I feel that almost everyone can identify with my characters either personally or vicariously because of a friend, family member or an associate. My target audiences are women (in general) with low self-esteem, teens, families of abuse and neglect, blended families and the like.
Evonda Michelle – 20 July 2017
The Back Flap
Based on a true story of a mother who must look deep inside her spirit to find the strength and will to persevere in spite of her abusive husband.
About the book
What is the book about?
Betrayal is based on the true story of a family that triumphs in the face of defeat.
When did you start writing the book?
I think I began the work in 2010.
How long did it take you to write it?
As previously stated, this journey began several years before it was completed. I put it down after a few months because the pain was too vast and recent. Once I picked it back up, Betrayal was complete in about four to six months.
Where did you get the idea from?
The story was born of my life experiences.
Were there any parts of the book where you struggled?
Yes, I struggled with remembering details and mostly with having the characters sound differently. Giving them their own points of view was challenging because I know what I think but I didn’t know what / how they thought.
What came easily?
The story, itself, was easy. The content.
Are your characters entirely fictitious or have you borrowed from real world people you know?
The characters are from real world people; however, their characters aren’t 100% true to life.
We all know how important it is for writers to read. Are there any particular authors that have influenced how you write and, if so, how have they influenced you?
Yes, Terry McMillan influenced me because her stories are based on real experiences. J.K. Rawlings’ life – period – inspires me to at least try to be as great as she is. Stephen King is simply amazing. Though his stories are fictional, I like to pull from his imagination – his creativity. There are other authors, of course, but these stand out.
Do you have a target reader?
Yes – the world. Everyone has an issue. I feel that almost everyone can identify with my characters either personally or vicariously because of a friend, family member or an associate. My target audiences are women (in general) with low self-esteem, teens, families of abuse and neglect, blended families and the like.
Do you have a writing process? If so can you please describe it?
I don’t necessarily have a process – at least I don’t think it’s a process. My work is my therapy. It allows me to face problems, research questions and to feel. If I don’t feel it, I don’t write.
Do you outline? If so, do you do so extensively or just chapter headings and a couple of sentences?
Yes, I do or else I’ll forget my thoughts / direction. I try to simply write – keep the outline so that I can stay focused – but leave an opening for the ending because my mind constantly changes with new and unfolding information along the way.
Sometimes, I write paragraphs or even a chapter ahead. Like for Betrayal, I wrote Bradley’s chapter before the ones prior to it. I knew what I wanted him to say and feel and had to get it out, so to speak, before I lost my gut feeling on it.
Do you edit as you go or wait until you’ve finished?
Both. I think I edit too much because I’m so busy trying to perfect my work that I end up missing a typo or duplicated word. ….writing is my passion…
Did you hire a professional editor?
I didn’t hire a professional for Betrayal. I had a couple of people proofread and edit if for me. Moving forward, I’ll hire someone who is trained because I want to put out my best work. If there’s a reader like me, s/he will no longer be interested in the work, no matter how moving it is, if there are more than a predetermined number of errors.
Do you listen to music while you write? If yes, what gets the fingers tapping?
I love music. I love to move around and to enjoy my music while I’m listening to it so, no, I need quiet while writing. My mind is constantly thinking, analyzing, worrying, playing and re-playing…never allowing me to rest so I must concentrate in order to stay focused on the work.
Did you submit your work to Agents?
I submitted Betrayal to a few agents but was rejected.
What made you decide to go Indie, whether self-publishing or with an indie publisher? Was it a particular event or a gradual process?
I decided to go Indie because I didn’t want to focus on the publishing aspect of the process. Sure I may receive more recognition or more monetary compensation but I wanted Betrayal to be loved for Betrayal and not who published it. I wanted to eliminate the politics basically.
Did you get your book cover professionally done or did you do it yourself?
The worst thing I did was become impatient with my photographer – who was going to help me create the “ideal” cover and pull a stock photo from the publishing company that I used. The photo is fine as a photo but, in my opinion, it doesn’t do the work enough justice.
Do you have a marketing plan for the book or are you just winging it?
Both. I am a true dual personality. Some days I wing it and other days I follow my marketing plan of promoting, promoting, promoting at certain times in certain places and to certain audiences. I need to get control of this, I know.
Any advice that you would like to give to other newbies considering becoming Indie authors?
Sure! Go for it. Write first. “politic” later. Attend workshops, read other authors’ work – best-selling authors and newbies. I like to read all work to get a solid understanding of what’s on the market and how other authors think. Everyone has an audience and, I use the term loosely, I want to touch all of them in some positive way.
Where did you grow up?
I grew up in Griffin, GA
Where do you live now?
I now live in Hampton, GA – about 20 minutes north of Griffin.
What would you like readers to know about you?
I want my readers to know that I come from a very dysfunctional family – as do many of them. I’m embarrassed about many aspects of my lineage and upbringing but I find ways to use it to help others. I understand that this life is not about me and however I can make someone else’s life better, I’ll find a way to do it.
If I haven’t stated it previously, writing is my therapy. It helps me to manifest things, solve problems, answer questions, fix things – you name it. It’s my voice – my gift (and curse) to the world.
What are you working on now?
I’m working on the sequel, if you will, to Betrayal called Un.Conditional and I’m working on a piece called Un.Forgiven. This story is based on endings and beginnings – spiritual enlightenment. It deals with how we become attached to people and things then either find a way to let go or make excuses not to.
End of Interview:
For more from Evonda, visit her website.