Photo © Jessica Alexander for Good Housekeeping UK
When I discover a new author whose work I admire, I try to find out a little bit about them. I check their social media output, search for interviews, and read their blog posts. I find myself warming to them when they express opinions rather than just promoting their book. It is pleasing when they come across as real.
I have picked out two Twitter posts on Eva Holland’s feed which made me smile. In the first she described herself as a huge Margaret Atwood fan (we have something in common!). In the second she posted this:
Sending a proof of The Daughter’s Secret off to my mother with a little reminder… pic.twitter.com/2Rv68TKTx0
— Eva Holland (@HollandEva) May 29, 2015
Having read her book (click here for my review) I can understand why she wished to make this clear.
I say in my review that this book made me angry. It truly did. I kept having to put it down and walk around the room to prevent myself from throwing it at walls as the mother failed her daughter yet again. All credit to Eva for writing a novel which provoked such emotion while keeping me hooked; I had to keep picking it back up to find out what happened next.
Today I am delighted to have the opportunity to learn a little more about this author whose work I will now be following with interest.
Please welcome to neverimitate, Eva Holland.
Where do you typically write?
I have a desk in my spare room where I write every morning. It overlooks a park which is full of dog walkers in the summer and crows in the winter. If I have a full day of writing I try to get out of the house in the afternoon and often spend a couple of hours with my laptop in a coffee shop or the café at my gym. Of course I also scribble things in notebooks and tap them into emails on my phone as I go about my day. My handbags and pockets are always full of scrawled notes to myself and I often have things written on the backs of my hands.
Tell us about your writing process.
I don’t have a structured writing process and I don’t make detailed plot plans or even lists of key scenes. I start with a handful of characters and a scenario into which I want to put them. By the time I start writing I also have an idea of the period of time over which the plot will unfold and what will happen at the end. My first drafts are incredibly rough and full of plot holes and unnecessary backstory. Once I have a first draft I go back to the beginning and pick it apart word by word, sentence by sentence. It is in the second draft that the story really starts to take shape.
Tell us about your publishing experience.
My publishing experience has been rather unusual. In 2014 I entered the first 5,000 words of my work in progress and a synopsis of the remainder of the novel into the Good Housekeeping magazine novel writing competition. I was stunned to win the competition and find myself with a publishing deal with Orion and an agent. It has been an intense but amazing experience.
In what ways do you promote your work?
The Daughter’s Secret is my first novel so I am very new to promoting my work. I am really pleased to be doing a blog tour to celebrate the publication of the trade paperback. Connecting with bloggers through Twitter over the past year has been a major perk of becoming more active on social media. Writing can be a lonely business and it is hugely motivating to know that there is such a passionate community of readers actively seeking new books to discover and love.
What are some of your current projects?
I’m currently working on a second novel. It is a psychological thriller with a dark mystery at its heart. I am really excited about the story and am spending every moment I can writing it.
Where can my readers find you?
Twitter: Eva Holland (@HollandEva)
Blog: www.Eva Holland.net
A lifelong lover of words and stories, Eva Holland was the winner of the 2014 Good Housekeeping novel writing competition. She grew up in Gloucestershire and studied in Leeds before moving to London. When not writing or reading fiction she works as a freelance PR consultant and copywriter.
The Daughter’s Secret is Eva’s first novel.