Interview with River Eno

Published 2020-04-05.
Describe your desk
I usually work from a laptop, so my desk is anywhere I am. I do have a desk, and it's full of desk stuff, pens, rubber bands, research material, note papers, post-its, a pile of books, and electronic device chargers. But I'm not sure how much actually writing I do there.
When did you first start writing?
I've been writing since I was a child. I didn't always like what I wrote or think it was relevant. I threw most of it away, which is sad because I'd like to see it now. I started writing seriously, with the intent to finish a book, when I was 28 years old. After my second child was born.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in the Kensington section of Philadelphia. The area has a tough reputation to be sure, but I never felt any different than anyone else until I went to high school outside of the neighborhood. That's when I heard the stories and rumors about where I lived. I knew it was a rough place to grow up, but certain opinions were that the neighborhood was so bad if you made it out alive you were a real bad ass. Other opinions weren't as flattering.
Perhaps because of that reputation, and without always realizing it, I write tough characters with a true sense of camaraderie. There's a genuine trust between my characters that I have with some of my childhood friends. Also, the settings of my stories are usually urban rather than rural. I identify with city life, but I was never lost in nature as is evident by my path to Paganism.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
The greatest joy? This is a tough question ... I think, because, there is more than one joy to writing, and I'm not sure I could choose just one. The finished product, of course, is a great reward. But also, one of the greatest joys of writing for me is the solitary nature of it. I like to be alone. I like to think on things for long periods of time. And I believe that continued contemplation is crucial to creating believable, tangible worlds for the reader.
What are you working on next?
I just finished a short story, "The Unspoiled Harmonious Wilderness" for the Utter Speculation anthology series I'm a part of. It's the second book in a series, the first was "The Lost Colony of Roanoke: A Collection of Utter Speculation."
I'm also working on the third book in my Anastasia Evolution series. I have five books written, or mostly written, but they need to be fleshed out and edited, and edited again. I'd love to write a more short stories, some pertaining to my characters, but it's difficult to find the time when the books I write are so long in length.
Who are your favorite authors?
My favorite author is Neil Gaiman. I don't know if that will ever change. I think I love everything I've ever read from him, which is almost everything he's ever written. I used to really enjoy Anne Rice, though the topics of her more recent works don't interest me overly much. I always have fun with Charlaine Harris, writer of the Sookie Stackhouse (True Blood) series of books. And of course JK Rowling is a wonderful writer that is so much fun to read.
I'm also really enjoying Mikhail Bulgakov's, A Country Doctor's Notebook and The Master and the Margarita. And a book called, My Charles Street by Anna Strosser, a long ago friend of mine.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
People need me.

I will admit that I'm a depressive person by nature. However I don't usually find myself not wanting to get out of bed. I need to be productive and helpful. Because I spend so much time alone it's essential that when I interact with people the time is spent well, doing something at least halfway meaningful. That could mean just hanging out and being present with my children. Or it could mean hiking, or making herbal preparations in my kitchen. I don't like to waste time, unless I allot that particular time to be wasted.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I'm a holistic person, using homeopathic medicine for me and my family whenever I can. I study herbalism, and use herbal preparations for health and wellness in my everyday life. Living holistically takes time as you can't always grab something you need at the store. You have to spend the time harvesting the herbs, sometimes infusing them and then preparing them. Those things take up a lot of time. I'm also a Norse Celtic pagan, so learning about nature and integrating that into my spirituality is something I really gravitate towards.
I love to learn, and I do a lot of research for my stories. I also have an extensive spring/summer garden and have animal companions that help take up my time along with my family and friends.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
I can't remember the first story I ever wrote, because when I was younger I never liked anything I put to paper. I would write it out and then rip it up and throw it away.

My first novel "Love and War — and Eternally Damning Prophecies" is the first story I thought had any grain of writing decency, and so I kept writing instead of tossing it in the trash.
What is your writing process?
My routine was always to get up and get my kids off to school, and then write for four or five hours. Every day. But as my youngest is starting grad school my routine has changed and I have more freedom with my process. Although I wouldn't want to veer too far from what I'm doing now. Consistency in writing is the key to getting any manuscript finished. Get into a good routine that you follow even when you have writer's block, and eventually you're looking at the end of the book.

That being said there are a few other things that I do to recharge my creative battery. Music is one. I find music, all kinds of music, to be cathartic and passionate and creative. I listen to music every single day for at least an hour. Music can put me in the mood I need to be in to write a scene. Nature is another outlet. Simply standing in the woods or a park can recharge my spirit and bring me the kind of inner peace I need to move on with my writing.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
I don't know if this was the first story I ever read, but the first story I remember reading by myself was Heidi written by Johanna Louise Spyri in 1888. It was an abridged version I'm fairly certain. I know the book isn't long, but the copy my mother bought for me was maybe ten pages. I was sick and she went to the store and came home with four books, Heidi, The Aristocats, Aladdin . . . and dang it, I can't remember the last!
I remember reading Heidi and completely identifying with this little orphaned girl in the wilderness, which is odd because I am one of four children that had both parents and was raised in the city!
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Books by This Author

The Jersey Devil: A Collection of Utter Speculation (Book 2)
You set the price! Words: 40,980. Language: American English. Published: March 9, 2020. Categories: Fiction » Anthologies » Horror, Fiction » Fantasy » Urban
The Jersey Devil mystery has endured for centuries, birthed from within the untamed acres of the Pine Barrens. Is it a monster? A man? Or a hoax? What does it want? Where does it hide? Five stories explore the origins of a mystery that preys upon our most primal fears. Is it utter speculation? Or do one of these stories hold the key to the truth?
The Lost Colony of Roanoke: A Collection of Utter Speculation
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 35,530. Language: American English. Published: February 26, 2019. Categories: Fiction » Historical » Colonial America, Fiction » Alternative history
**WHAT A DEBUT!! A Collection of Utter Speculation, #2 on the Amazon "New Release" Alt History Science Fiction!!! **And #6 in "Best Seller" Alt History Science Fiction!! CRO. This message, carved into a tree, was the only clue to the fate of the colonists on Roanoke Island. For centuries, stories have circulated, theories were explored. But to this day, no one is really sure what happened.
The Hollow (The Anastasia Evolution Series Book 2)
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 123,940. Language: American English. Published: September 20, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Urban, Fiction » Fantasy » Paranormal
Anastasia's life was always different, but she tried to live normally as a military office in the vampire nation where she was born and raised. However, strange things have a way of sneaking up on you when you're trying not to see them, making life terribly dangerous. When her partner is kidnapped and the situation turns deadly, it will forever change Anastasia and all who stand with her.
Love and War — and Eternally Damning Prophecies (The Anastasia Evolution Series)
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 123,240. Language: English. Published: May 17, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Urban, Fiction » Fantasy » Paranormal
Anastasia Drucilla’s normal life came to an abrupt end when she was 9. That was the day her body shifted shape from human to that of a faerie of the dark breed. Now, 21 years later, Andru is a military officer. As her 30th birthday approaches her magik is becoming dislocated. The control she’s perfected is crumbling the closer she becomes to her vampire partner, Romeo, and his father, Gen. Galen.