Interview with Linda Evans Shepherd and Eva Marie Everson
Eva: I've written my whole life, but my write to publishing story is a story within itself. Here's the short version: I took a walk one day, had an idea, came home and began to write a novel based on the idea, wrote for a year, a year later received a contract for another book (right place, right time), and three books later, the walk-idea-book became my fourth published book.
Linda: When I worked as technical writer my job was to interpret product descriptions from our engineers. My first fiction came about by accident when I would imagine I understood some of their rather complex explanations. Sometimes my writings were so creative the company would redesign the product to match my ideas.
After I became a stay-at-home mom, I discovered writer’s conferences. It was there I began to learn the how-tos of writing for publication which enabled me to publish a couple of books a year.
The idea seemed so fun, I immediately called Eva. We thought it would be great to write the book together, each taking charge of three of the six main characters.
2. How has your life changed since becoming a published author?
Linda: I have the best job in the world. I love being able to work from home most days, and then hop on a plane to speak to some wonderful group. In the past few years I’ve spoken in 38 states and 2 other countries. Things can get hectic, which means I have to rely even more on the Lord.
Eva: Well...it's crazier! My mother says, "I don't know anything about this world you now live in." And I say, "Neither did I until I walked into it!" I'm on a plane a lot more. I'm at my desk a lot more. There are more stresses, deadlines, etc.
3. I watched an interview between the two of you and you mentioned that each of you writes 3 characters. How does that work out?
Linda: Eva and I live in both a real and a fictional world together and that can create both fun and drama on many levels. The reason our partnership works is because we really do love one another and we both want the best for our books and for our friendship.
The clip you referred to is available to watch on: www.PotluckClub.com.
4. Do you have a favorite character or write yourself in one of them? Any characters you don’t particularly like?
Eva: I don't have a favorite per se. I think I enjoy writing Evie the most because she's sassy and Goldie the most because she's southern. :) (So now you know at least two of my characters, right?) And every author, I believe, writes a little of themselves into each character they create. We don't always recognize it right away, but we do...
Linda: My favorite character to write is Donna, the young deputy sheriff. The more you find out about her, the more you admire her and her plucky search for both speeders and truth. I also love sweet Vonnie and her journey to finally reveal a desperate secret about her past.
5. Is it hard to constantly switch into a different character’s POV?
Linda: We know these characters so well that Eva and I can write scenes with each other characters and never miss a beat, staying true to voice. We often borrow each other characters for scenes so, just like the reader; it can be a great surprise to find out what happened to our characters while it was our partner’s turn to write.
Eva: For me...no. Though one time I started writing a chapter in third person point of view and then remembered we are writing these in first person POV. Yikes!
6. I especially love this series because of all the food mentioned. Where do you get the recipes from? Who does the taste testing?
Eva: For me, family recipes, old church cookbooks.
Linda: My mom is a great southern cook and I stole her best recipes for the books. A lot of our readers have discovered her great barbeque brisket recipe in book one as well as my grandmother’s Molasses Cookie recipe which has been in our family for over a hundred years. But each novel has plenty of great recipes that you’ll want to try or to at least imagine (which is less fattening.)
7. All the women in the story are close to her own family. How has your family been throughout your writing process?
Linda: Writing allows me to spend more time with my family. Plus, I share my work with my kids. I’ve spent hours reading the books I’ve written to them. It’s brought us all closer and gives them a way to enjoy my work.
Eva: Well, we're in the middle of a family crisis, which I won't go into, but they've been a GREAT support in the writing of the novels!
8. What type of books do you like reading and who are some of your favorite authors?
Eva: Good ones. I only like to read good books. :) Seriously, I love good southern fiction. From a nonfiction perspective, I read everything by Robert Benson. If he writes it, I read it. If he wrote a grocery list, I believe it would be inspired and inspirational. (Okay...maybe that's a bit of a stretch!)
Linda: I mainly read fiction of all sorts, especially classics or anything written by John Grisham. My all time favorite novels are The Testament, To Kill a Mockingbird, The Sin Eater and all things Jan Karon or Michael Crichton.
Eva: Oh, my! That's a great question. Evie would have to be played by Shirley Maclaine. But that's as far as I can get mentally with that. :)
This was fun!
Lisa Leann (busybody Texan) Reba McEntire
Donna Vessey (feisty deputy) Reese Witherspoon
Vonnie Westbrook (sweet Sunday School teacher): Sally Struthers
Vonnie’s Bittersweet Elderly Mother: Debbie Reynolds
Evie Benson (sassy club president) Shirley Maclaine
Goldie Dipple: (Georgia bell with troubled marriage:) Diane Keaton
Lizzie Prattle: (school librarian) Sigourney Weaver
Eva adds: I can’t imagine those last two, Linda. (LOL) Sigourney Weaver as our level-headed and spiritually tuned Lizzie? All I can see is her battling aliens and floating over a bed in Ghostbusters! LOL
10. What's next in store for the Potluck Club and what else are you working on now?
Linda: Eva and I had a blast creating all new secrets and adventures for our characters in an all new series, tentatively titled The Potluck Caters. The first book’s working title is called, The Potluck Caters a Secret Recipe. We just turned in book one and I think it’s our best one yet. I’m also creating an all new series called Star Bright – a book featuring a surprising young heroine, former child actress Sarah Bright.
Eva: Linda and I are working on book two in the second series, like she said. I'm also working on the first of two southern novels for Baker/Revell. The working titles are: Heels on Wood, Soles on Carpet and This Fine Life. My Bible reference book with Thomas Nelson about the
11. Any last words?
Eva: Buy the books! :) (And enjoy every morsal!)
Linda: Amen and second helping anyone?
Thanks so much for stopping by Linda and Eva! Can't wait for that next book to come out. In the meantime, I think I might start making some of those recipes in the books. Perfect for snacking while reading.
For reviews of the other Potluck Club books on my blog:
The Potluck Club Trouble's Brewing