Friday, July 11, 2008

A few questions with…Eve Silver A.K.A. Eve Kenin

Eve Silver is an instructor of human anatomy and microbiology, and a bestselling author. Her first book was published in November of 2005 and not surprisingly to anyone who’s read her work, since then she's earned starred reviews from Publishers Weekly and Library Journal, Reviewers Choice Awards from RT BOOKreviews, and was chosen by Library Journal as one of their Best Genre Fiction 2007 picks.

Her latest release, Hidden, written as Eve Kenin, is in stores now with His Wicked Sins, penned under Eve Silver, hitting stores in August. Demon's Hunger will be available November.

I’m thrilled that she could take time out of what has to be an incredibly busy schedule to answer a few questions.

Hello…Thanks for the intro.

Q. How does a woman with a busy family life (husband and two sons), teach anatomy and microbiology, and write for three different publishers? I’m tired just asking the question.

A. It’s no secret…butt-in-chair-hands-on-keyboard. I’m business oriented in that sense, even though I’m in a creative profession. I promised my publisher(s) a book by deadline, and I’m determined to meet my obligation. I make every effort to turn in the project, clean and on time. Sometimes, that means sacrifices. On family vacations, I get up early and write while everyone else sleeps, then hang out with them once they roll out of bed. And unfortunately, I have to delegate jobs like cleaning the bathroom or doing the Everest-sized mountain of laundry. Sad, I know. But something’s gotta give, LOL!

Last year was a bit crazy. I completed four projects: HIDDEN by Eve Kenin and three Eve Silver releases, HIS WICKED SINS, NATURE OF THE BEAST (Kiss of the Vampire), and DEMON’S HUNGER.

Q. Though you write for three different lines, there is a common thread between them. They are, at their core, romances. What drew you to the romance genre?

A. I read my first romance when I was in my teens, and what struck me about the genre was the tone of hope, strength and perseverance. I love that. Throughout the rough patches in my life, romance novels offered the happy ending, and that was uplifting and wonderful. When I started writing, there was no question in my mind that romance was the way I would go. That said, I write three different genres: historical gothics (sort of historical suspense stories), contemporary paranormals about demons and sorcerers, and futuristic speculative stories that recently had a reviewer pose the question, “This is a ROMANCE?”, in stunned amazement when he read DRIVEN. Guess he wasn’t expecting a post-apocalyptic, trans-Siberian trucker tale to be a love story.

Q. From what I’ve read of your work, you’re not exactly writing your mom’s romance. How have things changed from the time you started reading romances to writing them?

A. Hey, don’t knock Mom’s romance, LOL!

Interesting question. Some things haven’t changed at all. Many romances are quite brilliant, with amazing character development and emotional depth. I still pull old reads off my keeper shelf, curl up in a comfy chair and lose myself in those stories. And some things have changed a great deal. There is a blurring of lines between romance and other genres, and blends and hybrids are increasingly more common. For example, years ago, when I started reading Kelley Armstrong’s Otherworld books, they were shelved and sold as horror. Today, those same books are among romance fan favorites.

Q. Do you write at home? If so, is your family on board? Do they give you room and quiet to work?

Yes, I write at home. And yes, my family is on board. In fact, they recently helped set up a great office for me…a room all to myself! Up until that point I’d been writing in bed or at the kitchen table or on the couch…sitting in a lawn chair at one kid’s football practice or waiting outside their martial arts lessons…wherever, whenever. Because life doesn’t stop just because I need to finish a scene. I’m used to writing in a tumult of activity, so I don’t usually ask for quiet. But they are amazing in the sense that they pick up the slack for all household chores and such when I’m deep in deadline hell.

Q. How in depth are your outlines, if you outline at all?

A. Urrgh! This is embarrassing. I’m horrible at outlines. In this business, you need to send your editor a synopsis or outline. And mine are pathetic. My books never end up anything like the outlines I create (except for the novella Kiss of the Vampire in the anthology NATURE OF THE BEAST that actually, by some miracle, did follow the outline). But mostly, I’m a pantser: I write by the seat of my pants. I just start to type (actually, I hunt and peck…I never learned to type) and I hope that a story shows up on the pages. Because if it doesn’t, I’m in big trouble, LOL!

Q. What comes first for you when developing a story, plot or character?

A. Neither. I open a blank page. I start to type (er…hunt and peck), and whatever shows up, shows up. I’m not very good at planning or plotting, and my characters don’t even get names for the first few chapter. I just type YYY for the guy (because of the Y chromosome) and XXX for the girl (because of the X chromosome), and then I go back and do find-and-replace when a name hits me.

Q. How heavily do you research your stories?

A. Tons of research. For me, it isn’t enough to say that there’s a laser in the story. I need to find out what type of laser. And it isn’t enough to say the vehicles are hydrogen powered. I actually need to research the physics of it and see exactly what that would entail.

For my historicals, I research the little things in the hopes of getting it right. What year were matches invented? What would have been served for breakfast? Exactly how was tea prepared? The little things bug me because I hate to miss something and get it wrong.

Q. With so many books under your belt you must have quite a fan base. Do you enjoy book signings and meeting your fans?

A. I do enjoy booksignings. I like connecting with readers who enjoy my stories. It’s a lovely thing to know I did it right, to know that the book I wrote spoke to a reader and made them feel the way I hoped they would feel.

Q. Do you have any advice for writers trying to get published?

A. Butt-in-chair-hands-on-keyboard. If you don’t write the book, you can’t sell the book. And don’t become obsessed with the first chapter. I know people who polish that first chapter, rewriting it over and over again, submitting it to contests, but never getting any farther in the story. Push on. Get through the first chapter and the second and the third. Make it to the end. Then go back and change what you want to change. Write the book, not just a chapter. Persevere. It isn’t always an easy road (I had hundreds of rejections before I made my first sale), but if the need to write burns inside of you like a cold blue flame, then write.

Thank you again Eve, for answering a few of my questions and best of luck with Hidden, His Wicked Sins, and Demon's Hunger.

Eve has graciously offered to drop by and answer questions so, please leave a comment or question.

If you’d like to learn more about Eve Silver and all of the books she has available, please drop by her website.


Velda Brotherton said...

An interesting and intriguing interview. Eve makes it sound so easy, but they say that's the secret of good writing. It has to sound easy and when you get it just right it does. Thanks for letting us in on some of your secrets, Eve. I love that you don't plan ahead or outline. Super fine.

Eve Silver / Eve Kenin said...

Velda, thanks for popping by. It might sound easy in the interview, but honestly, there are days that I wonder what glitch in my wiring made me choose this terrifying, terrible, wonderful, thrilling career. And the lack of planning and outlining can sometimes cost me big time. With HIDDEN, I actually needed to completely toss my first two attempts at the story and start over from scratch because it just wasn't flowing.

Helen said...

Since you're writing by your pantsies, I assume you're sometimes surprised by your characters.

You said you had to throw out the first two attempts at Hidden, so it seems you take a firm hand at directing the plot/action. But do your character often do things that you hadn't expected?

Also, I applaud you for the research you do. I know that takes a lot of time.

DonnaB said...

Hi Eve,
I've seen the Shomi books in the store and been intrigued, but never picked one up. But after seeing this interview, I went to the store and bought Hidden -- my first Shomi. I love urban fantasy and I'm delighted to discover a new author and maybe a whole new line.

Thanks for stopping by, and Ian, thanks for the interview.


Eve Silver / Eve Kenin said...

Helen, my characters do surprise me :) They often paint themselves into corners and I can see no way out, but somehow, they leave a tiny escape path that saves the day. And sometimes not, which creates a whole 'nother set of difficulties, LOL!

Eve Silver / Eve Kenin said...

donnab, thanks for picking up HIDDEN. I hope you enjoy the story. And if you're a fan of heart-pounding action, you might try the next Shomi release, COUNTDOWN by Michelle Maddox. I recently finished an advance copy of that book, and it was a crazy, wild ride.

Julie said...

Eve, thank you for taking your time to share with us. It is always heartening to hear that people do get published, even after lots of rejection. I'm just starting the rejection cycle and hearing that helps keep me going.

Ian O'Neill said...

I cringed when I read that you're a pantser. I wish it would work out like that but alas, I need an outline. I'm never married to it, but that guide is what keeps me moving forward. I do envy you though, Eve. It must feel so freeing.


Eve Silver / Eve Kenin said...

Julie, I've had a ton of rejection letters. One of my earliest rejection was from a young editorial assistant who sent me the standard form rejection and added a line at the end that pointed out that books need a plot. A plot???? Who knew????

Years later, that assistant had become an editor, and she offered me a contract.

Keep writing. Rejection is just part of the biz.

Eve Silver / Eve Kenin said...

Ian, I don't know if it is freeing, but it seems to be the way I work best. If outlining is the way you work best, stick with it :) Everyone has their own process, right?

Anonymous said...

Hi, you two!

Great interview, Ian. Did Naomi contact you yet? If not, email me.

It's good to know that though you have to turn in an outline/synopsis pre-book, you don't have to be married to it, Eve. I've had things switch up a lot for me!

Eve Silver / Eve Kenin said...

AJ! Great to see you here, fellow Shomi girl :)

Anonymous said...

Great posts, especially this one – thank you! :-)