The Author Interviews: Eva Pasco

(Photo courtesy of Eva Pascoe)

To give my readers and fellow writers an insight into the processes and successes of other like-minded creatives, I'll be featuring some hardworking authors in my journal each week.

Today's author is Eva Pasco, and she's independently published.


You can take only three items to your secret island, Eva. What would you take and why?

As opposed to being stranded on a deserted island, I’ll interpret “secret” island as a remote retreat with minimal amenities, primitive technology, and a sparse population. The perfect place to get away from it all without having to hunt and fish to survive! This will give me more imaginative latitude for what three things I would take:

  • A book of challenging crossword puzzles. Solving them is one of my favourite pastimes, but I have little time to spare on the mainland.

  • A box of 12 No. 2, pre-sharpened, yellow Ticonderoga pencils to accompany the crossword puzzle book. As a former elementary school teacher, these pencils were one of my classroom’s golden rules.

  • A deck of cards. Once all of my pencils are worn to a nub, I’ll need something else to occupy my mind. Nothing like a few games of Solitaire!

You're living in the world from your latest novel. Where are you? What is it like?

I am living in the fictitious French-Canadian mill town of Beauchemins located in Rhode Island, one of six New England states along the east coast of the United States. Beauchemins is a modest, close-knit community harbouring secrets and scandals.

You are your most recent protagonist. Who are you? What is the first thing you do?

I’m Augusta Bergeron, the town siren, who blames my reckless behaviour on maternal abandonment. Every morning I report to work at Brulé Bookbinding Co. A Gal Friday, I sit at a desk across from lifelong friend, Marc Brulé, the mill owner. He gave me permission to leave early so I could stop at Paquin’s Market to pick up crème fraiche for my landlady, Yolande Marchand. She plans on making pea soup for a little dinner party in honour of Lindsay Metcalfe, Beauchemin’s historian-in-residence, arriving from Cambridge, Massachusetts in early evening.

Say, if you’re inclined to hobnob with the socially elite or upwardly mobile, we’ll part company here and you can go on your merry way. More than likely, you’d rather tarry with us plain-spoken and unpretentious French-Canadians who proudly identify ourselves as “Canucks,” eh?

Who is your favourite author? Why?

One of my favourite authors is Anne Lamott who inspires me to take on what I do in my novels. In her own words, “I try to write the books I would love to come upon, that are honest, concerned with real lives, human hearts, spiritual transformation, families, secrets, wonder, craziness—and that can make me laugh.”

Where do you get your ideas?

As truth really is stranger than fiction, some news stories make a lasting impression on me. Eventually, my imagination runs amok with distorting the facts and fabricating incidentals which add credence to my story, as incredible as some of these incidentals might be. For example—“Death by hibachi! Vernon Blais went out in a blaze of glory, smoked to death barbecuing charcoal briquettes while locked inside the bathroom with the window shut …”

Why do you write, Eva?

Courtesy of my mother’s tutelage, I became a proficient typist at the age of nine. While there never was a conscious decision on my part to become a writer, by the age of twelve I began typing mysteries and spy thrillers on my girly-pink Tom Thumb typewriter. In high school I composed a Romance novella which earned its own reserve shelf in the library. After a long dormant period preoccupied with college, and a 29-yr. teaching career, I underwent a midlife renaissance when I retired from the profession. Having engaged in extensive genealogical research, organized all of my recipes, and no longer creating my own block dolls for retailers, I resumed storytelling. Writing and everything it entails now consumes me.

How do you deal with bad reviews, rejection and criticism?

I avoid “rejection” by self-publishing. I avoid criticism as much as possible because I don’t rely on beta readers or editors to evaluate my work and make suggestions. I am my own harshest critic, so undertake the gruelling task of proofreading and editing my manuscript. Thus far, I’ve only received two “bad reviews” for my first novel which I consider in poor taste. While I’m very sensitive to unfair, unjust, or unwarranted reviews—they’re to be expected. I turn a blind eye.

What do you find difficult about writing?

Because I’m so intent on the reader seeing what I’ve laid out for them with their heart, mind, and soul—for me, the most difficult thing about writing is “choosing the right words” to tell my story. More than incorporating exact nouns, exciting verbs, and colourful adjectives to develop characters, relate plotlines, and elaborate on important themes, I rely heavily on imagery and introspection associated with lyrical writing. In my estimation, no word is frivolous, so I weigh each one carefully for its nuance and impact. This process alone, is not only difficult, but agonizing. Hence, if I can produce a paragraph in one sitting, I feel I’ve accomplished my goal as a writer for the day.

Do you ever outsource (editing and cover design) your work?

As mentioned, I don’t outsource editing because I take full responsibility for the painstaking process. While I designed every aspect my book cover for ‘An Enlightening Quiche,’ my publisher implemented my specifications.

Indie is a member of the Indie Fabs! Watch their latest appearance (Dec 2017) on my podcast, The White Room!

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What is your opinion on the indie vs traditional publishing argument?

Even though writers who choose to go Indie must do everything ourselves or find suitable professionals to help, I believe the arguments for Indie publishing outweigh the cons:

  • One has creative control over content and design.

  • Faster turnaround for publication.

  • Higher royalties.

Talk us through your creative process from start to finish.

No outline. No rigid plot to hem me in. You might say the windmills of my mind propel the story, whereby the end justifies the means to get there. From past practice, my characters sabotage the ending I have in mind. Believe me, I know better than to question their judgement!

While I’m rarely at a loss for words, bursts of brilliance for how to best articulate an idea or parlay snatches of dialog overtake me when I’m away from the keyboard doing housework. I immediately turn off the vacuum or abandon my dust cloth to heed my inner voice by scribbling the message on a notebook kept on my desk for this purpose. Another quirk of mine is to play music conducive for plying my mood to write a scene. For example, listening to “Wicked Games” by Chris Isaak provided the heat I needed to better convey one of my character’s thoughts on the subject of a certain male.

What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

Based on what I practice: Write to please yourself and go with the flow of your creative instincts. An innovator always stands apart from a crowd pleaser.

Would you agree a good book must withstand more than one read?

Absolutely! Several readers have let me know they’ve read ‘Underlying Notes’ more than once. Recently, a reader disclosed that she plans to read ‘An Enlightening Quiche’ a few more times. I think it is a good idea to read a book more than once because you’re able to pick up subtle and subliminal clues you may have missed the first time around. Details take on more significance for the big picture.

Do you have a favourite genre?

No surprise, my favourite genre is Contemporary Women’s Fiction, the one in which I write. Having undergone a midlife renaissance by rekindling my flair for writing, it came natural for me to tap into significant issues affecting the lives of women over forty. My character-driven novels host personas who plunge the depths of despair in their darkest hours prior to seeing the light at the end of the tunnel through redemption and empowerment.

Do you shop for indie books online? If not, why?

I do shop online for Kindle Editions of Indie books. Ebooks are more affordable. Most Indie paperbacks cannot be found in brick-and-mortar book stores.

Watch the Indie Fabs in their very first appearance (July 2017) on my podcast, The White Room!

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What would it take for you to leave a review on Amazon/ Goodreads?

It goes without saying that I always leave a book review on Amazon and Goodreads. As a published author who relies primarily on Amazon to drive book sales, the more reviews a book has, the more often retailers will recommend the book to others and feature it in searches. Also, potential buyers might use the number of five-star reviews as a quick snapshot of whether a book is worth their time and money. Therefore, it is a courtesy I extend to each of my fellow Indies whose books I’ve read.

After downloading book one of a series for free or discounted on Amazon, do you ever go back and pay more for book two? If not, why?

Due to the daily demands on an Indie author with an extensive TBR list, it will take me quite some time before I get to the next book in a pile comprised of free or discounted eBooks. More than likely, I won’t have time to get to the next book in the series regardless of its price.

Do you ever visit an author's website? If so, what do you look at?

I rarely visit an author’s website unless their blog is linked to it.

If an author offered you a free book, would you sign up on their mailing list?

Because I already have several eBooks waiting in the wings, a free book offer would not entice me to sign up on their mailing list.

Do you ever enter giveaways and/ or order signed copies?

On occasion I have entered Giveaways. I’ve yet to order a signed copy, though I’d be honoured to acquire one.


Thank you so much to author Eva Pascoe for sharing her insights on writing and publishing books. If you would like to support Eva and her work, please consider purchasing a copy of the book, An Enlightening Quiche, available on Amazon now. Check out the handy link below: