Interview with Evadeen Brickwood

What motivated you to become an indie author?
My last publisher closed down when the economic crisis struck in 2008. The children's editor at Random House advised me to start writing novels for adults, because the demand for youth novels was flagging. But it was a mission to contact agencies and publishers. I knew there was interest for my books and translated some of them into German. A best-selling author told me about online-publishing. I found out about Smashwords and never looked back.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
I am blessed with a vivid imagination and it was quite a thrill when my very first test reader - a seasoned journalist - came back with the verdict that 'Children of the Moon' was fantastic and reminded him of the Harry Potter books. A nice "well-done" would have made me happy, too.
What do your fans mean to you?
I've had some incredible feedback from readers. Without my fans I would possibly have stopped writing long ago. What's the point of writing, if nobody enjoys your books? I've received e-mails and phone calls, oral and written reviews. Readers seem to love getting lost in the fantasy world I create.
What's the story behind your latest book?
My latest book 'The Speaking Stone of Caradoc' is the sequel to 'Children of the Moon'. Three young time travelers continue to explore an exciting ancient world 12,000 years ago. This time the remnants of a sunken continent. There are many legends around Atlantis and the British Isles and I took the liberty of adapting them to create some of the adventures. The theme of book 2 is WATER and that's where most of the action happens.
What are you working on next?
I'm planning on publishing the third book in the 'Remember the Future' series next year. A novel about Botswana and South Africa is receiving a final spit and polish. It will be released in English and German and is called 'Singing Lizards'. Publishing all the books in print is my next big project.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
My family, work commitments, the almost year-round sunshine in Johannesburg and - oh yes, I have to let the dogs out in the morning.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I write my books and do sworn translations mostly in the mornings after I take the dogs for a walk. I have a chat with my husband, who comes home for a cup of coffee (he's a coffee addict) and once a week I meet with my girlfriends at a garden cafe. My kids are home from school and university in the afternoon. We usually cook dinner and have lively discussions in the kitchen. I try and spend as much time as possible with my family, but work often continues until about 9 o'clock. I also enjoy TV-series like 'Medium' or 'the Mentalist' and movies with Robin Williams (rest his soul).
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
It was in grade 11 when we did creative writing based on some picture. I wrote a science fiction story about an alien stranded on Earth, who is contemplating his chances of getting back home. That was daring, because my school was quite conservative. I got an A for the story, but my class teacher entered a C in my report by mistake. I was so disappointed that I dropped literature and stopped writing stories.
What is your writing process?
I kick around ideas and make notes whenever I can, do research and draw up a rough outline. When it comes to the youth books, I start with chapter headings that keep changing and morphing into something different. Chapters have to be divided or taken out, text blocks moved around, names and characters change and I expand on dialogues. I get down to the nitty gritty of editing and integrating new ideas. Then the first draft goes to test readers and the editing starts all over again.
How do you approach cover design?
The cover design opens the door to the story. Color is really important and the picture must tell part of the story, but less is more. I used to teach desktop publishing and computer graphics, so I'm pretty familiar with the process. I can't afford expensive software and improvise with free programs from the internet.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
It's different with print books. I've had to do a lot of marketing myself when I still dealt with publishers. I organized (and paid for) the first book launch, which was a roaring success. I handed out review copies to journalists, magazine editors, children and adults, did interviews, used social networking and gave slideshow presentations at schools. Online books are marketed differently and I'm still learning. Press releases are important and my first website just went live.
Describe your desk
Messy, but it makes sense to me.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in Karlsruhe in Southern Germany and studied Latin, some Greek and other languages at school. This included the study of legends. I was arty and free-minded, while my peers studied serious subjects and were planning their pension funds. I wanted to travel and experience the world and I guess that's what influenced my writing the most.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
Smashwords made it easy for me to learn the process behind online-publishing. Readers now have access to my books again and I'm working on the print books as well. Beats trying to find a publisher hands down. There's still a whole lot of hard work in store, but at least I'm getting somewhere.
Who are your favorite authors?
Hmm, let's see, there are John Steinbeck (The Pastures of Heaven) and Patrick Suesskind (Perfume) at the top of my list. I keep re-reading Anya Seton domes (Green Darkness, Katherine) and Dr. Brian Weiss books. Stephen King is also inspiring. I've only ever read his book 'On Writing', because I'm not a fan of horror, but that book was great. There are many more authors I admire. Thank you all for expanding my horizons.
Why are you selling your books for less?
The youth books are fairly cheap, because I want kids to be able to afford them
Published 2014-11-20.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

The Secret of the Bird God
Series: Remember the Future. Price: $2.99 $1.50 USD. (50% off!) Words: 85,370. Language: English. Published: November 3, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Sci-Fi & fantasy, Fiction » Science fiction » Adventure
The three time travellers are shipwrecked on the coast of prehistoric North Africa and cannot go back to the future just yet. Instead, they are taken east and a host of new, exciting adventures awaits them. Birds seem very important here and the children find out why. Audio inside book!
The Rhino Whisperer
Price: $3.95 $1.98 USD. (50% off!) Words: 93,830. Language: English (South African dialect). Published: July 31, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » International crime, Fiction » Adventure » Travel
Sofia Helenius is from Finland and lives in South Africa with her boyfriend Tom Rutgers, owner of the Shangari Safari Park. Sofia is tormented by a secret she yearns to share with Tom, but cruel events grab the limelight and put everything else in the shade. Audio inside!
Abenteuer Halbmond
Price: $3.95 $1.98 USD. (50% off!) Words: 88,120. Language: German. Published: March 7, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Action/adventure, Fiction » Adventure » Travel
Als ob Erwachsenwerden in den siebziger Jahren nicht schon schwierig genug wäre! Teenager Isabell Bertrand ist zu rebellisch und eine neue Behandlungsmethode mit Hypnose soll Abhilfe schaffen. Kann diese in Seidensaris gekleidete Schönheit wirklich sie selbst gewesen sein? Jahre später wird Isabell zu einer Hochzeit in Pakistan eingeladen - mit unerwarteten Folgen. Hörprobe im Buch!
Singende Eidechsen
Price: $3.95 $1.98 USD. (50% off!) Words: 96,660. Language: German. Published: March 12, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Adventure » Travel, Fiction » Mystery & detective » General
Bridget Reinhold ist nicht sehr abenteuerlustig, doch als ihre Schwester Claire in Afrika verschwindet, hält sie nichts mehr in England. Ohne gross zu überlegen begibt sie sich in Botswana auf die Suche. Trotz Schwierigkeiten gibt sie nicht auf. Wie kommt es dann, dass Bridget vergisst warum sie in Afrika ist? Auf einmal scheint alles schief zu laufen. Steckt da etwa Übersinnliches dahinter?
Singing Lizards
Price: $3.95 $1.98 USD. (50% off!) Words: 98,620. Language: English (South African dialect). Published: March 12, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Adventure » Travel, Fiction » Cultural & ethnic themes » Cultural interest, general
Bridget Reinhold is not exactly the adventurous type. But when her sister Claire disappears in Southern Africa, nothing can keep her in England. She launches herself into the search and despite major challenges, she doesn’t give up. Soon, Bridget is plunged into turmoil as everything seems to be going wrong. Just coincidence or is there something more sinister at work? Audio Inside!
Kinder des Mondes
Series: Erinnerung an die Zukunft, Buch 1. Price: $2.99 $1.50 USD. (50% off!) Words: 70,160. Language: German. Published: September 25, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Sci-Fi & fantasy, Fiction » Science fiction » Adventure
Könnt Ihr Euch vorstellen auf einmal in der Vergangenheit zu leben? Nicht letztes Jahr oder bei den Römern, sondern vor richtig langer Zeit? Katherine, Trevor und Chryseis erfinden einen Zeitportalfinder und reisen in eine phantastische, vergessene Welt, die es vor 12 000 Jahren gab - aber nicht jeder meint es gut mit ihnen.
An African Soccer Story
Price: Free! Words: 4,480. Language: English. Published: September 25, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Children’s books » Sports & Recreation / Football, Fiction » Children’s books » Sports & Recreation / Football
(3.00)
Download this short story for free.Thulani grows up in a South African village and all he wants to do is play soccer. When a scout from the big city arrives, Thulani doesn't pay much attention to the visitor and is far more interested in a special girl at school. If you liked Thulani's story, check out the youth books
The Speaking Stone of Caradoc
Series: Remember the Future, Book 2. Price: $2.99 $1.50 USD. (50% off!) Words: 82,230. Language: English. Published: December 23, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Children’s books » Action & Adventure / Survival Stories, Fiction » Science fiction » Adventure
(5.00)
In the sequel, the story picks up where ‘Children of the Moon’ left off. Katherine, Chryseis and Trevor sail across a prehistoric ocean to the island of D’ântilla. When they arrive, the discovery of a stolen Speaking Stone soon leads to their arrest. The time travelers encounter many dangers before they find out why everybody in the ancient ‘known world’ wants this coveted stone. Audio inside!
Children of the Moon
Series: Remember the Future, Book 1. Price: $2.99 $1.50 USD. (50% off!) Words: 70,370. Language: English. Published: November 19, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Sci-Fi & fantasy, Fiction » Science fiction » Adventure
Can you imagine, suddenly living in the past? Not last year or in the Roman empire, but a really long time ago? Katherine, Trevor and Chryseis invent a time-portal-finder and travel 12 000 years back in time to the astonishing city of Cydonia and a fantastic forgotten world. Soon they wonder, if it wasn't a mistake after all. An award-winning novel!