The One That Got Away, by Elaine White
Can Bradley finally capture the one that got away?
#theonethatgotaway #lgbtq #indieauthor #mmromance
Magic Misfits, Book 1
I Picked Up This Book Because: I’m a huge fan of NPH.
Theo, Leila, Ridley, Olly, Izzie, Mr. Vernon and Mr. Vernon
This book was awesome for young readers. Carter has it pretty rough, his parents disappear, he is stuck in the care of a shiftless petty criminal uncle. One day he’s had enough.really teed off said uncle and hops a train and lands in Mineral Wells. In Mineral Wells Carter finds friends that share a love of magic and a distaste for criminals. That’s fortunate because one of the rudest is in their town. Carter and the rest of the Misfits work together to take down the criminals. And we learn that maybe Carter’s landing in Mineral Wells wasn’t just luck but fate.
I really enjoyed this book. The characters were easy to imagine and Neil Patrick Harris brought them to life masterfully on the audio book. I only regret I wasn’t on a road trip with my nieces and nephews to share the story with them.
The Random Thoughts:
The Score Card:
Evy Journey is the author of several novels, most recently Sugar and Spice and All Those Lies, published in late November 2017. Read our BookLikes interview and get to know the author!
Evy has been very generous to BookLikes readers and offered as many as TWENTY (!!) ebooks of her newest book Sugar and Spice and All Those Lies.
Enter our giveaway contest to win!
Let's start with a few questions about writing itself, and your books: I've noticed that you’ve published many books so far. How often do you write and how long at one time? What does your writing schedule look like, if you have one?
I engage with words a lot. If I’m not writing, I read. I think reading is essential to a writer. When I’m working on a novel, I write two or three hours in the morning and three more at night, usually after 10 p.m. I’m hooked on writing not just novels or short stories, but blog posts/articles on art, travel, and food (https://eveonalimb2.com) and book reviews (https://margaretofthenorth.wordpress.com). I try to post once a month on my three blogs including my author website (https://www.evyjourney.com).
Do you work on several books at once, or do you write them one by one? For example, did you write the Between Two Worlds books one at a time?
I’m not that organized in my novel writing. I wrote Hello, My Love! (#1) initially with no intention of producing a series. But then, I got intrigued by the mother of Elise, the book’s heroine. That’s how Hello, Agnieszka! (#2) came about. After that, I thought I should write the story of Elise’s brother Justin. I wanted to make it an interracial pairing because that happens a lot where I live. So I created Leilani in Book 3.
Between Two Worlds series
I wrote my latest novel after leaving a French “deli” in our area where you can get gourmet food in vacuum-sealed bags. It resurrected my delight in Babette’s Feast, a wonderful movie I saw years ago. From there, the characters and the story just took off. I just hope the French guy who owns the “deli” doesn’t find out I murder him in my book!
I need to be inspired to invest the serious amount of energy, time, and imagination to write long fiction.
Do you have all the stories and characters planned out from the beginning and then just write them, or do they come to you as you finish one book and start the next?
I do have characters worked out well in my mind when I start a novel. The plot, not so much. My first draft is usually pretty fluid.
Characterization drives the plot quite a lot; it can dictate or at least help shape what happens in scenes that move the plot along. But while those scenes advance the story, they also present multiple facets of a character that can compel me to make changes in my original conception of the character.
Tell us about your characters. Are they completely fictional, or are you inspired by people and stories you know? For example, Agnieszka, the character in the second installment of the Between Two Worlds series, has a Polish name and heritage. Did you know someone like her, or did you create her story from scratch?
Agnieszka is not based on a specific person, but she’s inspired by the many stories my husband told me. He is second generation Polish American and lived in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where Agnieszka’s story is set. So, his memories of relatives and his lasting impressions of Pittsburgh where a lot of Polish families settled enriched the novel.
Elise in Book 1 was born out of a “what if” question—what would Elizabeth Bennet (Pride and Prejudice) be like if she had grown up in the 21st century? The other two heroines (Leilani and Gina) are mostly made up but, of course, one can never really get away from what one knows., For instance, I personally know people who went through the unsettling experience Leilani goes through when, as a child, she flees her country of birth.
Do you have writing goals - as in a certain number of books to publish per year, or in total?
No goals although I try to finish one book a year. You can say I go with my groove. I’m lucky in a way because I’m not in this game for the money. But I do want readers and I try to write stories that appeal to a specific niche. My particular conceit is I write love stories for the thoughtful woman and that rare sensitive, thoughtful man.
Who designs your book covers? Are you very involved in choosing the covers, and, if so, how involved?
Covers for my latest book and the book series were all done by book cover designers who always ask for the author’s input. I did covers for my first novel and my short story collection. I have some art background. I started sketching as a kid, went to art classes, and now I paint and do digital art.
Let's move away from your books and talk about literature and reading in general. Who are your favorite writers, who do you admire, look up to? Any contemporary writers you are fond of? Any favorite books?
I’ve always had eclectic tastes although I’ve never been big on science fiction, horror or paranormal. I’m seduced by beautiful prose like those of Evelyn Waugh or G.K. Chesterton or Robert Hughes (art critic/writer/historian). As a teen, I devoured both Dostoevsky and Jane Austen.
I still love the classics but my current #1 book is Anthony Doerr’s All The Light We Cannot See. Great story, lyrical prose. I also loved Chitra Divakaruni’s Palace of Illusions based on the Indian epic Mahabharata. For similar reasons. When it comes to romance or women’s fiction, Ms. Austen continues to be my favorite.
To sum up this interview, please tell us a little about yourself. You did not start out as a writer, you gradually took up writing as a regular hobby, or do you see it as a job? Are you happier and do you feel more fulfilled as a person now that you started doing what you love and dreamed of in the past?
I didn’t start out as a fiction writer except in those occasional stories or beginnings of a few I wrote ages ago, stashed away, and lost in the many moves I’ve made. Or short stories I wrote for the high school paper. But my professional jobs involved a great deal of writing—research proposals, research reports, rehashing of research studies both mine and those of others for the consumption of “lay people.” Add to those grad school papers, a master’s thesis and a dissertation. So, no, I didn’t take up writing as a regular hobby. I’ve been doing it a long while and I got paid to do it in jobs after grad school. I also got paid to critique or evaluate the content of what other people wrote.
Do I feel more fulfilled now writing fiction? It’s a different kind of writing from what I used to do, which was grounded in facts, analysis, drawing of conclusions or recommendations, and which often followed a more rigid structure and its own special lingo. Fiction requires much more imagination, gives you much more leeway. In some ways, it’s scarier because there are no must-follow rules. But it’s freeing. When you create a character and a fictional story, you have a lot more control. And yet, you also have to be open to circumstance, to have the courage or imagination to veer away from your original story because of how characters or scenes develop. That’s what makes fiction writing occasionally surprising and exciting. I love it.
But fictional or factual, writing is work. Not a job necessarily, but work.
Follow Evy Journey's blog on BookLikes: http://evictoriajourney.booklikes.com/blog
Evy Journey's books on BookLikes (click the cover to add the books to your bookshelf):
Heather Christie is the author of a debut novel, What the Valley Knows, due to be released on January 25, 2018. This will be the first installment in a very interesting series! Heather is already working on the second book.
Read our BookLikes interview to get to know this exciting new author, and enter our giveaway contest to win a paperback copy of the book!
Let's start with a few questions about writing itself, and your book. How often do you write and how long at one time? What does your writing schedule look like, if you have one? And, finally, how do you manage to juggle family life, a full-time career in real estate, and writing (not to mention your MFA in Creative Writing studies, now complete)?
Generally, I try to block a couple hours to write in the afternoons, after I’ve attended to my “real job” tasks as real estate agent and before my “mommy” duties start in the evening. If I don’t have real estate appointments at night, I will often revisit what I wrote earlier in the day. My home office serves as my writing space, but I do keep a pen and notepad by my bedside for those middle of the night ideas.
Have you written one book so far, What The Valley Knows (which will be released in paperback on January 25), or have you written more that are waiting to be published?
What The Valley Knows is my first book. I am currently at work on the second book in the series And The Valley Wept.
Do you have writing goals - as in a certain number of books to publish per year, or in total?
My immediate goal for 2018 is to complete several drafts of And The Valley Wept and have it ready to go out on submission by the third quarter. In a perfect world I'd like to write one book per year.
Watch the book trailer of What the Valley Knows:
When you write, do you have all the stories and characters planned out from the beginning and then just write them, or do they come to you as you write the book?
I try to map the plot and the characters in advance of the actual writing. However, I've found that occasionally a new character will find its way onto the page organically, growing out of the circumstances at hand.
Tell us about your characters. Are they completely fictional, or are you inspired by people and stories you know?
What The Valley Knows is narrated by three alternating points of view. The main character is seventeen-year-old Molly Hanover who has reluctantly moved to Millington Valley at the start of her senior year. She’s smart, pretty, terribly shy, and plays the sousaphone in the marching band. Molly soon attracts the attention of the football team’s star, Wade Thornton, a good guy with a bad drinking problem. The third voice belongs to Molly’s mother, Ann Hanover, who is struggling as a single mother, working two jobs: one as a paralegal during the day and another as a bartender in the evenings at the local legion. There are kernels of real people in my characters, but certain aspects of their personalities and mannerisms are completely fabricated.
Who designed your book cover? Were you very involved in choosing the cover, and, if so, how involved?
My publisher, Black Rose Writing, has a cover designer on staff. At the beginning of the publication process, I was asked to complete a questionnaire about the vision for my cover and submit inspirational photos. From what I sent, the designer created a mock-up and we went back and forth for several weeks until we settled on a cover that suited everyone.
Let's move away from your writing and talk about literature and reading in general. Who are your favorite writers, who do you admire, look up to? Any contemporary writers you are fond of? Any favorite books you'd like to tell us about?
Heather Christie’s Top 10 Authors
To sum up this interview let's introduce a little bit of magic and move away from the real world for a moment. If you could choose one character from a favorite book to have dinner with, or spend a day with, who would that be? What would you ask that person?
This is a tough question and I might be cheating with my answer because I'd chose the narrator of the non-fiction book Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life. Anne Lamott is the author/narrator/main character and she's funny, brilliant, and inspiring. I would love to spend the day with Anne and ask her what the most important tasks a young writer should aim to master.
Heather Christie's books on BookLikes
(click the cover to add the books to your bookshelf):
Despite containing fantastical story elements, Soon feels uncommonly gritty and grounded. Murphy’s character development and evocation of both the natural environment and small town setting is first class — a reader cannot help but become invested in their plight. The sense of foreboding is at times gut wrenching.
Read our full review of SOON at bookloverbookreviews.com >>