An Interview With Author E.J. Stevens
This author is also a graduate of the University of Maine at Farmington with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. She has worked a variety of jobs that demonstrate the human condition including schools, psychiatric hospitals and shopping malls! E.J. currently resides in a magical forest on the coast of Maine where she finds daily inspiration for her writing.
TSR: A very warm welcome to you E.J., and a very big thank-you, for taking time out of your schedule to talk to us today.
E.J.’s answer: Thank you for having me here today at The Secret Writer!
TSR: What can you remember as the happiest memories from your childhood?
E.J’s answer: My happiest childhood memories are of stormy nights, when the power was out, telling terrifying tales with my family by candlelight.
TSR: What sort of books did you read when you were in your teens and what do you remember as your favourite book of that time?
E.J’s answer: I have always had a love of fantasy and gothic fiction. During my teen years I was still enraptured by the writings of E.A. Poe though I also began reading more science fiction and recall ‘Neuromancer’ by William Gibson being a favourite of the time.
TSR: Have you always lived in Maine?
E.J.’s answer: I have travelled to many places around the world. I love to travel, but always come home to Maine. I love the beautiful rocky coastline and magical forests. I am also in close proximity to Boston and not terribly far from New York City.
TSR: Why did you choose to study psychology at University?
E.J.’s answer: I have always been interested in the workings of the human mind and intrigued by human nature. Studying psychology gave me a fabulous foundation of knowledge on which to build as a writer and great insight into character motivation.
TSR: Do you still work in a ‘day job’ as I would call it, or do you write full time now?
E.J.’s answer: I write full time and am currently working on Spirit Storm, the second book in the Spirit Guide series.
TSR: When did you first set up your blog and why?
E.J.’s answer: I set up my blog, From the Shadows, in September of 2009 when I was promoting my collection of dark poetry of the same name. The blog quickly became a place where I could celebrate the paranormal books that I love and interact with other authors and readers with the same passion.
TSR: Did you always want to become a writer?
E.J.’s answer: I grew up in a family of prolific storytellers. My childhood was steeped in tales of supernatural horror and suspense. When I was very young I would join in and tell stories orally. Writing was a natural progression that has always been strongly encouraged and supported by my family and friends.
TSR: What made you decide to focus upon the paranormal genre of books on your blog and in your writing?
E.J.’s answer: I was raised on stories of faeries and goblins and really did believe there were bloodthirsty monsters hiding in the shadows. The myths of my childhood opened my mind to the possibility of magic in our everyday waking world. This belief in magic and monsters, and my massive childhood Edgar Allan Poe obsession, inspired much of my earlier writing and led to a love of paranormal literature. This love for paranormal literature can be seen in my writing and on my blog where I celebrate paranormal books and authors.
TSR: Do you have a set routine when you are working on a novel?
E.J.’s answer: Yes. There are certain key concepts that I will research before I begin full-time work on a novel. Once I am satisfied that I have the necessary information at hand, I will then begin work on the actual writing. When working on a novel I write each day. After a rough draft has been written I submit for beta reading and editing and the revision process begins. I much prefer actual writing over the later stages, but each step of the process is important.
TSR: Where do you do your writing best?
E.J’s answer: I am at my most creative when deep in the magic of the forest where I live with my corgi companion at my side and my writing implements at hand. There is that wondrous moment when, with an artist's eye, you find the perfect slant of sunlight through the trees, a cluster of mushrooms growing from a bed of lush green moss and you know that when you blur your eyes you will be able to see the wee folk and the shadow spirits dancing in the periphery. During inclement weather I retreat to my writing desk.
TSR: Have you any advice for those who want to start writing a book for the first time?
E.J.’s answer: My advice to any aspiring author is to write. Make time in your schedule to write even if you are very busy. No excuses. Write, write, write!
TSR: Do you have any other hobbies or interests that you enjoy?
E.J’s answer: Aside from reading I enjoy crocheting, belly dancing, and going on walking adventures with my corgi.
TSR: There is an air of mystery about your real identity and your public literary image, was this created on purpose or did it just develop?
E.J’s answer: An air of mystery? I do like the ring of that. Seriously though, if there is an air of mystery it developed naturally.
TSR: ‘What was your inspiration for writing ‘She Smells the Dead’?
E.J’s answer: The idea for She Smells the Dead originally came to me while walking past the overgrown graveyard beside my home. I was overwhelmed by a strong smell and suddenly wondered what it would be like to have a psychic connection with spirits of the dead that came in the form of smells, rather than sight or sound.
TSR: How did you think of and then develop the main character in your book, ‘She Smells the Dead’?
E.J.’s answer: The character of Yuki was originally based on myself at her age, but the things she must face during this series push her to grow and develop her own personality.
TSR: I love the cover of your book ‘She Smells the Dead’! Did you have a say in its design?
E.J’s answer: Yes, I did have some say in its design and am delighted to hear that you like it. The response to this cover has been amazingly positive.
TSR: Are you currently reading a book at the moment, and if so what is it?
E.J’s answer: I am currently reading ‘The Haunted’, the second book in The Hollow series, by Jessica Verday.
TSR: What is your all time favourite book and why?
E.J’s answer: That is a very difficult question! I have a great love for so many books, but the collected works of Edgar Allan Poe have a very special place in my heart.
TSR: Have you any other books in the making at the moment?
E.J’s answer: I am currently working on Spirit Storm, the second book in the Spirit Guide series, due to release in early 2011.
TSR: What simple things in life would make you smile?
EJ’s answer: Bird song in the morning, seeing the young deer that nibble from my orchard, and the bark of my corgi are all simple things that bring a smile to my face.
TSR: If you could meet one of your characters in real life, which character would you choose to meet?
E.J’s answer: I would love to spend the day with Simon. His roguish personality and good looks make him an easy choice and his usual reticence when it comes to revealing his true feelings is an intriguing challenge.
TSR: E.J. I am delighted that you agreed to be interviewed on my literary site. I really have enjoyed our interview! I would also like to thank-you again for taking the time out of your busy schedule to speak to us today, and for providing a copy of your book for our International book giveaway. Good luck with your future writing and I look forward to reading your new book when it is published next year.
E.J.’s answer: It has been my pleasure. Thank you for having me here at The Secret Writer!
TSR: Here are a number of web-links if anyone would like to find out more about E.J. Stevens and her writing:
E.J. Stevens’s blog: http://www.fromtheshadows.info/
Official Spirit Guide Series website: http://spiritguideseries.blogspot.com/
Books by E.J. Stevens page: http://ejstevensbooks.blogspot.com/
International Book Giveaway!
E.J. has very kindly supplied one copy of her latest book 'She Smells the Dead' for this International book giveaway (giveaway limited to anywhere that The 'Book Depository' ships).
This giveaway will only be open to the 'Google Connect Followers' of my blog. You have to join this blog as a 'Google Connect Follower', in order to be able to post comments on this blog.
Post a comment to this author interview , between the 22nd October and 29th October 2010, to be entered into a draw for this book giveaway. Please include your e-mail address at the end of your comment, which hopefully should make things a bit easier for me to inform the winner!
The winner will be announced on this blog after the draw has taken place. The winner will be asked to send their postal details to me so that the book can then be shipped directly to them.