Interview with Crystal Evans

Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Yes. I was in High School and i started writing a historical romance based on slavery. A fascinating story that i hope to complete one day.
What is your writing process?
It is largely influenced by my mood and my experiences on a day to day basis. I believe a reader can identify with a story that speaks to his every day life. He can find somebody within that story from his life to relate to.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
Yes i do remember my first story but the first book that i read that impacted my life was Harper Lee's " To kill a Mocking Bird". Being of Caribbean heritage and living in a post colonial society, studying caribbean history, that book spoke volumes about race and injustice in this hemisphere. The Book made me cry.
How do you approach cover design?
hahha. Am not very good at graphics. But i like art and i like deeper i try as much as possible to promote what i have in the book on the cover as they say a picture says a thousand words.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
"To Kill a MockingBird" By Harper Lee
"Green Days by the River" By, Micheal Anthony
" The School Master" By Earl Lovelace
"The Philosophies of Marcus Garvey"
"The Voice of the Jamaican Ghetto" Adidjah Palmer aka Vybz Kartel
What do you read for pleasure?
Harlequinns, Mills and Boons, I like short Romance Novels
What is your e-reading device of choice?
Definitely a Google Nexus, Kindle or Kobo App
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
Describe your desk
My desk has my music, My laptop, a burning incense, my iphone, my tablet, a drink of herbal tea, a cup of water and numerous typing sheet and pencils, last but not least my favorite book.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in small rural community in Westmoreland, Jamaica. We have a lot of canefields and rivers, with small moutains. I remember a few tragedies that happened in my area that forced me as a child to look at society differently. A young man i knew was shot by the police for urinating near a car. I remembered hearing how he was killed over some woman. And i guess that's the first time i thought police weren't as safe as those police men books i read at the primary school i attended. I was in my bed and the gunshots woke me up. It happened at a dead yard a few houses from where i lived.

A little boy that frequent the standpipe we went to as children to fetch water, drowned in a "two sister" river. That was very tragic because as child, it never occurred to me that children died too. I was at the age of around eight coming face to face for the first time with my own mortality. I remembered the funeral, in particular the graves, everything else is blurry but i remember the bands and my grandmother singing the protestant hymns and the church members reverie as they sent home another soul.
Life was good as child, I played ball with my sister and cousins, I went to the nieghbours yard and played "Dolly House" with the children, We had weddings and married each other with "Bulla cake and water". My childhood was fun and my grandmother provided for us. We were very happy as kids. My teenage years were tumultuous and am still getting over that phase at twenty five.

Coming from a lower socio-economic family, and Growing up a working class community, i know a thing about humanity at its most basal level, unfiltered by exposure to education or progressive values. I know what "ghetto People" are intrinsically like because i am child of that process. I am very much affected by the way i was socialised.
When did you first start writing?
When i was about fourteen or so. I discovered i liked my imagination. I daydreamed a lot and i wanted to share my inner world with the outside world.
What's the story behind your latest book?
The Barn Raiders is actually taken from Anthony "B"s song, "Nobody want to plant the corn, everybody want to raid the barn." He is one of my favorite vintage reggae artiste. The book is basically about notions of people i grew up with and some i meet where we all want to be successful and we are only happy for the progress of others if we somehow believe we have something to gain. Your friend can become successful if you are allowed to enjoy his success through proxy. People love you until you become their competition.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I am penniless therefore going the route of paying for a publication is expensive. But i got help, financially from alot of people i have met over the years and i am eternally grateful to them. Francesca Tisot, Ron Ricketts, Owen Salmon, Lorette Simpson, Tyrese, Livingston Brown.

But my niche is growing.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Reading it over and wondering if i wrote all of that. There is something about when you right, it transcends you to a different place. And when you come out of that "place" you wonder if that person was you or somebody else?
What do your fans mean to you?
Well i love my readers. I have blog that for a small niche like Jamaican Literature i get a couple thousand visitors per month. So i am grateful to the people who keep coming back. The first book i sold, i was happy because a complete stranger wanted to take time out of their schedule to hear what i have to say, to become assimilated in the runnings of my waton imagination.
What are you working on next?
Historical Romance and The Barn Raiders
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I like to party. I live in Jamaica so i love the beach, the music, the vibe and the rum.
Published 2014-04-09.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Mama Brown's Family
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 29,570. Language: English. Published: March 12, 2014. Categories: Nonfiction » Social Science » Storytelling, Nonfiction » Social Science » Violence in Society
The Story is a backdrop of a Contemporary Jamaican Family and the social elements of money and values that traverse the reader onto a discovery of the life among working class Jamaicans. The story crescendos with a crime so heinous it leaves the reader introspective, questioning the moral fabric of this irie society.