Romantic Novelists’ Association member, Emily Royal @eroyalauthor @RNAtweets

It’s my absolute pleasure to welcome the lovely Emily Royal to my blog today, a fellow member of the RNA’s New Writers’ Scheme. She’s here to talk about her writing and her amazing, not-scary-at-all snakes!


Emily Royal has always loved gritty, emotional stories with dark sexy heroes. She joined the New Writer’s Scheme of the Romantic Novelists Association in 2015 to pursue her passion for writing. She lives in rural Scotland with her family.
Emily writes on any surface she can lay her hands on, even aeroplane tray tables or at home on her kitchen table or lap, usually with one of her pet snakes round her neck. She can be found on twitter at @eroyalauthor and Facebook at
Emily is represented by Browne & Miller Literary Associates and is currently working with them to prepare her debut novel for submission to publishers.
[Emily Royal is the pen name of Sally Calder]


Emily:   Hi Abbey, and thank you so much for inviting me to your blog and giving me an opportunity to talk about my snakes!
I’ve always been fascinated by snakes and wanted one as a pet since I was a child, but my parents weren’t keen. Many people have a phobia of snakes, or just don’t like them.
Snakes fall broadly into two types – constrictors (who squeeze) and venomous (who poison). Ours are constrictors, mostly adopted from our nearest animal rescue centre. When you think of rescue animals it’s usually cats or dogs. We have rescued dogs – and chickens – but snakes need rescuing too! Their popularity as a pet is increasing, but because they need special care, many get abandoned.
Our snakes come in various shapes and sizes. The smallest is a baby Royal Python called Conan who we adopted. He had been abandoned and was nervous at first, but he’s fine now.


Our biggest, another rescue, is a Boa Constrictor called Amira. She’s 8 feet long and very friendly. If we let her out she’ll slither around the room for a bit before settling on my lap.


They all have different characters. Our Burmese Python will bang on the side of her vivarium when she wants to come out. Another of our boas, called Twinkle, will happily sit round my neck for hours. When I’m writing you’ll almost always find me with a snake on my shoulders or up a sleeve. Often I’ve answered the door to the postman, forgetting I have a snake round my neck, wondering why the postman is backing away with terror in his eyes!


But though like all animals they have to be treated with respect, snakes make great pets. We love showing people how friendly they can be. We went to my daughters’ school earlier this year to show them to the junior classes and all the children declared at the end that they liked snakes, even those who were scared at first. We took Twinkle because he loves being handled and he now has a few fans.
Twinkle also has the honour of having a minor character in a friend’s novella named after him. I usually write historical romances but I’m planning a contemporary romance which features a pet snake. Well, they do say write what you know!


Twinkle exploring the garden
Mr Bow, a Sunglow Boa, distracting Emily from writing


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