Well, folks, it's Tuesday yet again!
I got rather a shock two or three weeks ago, when one of my dearest author friends, Ian Grant, told me he wants to turn the tables and throw those same interview questions back at me, Heaven help me! I'm in the midst of preparing my answers! Yes, for a change, whether you're interested or not, you can learn all about the crazy world of Eva Bielby!!
Moving swiftly on...in the spotlight today we have the lovely Eva Carmichael!
Eva: A warm welcome to you Eva! Let's get started then. Tell us all about yourself (as in, a bit of a biography).
Eva: Hi Eva! Thank you so much for doing this series! My name is Eva Carmichael, (a family name and my pseudonym). I was born in West Yorkshire, am married with three grown up children, and I retired to Redcar in the north-east in 2016. Most of my working life has been involved in some way within the legal system. My first job as a shorthand typist was at the local police station and for six years I worked in the Special Constabulary.
I worked in Leeds for many years as a PA to a partner in one of the top law firms, but it wasn’t until I came to retire to Redcar that I decided to take my love of writing seriously.
How many books have you written up to now? Are they published or self-published? What
genre are they?
I have four books published at the moment including a trilogy set against the backdrop of the sex industry in Leeds. I’m often asked what a nice Catholic girl like me knows about such things. Like so many things in life, it happened by accident. I remember it was a Friday night. I had gone to catch my train home but Leeds Station was being refurbished at the time so all the trains were behind schedule. I went into the pub on the concourse for a Well-deserved G&T and found myself sharing a table with an attractive, intelligent and articulate woman in her late 20s. Her name was Carmel. We got talking and when her Manchester train arrived, she got up from the table to leave. “What do you do?” she asked. “I’m a Legal PA,” I said. “What about you, Carmel?” “Oh, I’m an escort, darling,” she said as she hurried from the pub. Well… you can’t just leave a statement like that hanging, can you? The following week, same scenario, there she was at the same table. “You must tell me about your job,” I said, (not that I was thinking of a change of career you understand. The Catholic Church had done too good a job on me for that). We arranged to meet the following week for lunch and she told me the most fascinating stories. She introduced me to some of her friends who were sex workers. Some were high-class escorts like her. Some worked in brothels, some in massage parlours. All had really interesting tales to tell. That’s why, years later when I joined Saltburn U3A novel writing class, I looked back on the meetings and conversations I had had with the girls and decided to use that as a backdrop for my murder mysteries. My trilogy consists of ‘Bad Blood Rising’, ‘More Bad Blood’, and ‘Let There Be Blood’. In addition, I have written a police procedural ‘A Twisted Mind’ set in and around Redcar, and this will shortly be followed by another Redcar-based book ‘Frenzy’, which I am hoping to have published very soon.
Of all the genres there are, is there any genre/s that you feel you wouldn’t be able to write and
why? Is there any genre that you really wish you could write, but feel you wouldn’t be able to
do it justice?
I write about what I enjoy reading and that is crime. I’m not really interested in any other genre. I
love social history and would love to write something set in a different decade, (1930’s-1940’s in
particular) but I don’t think I would be able to carry out the research necessary.
I can’t get my head around fantasy or science fiction, and I don’t like romance very much either.
Do you have any favourite ‘out-of-the-ordinary’ words that you like to use in your books?
What are those words? Also, what words used by other authors irritate you more than they
All of my books are conversation driven, rather than by description. Most of my characters are not
very nice people, not the sort you would take home to meet Mother. They are rough and crude, as is
Do you sing at all, be it karaoke, in a choir or have done so professionally? Whether you have
or not, have you ever written (or had the urge to write) any song lyrics? Have those lyrics
been used at all?
No interest in this at all, I’m afraid.
What question would you like to pose, (if you were to ever interview your favourite author),
which never seems to get asked in author interviews? And who is that favourite author?
I’d like to ask Agatha Christie how she keeps her main character, Hercules Poirot, fresh in her mind.
My main protagonist, Karl Maddox, is featured in all three of my ‘Bad Blood’ series. I was finding it
difficult to come up with new ideas, fearing I would rehash plots used previously. That’s the main
reason I stepped away from him for a while with my Redcar books. However, after having a
‘breather’, I’m ready to pick up where I left off next year!
If you were to ever write a children’s book, (and those of you who already do) would you/do
you do the illustrating yourself, make use of a family member or friend’s talent or pay an
illustrator? Do you solely write or do you have any other creative pursuits?
I wouldn’t have a clue how to go about writing a children’s book. I do have family members who are
very talented artists, but I don’t see a scenario where I would call upon them to illustrate my books.
Of all the characters you have created, who is your favourite? And why?
My main protagonist, Karl Maddox. His views on life are so different to my own I feel quite naughty
sometimes putting them to paper. When I start writing a chapter where he is involved, I find he
dictates the way things go, not me. His character is so strong.
Have you ever killed off a character in your books (I’m sure you have)? If so, was it
because…it fitted nicely into the storyline? OR…Did you start to really dislike the character
and, with too much work involved to re-write without that character, think it the easiest
option to have that person die?
I write murder mysteries so I suppose I’m always killing somebody off. I did find one of my female
characters in the ‘Bad Blood’ series tended to be extremely weak and spineless so I’m afraid she had
Are any of your characters based on family members or friends? Have you kept their
characters totally true to life or have you given them bonus traits that you wish they
possessed in real life?
You wouldn’t want to be related to my characters, believe me. All my characters are pure fiction.
Relationships/family life aside, what are your TWO main regrets in life?
I’d like to have been a few inches taller than my 5’3”, and I would have loved to have a metabolism
which meant I could eat whatever I want and not put on weight.
What was your passion as a child? Did that passion stay with you during your adult life OR
did you, as you grew up begin to detest what you once enjoyed?
I was and still am a passionate reader.
What was your best subject throughout your school years? And your worst?
I loved English, both language and literature. The subject I absolutely hated, and still do to this day,
was needlework. (Eva: I also hated needlework, Eva, but that was more down to the teachers rather than the subject!)
Tell me about your favourite teacher throughout your school years? Was it a crush you had?
Were they just an excellent teacher of your favourite subject?? Or some other reason…kind,
Delia Hannan was the headmistress at the Commercial School I attended. Her enthusiasm for her
students to succeed helped a lot of us to leave school with good grades.
Did either of your parents ever express a wish to write? Are they supportive and proud of
your work? Or do they just choose to not get involved, but they are pleased for you?
My parents have been dead for some years now, but neither of them were interested in writing, and I
don’t think they read many books either.
Tell us about your ultimate ambition, be it personal, travel, writing, work, hobby related or
I work very hard to promote my books, not just through Amazon. I have a stall on Redcar Market
and I promote my work there every Friday. Since late 2020 I have sold almost 3,000 books. They are
also available in one of the local micro pubs in town. It would be nice if I could get a greater
recognition for my work, other than just locally. I’m working on this for next year!
Do you have any phobias and if so, what are they? Have you ever conquered any phobia and
if so, how did you do it?
I wouldn’t exactly run a mile if I saw a spider in the shower, but I’d rather not be in the same room.
What is your ‘go to’ snack, whatever the time of day? And drink of your choice?
I prefer savoury to sweet, so crisps or twiglets are up there. As for drink – well, coffee in the
morning, tea in the afternoon and white wine in the evening, (after all I am writer!)
Cats or dogs? What do you have? Do you introduce any pets into your books?
I have a miniature schnauzer called Fairway. She was given that name because when she was a pup
she went to the golf course every day with my husband, (he worked there). She would spend her days
riding around in a golf buggy and being thoroughly spoilt by the club members.
These days she prefers to sit in the wing-back chair in my office, (previously known as the second
spare bedroom) and watch me work. She‘s thirteen now so she does tend to doze off a lot. I don’t
think I’ve ever had any type of animal in my books.
AND FINALLY, Hit me up with all your Amazon book-links? And the links to your website and
social media profiles?
Not very good at this sort of stuff I’m afraid. I need to call on the services of someone who is. I don't have a website as yet, but soon, hopefully! (Eva: I'm happy to help with your links, Eva! See below, your Amazon book-links and your Facebook link!)
Thank you again for taking part, Eva, and for your interesting answers too! Up on Friday, we have Sarah McMahon!
Love to you all,