Today my guest is Eva Scott, who recently joined a Facebook group called History Lovers, which was originally formed by several of us who were teammates in Savvy Authors NANO Smackdown with Entangled Editors last fall. We’re all history lovers, of course, and we write historical romance, although with quite diverse settings.
Welcome to Susana’s Parlour, Eva!
What inspired you to start writing?
My first grade teacher told my parents she thought I’d make a good writer one day. I remember thinking I could do that. And off I went.
How long have you been writing?
Since I was five years old. I’ve loads of old notebooks with stories, notes, and general gibberish in them. They’re hilarious to read!
What advice would you give writers just starting out?
Get a critique partner. I’m quite sure I wouldn’t be published right now if not for my superb critique partner. She pushes me to keep the quality of my work high and improving all the time. And it’s nice to have someone in your corner who really does know what it feels like to get a knockback or that email saying we’d like to offer you a contract.
Do you ever suffer from writer’s block? If so, what do you do about it?
I don’t often get writer’s block. I do, however, get the writer’s blues. After I finish a book and type THE END I tend to feel down and rather sad for the next few days. So I make sure I’ve got loads of trashy gossip magazines, some rom-com movies and chocolate. They’re just the pick-me-up I need.
What comes first, the plot or the characters?
It varies from story to story. I’ve got these two great characters sitting around in my head, not doing much, waiting for the right story to come along. Then I also have some great stories in need of characters to go with them.
Are you working on something at present you would like to tell us about?
I’m working on a story about a minor character, Klara, who appears in The Last Gladiatrix. My editor was intrigued by Klara’s story and asked me to write about it. I’m having tremendous fun following Klara about Ancient Rome.
What are you reading now?
When God Was A Rabbit by Sarah Winman.
The Sisters from Hardscrabble Bay by Beverly Jensen
Lily’s Leap by Tea Cooper
I always seem to have more books on my nightstand then I can manage to read!
What books or authors have most influenced your own writing?
Jane Austen—I quote her all the time. I come back to her books regularly as a great example of how to tell a story and win readers hearts and minds.
What is your work schedule like when writing?
Crazy. I call it the Sara Lee approach—layer upon layer upon layer… I have a toddler so things rarely go according to schedule. I grab time when I can. My little boy has recently given up midday naps, which is when most of my writing got done, so it will be interesting trying to adjust my schedule around him.
What did you want to be when you grew up?
A writer or a zoologist. One out of two ain’t bad.
What is your favorite food? Least favorite? Why?
Favorite food would have to be pizza, homemade with loads of delicious deli toppings. We like to make them on a Friday night and ‘pimp’ up the bases with different herbs and spices.
Least favorite food is probably mussels—too strong a taste for me.
Are you a plotter or a pantser?
I’m a hybrid—a plonster? I usually jot down my story scene by scene along with loads of information about the characters. Then I get writing. The chapters form naturally as a combination of scenes. Sometimes the story will change and a scene will be rewritten or left out entirely. That’s the panster bit of the deal. It works for me. You know what they say—don’t fix what ain’t broke.
What is one thing your readers would be most surprised to learn about you?
I love aprons. I have a small collection I wear daily. They somehow make me feel in control of the day, even when it’s clear I’m not!
Is there a writer you idolize? Is so, who?
Vikram Seth blows me away. So does Kaui Hart Hemmings and Barbara Kingsolver. I’m always on the lookout for new authors and new voices. Good writing inspires me to take my own work to the next level.
What would we find under your bed?
Dust bunnies. Long forgotten lego blocks (belonging to my 2 year old).
Say your publisher has offered to fly you anywhere in the world to do research on an upcoming book. Where would you most likely want to go?
Central America—I’ve got an idea for a book and some of it takes place there. I know absolutely nothing about Central America. I hear it’s stunningly beautiful.
Do you have a favorite quote or saying?
I have loads of quotes I love but the thing I say most often is “There’s more way than one to skin a cat.” Charming!
Do you write in multiple genres or just one? If just one, do you ever consider straying outside your genre?
At the moment I’m writing contemporary romance and historical romance. I’m not ruling out anything! I’ve got some great ideas (at least I think so) for a thriller and a chick-lit style book. I’ll go wherever the storyline takes me.
What is something you’d like to accomplish in your writing career next year?
Get an agent!
Captured and enslaved by a Roman legion, Xanthe never expects to end up training for the Coliseum floor, but every night after the day’s march, she is put through her paces by a Roman solider who challenges her, tests her, and excites her.
Titus is drawn to Xanthe, her fire and her spirit, so he breaks one of his rules and brings notice on himself, offering to train her as a gladiatrix to spare her a courtesan’s role. But training her, working with her, soon becomes too much. Titus knows the penalty for taking property that does not belong to him, but how long can he resist?
The flash of her green eyes in the candlelight reminded Titus of the verdant wild forests of Northern Italy, which they had recently left. He rubbed a smear of dirt from her cheek with his thumb, and then taking her hand, he raised Xanthe up to stand. With deliberate, slow movements he unfastened her tunic, letting it fall from her shoulders to pool on the ground at her feet.
Xanthe made no move to stop him, their eyes locked, her fear and trust clear to see. He slid his fingers beneath the waist of her leggings and tugged them down over her hips, leaving her naked, standing there before him.
Titus took a sponge and dipped it into a bowl of warm water, letting it soak before applying it to Xanthe’s flesh. He washed her with firm yet gentle strokes, and as the water ran over her skin it dripped deliciously from her breasts. The centurion bent his head and licked at a droplet, pleased to feel her shudder in response. Her nipple hardened, inviting him to explore further. He needed no invitation. Xanthe had to summon all her self-discipline to stand still while Titus explored the curves of her body. His touch turned her core to molten fire; she could barely contain her need.
About the Author
I live on the Sunshine Coast, in Queensland Australia with my fabulous husband and gorgeous little boy. When I’m not writing romance you can find me out on the water kayaking, fishing or swimming. When on dry land it’s all about the shoes and the coffee.