Thanks for accepting my invitation to take part in an interview.
Today’s interview is with Eve Lestrange. Welcome to the blog.
***Tell us something about yourself.
Hello Lela, I am a NJ transplant, currently living in Bethlehem PA. & I’m married.
***At what point did you know you wanted to be a writer?
I had been writing off & on since I was 13. I was playing bass for The Empire Hideous for a while & when the band broke up, I decided to write full time. It was just the creative outlet that I needed.
Tell us about your writing process.
Writing for me is a ritual. I go into my writing room with candles, incense & music; all of these things are essential for me, especially music. Bands like Coven, Siouxsie & the Banshees, Dead Can Dance & Loreena McKennitt are featured prominently in my writing mix & really help set the atmosphere of the story.
What is your favorite genre … to read … to write?
I love to read horror & old occult books, so it was only natural for me to write horror / occult fiction.
What are you passionate about?
Writing & music of course! I always have music playing no matter what I’m doing, as a matter of fact, I’m listening to music as I do this interview.
What is something you cannot live without?
I definitely could not live without music; the world would be a very dull place without it.
When you are not writing, what do you do?
I like to hunt for odd antiques, read, watch horror movies & wander around NYC.
Have you written any books that made a transformative effect on you? If so, in what way?
In my 1st book, Widdershins, I wanted to have a strong female character & I think the process of creating her made me a bit stronger and more confident.
Where do you get the inspiration for your novels?
I’ve been reading old occult books since I was about 12 or 13, so a lot of inspiration comes from all of that knowledge. I’ve always loved the spells, stories & the history of magick & the occult. When you read books from another time period, it really gives you a sense of the time period & what people were afraid of, their thoughts, beliefs & customs.
What sort of research do you do for your novels?
I try to do as much research as I can. Since The Christina Lafage Chronicles take place in the 18th Century, I researched travel for that time period, where people went, where they stayed & what the conditions of the inns were like.
If someone who hasn’t read any of your novels asked you to describe your writing, what would you say?
I would probably say a 19th Century Gothic Style.
Do you have a special place where you write?
Yes, I have a dark writing room filled with odd things that provide atmosphere & inspiration.
Are you a plot driven or character driven writer? Why?
Probably both, as I feel both are important.
Do you write from an outline or are you a discovery writer? Why?
I tried doing an outline once, but it was not for me. I prefer to have rambling notes that I can refer to as I write.
***I’m going to drop you in a remote Alaska cabin for a month. It’s summer so you don’t have worry about freezing to death. I’ll supply the food and the mosquito spray. What do you do while you’re there and what do you bring with you? If you’re bringing books, what are they?
If only you could, I could probably finish my books a lot sooner! I would be alone with notebooks, pens & an iPod full of music so I could just write without distractions.
***Talk about your books individually.
Widdershins introduces the character, Christina Lafage, an 18th Century French girl who sells her soul for the power & knowledge of the Black Arts. Christina receives her power & learns the basics of spellcasting as she works her magick for the aristocrats of Paris. Things go well for her until a tragedy forces her to put her powers to the ultimate test.
Solitary Fire continues to follow Christina down the Left-Hand Path as her power blossoms & fascinates wealthy nobles who flock to her for her services but haunting visions of destiny begin to plague her dreams & lead her deeper into the Black Arts where a shocking truth awaits her.
Christina has mastered the Black Arts in Path of Shadows, but there are some who will stop at nothing to destroy her as she hones her craft & strengthens her power. The opportunity to possess a precious artifact that can awaken her memories of past lives and the fall from paradise presents itself to her, but also raises the stakes for her enemies.
Was it your intention to write a story with a message or a moral?
My intention was to write a really great horror story, if someone finds a message that helps them or makes them a stronger person, then that’s an added benefit.
***What do you want readers to think or feel after reading one of your books?
I want them to be entertained but I also want them to think for themselves & not rely on anyone. Empowerment comes from within.
*** What influenced your decision to self-publish?
Widdershins was first published by a small, independent publisher but I was definitely not happy with the experience, so I decided to self-publish & I’ve never looked back.
If you have experience with both traditional and indie publishing, compare the two.
My experience with traditional publishing was not a good one. Sometimes I would get royalties & sometimes I would get an email explaining that royalties would not be paid due to rising printing costs, advertising, etc. I was also not happy with the editing; when a publisher can’t even spell your name correctly, it’s time to get out. With indie publishing, you have a lot more control over editing, release dates, content & just about everything.
There are people believe that traditional publishing is on the ropes, that self-publishing is the future. Do you agree? Why?
I absolutely do! No longer does an author have to worry about what some editor in an office thinks about their work, just because an editor at a big publishing house doesn’t like your work doesn’t mean it’s not good or doesn’t have an audience. There are many talented authors, musicians & artists that are independent. I like it because it gives me control over my work & I don’t have to answer to anyone.
***What do you find to be the greatest advantage of self-publishing?
I like it because it gives me control over my work & I don’t have to answer to anyone.
***Conversely, what do you think self-published authors might be missing out on?
The only thing I can think of is the marketing & publicity but if you know your audience, you’ll know how to get your work out to them. You can also now hire people to do some marketing & publicity for you.
With the number of self-published books increasing by such a huge rate, it is really difficult for authors to make their books stand out. How do you go about this?
I like to connect with my readers by going to where they are. Since I write horror, I usually market my books at horror conventions. Interacting with someone on a personal level is so much better than advertising alone because you can actually speak to them about your book.
***Do you believe that self-published authors can produce books as high-quality as the traditional published? If so, how do you think we should go about that?
It all depends on who you are publishing with & who is doing the printing. You can get some really high-quality books with the right printer/publisher. I publish with Create Space & I’ve had high quality books & no problems. You can also publish your work on Scribd for free.