Today I’m really excited to welcome Eva Mays to the BookEnds family! Eva’s story checked all of my historical fiction boxes: it focuses on a time period often overlooked, it centered on a strong female main character struggling to make difficult choices, and it created a world that was rich with historical detail while still feeling very present and immersive for the reader. You’ll love Eva’s world and her fierce characters, and we can’t wait to share them with you.
Welcome to BookEnds, Eva!
Tell us a bit about your writing process. Where do you write, and how often?
My home is a very busy place. I have three young children and a cat who doesn’t understand that my keyboard is not his personal nap cot. When I want to get some serious writing done, what works best for me is to go to a local cafe, order a chai tea and a cookie, and spend three or four hours writing like it’s day thirty of NaNoWriMo.
What do you love about writing historical fiction?
Probably the research. I can’t help it, I’m a librarian.
Why did you choose the genre you’ve chosen?
I’m the kind of person who is always looking back to the past. I grew up reading authors like Karen Cushman, Avi, and Scott O’Dell. Even though I have diversified my reading list as an adult, historical fiction remains my favorite, and my writing reflects that. I want to give my readers the feeling so many authors have given me–of being swept into another time, one that is wholly unlike the present and yet, somehow familiar, too. How have people changed? How have we remained the same? That’s the stuff that makes my nerdy heart go pitter-pat.
What is the hardest part about writing historical fiction?
When you’re in love with a historical period, it can be tempting to take every neat fact you come across in your research and cram it into the story. It was a challenge to learn how to integrate my favorite historical tidbits into the story in such a way that they seemed organic and didn’t disrupt the narrative. It was even harder to learn to recognize when a fact should be left out entirely. My policy now is, if I can’t make it fit seamlessly and it doesn’t advance the story, cut it! Even if it’s really cool. Sigh.
If money were no object, what would be your dream writing location?
I certainly wouldn’t mind a cottage on the Irish coast. Or a medieval villa in Italy. Or possibly a tiny house on a private lake in northern Michigan. I could go on like this all day.