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Interview with Yvonne Walus aka Eve Summers

Tell us a little about your latest novel and when and where we can get it.

“Murder @ Work” was published by Echelon Press in August 2009 under my own name (Yvonne Walus). It’s set in the “new free South Africa” of 1994, where men are still boss, women still carry handguns for self-protection, and some mistakes can change your life forever. When a body is found during their weekend away with friends, Christine Chamberlain must use her brilliant mathematical mind to prove her husband’s innocence… whether he’s innocent or not. Every marriage needs honesty, but when it comes to your loved ones, is it possible to know too much?

How do you balance the creative process of writing with the demands of public appearances, maintenance of your website, and your family?

In a word, badly. “Balance” doesn’t come into it. Try “run around like mad, dropping the balls and falling on my face with exhaustion”. I have a day job and two children in primary school, so if I want to find time for writing, something has to give – and it’s usually household chores. I look at the dusty furniture, the carpet that has forgotten the loving touch of the vacuum cleaner, the creases on my blouse and I pretend that I don’t care (come to think of it, at 3 A.M. I really don’t care).

One thing I’ve noticed is that I can’t do creative writing and publicity at the same time: it’s either making more pages of my book appear on the word processor, or it’s making more sales happen by blogging, chatting and book signing. Partly it’s due to time constraints, but mostly it’s because my brain can’t switch between book-writing and book-selling fast enough.

Give us an example of a day in the writing life of. Do you stick to a schedule of X amount of hours writing, editing, answering email, etc.?

It’s summer holidays here in New Zealand, so my schedule is disrupted, but I usually have time to write when the children are in bed. When I’m writing the first draft, I like to get about 1000 words a day down – good words, bad words, as long as they are words. It helps when I tell myself I can’t go to bed until I’ve hot target.

About the great ‘rule’ debate: we are told you can’t do this and you can’t write that. But it is stepping outside the lines that gets many authors noticed and eventually published. What are your opinions on the rules?

My only rule is to write responsibly. I try to think of the kind of message I’d like to send to the reader. Do I want to tell them that atheism is ok, or make them think about the wonders of the world? Do I want to be controversial? Do I want to give a potential murderer a great idea on how to use poison? How will I feel when my children read my books? And what do I want to leave as a legacy for the generations to come?

What music do you listen to when you write?

When I need inspiration, I listen to REM’s “Losing my religion” – there’s just something in the beat that fires up my brain. But mostly I need the silence of the sleeping house and the knowledge that nobody will interrupt.
Has a song inspired you to write?

One of my Red Rose Publishing releases, “Safe Sex Incorporated” (written under the pen name Eve Summers), was definitely inspired by Mike Batt’s “Love makes you crazy”. The lyrics go like this:
a href=”https://bookmadness.files.wordpress.com/2009/12/likeavirgin.jpg”>

I was reading in a history book,
Before the seventh war,
They used to have a thing that they called love,
That we don’t have any more.
I don’t know the feeling,
But I’m told it was an evil thing,
It used to make you crazy and fall down,
No one knows what it could bring.

My book’s all about that.

Do you have a favorite show on TV that helps in moving your muse?

When I write my Eve Summers romances, I always cast Sawyer from LOST as the hero, even if my leading man is black. Sawyer looks good with dark skin and hair….

If you could collaborate with any author, living or dead, who would it be and why?

Anybody famous and bestselling, but I would only do it for their name on the cover, but the book would have to be all mine or all theirs. I can’t write as a joint project. Don’t get me wrong: I love brainstorming, and I think it’s a great idea to get someone in the know to edit my work… but ultimately I need to be the boss of what goes on in my book.

What are your thoughts on promotion for books?

I honestly don’t know. Sometimes I feel as though all the promo effort is wasted, kind of like a tree falling in a forest without making a sound. Other times it looks like the more online presence I have, the better the book sells (“Like a Virgin” is at number 10 at Red Rose Publishing at the moment, and climbing).

Fortunately, I really love talking to my readers, so author talks and interviews are always fun, regardless of whether or not they sell any books.

What advice do you have for authors who haven’t quite gotten their manuscript to the next level, which for most is publishing?

Write the kind of book you’d like to read. Write what you’re passionate about. Write – simply write.

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Book Blurbs

Please join me on April 19, 2009 on Introducing WRITERS! for a book blurb show. I will be talking about books I am reading, upcoming guests and their works, and of course, reading blurbs from those submitted to me.

If you want a book blurb done for your work, you can email me at my published email to inquire about the next event.

Visit Introducing WRITERS! official page

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Jodi Thomas, author of Rewriting Monday

Jodi Thomas, award-winning author

Jodi Thomas, award-winning author


Jodi Thomas is the NY Times and USA Today best-selling author of 26 novels and 6 short story collections. As of July 2006, she was the 11th woman to be inducted in to RWA Hall of Fame. She is also currently serving as the Writer in Residence at West Texas A&M University in Canyon, Texas.

Please welcome USA Today and New York Times Best-selling author Jodi Thomas.

by Jodi Thomas

by Jodi Thomas

AUTHOR INTERVIEW QUESTIONS

Tell us a little about your latest novel and when and where we can get it.

REWRITING MONDAY is a story about a woman who made a mistake that cost her a big city reporter job. At first she thinks she’d like to rewrite one moment in her life, but as she moves to a small town she realizes that maybe she needs to rewrite her entire life.

Pepper Malone hides out in a small town and takes a job on a little newspaper run by Luke McCulloch. She’s done, pretty much, what she wanted to do all her life and he’d done what was expected of him. They have nothing in common but when trouble begins to haunt the newspaper office, they have to band together to fight.

I like to take readers into a small town and introduce them to people who will become so alive that they’ll want to invite them to dinner. My stories are character-driven and will keep them up late into the night reading. REWRITING MONDAY is available everywhere April 7, 2009.

How do you balance the creative process of writing with the demands of public appearances, maintenance of your website, and your family?

You’ve just discovered the dragon I fight every day of my life. I give about a hundred talks a year, keeping up with my website takes a few hours a day, I teach a class on creative writing and serve as Writer-in-Residence for West Texas A&M University, I write two books a year and my family is very important to me.

How do I do it?? Sometimes not very well, I think, but most of the time I manage to not only handle it, but enjoy every minute. I do have a few secrets I learned years ago.

1) I begin each day by making a list, then working down the list.

2) I try, no matter what I’m doing, to be there. We’ve all heard that the hardest part is showing up—I follow that rule. When I’m writing, I’m lost in that world. When I’m with my kids, I’m there. When I’m on vacation, I’m totally there.

3) I set goals. Whenever I start a book the number of pages always overwhelms me. That’s usually when my husband walks by and says, ‘How do you eat an elephant’ and I smile and always answer, ‘one bite at a time.’ Then, I get to work. If I write every day, this many pages, this chapter, this draft, I finish. I’ve eaten that elephant about 30 times and every time I thought I couldn’t do it at the beginning.

Give us an example of a day in the writing life of. Do you stick to a schedule of X amount of hours writing, editing, answering email, etc.?

I usually go to my office on campus about nine, sometimes ten if the writing went well the night before. I always start the day by answering mail and doing all the business of writing. Then I usually go to lunch with people. I find this is a great break in the day and lets me spend time with other writers, friends and family. When I come back to my office, I moved across the room to my other desk and write. (or in most cases, rewrite) I usually work about two or three hours before heading him. Then, after dinner most nights I go upstairs to my office at home and work from about 8 to midnight. This is my most productive time.

If I’ve finished my goal for the week, I take off the weekend, but usually, I write off and on all day at least one day of the weekend.

About the great ‘rule’ debate: we are told you can’t do this and you can’t write that. But it is stepping outside the lines that gets many authors noticed and eventually published. What are your opinions on the rules?

In truth, I never heard that there were rules until I’d published three books. When I won my first RITA someone said, ‘you didn’t follow the rules’ That was the first I’d heard. I think the only rule I follow is that I write what I’d like to read. I think there are rules that help you get published—like proper manuscript format and knowing the market.

What music do you listen to when you write?

None. My office is on the second floor of the university library. On Friday afternoons I try to clean up all the clutter on my desk and organize. Then I play an old Eagle’s CD called Hell Freezes Over.

Has a song inspired you to write?
Holding Out For a Hero from Footloose

Do you have a favorite show on TV that helps in moving your muse?

I don’t watch much TV. News while I’m getting dressed. Sometimes a movie.

If you could collaborate with any author, living or dead, who would it be and why?

I really don’t think I’d like to collaborate. A story has to roll around in my head for a long time. When I let people read early drafts I get confused if they want to make the story go this way or that.

What are your thoughts on promotion for books?

I’ve found the most productive things I’ve done on the web. Interviews, blogs, and videos of what the book is about.

What advice do you have for authors who haven’t quite gotten their manuscript to the next level, which for most is publishing?

I tell them to keep trying. Some might need classes. I’m part of a writing academy this summer that is going to be great. The whole week is designed to help writers to make the step into publishing. The information will be up on my website soon or you can check http://www.lindarohrbough.com/home/pdfs/Writing_to_Sell_Brochure_2009.pdf

For those who have taken all the classes and written the best book they can, all they need to do is keep knocking on doors. They might enjoy watching

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TFTRvVINZV0 This tells why I kept going.

Thank you for allowing me to visit with you. Jodi Thomas

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