This post was originally published at Novelicious.com and is now at WritingTipsOasis.com. WritingTipsOasis.com acquired Novelicious.com in June 2022.
Evie Hunter is a pseudonym for Eileen Gormley and Caroline McCall, and today we're talking to Caroline.
Can you tell us a little about your average writing day?
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I work nine to five four days a week, so I don’t have so much a writing day, as a writing night and weekend. I usually spend two hours each evening at the laptop. Either working on a story or editing. On Saturday mornings my husband brings me breakfast in bed, and my laptop. I don’t get up until I’ve written a chapter.
When you are writing, do you use any celebrities or people you know as inspiration?
Yes. I’m a big True Blood fan, especially the delicious Eric Northman. (You have great taste. Sorry. Back to the answers. Debs) Yum. Apart from that, Hugh Jackman and Irish actor, Aidan Turner. I could think of a dozen others.
I’m an avid people watcher, especially on the commute to work on the train in the morning. A few commuters have ended up in the pages of my books.
What is your favourite Women’s Fiction book of all time and why?
That is a really tough question. I collect books. Almost every room in my home has bookshelves. I also have several hundred books on my kindle, so to pick one from all of those would be an impossible task.
I love authors like Angela Knight, Kresley Cole, Mari Carr, Cara McKenna, Lorelei James Joey Hill and Cherise Sinclair. One racy favourite of mine would be Victorious Star by Morgan Hawke, but be warned, it is very, very racy.
What is your writing process? Do you plan first of dive in? How many drafts do you do?
I tend to carry the characters around inside my head for a while before I set them to paper. I can be inspired by all sorts of things – an overheard conversation, a trip to a new place. Sometimes it can be random things like the line from a song. One story was inspired by a broken sign on a train.
Generally, I will know the beginning and the end of a story before I start writing, but not the middle. I’ll write like crazy for about thirty thousand words and then I usually stop and put some manners on it. Once I’ve worked out a solid structure I push on and finish it.
I let the first draft rest for several weeks before going back to it. Then I edit like crazy. I’m very lucky in that I have an excellent crit group at The Corner Table who read all my stuff, no matter what genre I write. Getting honest feedback is really important.
What was your journey to being a published author?
I’ve been writing for about ten years. I’m a genealogist, so I’ve written lots of short pieces for journals and magazines. In 2009 I decided to try my hand at writing fiction. It was so different from academic writing. I knew nothing about plot or how to develop characters so I went back to college to learn. I worked hard, wrote every day, and learned to cope with rejection (I’m still working on that one!)
I wrote two fantasy novels about fairies, neither of which have ever seen the light of day. Then I decided to write something totally different. My idea for a sci-fi romance became Time Slip which was accepted for publication by Ellora’s Cave. I wrote two more novellas in that series.
Eileen Gormley and I had always joked about doing a co-write. When a submission call came for tattoo themed stories, we wrote Angels Demons and Doms in ten days. We managed not to kill each other during the process and decided to try something longer.
What do you think is the biggest myth about being a novelist?
Apart from the fact that writers are glamorous and fabulously wealthy? Lol. I suppose the biggest myth is that success happens overnight.
What advice can you give to our readers who want to write a novel of their own?
They say that everyone has a book inside them, but translating that into a finished work is not easy. Be prepared for rejection and discouragement. Strive to learn your craft and hone your skills. Believe in yourself, your story and your characters. Finish it.
What are you working on at the moment?
I’m working on a several different projects. I’ve just submitted a paranormal romance called Tanglewood to my agent and I’m hoping that she can find a home for it. Apart from that, I’m writing a short Viking romance for an Irish publishing company. Mmmm Vikings.
I love all things paranormal and earlier this year I completed a ‘werecat’ romance novella which needs spicing up. I hope to get back to that soon.
Eileen and I have completed the first draft of a sequel to Angels Demons and Doms. We just need time to edit it.