Interview with Evadeen Brickwood

Published 2014-11-20.
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
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author or publisher.

Latest books by This Author

How It All Began
Price: Free! Words: 7,750. Language: English. Published: January 9, 2023 . Categories: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Family
Read about one of the characters in the storyline of the "Remember The Future" time travel series and how she ended up going to an exclusive boarding school in the US. I have also added bonus reads, including the first chapter of the second book in the series "The Speaking Stone of Caradoc".
Glass Ceiling
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Charlie Proudfoot would rather not get involved in solving murders, but her friend Lerato Gwala, a private detective from Johannesburg, believes that Charlie’s talent of intuition will give her murder investigations the edge. So Charlie agrees to help Lerato with just one more case.
Box Set - Die Zeitreise-Romane
Price: $9.99 USD. Words: 240,950. Language: German. Published: November 27, 2022 . Categories: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Science Fiction, Fiction » Young adult or teen » Adventure
Die ersten drei Episoden der "Erinnerung an die Zukunft"-Jugendreihe. Könnt ihr euch vorstellen auf einmal in der Vergangenheit zu leben? Nicht letztes Jahr oder bei den Römern, sondern vor richtig langer Zeit? Während eines Schulausflugs finden die cleveren Schüler Katherine, Trevor und Chryséis ein Zeitportal und gehen auf die Reise ihres Lebens.
Das Geheimnis des Vogelgotts
Series: Erinnerung an die Zukunft, Buch 3. Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 87,650. Language: German. Published: November 23, 2022 . Categories: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Science Fiction, Fiction » Young adult or teen » Fantasy
Im dritten Teil der Zeitreise-Serie, gelangen die drei Freunde statt zurück nach Alesia über Umwege ins prähistorische Ägypten, das jetzt Ta Mery heißt. Die Kinder entdecken faszinierende Bücher, eine Zauberschule und, daß Unsichtbarkeit sehr nützlich sein kann. Vor allem, wenn man es nicht gut mit ihnen meint...
Der Sprechende Stein
Series: Erinnerung an die Zukunft, Buch 2. Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 89,580. Language: German. Published: June 2, 2022 . Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Adventure, Fiction » Adventure » Sea adventures
Die zweite Staffel der Reise 12 000 Jahre in die Vergangenheit. Katherine, Trevor und Chryseis erleben neue Abenteuer auf den Überresten von Atlantis.
It Could Have Been Love
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Claws Out
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Charlie Proudfoot would rather not get involved in solving murders, but her friend Lerato Gwala, a private detective from Johannesburg, believes that Charlie’s talent of intuition will give her murder investigations the edge. So Charlie agrees to help Lerato with just one more case. In this Episode: A wildlife expert is murdered in the Kruger Park.
A Hazy Shade of Murder
Series: Charlie Proudfoot - Murder Mysteries. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 59,520. Language: English (South African dialect). Published: September 17, 2021 . Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Women Sleuths
Charlie Proudfoot would rather not get involved in solving murders, but her friend Lerato Gwala, a private detective from Johannesburg, believes that Charlie’s talent of intuition will give her murder investigations the edge. So Charlie agrees to help Lerato with just this one case. In this Episode: A honeymoon from hell in Cape Town.
Box Set - Abenteuer-Mystery Romane
Price: $9.99 USD. Words: 283,410. Language: German. Published: April 24, 2021 . Categories: Fiction » Adventure » Travel, Fiction » Young adult or teen » Romance » General
Inhalt des Box Sets: Buch 1 Singende Eidechsen - Ein Afrika-Abenteuer Claires Schwester verschwindet in Botswana. Buch 2 Der Nashorn Flüsterer - Ein Afrika-Roman Die Finnin Sofia Helenius lebt im idyllischen Shangari Safaripark, dann passieren dort zwei Morde. Buch 3 Abenteuer Halbmond - Ein Erlebnis-Roman Als ob Erwachsenwerden in den siebziger Jahren nicht schon schwierig genug wäre!
Der Nashorn Flüsterer
Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 100,030. Language: German. Published: June 8, 2019 . Categories: Fiction » Adventure » Travel, Fiction » Young adult or teen » Romance » General
Ein neuer Roman aus Südafrika. Diesmal erschüttern die Morde an einem Ranger und einem seltenen Nashorn die ländliche Gemeinde von Rutgersdrift an der Grenze zu Botswana. Das Leben der Finnin Sofia Helenius, die im idyllischen Shangari Safaripark lebt, wird auf den Kopf gestellt. Dann passiert im entfernten Johannesburg ein weiterer Mord.
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