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22 August 2011

Meet Eva Marie Everson, Author of This Fine Life

This week's host, Jennifer Slattery

Eva Marie Everson is an award-winning, best-selling author of both fiction and nonfiction. She is a professional, award-winning speaker and a seminary graduate. Her Clash competing novel, This Fine Life, has captured the hearts of readers across the globe. Today, Eva offers us a glimpse into a writer's life and the crafting of this heart-warming novel.

Eva, you've got numerous books on print. I imagine each book represents a fair amount of elbow grease and perseverance. How long have you been writing?

Since I was about six years old. :) But professionally, I got serious in 1997.

Wow, that is a long time! I picture a child staring out the schoolroom window as enchanting stories dance through her head. Where did you get the idea for this story?

I was listening to an old Frank Sinatra song, "When I Was Seventeen (It was a very good year...)" and...the beginning just came to me. Then, a friend of mine--a retired pastor--shared a couple of funny stories about his first year after school and, well, there was the rest!

I'll have to locate and listen to that song now. What about Mariette and Thayne? How do you go about crafting characters?

I find them in magazines. Online. Once I have the face, then I have a series of questions I ask myself. Pages of questions, really. Each novel has a notebook and each notebook is filled with character pages. The characters will tell the story.

How funny! I often start with visuals, too! Which character do you most relate to and why?

Mr. Scott (Thayne's father). Because if it's one thing I've learned, it's that "life
will come back around."

Interesting. Where do you most like to write?

In my office. It's just comfortable. But when I need to write a lot and not be disturbed, I go away.

Great idea, although for me, that'd take me too far from the peanut putter jar, my creativity-fueling food. Grin. What about you? Any favorite writing snacks?

Not really, no. Sweet iced tea... :)

What is the best piece of advice you've ever received in regard to writing?

Just put your fanny in the seat and write.

Wow, so true! I think the nugget behind that advice applies to all aspects of life--"Just get 'er done!" Any other sage words you can share? What is the best life advice you've ever received?


Last Wednesday I shared a not so romantic romantic involving way too much hand lotion and a disco ball. What about you? Any real life romance moments to share?

My husband and I have been married for 32 years. He still makes me laugh. Hardly a day goes by but what he doesn't say something and I just crack up. One evening he said to me, "I still make you laugh, don't I?" It was kinda weird; I knew we were so joined, he simply "got" that. That it was important. Laughter is very important.

So very true! Describe your dream date.

It's not just going out one night. It's the whole day. Maybe heading out for breakfast. Then going antique shopping. Then seeing some landmark that's historical. Lunch al fresco. Heading back home for a nap. Then getting up, showering, heading out for dinner. A movie. Coming home, exhausted. But I have to tell you, my husband and I have a lake home. It's our 365/house. Just sitting out on the dock at the end of the day, watching the sun set, hubby casting a line while I snap a few photographs, dogs playing in the yard and then, when it's too dark to see, heading back up the hill to the house...well, that's just perfect.

32 years? Awesome! And it sounds like you're 32-year-old newly weds. I love hearing forever-love moments!

Eva, we enjoyed chatting with you today and we loved your excerpt! I have a feeling this is going to be one tough clash!

Readers, visit Eva's blogs 1 Writer, 1 Day Blog, and Southern Voice, along with her website to find out more about her and her other great novels.

And before you go, I've got a question for you: When meeting characters in a novel, how long does it take you to visualize them in your head and, do you normally gravitate toward an image of someone you know?

And don't forget, there's still time to be entered into our drawing to win a copy of Eva's novel, This Fine Life. Simply leave a a comment, or fb share or tweet this link. (But be sure to shoot us an email if you share or tweet us, so we know.)

And don't foget to hop on over to visit our book club! We're discussing Destiny's Dream by Delia Latham!

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April Gardner said... Monday, 22 August, 2011

Oh Eva, did I ever need that writing advice today. I think you've just inspired me to write those two scenes that have been hanging over my head the last few months.
Thank for sharing!
Jennifer, re your Q--If the writer is a good one, it'll take me all of one to visualize a character in my head, but I don't think they're usually images of people I know. Great question!

Gail Pallotta said... Monday, 22 August, 2011

Hi Eva Marie,

I loved your interview. The lake house sounds wonderful. It seemed like the kind of place where you'd be relaxing and not thinking about work, but have scenes or ideas pop in your head.

As for the question. That's a good one, Jennifer. My answer's the same as April. Sometimes I get an image right away, but I don't visualize characters in books as people I know.

Jackie Layton said... Monday, 22 August, 2011

Thanks for sharing today. Your book cover is beautiful. I think that's a great start for somebody to pick it up and read the back cover.
To answer your question I've just visualized my characters in my mind so far. I'm unpublished and only written 2 books. But for my new one, I decided to find pictures online of somebody similar to my new characters.
Now, I'm going to take your advice and get back to work.
Have a great night!

jennifer Slattery said... Monday, 22 August, 2011

Jackie, thanks for stopping by! It's always fun to have visuals to go along with those images that fill our imaginations. :-)

For me, I normally think of an actual person when I'm reading and I often visualize them fairly quickly. In fact, it doesn't take a lot of details to get my imagination going.

Anonymous said... Monday, 22 August, 2011

Great interview! Eva, I love that your hubby still makes you laugh. That really is SO important.

I get my characters from magazines too - or I'll use a blend of two different actors/actresses. When I'm reading, I usually go with the picture on the cover, if there is one. For this reason, I get really ticked when the picture on the cover doesn't match the author's description...argh!

Carrie L. Lewis said... Tuesday, 23 August, 2011

You might find this odd coming from a writer who is also an artist, but I don't visualize characters very well, if at all. My own or other people's. It doesn't matter that much to me what they look like if the story is engaging.

If the story isn't engaging... Well, it matters even less!

LoRee Peery said... Tuesday, 23 August, 2011

When I first meet a heroine, I connect emotionally. Then through the hero's eyes, I form a mental picture. That picture is based on one of my daughters, myself when I was younger, or even my mother.
For my own characters, I do try to find a visual and then at some point, collage characters with settings and themes, etc.

Eva Marie Everson said... Friday, 26 August, 2011

Wow you guys! Thank you for all these comments.

When it comes to visualizing characters, I try to give the readers enough information to open their mind but to allow them, at the same time, to form that perfect character for the role, so to speak. I don't want to read blow by blow details of characters and I don't want to give that to my readers either.

Thank you again for all your comments. I read each and every one!

I love you guys!

Eva Marie

Item Reviewed: Meet Eva Marie Everson, Author of This Fine Life Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Jennifer Slattery