It’s okay my fellow Eva Bielby Bloggers,
My name is Ian C. Grant and I’ve decided to turn the tables on our favourite author interviewer and grill her for a change. I was fortunate to be interviewed by Eva a while back and I always look forward to the Tuesday and Friday interrogations, sorry I mean interviews, and learning more about you all, so now we get the chance to learn more about the lady herself. Are you sitting comfortably?
You’re travelling through another dimension, a dimension not only of sight and sound but of mind. A journey into a wondrous land whose boundaries are that of imagination. That’s the signpost up ahead - your next stop, the Freaky Friday Zone!
Ian: And now I get to turn the tables on you, Eva! So, tell us all about yourself (as in, a bit of a biography).
Eva: Hi Ian and thanks for turning this around on me!! LOL! I was born and still live in Thirsk, North Yorkshire. On leaving college, my first employment was with the Austin Reed Group as a payroll administrator. I went on to gain employment with a local chartered accountant’s practice. I married in my early twenties and was blessed with a son and daughter. While my children were still in nursery school, I started studying and three years later, passed my accountancy exams. Once the children started junior school, I looked for full-time employment and successfully landed my first job as company accountant to a local structural steel company. I worked in that role for nine years before being offered a similar role as company accountant for a double glazing company, which was also local. I stayed with them for sixteen years. It was at this point that I started writing and decided I needed a role with less responsibility, as both the last two positions had frequently involved bringing work home on an evening and I could never manage to switch off from it. I have had a couple of less demanding accounts office manager roles since then, but am now happily retired.
How many books have you written up to now? Are they published or self-published? What genre are they?
I have completed three books to date - a trilogy. The first two have been self-published, traditionally published (by LDB Press) and then self-published again. The genre of this trilogy is debatable. I don’t think they should be classed as erotica, as I understand erotica is cover to cover explicit sex, with very little storyline. My story covers everything from mental health issues, love, heartbreak and loss, abuse, suspense, some corporate matters, legal matters as well as the sexually explicit chapters. I’m really not sure how the books should be categorised.
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 know with utmost certainty that one genre I would not even attempt to write is SciFi. Other than Aliens and Star Wars, I’ve never been a big SciFi fan, so I wouldn’t know where to begin. I wish I could write comedy. I regard comedy writers to have an exceptional talent. To write a book which has the reader engrossed is a brilliant feat…but the ability to make the readers laugh is on another level! I have recently started writing a comedy novel “DJ Shammy and MC Dusty Go Mobile” which is a story about two dizzy 60+ ladies who, displeased with the lack of organisation at a local karaoke venue, decide to venture out to North Yorkshire pubs to host karaoke evenings…and cause enough mayhem of their own! Well…we’ll have to see how that turns out! (Ian – autobiographical by any chance, Eva?) Haha! You have me sussed, Ian. Some of the story will be about events that have taken place with a little bit of dramatisation!
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 should?
I have no particular favourite words that I use in my books. I detest the word ‘behemoth’. For some strange reason it conjures up in my mind a vision of a creature (be) bee (he) man and (moth) moth but of a greater horror than Jeff Goldblum’s portrayal of “The Fly”. Scary!
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?
Yes, I sing! I sang in a couple of school choirs and a couple of plays. Nowadays, I love nothing better than a karaoke night. I don’t claim to be up there amongst the likes of Dolly, Celine Dion, Madonna, Stevie Nicks or Pink and Gaga, but I’m told I can sing.
I’ve heard it said that if you can write poetry, you can write lyrics. Somehow, I don’t think the poems I write would make for good song lyrics.
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 have several favourite authors and I can’t separate them. James Herbert, Dean Koontz, Agatha Christie, JK Rowling and Brett Battles.
I would like to ask James Herbert, did you have a great fear of rats? How did you come up with an image/description for the Mother Creature and why was she so different from the other rats?
The question I would ask of Dean Koontz is, where is the final part of the trilogy which features Chris Snow? From what I understand there was to be a final part to follow ‘Fear Nothing’ and ‘Seize the Night’. It's been given the title 'Ride The Storm' and so far after years of waiting…nothing!
My question for Agatha Christie would be, who is your favourite detective to work with: Hercule Poirot or Miss Marple?
To JK Rowling: What was it that kept you going through all the rejections you had for Harry Potter? Did you believe in yourself or did your friends and family have to push you hard to keep going?
To Brett Battles: Have you considered writing another series to follow Project Eden, showing how the survivors of the depopulation plan cope and rebuild the world after the mass genocide of billions?
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 can’t see me writing a children’s book, but if I did, I would definitely use the artistic skills of friends or family to illustrate for me. Seriously, my five year old granddaughter has a better talent for drawing than I do!
Of all the characters you have created, who is your favourite? And why?
I love all my characters but my favourite has to be Harry, who I introduced in the second book of my trilogy. He stays with the story throughout book three. Harry is a fun character and a true ‘rough diamond’. He has a shaved head, wears an earring and constantly drops his ‘haitches.’ Harry is a ‘gopher’ for dodgy lawyer, Simon. He’s a tough nut when he needs to be, but there’s also a warm, loyal and caring side to his character. “I know I’m a bit of a rough ‘un, but I got me a lovely lady, Miss Rushforth. Twenny years we bin together now.” I just love him!
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’ve three deaths so far and they all occurred in book one of the trilogy. They were necessary to the storyline as my novel includes heartbreak…and what greater heartbreak than the loss of loved ones? A few readers contacted me saying they actually cried reading of Helen’s grief! I took that as a compliment! (Ian – making a reader cry is a sign of great writing.)
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?
Some of my characters are based on traits of people I know or have known in the past. In book two of my trilogy, I introduced Christina. She was in reality, my colleague at that time. She read and loved my first book and said she would love to be a character in the second one. I introduced her as a temporary receptionist in the chartered accountancy practice where my main character, Helen, is a junior partner. Christina stays in the story throughout books two and three. I asked her if she wanted a different character name and her answer was that she wanted me to keep her real name and character. She never told her family and friends about this and I didn’t give her a surname in the books, but after they had read book two, they would approach her and ask “It’s you in Eva’s book, isn’t it?” Christina told me I’d done her proud!
Relationships/family life aside, what are your TWO main regrets in life?
My first and biggest regret is not going on to university as I know Mum and Dad both wanted me to go in to teaching. Sorry Mum and Dad, but I could NEVER have been a teacher! I know I wouldn’t have had the patience, particularly over the last few decades where I’ve noticed a great lack of respect for teachers, people in authority, etc. Had I gone to university, I would like to have studied criminal psychology.
The second regret I have is that I didn’t start writing many years ago. Even as a teenager, I always knew I would write a book one day. Sadly, life got in the way back then; marriage, having a full-time career, chauffeuring my son and daughter back and forth to friend’s homes, swimming galas and sporting events, you name it. However, I will never regret being a parent and performing my parenting role. There is nobody to blame but myself for not starting earlier! I should have made the time to write.
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?
Reading. And yes, that passion stayed with me. Over the years, I’ve lost count of the number of books I have read in one sitting. Also, I’ve been known to start a new book when I’ve got into bed and been so engrossed, I’ve missed out on sleep to finish it! I firmly believe that if you are a reader, you never stop learning!
What was your best subject throughout your school years? And your worst?
Best subjects for me (equally) were French and English Language and I always came out top in both subjects in the end of term exams. Maths I was good at, but never quite managed to come out on top.
My worst subjects, again equally, were Physics and History. I think the teachers of those subjects gave up on me in the end. Strangely enough, I lived next door to my old Physics teacher for a few years after I got married. About fifteen years ago, I joined a local badminton class and I was stunned to discover that it was my History teacher who was running the class. After a few weeks of attending, I was stunned when he came over and uttered in front of everybody, “I’m pleased to see that your badminton is far better than your history papers ever were, Eva!”
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, fun, generous…?
My favourite teacher was George Barron (he would be in his late fifties at that time) who taught Art in Senior School. When I was a first year at senior school (now called 7th year) all my fellow first years were terrified of him, myself included. His voice positively BOOMED out and he sounded angry all the time. Perhaps he considered eleven year olds to be silly little humans, I don’t know. That all changed once we became second years, and instead of talking down to us as the other teachers would, he treated us as grown-ups in the making. He was very approachable and great fun. One day during art class, I was eating an orange and noticed he was beginning (as was his thing), his slow saunter up and down between the lines of desks glancing at our work in progress. He was about to pass by on my left, so I quickly stuffed the orange in my lap and pretended to be busy with my drawing. I gave a sigh of relief when he passed by. Two or three minutes later, I didn’t realise he was approaching from behind on my right. He stopped, leaned over towards me and whispered so softly in my ear. “Enjoying your orange, Eva? “ I almost shot out of my skin. He walked away, chuckling! No ticking off, nothing! I was delighted when in 4th year (tenth year, these days) it was announced that Mr Barron was to be our form teacher for the year. During that first form period with him he gave us his ‘new-school-year’ chat regarding absence from school. “…so, when you’re absent from school, please don’t forget to bring a note from your parents when you return. You can always get a friend to forge it if your parents don’t know anything about it! There’s always some excuse…head dropped off, mouth won’t function…I don’t bloody care…as long as I get a note for the school records!” I loved George Barron. What a character! From the ogre (in the eyes of the first years) to the pussy cat! He was a brilliant art teacher, but I just didn’t have the talent for it.
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?
Neither of my parents showed any inclination to write, although Mum was an avid reader. Dad didn’t read anything but two newspapers each day, every inch from front to back! From being seven years old I’ve written lots of poems. One I wrote when I was 9 years old, was for my Dad - it went on for nine or ten verses and Dad was so thrilled and proud of it, he used to keep it in his jacket pocket and when he went out for a pint or two, he would read it to his drinking buddies.
Sadly, Mum and Dad had both passed away before I wrote my trilogy. But I know that whilst Mum would have tut-tutted about the explicit content in my books, she would still be proud of me for achieving something that she knew was a big ambition. Aside from the explicit sex, I know she would have loved the storyline. She was broad-minded, but I think the first thing she would say is “Oh my God, what will people think?” Dad, regardless of the content, would likely say “Well done, lass!” My son and daughter are very proud of me and have been very supportive.
Tell us about your ultimate ambition, be it personal, travel, writing, work, hobby related or other?
I’ve been fortunate enough to have had some amazing holidays, but never the same place twice, so…
Travel: Iceland, New York, Maldives, Moscow and St. Petersburg
Writing: To see my books do well.
Ultimate ambition: (more like a dream): A film from my trilogy (without the explicit bits, of course).
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?
Oh yes. I have several phobias.
Heights: I’m afraid of anything I could fall off or be pushed off. Yes! I’ve read too many books! LOL! I’m not scared of flying though! I’ve been up the CN Tower in Toronto and rode on The Singapore Flyer, mainly because you can’t fall or be pushed off them! Also, I was once on holiday in Egypt and was pushed into (by my hubby at the time) joining him on a hot-air balloon flight over the Valley of the Kings. I was petrified but I did it and surprisingly enjoyed it. Would I do it again? Definitely NOT!
Wasps: Because I react badly to stings and bites by wasps, bees, mozzies, sand-flies, horseflies and anything, really.
Finally, I have a fear of drowning. Though I can swim and was once a swimming instructor, I’m not a very strong swimmer. If I got into difficulties I know I’d panic. (Ian – I’m with you on the wasps, Eva. Anything that buzzes has me running like Forrest Gump!)
Most people I know are not happy with something physical about themselves (face/body etc.,) but if you could change anything about your personality, what would you wish to change?
I wish I could be less sensitive at times, more confident and learn to have some faith in myself. I also wish I could stop lying to myself with things like ‘I’ll do the housework tomorrow’ or ‘No spending money on things I don’t need this week’. LOL!
What is your ‘go to’ snack, whatever the time of day? And drink of your choice?
If I bought or made cakes, cake would be my ‘go to’ snack. I’m a cake-a-holic! But I don’t buy or bake cakes for that reason. My snacks are quite varied but include mini babybel cheeses, mini cheddars, jaffa cakes, custard creams, grapes and bananas.
Coffee as a daytime drink, but no more than three a day. From mid-afternoon onwards, bottled water. Favourite alcohol is gin OR cocktails. I’m also partial to the odd Baileys!
Cats or dogs? What do you have? Do you introduce any pets into your books?
Just call me the ‘crazy cat lady’. I have three cats; Harry, Doris and Ginny. I also love dogs but I’ve never owned one because I know I would be a totally irresponsible dog-owner. Picking up poo doesn’t bother me. But dogs need walking in all weathers and I would happily take one for walkies in the nice warm summer months, but no way would I turn out to walk a dog in fog, wind, rain, snow, sleet. I just detest the cold! I adore my son’s dog, Boris. He’s a gorgeous but mental, chocolate Sprocker who does high-fives, fist-bumps and other crazy things.
In my second book, I introduce Harry, a gorgeous grey fluffy Persian cat.
AND FINALLY Crazy Cat lady, Hit me up with all your Amazon book-links? And the links to your website and social media profiles?
The Hurt (part 1) - https://mybook.to/FWTWf
The Healing (part 2) - https://mybook.to/UmRM
The Scars (part 3) - https://mybook.to/OBpFpPT
Twitter (X): https://twitter.com/AuthorEva69
Wishing you all a wonderful weekend!