Every Wednesday we will introduce an author who has a new release. We hope you enjoy meeting these talented writers and reading about their latest work. In today’s spotlight is E.A. West, author of Different.
Welcome E.A. Pull up a chair and tell us a little about yourself. How can we picture you at work? What does your writing area look like?
E.A. My writing area varies depending on my mood. Sometimes I write sitting on the couch in my living room. Other times I’ll take a notebook and pen outside and enjoy the nice weather while I write. Usually, you can find me sitting on my bed with a laptop and a dog or two to keep me company and listen to me brainstorm.
Here’s a question that we all wonder about : How do you come up with titles and character names?
E.A. Character names are usually pretty easy. I’ll have an idea in mind for a character and the name will just pop into my head. It’s rare if I have to go looking for a name, but when I do I grab the phone book or visit a baby name website. If I have a specific nationality or ethnicity in mind for my character, I’ll use Google to search for an appropriate name. Titles are more difficult for me and are usually the last thing I come up with before I submit the manuscript. For titles, I’ll think about the story and the plot and write a list of everything resembling a title that pops into my head. Most of them are complete garbage and give me a good laugh, but I usually end up with at least two or three good possibilities that I can take to friends and family, who then vote for their favorite.
I use a phone book, too. Also obituaries are a good source of unusual names. What advice do you have for new writers?
E.A. Be persistent. Writing can be lonely, difficult, and discouraging, especially when you’re trying to get your work published. Rejections hurt, but they are a part of being an author. If you truly want to write, keep writing no matter how many obstacles pop up along the way. Keep learning the craft and practice often. Learn from any rejections and criticism you may receive, but don’t let rejection and criticism stop you from writing. Persistence will be one of your greatest assets all through your writing career.
Persistence is key. Too many would-be authors give up too soon, to our loss. Speaking of authors who didn’t give up, which author would you most like to meet? He or she doesn’t have to be contemporary.
E.A. I’d like to meet William Shakespeare. He wrote some amazing characters and complex plots that have remained popular for centuries.
Good choice! We can learn much from Shakespeare. Now for something more personal–whatis something unique about you that others don’t know?
E.A. I have learning disabilities in language. It made English class difficult all through school, but I was able to overcome my challenges and write books.
Now that is amazing! I applaud your determination to over come what many would see as an unsurmountable handicap for an author. Now for a series of quick questions. What is your favorite:
Animal — Dog
Season — Summer
Food — Chocolate
Movie — Cinderella
Place you’ve visited — North Carolina
Place you’d like to visit — Big Sur
Thank you. And since I live in North Carolina, I’m glad you chose my state to visit. Now tell us about your latest release, Different.
E.A. Jezebel Smith is different. She can’t talk, she doesn’t look like anyone in her family, and no matter what she does it’s always the wrong thing. God accepts her for who she is, but He’s the only one who does. Then she finds an unconscious man in her favorite cave, and her life is turned upside down. New people and new rules collide with the old, leaving Jezebel unsure of which set of rules apply to her life. When the strangers in town attempt to help her out of the nightmare she’s grown up in, it promises to change her life forever.
Sounds intriguing! How about sharing an excerpt?
Fear shivered through her that he was sleeping so much. One of her brothers had fallen out of a tree once and hit his head, and the doctor said they had to keep him from falling asleep for a while. Jezebel didn’t know if falling off a ledge and hitting his head made the man have to stay awake or not.
After worrying for a while longer, she finally decided she’d have to risk a beating from her parents and go get the doctor. She didn’t know if he’d come, but she had to try. Daniel was the only person to ever treat her kindly, and he needed help.
She put a couple more sticks on the fire so it would keep burning while she was gone, and then she lit the lantern and headed out of the cavern. As she neared the cave entrance, the flame went out. She slowed her steps and followed the faint glow of daylight. Hopefully the doctor had a flashlight. When she stepped into the woods, she set the lantern by the cave entrance and ran toward town. She practiced saying Daniel’s name while she ran, praying the doctor would come if she told him the injured man’s name.
As she neared the edge of town, she slowed down to catch her breath. She hesitantly stepped onto the main road, terrified at the thought of trying to convince the doctor to go with her. She’d learned a long time ago that no one believed her about anything, and since she couldn’t talk, people didn’t understand what she tried to tell them anyway.
A lot of strange cars and people clogged the main street through town, and Jezebel wondered who they were. Unless Reverend Brown was holding one of his many revivals, the town rarely had many visitors. As she continued toward the doctor’s office, a woman carrying a stack of papers walked toward her with a smile. Jezebel stopped, her mind whirling with uncertainty, and the woman handed her a paper.
“We’re looking for this man. He went hiking in this area a couple of days ago and didn’t come back.”
Jezebel studied the sheet in her hands, and her heart skipped a beat. A picture of Daniel stared back, and some words had been printed across the bottom in black ink. She pointed to the photo. “D-Dan… Daniel.”
“That’s right, his name is Daniel,” the woman said, her tone changing a little. “Have you seen him?”
Jezebel nodded and looked back the way she’d come. “C-c-cave.”
“You saw him in a cave?”
She nodded again, excitement rushing through her. For the first time in her life, someone understood what she tried to say. She touched the photograph on the paper, indicating where the cut on Daniel’s head was. Before she could see if the woman understood, she heard her older brother spit out her name. She cringed and felt herself shriveling inside.
I’m rooting for Jezebel already. Thank you, E.A. Tell us where we can buy the book.
It’s available on Scribd also, I just checked. Before we go, tell us how we can connect with you to learn more about you and your books.
Great! I need to look into Pinterest, it sounds like fun. Thanks for stopping by, E.A.