– Guest Author –
Welcome to my first interview for 2018 – Eve Culley from Texas, U. S. A.
Welcome, Eve …
- TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT YOURSELF AND YOUR WRITING JOURNEY.
I live in the great state of Texas with my hubby, grandson and all the critters that I write about in my books. Those critters that live in our barn are chickens, ducks, geese, goats, rabbits, and turkeys. We also have armadillos, cattle, coyotes, hawks, horses, llamas, and skunks that are in the fields around us and find their way into my stories as well.
- WHEN AND HOW DID YOU BECOME A WRITER?
I started writing in high school and stopped after I got married. However, I continued telling stories to our children and grandchildren.
- WHAT TYPE OF PREPARATION DO YOU DO FOR A MANUSCRIPT? DO YOU PLAN EVERYTHING FIRST OR JUST SHOOT FROM THE HIP?
I spend time in the mornings at the barn listening and watching the animals. I see and hear the stories they are telling me and put those ideas into notebooks for later use. I transfer my notes to a reference file on my laptop and go from there. I also do research on specialty animals or land areas that will appear in the book.
- WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT BEING A WRITER?
I think that I enjoy seeing my ideas come to life on the page, to see that world evolve and become real. Plus there is also the joy I derive from folk reading, learning and enjoying my created world.
- WHAT IS THE HARDEST THING ABOUT BEING A WRITER?
The hardest thing I have found when I am writing is remembering to carve out time for the humans I live with. I tend to forget the “real world” they live in and must remember to come out of my world for a visit.
- WHAT WERE YOU IN A PAST LIFE, BEFORE YOU BECAME A WRITER?
I was a school teacher, a missionary, worked in a railroad shop as a purchasing agent among other things.
- WHAT IS YOUR GREATEST WRITING ACHIEVEMENT?
I think it would have to be seeing my idea grow from thought into a finished book.
- WHAT ARE YOU WORKING ON AT THE MOMENT?
I have started my fourth book which contains several short stories. I find this concept just as thrilling as any of the books previously written. The challenge is to tie the short stories together, so the flow from one subject to another and yet each story remains complete within itself.
- WHAT INSPIRES YOU?
The magnificent and glorious creation that God has made for man to enjoy and the interconnectivity of it all.
- WHAT GENRE DO YOU WRITE?
I write children’s books.
- DO YOU HAVE ANY TIPS FOR NEW WRITERS?
I have been so blessed to have a few well-known authors encourage me and answer my sometimes endless questions on how to do such and such. They share their wisdom with me, and I am so grateful. My tip would be to find someone who is willing to do that for them. I spend several hours a day when I am not writing, reading their websites and others on how to better hone my craft.
- DO YOU SUFFER FROM WRITER’S BLOCK?
I think everyone has dry spells. I don’t call it writer’s block. I just think the mind needs breaks to do other things like fold laundry, sit on the front porch, talk to people about things you have or may not have in common. When the mind is rested the words will flow, and you’ll be compelled to put them on paper.
- DO YOU HAVE A PREFERRED WRITING SCHEDULE?
I know some authors do, but I do not have a set schedule. When it’s time to write, I write. Early mornings, late mornings, afternoons, evenings and late at night I write until I need to stop. Then I stop writing and do other things like visiting the barn, sit on the front porch and drink coffee, fold laundry….
- DO YOU HAVE A FAVOURITE WRITING PLACE?
I do. My favorite place to write is in the living room with my laptop on a snack tray. I can pretty much tune anything out, but at least that way my hubby, grandson and house critters can see me. I probably won’t answer them if they ask me a question, but they’re used to that by now (grin).
- WHAT IS YOUR GREATEST JOY IN WRITING?
Reaching the imagination of the reader and transporting them to my world for a visit.
- WHO IS YOUR FAVOURITE AUTHOR AND WHY?
Shanna Hatfield – Hardman Holidays Book. A Christian romance series of six books set in Oregon in the 1800’s. Meets all my requirements for a good read.
- WHAT’S THE GREATEST COMPLIMENT YOU EVER RECEIVED FROM A READER?
A ten-year-old boy said he cried when he read a sad part in the book.
- WHAT WAS THE WORST COMMENT FROM A READER?
I was told I did not have enough adventures in the first book.
19. WRITERS ARE SOMETIMES INFLUENCED BY THINGS THAT HAPPEN IN THEIR OWN LIVES. ARE YOU?
Yes, almost everything in my life ends up in my books.
- OTHER THAN WRITING, WHAT ELSE DO YOU LOVE?
Easy question, The Lord Jesus Christ, my family and my critters.
- DID YOU HAVE YOUR BOOK / BOOKS PROFESSIONALLY EDITED BEFORE PUBLICATION?
Yes, I did.
- DESCRIBE YOUR PERFECT DAY.
Coffee with French Vanilla creamer on the front porch early in the morning. Talking with my turkeys and other critters at the barn. Western omelet and a green salad for lunch. Quiet rain in the afternoon and grandson completed all his school work for the day with no complaining. Hot cocoa and fuzzy jammies and a good book to finish out the night.
- IF YOU WERE STUCK ON A DESERT ISLAND WITH ONE PERSON, WHO WOULD IT BE? WHY?
My hubby, because he cooks and I don’t.
- WHAT WOULD YOU SAY IF YOU HAD THE CHANCE TO SPEAK TO WORLD LEADERS?
Grow up! Life’s too short for your animosity.
- WHAT ARE YOUR PLANS FOR THE FUTURE?
My plans are to continue to write and publish more books for children to read. Although I do have several adult readers, who like my books as well as the younger ones.
- WHAT ARE YOUR VIEWS ON BOOK TRAILERS? DO THEY SELL BOOKS?
I think that book trailers are good tools to use in marketing. I believe they can generate more traffic for the books. I think that anything that helps draw interest to your book is a good thing.
- DO YOU SEE YOURSELF IN ANY OF YOUR CHARACTERS?
I suppose so – if I squinted my eyes and tilted my head a little bit to the right.
- DOES THE PUBLISHING INDUSTRY FRUSTRATE YOU?
NO! I am very thankful to the publishing industry!
- DID YOU EVER THINK OF QUITTING?
NO! I feel very blessed to write. Truthfully, I need to write to let everybody in my head out into their own space.
- WHAT WAS YOUR FAVOURITE MANUSCRIPT TO WRITE? WHY?
Each manuscript that I work on is my favorite. It contains the joys and sorrows of Barn Town that demand to breathe life and share their story with us.
31. HOW WOULD YOU DEFINE ‘SUCCESS’ AS A WRITER?
For me, it is having a reader say, “Yes, I like this book. I understand this book.”
- WHAT SHOULD READERS WALK AWAY FROM YOUR BOOKS KNOWING? HOW SHOULD THEY FEEL?
I would hope that they understand that the animals in my stories have just as complicated lives as we do.
- WOULD YOU LIKE TO HAVE YOUR BOOKS MADE INTO MOVIES? EVER WRITTEN A SCREENPLAY?
My dream is for one of my books to be made into a movie. I have even thought who would do the voice overs for the different characters. I have never written a screenplay.
- HOW MUCH THOUGHT GOES INTO DESIGNING A BOOK COVER?
I was asked what I wanted on the cover, and then Amanda L. Matthews made them beautiful!
- WHAT’S YOUR ULTIMATE DREAM?
To have my books published in different languages for children all over.
- WRITING IS ONE THING. WHAT ABOUT MARKETING YOU, YOUR BOOKS AND YOUR BRAND? ANY THOUGHTS?
Marketing is a struggle for me, but I am learning through classes and lots of reading.
- ARE YOUR BOOKS SELF-PUBLISHED?
- DESCRIBE YOURSELF IN FIVE WORDS.
Animal-lover, Family First, Opinionated, Soft-hearted
- WHAT PISSES YOU OFF MOST?
Being told I can’t do something that I am capable of doing
- WHAT IS THE TITLE OF THE LAST BOOK YOU READ? GOOD ONE?
Don Quixote – yes
- WHAT WOULD BE THE VERY LAST SENTENCE YOU’D WRITE?
Time to get back to work folks.
- WHAT WOULD MAKE YOU HAPPIER THAN YOU ARE NOW? CARE TO SHARE?
A contract for 3 books.
- ANYTHING YOU’D LIKE TO ADD?
I appreciate very much your time in doing this for me, Clancy. Thank you.