It’s the 25th! I made a booby this month, I allocated three authors the July spot! That means we have a month of real diversity. It’s time to meet the first author. As a mother before author I could not turn down the opportunity to speak to children’s author, Eve Culley It takes a special writer to want to reach out to the little ones. I thank God for children’s authors, as these writers help my little three year old man blossom. Eve hails from the USA, from a state I stopped off at on my way to Las Vegas. Let’s get to know her style…over to you Eve.
Hello nice to meet you! Tell us a bit about you where are you from and other than writing what else do you enjoy?
I was born in Texas. My family moved around a bit but Texas was home base. For quite a bit of time my family lived in Iowa. When I got married my husband and I moved back to Texas where we attended Bible College. We later worked in churches across the US setting up print shops printing Bibles and raising money for paper for countries who did not have them.
Now days we have a small acreage with goats, geese, turkeys, ducks, chickens and rabbits. We milk 4 goats and besides the milk, we make goat cheese. It is a very peaceful life and we enjoy it very much.
Kim: We hail from different worlds Eve, I must admit as a city girl I often daydream of a slower pace of life. Ya know, I love goat’s cheese. 🙂
How did you start writing? What was your inspiration to create?
I started writing in high school, poetry and fiction. My inspiration to write is very simple. I have all these story lines running through my head. I see people on the street and write a back story for them in my mind. I see animals standing together in the corner of the fence and imagine their conversation. In order to get them out of my head I must put them on paper. So, I do.
Who is your favourite author, is there anyone out there that inspires you?
I feel my favourite author would be C.S. Lewis. I really enjoy his work and I gain insight into his characters and especially his dialog. I read a page and think, “WOW! I never thought of that before.
Kim: I love it when other authors give you that wow feeling too.
What genre do you enjoy reading?
Oh, I read romance, sci-fi, murder mystery, biographies, auto-biographies, and my Bible and Bible studies. I am an avid reader and anything lying around is fair game to the point that I had to make myself quit cold turkey reading bathroom stall doors when I was younger. LOL
How did publishing your first book change your process of writing?
I tended on my second book to try and put in all the changes that the editors suggested on the first book in the re-write of my second book in hopes of cutting down the editors work.
So you’ve published a series, what is the series about?
I am under contract for my second book in a three book series. It is about a present day place called Barn Town where the animals all carry on about their problems and the Deputy Sherriff is a cat names Stripe. There are two people, the Sherriff and his wife Honey who can and do talk with all the animals.
What was it like creating back to back stories that link?
I love it. The story line flows very well from one book to the next. I am in the midst of writing the third and final book and I am finding myself dreading the end of the book because it will be the last book. I don’t want Deputy Stripe to be upset with me.
Kim: Haha maybe later you can bring him out of retirement.
Have you ever thought about writing in a different genre? If you could what genre would you like to dabble in?
I really enjoy writing in the children’s genre as it allows the imagination to run free. But if I were to write in a different genre it would be Historical. I think that would be lots of fun.
Kim: Oh yes, historical is interesting to read I think. The research required is the trick to this genre. Never say never maybe one day this is a new venture for you. I wish you well.
What has been your most proud moment as an author?
I think that my proudest moment as an author was when I held my first printed book in my hand. That was a very cool moment for me.
Kim: That feeling never leaves you does it? * daydreams back to my moment*
Was there ever a time you wanted to pick up your laptop, and then launch it out the window with frustration?
Yes! I was in the middle of a whodunit in Barn Town and my laptop crashed. I thought everything was lost, but praise be the cloud had it all. It was a tense few minutes when I thought I would have to start all over. I about cried.
Kim: *Shakes head* we’ve all been there. I can’t even express how this makes me feel, the language I use… my mum would kill me. Lols
Are you a “plotter” or a fly by the seat of your pants “pantster” as a writer?
I think, if I understand your question, I am a “pantster” as I never know what I am going to write until I sit down at the laptop and start. It then just flows out.
Kim: Yep, you got it. Hats off to all pansters, I’m a plotter.
Am I the only one who gets hung up on commas? Do they make you go blah! when you’re writing?
Commas are fun. I put them where I pause in the telling of the story and hope they are correct.
Every writer has a word(s) that they always slip up on when they write, then slap their forehead when they notice their typo. For me it’s further and farther exit or exists- but hey I’m over it now. Do you have a word (s) that make you go blah! Go away not another damn typo.
No not really, but I rely on spell check quite a bit.
Kim: Hmmm, I am intrigued and impressed you have no slip up words as you type. Spell check can miss things, and sometimes even throws up random things… watch out.
What three tips would you give any aspiring writer?
- Carve out time to write like it is a baby needing to be cared for and no one to do it but you.
- Make sure people leave you alone when you are writing. Your child hungry, they can fix a PB&J. House work and dishes will still be there when you need a break.
- Research so your facts are correct. No one wants to read about something that is definitely wrong.
Kim: I like point two… housework … blah! All round great advice thank you.
What are you working on now? What will you release next?
I am working on my third book now. My second book just went under contract. So based on the first book probably 9 months to one year from now.
So… where can we get your books?
Amazon, Barnes and Nobel, Clean Reads.com
What are the most important magazines for writers to subscribe to?
I do a lot of blogs and Facebook groups. I really like them and I learn a lot.
To name a few. But I am always open to other places that other authors recommend.
What does “success” look like to you? When would you say “damn, I’ve made it baby!”
Success to me is when readers (who are not my relatives) tell me that my book made them laugh or cry and they can’t wait for the next book to come out.
Kim: A very grounded idea of success, good stuff.
Does a big ego help or hurt writers?
I think your ego hurts you when you can’t learn from anyone about your writing.
What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?
Research is something that my hubby and I do together. We look up, read, visit and talk with people about various subjects relating to what is going to be in the story. Depending on the subject is the amount of time spent. I make notes and they are saved for the present book and possibly future references. I enjoy the research almost as much as the actual writing.
Kim: Funny, me too. I’ve interviewed some who are not too keen on this part.
Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with bad or good ones?
I read all my book reviews and try to take away the good from each one. I try and keep an open mind that everyone is entitled to their opinion.
What was your hardest scene to write?
In my second book there is the death of one of the characters. I tried very hard to get it just right as this was a children’s book. The death was important lesson for the main character and therefore necessary.
Kim: Yes, for children this can be hard to understand. A soft touch is almost needed I’d imagine.
Do you Google yourself?
Not in the last five years.
What other authors are you friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer?
One of my second cousin’s is a published author and I pick her brain often on the finer points of publishing. She has been a great asset to me.
How long on average does it take you to write a book?
Counting research probably 9 months or so.
What would you like readers to know?
Each character is real to me. I hear in my head how they think, talk, walk, look and whether they are nice or not. Because they are real to me, I hope that they become real to the reader as well.
What’s your favourite movie?
Lord of the Rings – trilogy
What’s your favourite book and why?
The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
Quote from the book is why I love this book.
“Aslan is a lion- the Lion, the great Lion.” “Ooh” said Susan. “I’d thought he was a man. Is he-quite safe? I shall feel rather nervous about meeting a lion”…”Safe?” said Mr Beaver …”Who said anything about safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the King, I tell you.”
What music do you like?
Gospel, Soft Rock, Country, Bluegrass,
Where would you like to travel to and why?
Scotland, but when the Scottish clans were in their glory.
Tell us about how you develop your characters?
My characters come from what I see in our barn yard and the interaction between the animals.
Kim: Bet that’s fun, I’d imagine you have a few characters with their own quirks in your barn yard.
Which one of your characters is your favourite and why?
I am very partial to Deputy Stripe. He tries so hard to be a tough cat but he really is just a marshmallow inside
And that’s a wrap! It’s really cool to meet authors of all genres. There’s no discrimination here. I hope you enjoyed meeting Eve. If you have children and would like to check out her books please do on the platforms she mentions.
About the Author:
Eve has been telling stories for as long as she can remember. Her children were her first audience and it continued with her grandchildren listening to the stories; writing was a natural outlet that followed. She and her husband live in the great state of Texas, the residents of their barn providing her with the substance for her writing. Eve says that her characters demand that their stories be told, that is if she wants any peace in her life.
Welcome to Barn Town where the residents are friendly and there is mischief and mystery around every corner. Things are changing in Barn Town and Ol’ Stripe is keeping his eye on the new arrivals and the current residents in an attempt to keep the peace.
Connect with Eve here:
I really enjoyed getting to know Eve, what a special author she is helping to educate and teach all the little bambinos out there. Makes me smile. Thank you Eve, I wish you well. I hope you all enjoyed meeting an author with a difference this month.
Next month: awww the suspense! Stay tuned.