, gone zip-lining, studied Welsh nomenclature, and once enlisted the help of an old roommate to act out a fight scene so I could get the blocking right.

B+C: What’s your go-to cure for when you’re stuck in a creativity rut?

ELJ: It sounds so glib, but it’s true: I remind myself that I have student loans.

B+C: What two lady heroes do you turn to for inspiration, and why?

ELJ: I can’t pick a single lady writer — they’re all so important to me. The ones who came before, who carved out new genres and made my career possible. They’re all heroes to me. On a personal level, my grandmother was one of the strongest, most hard-working women I’ve ever known. She embodied that old Galaxy Quest quote: “Never give up! Never surrender!”

B+C: What’s your latest Instagram obsession?

ELJ: I’ve recently discovered the book community on Instagram. Some of these readers take the most gorgeous pictures I’ve ever seen. One in particular is @beautyandthebookshelf. The lush, forest settings of her photos are enchanting.

B+C: Can you name a book that you think deserves a little more love + recognition?

ELJ: I enjoyed You’re Welcome, Universe by Whitney Gardner. It explores graffiti as art and a form of protest. And I adored the main character.

B+C: What’s next on your to-read pile?

ELJ: I’m currently reading The Cruel Prince by Holly Black and it is ah-maz-ing. And next on my to-read pile is Stiff by Mary Roach. I like to sprinkle some nonfiction into my pleasure reading, as it helps me stay inspired in my own writing.

B+C: What advice do you have for aspiring creative ladies?

ELJ: Trust your gut. Be kind to yourself. And keep autosave on at all times.

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(Featured photo via Emily Lloyd Jones)