Interview with Eva Caye

What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Getting these characters out of my head! Sometimes they pester me until I get up and write the scene they're acting out. I've come to the conclusion my brain is connected through some kind of portal to a future parallel reality, and I just watch TV and write the scenes down. The real crafting is in how to describe the scene, as well as using the most efficient vocabulary to convey everything.

The second-best thing about writing is knowing you're going to blow people's minds, or give them a hard giggle, or make them cry. I often wish I could be inside the reader's head as s/he gets to this part or that, wondering if they'll get my in-joke or subtle reference or play on words.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I had written seven books in my series before I could afford an editor. Once my first book was polished, I began shopping it around to traditional publishers and agents. I collected twenty rejections before deciding, what the heck, let's see what happens if I go indie.

I'm so glad I did! I love how indie authors gather together and share stories and help each other out all the time. I went to an 'author forum' on Facebook that principally assumed you were a traditionally published author, and I asked one question there about writing blurbs. Next thing I knew, I had seven or eight people messaging me to offer to edit my blurb for anything from $20 to $100, with no word on how to write or rewrite it. No, thanks; I have an editor already!
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
I remember the first one I ever wrote that I thought was good enough to be published. Our senior English teacher had assigned us the task of writing from the perspective of an object. I selected a Bible and described how lonely I was, neglected on the top of my shelf, and how the dust was dimming my beautiful golden edges. It was about four pages long and the only thing my teacher wrote was, "Beautiful! A+"
What is your writing process?
I stew. I dwell on something like, "I wonder what Kayla's husband will be like?" Soon, I begin to see pictures, and then it's like a video begins in my brain. It may take me a long time because the subtle details of things that had happened in other books remind me to include them; my series is remarkably cohesive in that respect.

The problem is, if I try to write something out because it might offend the fans, these darn characters will act and re-act out the scenes until I write them THEIR way! It's truly aggravating to try to get to sleep when they're showing me how I need to change it, and getting up at 3:30 a.m. just to rewrite that blasted scene. And the relief when I get the scene 'just right' is so profound, I'll either be energized to go to the next one, or I'll fall immediately asleep. Then I get up and start again...!
How do you approach cover design?
I used to use a high level of symbolism. I had the iris of an eye in the color of the protagonist's beloved, with the protagonist silhouetted on a background of stars. The next series of covers, I would look for the main character's picture, preferably representing their personality in some way, or at least a major feature of that novel's story, such as having Zhaiden wear a medical mask from the scene where he's given one. I would usually include a couple of other symbols on them -- stargates, computers, men in fight suits -- all on a generic gold background with a red leather to feature the title.

My last series of covers is similar to the second, but greatly simplified. I realized most readers don't care about symbols, so I primarily ditched them. My main characters are now featured on a starry background with waves representing the stelluric science my first main character created/discovered, and the books in which I focus a great deal on the stargate scientists have numbers along with the waves.

As in the second series, I have the title and my name in blocky letters as if they had been chiseled out of gold, because a- stargate science pays big-time! b- my writing style tends to be rather stark, not often flowery, and c- I try to portray the situations absolutely realistically, so much so that many of my fans have said things like, 'I can see this happening in real life' and 'Your writing is so realistic!'. I've had several tell me they would love to see my books made into movies, high praise for an author.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
Of my own? I basically wrote my first book, Dignity, to turn romance readers on to sci fi, trying to intrigue them without overwhelming them with the science. I loved writing Dynasty because I describe a lot of what it takes to produce stargates. In Loyalty, I have probably the finest characters I've ever written. Nobility is one of my favorites because the future Emperor has so many psychological factors that comprise his personality. And I adored writing Ability because I loved her spunk, as well as geeking out on how I visualize starships in the future!

I can't begin to determine my five favorite books written by others. Most are non-fiction, though; I love ancient history, philosophy, and 'mystical' books and religions. I have certain beliefs that these represent, such as the feeling there was a high-level civilization on Earth once before, anywhere from 200,000 years ago to 15,000 B.C., that managed to wipe itself out. There are tons of out-of-place artifacts that point to such a civilization, possibly even world-wide, and there's no question that fully-developed civilizations don't just suddenly happen, or all the tribes in the Amazonian rain forest or in Africa would have libraries and universities by now. The mystical books fuel my stories, too, although I try to give weird stuff actual scientific explanations!
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I have a Kindle, but one of the devices I've written about I call a 'palm pad'. I visualize this to be like a cell phone but without phone capabilities, due to all the research on how wi-fi radiation and proximity to cell phone towers might be causing cancer. On my main planet, there are computers, but they access local hotspots, wired into the houses, and the palm pads are for book-disks and data cards.

Those two items resulted from conflating the idea of grotesque chemical pools of purification processes and e-waste in manufacturing countries with the complexity of the process producing semiconductors. I thought, "If we were to land on a planet and begin colonizing it, how many years would it take to be able to produce our current products?" I figured 'lots and lots and lots', so I decided to have book-disks and data cards that could store quite a bit, but not made by complicated techniques out of highly purified materials that left behind toxic chemicals.

These disks and cards are manufactured of much simpler materials (think carbon nanotubes), are virtually indestructible, and could be manufactured by simpler machines set up by a colony within days. No chemical swamps to avoid or clean up, and you can carry a thousand-book library for the weight of one of our current large hardback books. The phones on my main planet are vidphones located in buildings and houses, although the Sentinels (equivalent to FBI) have wrist phones (much less damaging than cell phones). Lose a 128-gig microSD chip, you get upset! Lose a book-disk, they're cheap enough you can buy a new one just about anywhere, and you probably have a box of 25 rewritable book-disks in your desk.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
I adore Smashwords because it distributes my books to all kinds of places! It's such a thrill to know people can get my books on iTunes, or for their Kobo reader.

Unfortunately, I suspect it makes my books more susceptible to piracy, so I can only hope the pirates eventually realize they're destroying the lives of hundreds of thousands of authors who will simply NOT WRITE ANYMORE if they can't make any money at it. That means the pirates won't have fresh fodder, either. And anyone who has internet access via phone or computer just simply can't use the 'too pricey' excuse, not when you're paying for internet access and probably spend more for your morning Starbucks than you would a new book.
What do your fans mean to you?
Fans: gotta love 'em! I especially love when one emails me, and I love how they geek out when I email them back. Of course, I also have an email file called 'Weirdos and Pervs', so if you sound like one, you probably won't be contacted by me!

The only thing I 'don't like' about fans is that you don't write enough reviews! For pity's sake, if you read my first two books and then buy the rest of my series in one fell swoop, I'd like to think you care enough to put a couple of words up on a book saying, 'Good job, Eva!' Appreciation means the world to us, especially when so many of us are plagued by so many depressing indie author problems that we ask ourselves every single day whether it's worth it to continue.

Please, post a review where you got the book so someone else can hear about us! It doesn't have to be long, just sincere, and it'll inspire your favorite authors to keep on writing!
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
I hate to sound trite, but I get out of bed to let my big lovable mutt out, get her breakfast, and then give her her rubbins. I used to have two sisters, but one died of Cushing's disease and the other is now 14 and arthritic. I love her to bits and dread ever searching for another doggie -- what if she isn't as sweet as my current fur baby?

The second thing I do is fix tea and take meds, and then I sit down to write. I usually have fruit and almonds for breakfast and lunch, and the hubby cooks dinner because I don't trust myself around open flames or knives anymore. One part of my disability is I simply can't keep track of things like ingredients, and my hands aren't too steady, nor is my balance. Nor the actual cooking of said ingredients; I simply can't keep track of time, despite timers and buzzers on the appliances. They don't work if you can't remember to set them!

I love writing because I can do it at my own pace and go over things a thousand times to make sure they're saying what I want them to. It's also great because I can feel productive despite my disabilities. Any income I can contribute to our household is good, but I also love sharing my stories, many of which are based on lessons I've learned in life.

So, my doggie and my writing. Did I mention the most magnificent husband in the world? He's definitely an inspiration, whether in bed or out!
Published 2018-01-24.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Integrity
Series: To Be Sinclair. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 123,870. Language: English. Published: February 1, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Space opera, Fiction » Romance » Sci-fi
Three Imperial scions unexpectedly brandish their hidden brilliance for their cousin the Emperor, redefining the safety of their stargate scientists, the extent to which the Imperial Family owes obedience to the Emperor, and the influence the Imperials hold over the Royals.
Fidelity
Series: To Be Sinclair, Book Ten. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 128,240. Language: English. Published: June 28, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Sci-fi, Fiction » Romance » New adult
Prince Richard Sinclair tries to win lady Meredith to his side while being true to his principles, despite his anger issues, her fear of being controlled, and the questionable integrity of Emperor Matthieu.
Ability
Series: To Be Sinclair, Book Eleven. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 137,760. Language: English. Published: July 21, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Space opera, Fiction » Romance » Sci-fi
While on liberty, Lieutenant Princess Brielle Sinclair must rescue Zak, her former high school lab partner, from a disastrous undercover assignment. Then the Emperor assigns her and Zak to investigate the mysterious planetary influence that has subsequently overcome her ship and crew! What will it take for Brielle to deal with the stelluric problem they've nicknamed the 'hellbeast'?
Portals: Volume Five
Series: Portals. Price: Free! Words: 49,880. Language: English. Published: July 19, 2016 by Elizabeth Munro. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Space opera
Volume Five. Your gateway to the worlds of science fiction romance.
Morality
Series: To Be Sinclair, Book Nine. Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 189,880. Language: English. Published: May 29, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Sci-fi, Fiction » Science fiction » Hard sci-fi
Princess Grace Encino-Sinclair's relentless duties have her scrambling to meet the Imperial demands of the day, although she would dearly love a private life. Her grandmother and mentor, Empress Felice Sinclair, has trained her in so many sciences and secrets that, when the unthinkable happens, Grace finds herself indispensable to the Emperor as the unofficial power behind the throne....
Nobility
Series: To Be Sinclair, Book Eight. Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 199,720. Language: English. Published: June 30, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Sci-fi, Fiction » Science fiction » Space opera
(5.00)
Prince Matthieu is the near-perfect Heir Second, a tremendous support to his grandparents, but how can he find a lady who will support him mind, body, and spirit? And when turmoils arise over the Attican Reparations Project, will his multitude of skills help him overcome devastating loss? From lessons in authority and responsibility to taking on secret missions, what will he need to do to survive?
Evan's Ladies
Series: To Be Sinclair, Book Seven. Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 80,470. Language: English. Published: May 20, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Sci-fi, Fiction » Science fiction » Short stories
(5.00)
Science, sex, sorrow, solidarity, scandal, sympathy, and sense deprivation are hallmarks of this add-on novel to the To Be Sinclair series! Prince Evan Sinclair may be a brilliant stargate scientist, but his love life has soared to incredible heights and plunged to unbelievable depths. Who will stay by his side forever?
Loyalty
Series: To Be Sinclair, Book Six. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 169,220. Language: English. Published: April 30, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Space opera, Fiction » Romance » Sci-fi
(5.00)
The danger of being Imperial means Princess Anne, Prince Christian, and Prince Brian must cultivate mindful paranoia as their lifestyle. Yet how can they hope to find and keep spouses who are equally vigilant? Zealous in their chosen careers, they survive multiple disasters only through the faith and love they hold with each other, lest the Empire be torn apart by their tragedies. Diligence rules!
Dynasty
Series: To Be Sinclair, Book Five. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 113,120. Language: English. Published: April 5, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » High tech, Fiction » Romance » Sci-fi
(4.00)
The struggle of three Imperial Sons to learn Empress Felice Sinclair's dangerous stargate technology comes at a cost. Hemmed in by their protectors, Princes Stefan, Josef, and Evan must also evaluate their personal relationships for their own safety, as well as their sanity! Will they succeed in assimilating their roles as stargate providers before their mother risks her life one last time?
Royalty
Series: To Be Sinclair, Book Four. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 108,330. Language: English. Published: January 17, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Sci-fi, Fiction » Science fiction » General
(5.00)
Crown Prince Zhaiden Sinclair has found the lady of his dreams, child psychologist Renee Delacorte. Yet intelligence, education, and deep understanding cannot mitigate her fear to be in the public spotlight, a legacy of childhood trauma. Hard-pressed with Imperial duties, Zhaiden's private life suddenly comes under horrific public scrutiny when his fiancée is abducted. Has he lost Renee forever?
Fealty
Series: To Be Sinclair, Book Three. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 118,770. Language: English. Published: December 8, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Sci-fi, Fiction » Science fiction » Space opera
(5.00)
Who can you trust with your love? With your friendship? With your life itself? Prince Phillip Sinclair is lucky he can depend on Lord Alex, the best friend a man can have! Learn how Phillip and his brother Crown Prince Zhaiden overcome the paranoid tendencies of their parents Emperor Victor and Empress Felice, to build friendships with Fight Brothers who help them find the ladies of their dreams!
Dignity
Series: To Be Sinclair, Book One. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 117,910. Language: English. Published: December 8, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Sci-fi, Fiction » Science fiction » Space opera
(5.00)
What will the greatest ruling family in the history of the galaxy be like? Take a morbidly paranoid Emperor who barely survived a coup at a young age, introduce him to a dedicated lady scientist in their heavily patriarchal society, add social, political, and scientific intrigue as well as an interstellar war, and you have a recipe for the strongest, most passionate romance in time and space!
Majesty
Series: To Be Sinclair, Book Two. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 95,580. Language: English. Published: October 15, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Space opera, Fiction » Science fiction » Hard sci-fi
(5.00)
The greatest scientific discovery of all time leads to the deadliest weapon ever devised! How can Empress Felice Sinclair develop a dangerous technology vital to galactic expansion, yet still sell it safely? During political upheavals, does Emperor Victor Sinclair have her step up as a scientist or as Empress? When invasion is imminent, what must she do to deploy her weapon in secret?