Monday, June 17, 2013

Featured Author Interview: Eva Marie Everson

Eva Marie Everson is a successful speaker and the award-winning author of Things Left Unspoken, This Fine LifeThe Cedar Key novels, and the award-winning novelization of Unconditional (based on the movie by the same name). 

From the time she was a little girl, Eva Marie wanted to be a writer. Yet her writing career started with a long walk on a spring day in her 40th year. Then, a case of "mistaken identity" during an AOL Instant Message set the plans God had for her to full speed ahead. Since that time, Eva Marie has gone on to see nearly 30 books published to date.

The following is a June 2013 interview with Eva.

Tell us a little about yourself. 

Hmmm ... what would you like to know? :) I'm a wife. A mother. A grandmother. I love the Lord and I love the land of Israel. I also enjoy teaching about writing and speaking about The Word.

How did you become a novelist, and did you always want to write?

Always. How it happened is a long-short story. In 1997, after years of being a nurse and then five years of dealing with an illness, I took a walk. I smelled honeysuckle. And, within minutes, I had a story. I wrote it. Took me a year, but I wrote it. The whole time I wrote, I knew--I just KNEW--that I would see it to publication. I had a lot of folks say to me, "What are you doing these days?" and I'd say, "Writing a novel actually." And they'd say, "Oh, I wrote a book once but I never did anything with it." And I'd think, "Yeah,well mine is going to be published." :)

What do you think is significant about Christian fiction? 

I believe it is the way by which we can draw others to Christ, or to a deeper walk with Him, without preaching. Without hitting them in the head. I believe it is the way--this telling of story--that Jesus used to draw the crowds to Him, to His truths. To what He had to say and hoped they could hear and understand.

How do you hope your readers react to the stories you write? 

I hope--I pray--they see themselves in the characters. Or those they love. And I hope they think, "Ah, so this is the way ..." or "So, this is the way out. And up."

What responses to your novels have affected you the most and why? 

First and foremost, those that say just what I wrote above. But I laugh happily, merrily when I read, "Your book kept me up all night" because I have read those kinds of books and wondered if anyone would ever say that about one of mine.

How has being a novelist impacted your relationship with Christ? 

It's humbling. I wanted this my whole life and then He allowed it to happen. Of course, I have to work HARD, but He has laid the foundation by which I step upon.

Other than writing great novels, what other goals do you have for your life? 

Being fluent in Hebrew. Going to the "mother countries" of my heritage. Losing 20 pounds. :)

What do you like to do in your spare time? 

Read. Sleep. Walk. Knit. Go get coffee with friends. Shop. Oh, dear goodness, let me loose in a thrift store!

What can you tell us about your latest novels?

The Cedar Key ones? Well, they were inspired in Cedar Key, Florida which is one of  the most amazing places EVER. Then, after the second one was done and I was working on the third, I found out that my great-grandfather's brother had died there and is buried there, so that was interesting. Cedar Key is my favorite place to get away from the world. I have not been able to go in quite a few months and I miss it.

Slow Moon Rising

Cedar Key has long been a place of rest, healing, and release in the Claybourne family. But it might also be the birthplace of a lie that is poisoning the family from within. Join the strong Claybourne women--Anise, Kimberly, Jayme-Leigh, Heather, and Ami--as they each confront the truth. Their unique paths will lead them through heartbreak, misunderstandings, and pain. But their journeys will also bring reconciliation with each other and renewed love in their own lives.

In her lyrical, evocative fashion, Eva Marie Everson weaves a tapestry of complicated relationships that, when complete, reveals the most beautiful work of art there is--family.

Unconditional: A Novel Based on the Motion Picture
[Purchase: | Amazon Kindle]

Chasing Sunsets (Cedar Key Series #1)
[Purchase: | Amazon Kindle]

Waiting for Sunrise (Cedar Key Series #2)
[Purchase: | Amazon Kindle]

Slow Moon Rising (Cedar Key Series #3)
[Purchase: | Amazon Kindle]

What stories can your fans expect from you in the days ahead? 

I'm finishing a novel for Abingdon called (at least today) "Finding Home." This story was inspired in Rutherfordton, NC, which is where I'd hoped to retire ... and then my daughter, who lives about five minutes away, had a baby and ... well, I'm not going anywhere permanently! :)

What would you like to say to your fans in New Zealand, and others worldwide?

Hello, New Zealand!! I treasure you! (And I really do ... ) Without my fans, I'd still write because it's what I have to do, but they make it so much more enjoyable!

Do you have any parting words?

You know ... we always say "Lose yourself in a book," but I think we can find ourselves in a story. So, those are my parting words: It's winter. Time to curl up with a good book (and I know a few good books I can recommend! LOL) And, for some of us, it's summer! Head to your favorite body of water for sun, fun, and a good read! That's right: find yourself in a good story (and I know a few good books I can recommend! LOL)!!

Eva Marie Everson

If you ask Eva Marie Everson what makes her the epitome of “Southern,” she’ll tell you, “Three things. 1) I was born in the low country of Georgia, reared on fried chicken, eating peanuts in an RC Cola, swimming in the creek with my friends while listening to CCR, going to church on Sunday, and thinking the smell of gardenias is the sweetest in the world; 2) my paternal grandparents were tenant farmers while my maternal grandparents were "planters;" and 3) one grandmother taught me how to fish and spit chewing tobacco (which I do not do!) while the other taught me how to sit properly and behave in any social gathering.”

Eva Marie says the best part about being from the South is the core values of its people.

Since 1999, when Eva Marie signed her first contract with Barbour Publishing, she has attempted to and succeeded at entertaining readers with elements of those same values as well as the faith of Southerners. In these 13 years, she has published more than twenty-five books (both fiction and nonfiction), including:
The Potluck Club Series (with Linda Evans Shepherd) 2005-2007
The Potluck Catering Club Series (with Linda Evans Shepherd) 2008-2011
Things Left Unspoken (Baker/Revell, 2009)
This Fine Life (Baker/Revell, 2010)
The Cedar Key Series (Baker/Revell, 2011-2013)
Unconditional (novelization of the movie by the same title) (Broadman & Holman) 2012

Eva Marie is a multiple award-winning author and speaker. She is one of the original five Orlando Word Weaver critique group members (acquired by the Jerry B. Jenkins Christian Writers Guild in 2010, thus becoming CWG/Word Weavers), an international and national group made up of critique chapters. She served as the original president from 2000 to 2007 and is now president of Word Weavers International, Inc.

Eva Marie has taught at a number of writers conferences nationwide. During the 2010-2011 school year, Eva Marie served as an adjunct professor at Taylor University in Upland, Indiana. She describes it as one of the best times she ever had while working. Eva Marie also serves as director of Florida Christian Writers Conference (along with Mark Hancock). She serves on the Executive Board of Directors for SON Film Festival.

In 2002 and 2009, Eva Marie served as a journalist for Israel Ministry of Tourism. Her article series, Falling Into the Bible (Crosswalk, 2002), served as the inspiration for the multiple-award winning Reflections of God’s Holy Land; A Personal Journey Through Israel (Thomas Nelson, 2008), co-written with Israel’s best-selling author, Miriam Feinberg Vamosh.

Born and reared in the low country of Georgia, Eva Marie is a wife, mother, and grandmother. She lives, works, and finds respite in her lakefront home in Florida. She enjoys reading, knitting, traveling, boating, and singing along with country music on the radio. She is pretty much owned by her two dogs, Hope and Poodar.

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