Interview with Author – Evie Gaughan
About Evie Gaughan:
Evie Gaughan is the author of The Cross Of Santiago and The Mysterious Bakery On Rue De Paris. Living on the West Coast of Ireland, which is not renowned for its sunny climate, Evie escapes from the inclement weather into a converted attic to write stories and dream about underfloor heating. Inspired by her love of historical fiction and romantic comedies, Evie has crafted her own unique style of writing that is warm, engaging and full of humour.
What inspires you to write?
Two things: I have always been something of a storyteller, ever since I was a child. So I suppose there was always a desire there to use my imagination and creativity to entertain people with a tale or two. Alongside that is my love of language. English was always my favourite subject at school (closely followed by History!) and I would love when the teacher would ask us to write compositions. Choosing just the right phrase or the perfect word to express a feeling or a moment in time is like solving a wonderful puzzle to me. Inspiration for a story can come from anywhere – a newspaper article or a conversation, but the desire to keep coming back and starting at page one all over again comes from my love of language and storytelling.
Tell us about your writing process.
My writing is very much plot driven. When an idea for a story comes along, I try to let it germinate for a while, before I write anything down. I think this is a very important time in the writing process. I remember reading somewhere that an idea is like a seed; it needs time to germinate. But if you leave it too long, the seed will die.
Once I am happy enough that the idea has spent enough time rattling around inside my head, I try to write a rough synopsis of where I think the story will go. A beginning, middle and end, if you will. I try to give an outline to my main characters and then it’s pretty much time to just start writing. I think that if you spend too much time sketching things out, you run the risk of becoming too rigid with your storyline and less open to new sub-plots or characters that might want to join in the fun. I learned that when writing my second novel as part of National Novel Writing Month. It’s better to just dive in!
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
I wouldn’t say I talk them exactly, but I do try to create a ‘mood’ when I’m writing, to try and get into their head-space. I do this by choosing music that fits the story. For example, I created a wonderful playlist when writing The Mysterious Bakery On Rue De Paris of French jazz music. I almost felt as though I was in a cafe eating pain au chocolat! And that is what I want my readers to experience, so I think it really helps me to write my characters more authentically.
What advice would you give other writers?
Three words: Never. Give. Up. Value your work and believe in your ability, but most importantly, keep writing!
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I realised quite quickly that if your novel does not fit neatly into a genre that publishers can sell, you are facing an uphill battle. I knew there was an audience out there for my style of writing, but it became clear that publishers were not interested in targeting what they see as a ‘niche’ market. Self-publishing was the obvious choice for a writer like me, because I can connect directly with my readers and have complete control over important areas such as cover design, promotion, price, etc. People sometimes think that self-publishing is easy, but in order to produce a book that can hold its own alongside traditionally published books, it takes a lot of hard work and dedication. However, it is infinitely more rewarding!
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I think book publishing has a great future and the advent of eBooks and Self-publishing have only served to secure its future. What traditional publishers need to learn is that readers want to read what they want to read, not what publishers think they should want to read. Once the bigger publishing houses take this on board, I think the future will be very bright indeed, for authors and readers alike.
What do you use?: Professional Cover Designer, Beta Readers
What genres do you write?: Historical Fiction, Time-Slip, Romance, Chick Lit, Paranormal,
What formats are your books in?: Both eBook and Print
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