Evangeline Anderson is a registered MRI tech who would rather be writing. And yes, she is nerdy enough to have a bumper sticker that says “I’d rather be writing.” Honk if you see her! She is thirty-something and lives in Florida with a husband, a son, and two cats. She had been writing erotic fiction for her own gratification for a number of years before it occurred to her to try and get paid for it. To her delight, she found that it was actually possible to get money for having a dirty mind and she has been writing paranormal and Sci-fi erotica steadily ever since.
Interview with Evangeline Anderson (August 29, 2013)
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
My parents were ministers in the Salvation Army so we moved all around the Southern US for my entire childhood. I lived in Florida, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia, and Georgia. I think of myself as a Southerner, though not a redneck. I think that implies a certain courtesy towards others and I always take time to think twice before I answer an email or post to a blog or board somewhere.
When did you first start writing?
Oh my, I remember making up stories to myself in preschool but I guess I started writing them down in high school. I used to write really dirty stories (well, they seemed dirty back then but I was 16, what did I know?) and burn them in the fireplace to avoid scandalizing my parents.
Then, back in 20002 I discovered fanfiction. I read a lot of it and wanted to try writing it. I found a message board where they were writing a round robin. I posted the beginning of a story and waited for someone else to continue it. I was both thrilled and surprised when a number of the other people on the board asked me to continue the story instead. I wound up writing and posting the entire thing and got tons of feedback…from then on I was hooked. By 2003 I took a writing class at my local community college. By 2004 I had sold my first story. A few years later, writing had become my second job. And by 2011, I was able to quit my day job as an MRI tech and write full time. I just love it. : )
What’s the story behind your latest book?
The book I just put out, Purity, hinges on a theme I find very interesting and tend to return to time and again. Namely, the very human need to be touched both emotionally and physically.
The heroine, K, has grown up in a sexless society where people are forbidden to have any kind of physical contact, especially sex. To keep her from touching, she has been fitted with a black skinsuit at the age of nine which supplies all her needs and forms a barrier between herself and anyone else.
Then she is captured and has her suit taken away from her. Once that happens, she finds out that she is actually touch-dependent and she has imprinted on her captor. If he doesn’t touch her, she’ll get sick and die. But all her training and her beliefs tell her that if he touches her, she is contaminated and unfit to live. Yet she craves physical contact with him even though she thinks it’s wrong. Oh, the dilemma…
What motivated you to become an indie author?
Actually, I had already published multiple times both with a New York house (Kensington’s Aphrodisia line) and other E-book publishers such as Loose id and Ellora’s Cave. But I have a reader who is a good friend named Barb (you’ll see her listed as one of my editors) who pushed me to try self publishing. I believe that I have been successful as an indie author because I already had a readership who looked for my books. I’m both blessed and lucky to be writing for myself now. I don’t have any restrictions on my content or plots which pleases me so much. I love what I write and I write what I love.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
Smashwords meatgrinder converter is the best. I love that it takes in my MS Word document and spits it out in every format. I also love that Smashwords gives you the option of getting an ISBN. They have helped me so much—they are always the first place I publish a new book and also the place I send readers who need copies in different formats
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
I love making up a whole new world and new people to inhabit it. It is like playing God on a very small scale. Completely intoxicating. I also love the high of good “book flow”. That is, when a book is flowing out and I’m in love with my characters and my world, it’s better than chocolate and sex put together. Nothing beats that creative high. It’s like a drug—completely addicting.
What do your fans mean to you?
Fans are amazing. So many women (and some men) have written to tell me that my work enables them to escape from their troubles and everyday lives. I cherish that and I try to live up to it and never put out a book that isn’t up to my standards. After the death of my mother, the Anita Blake Vampire Hunter novels helped me get away from my grief for a little while. I will always be grateful that I had those books as a way to cope with my pain and loss. It means a lot to me to be able to offer that same kind of escape to my readers.
What are you working on next?
The third book in my Born to Darkness series entitled RUBY SHADOWS. It’s about a witch and a demon who go on a road trip through Hell and wind up falling in love. After that, another Kindred novel. After that, who knows? I go where the muse takes me.
Who are your favorite authors?
Readers ask me this a lot but my dirty secret is that I don’t read a lot of romance even though that’s the genre I write. I will list a few romance authors—JR Ward and Charlain Harris. But I also like to read a lot of science fiction and Young Adult. Orson Scott Card, Octavia Butler (try her Xenogenisis series. Seriously, her writing is amazing) Ray Bradbury to name a few more. My favorite book is the same one I’ve had since high school—The Beginning Place by Ursula K LeGuin. Amazing book and her writing is so lyrical. Also try The Left Hand of Darkness and The Wizard of Earthsea by her. Oh, and I can’t forget Robin McKinley. Beauty and The Hero and The Crown are still some of my favorites.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
My little boy! I’m a mom and that means I HAVE to get up and get the family going. They would fall apart without me. Seriously, : )
When you’re not writing, how do you spend your time?
Reading (of course) Binge watching shows on Netflix (Orange is the new Black is my new favorite) I am also a huge nerd and I love playing Diablo 3. I have a level 39 monk called baddude who totally kicks ass. (Told you I was a nerd ; )
What is your writing process?
First I get an idea. Then I let it stew a little bit. I sit down and write the general premise. If it seems like it’s going somewhere, I name the characters and flesh out the plot. I MAKE SURE I HAVE AN ENDING. This keeps me from writing myself into a brick wall. Then and only then do I start writing. As I write, I may plot and replot different points in the book and especially the ending. By the time I finish a 300 page manuscript, I will probably have at least 20-30 pages of plotting and notes. This is a good thing because if for some reason I have to abandon the book in the middle, I can come back to it later and have a full set of notes on how to finish it. Sometimes I start a book and don’t finish it until years later. That’s just how my muse works.
How do you approach cover design?
You need a professional cover artist for your cover if you want to be competitive. I have an excellent working relationship with my cover artist, Reese Dante. She is an amazing woman and we seem to have this almost psychic connection. She just knows exactly what the characters in my books are supposed to look like. I love her talent but she’s also VERY professional. She never misses a deadline or leaves me hanging. What a great lady—I hope to still be working with her for as long as I’m writing.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
Kindle baby! All the way. Love my Kindle fire.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
I read somewhere that the best marketing technique you can have is just to write the very best book you can and don’t put out anything that’s second best. I try to adhere to that although I do also advertise om some romance book blogs and sites.
Describe your desk