Jen: Today we welcome Eva Scott to Romancing the Book. Eva, will you share a short bio with us?
Eva: Eva Scott writes contemporary romance set in her homeland of Australia and historical fiction set in the Ancient World. Her books offer passion and adventure in some of the most beautiful and intriguing places in the world. Her heroes and heroines are strong, sassy and ready to rise to their challenges, and learn a little bit about themselves along the way.
Having lived overseas for several years, Eva returned to study Anthropology before heading off to live in Papua New Guinea for a year. There she met the love of her life, author G.W. Gibson, who was stationed there with the Australian Defense Force. The rest is history, romantic history.
She now lives on the Redcliffe peninsula with her husband, small son and an assortment of animals. When Eva is not writing she enjoys mentoring first-time authors, cooking up a story, practicing yoga and getting out on the bay on her stand-up paddle board.
Jen: Please tell us about your newest release and where the idea came from.
Eva: Red Dust Dreaming was a slow burn story for me. I had 3 different components that came together in the end. The first piece of inspiration was a story a friend told me about how her father had “hijacked” her education (he’d pay for a practical degree over the fine arts degree she’d started). The second bit of inspiration came from an old Sophia Loren/Clark Gable movie – I wondered what would happen if I reversed the roles in the story. And the last inspiration came from a tour of a fabulous art exhibition by the art community at Yuendumu, a remote Aboriginal art centre right in the red heart of Australia. One thing kind of led to another and the story was born.
“You know it’s wrong to put those ideas into Luke’s head, don’t you?” Elizabeth hissed at him from across the table.
“Don’t look at me.” He raised his hands in mock surrender. “All of that came from your sister.”
“New York smells and there are no horses?” She folded her arms across her chest and glared at him with those blue eyes.
“Okay, so that bit was me,” he admitted.
“And I bet you think it’s all very funny, don’t you?” She glowed with a strange kind of beauty when she was fuming.
“You’ve got that wrong, sister. This isn’t a joke to me. This is war. You’re trying to take Luke away from the only home he’s ever known to give him to people who his mother spent her life trying to get away from.” He leaned towards her, palms pressed flat against the table.
Elizabeth pushed her chair back and stood up. “You’re the one who’s got it wrong, buddy. And if you cared so much for my sister and her son why didn’t you marry her and adopt him?”
Caden’s chair scraped loudly on the floor as he rose to his feet. “My relationship with Angela is none of your business. She lived her life the way she wanted to.”
Elizabeth gasped in outrage. “What are you implying?”
“Implying? Nothing at all. I’m not implying anything I’m saying it plainly. She ran away from your dysfunctional family and made a new family here with us. We’re Luke’s family, maybe not by blood but sometimes blood just doesn’t matter.” He noticed he’d walked around the table to face her. When had he done that?
“I live my life the way I want to.” She narrowed her eyes, her fists were balled up at her sides. Unless he was mistaken she was sizing him up.
“Right, sure you do. You did whatever Mummy and Daddy wanted. I bet life is just peachy. Well it wasn’t, to hear Angela tell it.” Caden really hadn’t meant to start this fight. If he could take it all back he would but the words just kept pouring out of his mouth uncensored. He had to stop before they both all went too far.
“My childhood wasn’t so great either but I made the best of it. Angela rebelled every inch of the way and look where that got her!”
“What exactly are you implying?”
“I’m not implying anything. I’m calling it as I see it. She ran away to hide in this godforsaken place and left me to face our parents on my own.” Her hands were on her hips and her cheeks were flushed. Damn she looked pretty! And that particular fact only fuelled his anger.
“I can’t stop you from taking Luke to New York. Believe me if I could I would. Just ask yourself this question, if New York is so damned good why did Angela run so far? Why did she deny your parents their grandchild? Why didn’t she tell you she was dying? She had a choice and she exercised it. She chose freedom. Do you really want Luke to wind up as uptight and miserable as you are?” He’d gone too far now. His words whirled about their heads like a flock of startled sparrows. Caden’s heart pounded in his chest. In some strange way he was having Angela’s argument for her, the one she never got to have. He’d heard her side of the story a thousand times and part of him justified his cruel words in defence of Angela.
Elizabeth looked as shocked as if he’d slapped her, and in some way he had – verbally. His bravado evaporated as he looked into her eyes. Fury and pain lurked in their blue depths. He’d ignited both tonight.
“I am not uptight,” she bit out between clenched teeth. She looked so angry, so small and alone in his kitchen there was only one logical thing to do.
He took a step closer, inhaling her scent of sultry summer flowers. “Oh really,” he said before crushing her to him and kissing her with everything he had.
Jen: Are there any other writers, published or not, in your family?
Eva: My husband is a writer. In fact, he got into print before me. He writes what we like to call “adrenalin romance”, about feisty independent women who are tackling the motorbike racing scene.
Jen: Do you have a writing routine?
Eva: Absolutely not. I’m lousy at routine at the best of time but throw in a 4 year old boy, study, and a sick mother and there’s no hope. I have to catch writing time on the fly. I am a much nicer person when I write so I see it as my duty to jot down a few words every day, not only for my own sanity but for everyone else’s as well.
Jen: How do you remember ideas that come to you at odd times?
Eva: This is super challenging. I can’t really turn the light on in the middle of the night and jot things down. That would wake up the man/dog/cat/boy and chaos would reign. So I imagine a white board in my brain where I can pop these ideas and hopefully “read” them back in the morning.
Jen: What’s the most challenging aspect of writing? Easiest? Most rewarding?
Eva: I loathe editing. Kauai Hart Hemmings (The Descendants) said editing is her favorite part of the process because you get to sculpt the story into shape. I wish I felt that way but I don’t. It’s a total drag for me but I am trying to change my attitude I promise.
My favorite part is plotting. Sometimes we have plotting parties where we get friends over, uncork the wine and run through the plot. People come up with the most amazing ideas and twists – things we’d never think of.
Jen: What’s been the highlight of you career to this point?
Eva: Hitting #1 on the Amazon Australia Western Romance charts. I’ve never been #1 ever so it was a thrill. Love to hit the top 100 Kindle books. Loads of work and craft improvement to do before that happens, but you know what they say…build it and they will come!
Jen: What’s next for you?
Eva: A horse doctor friend told me about a client who used to be a Moulin Rouge dancer. She came home to Australia and married a farmer. I got to wondering what might happen if an ex-showgirl inherited a farm she decided to try and run with the help of Google and Youtube.