Hi guys! We’re starting off the beginning of what I’m calling the “Month of Giveaways!” This month, every Monday, we are going to have an author interview along with a special giveaway of one of his or her books. To kick off this Month of Giveaways, I have the honor of interviewing one of the nicest and most supportive authors I have interacted with, Eva Pasco, author of An Enlightening Quiche, which I have a signed copy at home that I will read and review later in these upcoming months! Enjoy!
1. In 20 words or less, what is your book An Enlightening Quiche about?
An heirloom quiche recipe and baking rivalry turn up the heat during the aftermath of a tragedy.
2. What are some of the reasons that you love writing? When did you first have a love for writing, and how was it formed?
My love for writing began long before I questioned if I was good at it or not. Unbeknownst to me, my childhood set the stage. An only child at the age of five when my parents and I moved into our custom-built home which happened to be one of the first houses on Angell Rd. in Lincoln, Rhode Island, my rural surroundings had a profound impact on my life. Prior to my enrollment at Lincoln Community School, I looked forward to long walks with my mother and listening to her read stories to me. Until my sister came along two years later, I relied heavily on my imagination while dialoguing with my dolls during high tea.
By the age of nine, courtesy of my mother who was a graduate from Katherine Gibbs secretarial school, I became a proficient typist, finger tapping the keys on my girly-pink Tom Thumb typewriter. At the age of twelve, I typed the first of many chapter stories in the genre of mysteries and spy thrillers. In high school I composed a Romance novella which earned its own reserve shelf in the library. During college and throughout my teaching career, writing took a practical turn, until I revived my flair for storytelling after I retired from the profession.
For someone who can’t draw to save her life, I love writing because it affords me the opportunity to paint scenarios with words that engage all the senses.
3. Who are your favorite authors, and which ones have had an impact on you? Who has affected your writing style the most?
Two of my favorite authors who have equally impacted my writing are:
Anne Lamott – In the author’s own words, “I try to write the books I would love to come upon, that are honest, concerned with real lives, human hearts, spiritual transformation, families, secrets, wonder, craziness—and that can make me laugh.”
*Here’s a snippet of Augusta’s narrative at the start of Chapter 5:
A little after seven when I stopped by the Marchands to call on Her Majesty, the news had trickled around town. Figures! After his shift, Officer Rousseau brewed a tempest during his usual coffee and Danish run at Paquin’s where he spilled the beans to Bernard. Wending her way to Bernard’s checkout lane, Aimée Gregoire plunked down a box of “you get a big delight in every bite” seven-squiggled snack cakes and a can of Chock Full o’ Nuts hazelnut. Husband Pie could be a mean S.O.B. shy one cuppa joe in the morn.
Stephen King – For years, I thrived on a steady reading diet of his books. More than mastering the genre of horror, I admire his genius for character development, realistic dialog, and a pervasive sense of humor. I credit King for the unleashing of my own perverse sense of humor where I deem it needed.
*More of Augustas’ narrative from Chapter 5:
Death by hibachi! Vernon Blais went out in a blaze of glory, smoked to death barbecuing charcoal briquettes while locked inside the bathroom with the window shut.
4. What are your favorite genres to read and write? What are your favorite books?
Even though my preferred genre to read and write is Contemporary Women’s Fiction, it hasn’t limited me from reading books written by other Indie authors in other genres. My all-time favorite books are ‘Wuthering Heights’ by Emily Brontë, in the genre of Gothic Romance, and ‘The Velveteen Rabbit’ by Margery Williams, a profound children’s book.
5. What do you do when you’re not writing? Is writing a part-time or full-time job?
When I’m not writing, it’s still all about the writing. Being an author is a full-time job! Marketing and promoting my recently released second novel involves creating daily clever ads for social media, and coming up with clever turns of phrase for each unique author guest spot I’ll be featured.
I am also in the habit of writing a weekly Memoir and Blog which I publish to my web page at Authors Den where I’ve amassed 116 Memoirs; 67 articles (Retro 60s Flashbacks and Rhode Reads); 89 Blogs and counting!
6. What is it like being an indie author? What are some of the benefits and challenges of being an indie author with an independent publisher?
Being an Indie author means you’re in the driver’s seat navigating your solo journey without the guidance of a road map, as there are no predetermined routes for you to take in anticipation of your destination—whatever that may be. For me, it’s the quest to sell books!
From my perspective, the major benefit of being an Indie author is reveling in the total freedom of expression to write a story without meeting anyone else’s requirements but my own. I am very proprietary about my writing, but I’m also my own harshest critic for every aspect—plotting, character development, dialogue, and editing. Though my book is a byproduct of my own formatting decisions and cover design, an independent publisher saved me the time and hassle of executing my specifications. The publishing team also took care of copyright, assignment of an ISBN, barcode creation, and distribution.
The challenges of being an Indie author with an independent publisher rather than choosing the option of going cold turkey by self-publishing are:
The price tag on the paperback edition based on industry standards for a 550-page novel is too costly, leaving me the tiniest profit margin to independently set the price of $19.95 plus $3.50 s/h through Authors Den.
I don’t have access to daily sales reports at Amazon. My royalty statements will be received on a monthly basis. The royalty earnings period listed on the statement is always two months behind the royalty processing date. Even though the publication date for my Paperback is August 22, 2016, I didn’t launch its official release until after the Kindle Edition was published to Amazon on September 16th . So, I’ve yet to see the fruits of my hard labor.
7. Is Eva Pasco a pen name? What is the origin of it? Why did you choose to publish under a pseudonym rather than your actual name?
Eva Pasco is my pen name, comprised of my mother’s and father’s first names. I chose to publish under a pseudonym to create a line of demarcation between personal and professional matters.
8. Why did it take you eight years to write An Enlightening Quiche? Could you describe some of the challenges you encountered when writing this book?
The detours of life’s hairpin turns impacted the time it took for me to crawl to the finish line of AN ENLIGHTENING QUICHE. Self-guilt tormented me to resume where I left off since plodding along in 2008 right after publication of my first novel. When things stabilized, I put the pedal to the metal in 2015 through March of 2016, and produced approximately 118,300 words over the spread of 36 chapters from working two or more hours every afternoon or evening.
The specific challenges I encountered writing this book center on: (1) making sure my alternating first-person narratives in the guise of town siren, Augusta Bergeron, and historian-in-residence, Lindsay Metcalfe, consistently maintained their distinct voice and persona throughout the novel. (2) Developing a cast of supporting characters as fully-fleshed, memorable, and endearing as the main characters.
Besides overcoming both of these challenges, I’d constantly reread previous drafted material to insure I’d stay within my characters’ realm of possibilities, given their pensive or visceral reactions to the stimuli I put in front of them.
9. Why did you choose a quiche for this book? Why not a pie or a casserole or a frittata?
During the incubation stage of AN ENLIGHTENING QUICHE, I had baked a quiche from modifying one of my recipes filed in a thick binder. Besides, it seemed a very French thing to do, taking into consideration the novel takes place in northern Rhode Island’s fictitious French-Canadian mill town of Beauchemins.
10. Do you like cooking and baking? What do you like or dislike about cooking or baking?
I do enjoy cooking and baking because they afford me a cerebral break from writing. If I dislike anything about spelunking in the kitchen, it’s cleaning up in the aftermath.
11. Your book takes place in Rhode Island, which is also your home state. Why did you choose Rhode Island as the setting of your novel, and what about its history, landmarks, and culture makes you attracted to it?
A writer who embraces realism in the genre of Contemporary Women’s fiction, choosing my native state of Rhode Island as the setting adds to the book’s genuineness. This would not have been achieved if I transplanted my characters elsewhere. I am a lifelong Rhode Islander who definitely takes great pride in our diverse regional culture, iconic foods, geographical entities, and historic landmarks generously dispersed throughout the landscape of my novels.
12. You had already retired from your career as an elementary school teacher. How was your experience with young children starting their academic careers like? Do you have any funny stories from your classes that happened to you? I know that kids can be a handful at times!
I had a rewarding career in elementary education, having taught in the community I loosely based my fictitious mill town of Beauchemins on. While there remain so many memorable aspects, I am particularly fond of having brought out the storywriter in my former students. Several years ago, a young lady who was one of my sixth graders, got in touch with me through the school superintendent, letting me know I inspired her to publish a book of poetry.
Undoubtedly, there are several funny incidents which cropped up during the school day. Some of the most hilarious involved our rehearsals for the annual Christmas slide show we’d put together based on a play.
13. If you ever experience a case of writer’s block, how do you cure it?
While I’m rarely at a loss for words, bursts of brilliance for how to best articulate an idea or parlay snatches of dialog overtake me when I’m away from the keyboard doing housework. I immediately turn off the vacuum or abandon my dust cloth to heed my inner voice by scribbling the message on a notebook kept on my desk for this purpose. Another quirk of mine is to play music conducive for plying my mood to write a scene.
14. Have you written any other works? What are also your current plans with your writing career?
Besides the aforementioned memoirs, articles, and blogs, my other major published work in the genre of Contemporary Women’s Fiction is my debut novel, UNDERLYING NOTES (2008), autobiographically motivated by my ongoing fragrance obsession and knowledge of perfume.
While a third novel is fermenting in my mind, current plans besides promoting AN ENLIGHTENING QUICHE to achieve its full potential, include querying local Indie filmmakers to gauge their interest in adapting my book to film.
15. Do you have any tips to any aspiring authors or writers?
Write to please yourself and go with the flow of your creative instincts.
Kester, thank you for the honor of basking in an author spotlight. I thoroughly enjoyed answering your relevant, tailor-made questions! Likewise, I’m delighted to offer an autographed/inscribed Paperback copy of AN ENLIGHTENING QUICHE, along with the signing pen, bookmark, and book-background flyer to the winner of your contest.
Thank you so much, Eva, for wanting to do an interview!
Go check out Eva’s social media accounts here!
Here is the giveaway for the book. The rules are included inside the Rafflecopter, but here’s a quick rundown for it.
- US Residents only
- 18 or older, or with parental permission
- Winner must respond within 48 hours of me sending an email to him or her
- Personal address to receive mail, no PO Boxes
This giveaway will end at 12:00 a.m. on Monday January 16th, 2017.
This giveaway has no affiliation with Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, and WordPress.
(Warning: This book has some rated R scenes.)
The rest of the rules are in the link below! Have fun!
Thank you for checking out this week’s giveaway! Remember, please share so we could get as many entries as we can for this giveaway!