Dear L A Evans,
For those who don’t know already, could you tell us about yourself and your book(s) please?
Of course. I was born in Taunton, Somerset (UK) and now live in Bridgwater with my partner Carl and my two feline friends, Spot and Strudel. I’m a bit of a geek, definitely odd and have a tendency to act a little bit crazy.
I’d love to say I’ve studied creative writing and have qualifications to prove it. I don’t. I’ve never studied creative writing or received any training. I’ve always been creative though, my degree is in Fine Art. I studied English Literature at A Level which gave me a little confidence, so I thought,‘I’ll give novel writing a go, why not! What’s the worst thing that could happen?’And I’m so pleased I did. I’m surprised by the reception I’ve received already for my debut novel and so far, the feedback has been wonderful, for which I’m immensely grateful.
The name Evans is a token to my heritage and my dear, late Grandma. My real surname is Guttridge, but Evans had a much better ring to it, so author name L A Evans was born.
‘Junction: Time’s Ticking’ is my debut novel. Predominantly, it’s a suspense thriller. However, there are snippets of many other genres, including romance, mystery and drama.
Where did/do you get your ideas from?
Funnily enough, I had a dream. I woke up one morning and thought, ‘Wow! That dream could make a fantastic book!’
And so, Junction was born.
Are any of your characters based (however loosely) on anyone you know?
Absolutely. There are elements of me in both female characters Aisha and Zoe (you’ll find out more about Zoe in the sequel I’m currently writing called ‘Junction: Still Ticking’).
As a writer, I think it’s important to use your imagination, but I believe it’s equally vital to use your experiences. By drawing on your own life experiences, you can really tune into the emotion and write from the heart.
How do you pick your characters’ names?
Because ‘Junction: Time’s Ticking’ is all about the twists and turns of a young woman’s life, after she crashes her car with another woman, I wanted the two main characters’ names to mean ‘life’.
The two main characters are polar opposites, they’re both at complete opposite ends of the spectrum. So, I knew their first names had to start with A and Z and their surnames with B and Y – opposite ends of the alphabet. Therefore, the names Aisha Brown and Zoe Young were born, both first names meaning life.
When thinking of other characters’ names, I just try to imagine their personalities, age and appearance. Once I can visualise them, I can find a name I feel suits their character.
Can you share your writing process with us, in a nutshell?
It’s important to plan and ensure you have structure first and foremost. I plan each book into four parts, plot a twist or turn of events at the end of each part and then map the individual chapters. One of the tools I find useful is creating a mind map. I use the app, MindLine to help me plot my characters and map the intricate details of each chapter before I start to write.
Once written, I review, time and time again. My partner and I started our own little ‘book club’, reading a chapter a day of ‘Junction: Time’s Ticking’, correcting grammatical errors and searching for ways in which to make it even better. It was surprisingly fantastic quality time spent together!
Who are your top 5 favourite authors?
I’m not going to rank them because I admire them equally but for different reasons. My top five authors would be as follows:
Michael Crichton – Similar to my novel, Michael Crichton writes about the unimaginable but makes it fathomable. As an example, you wouldn’t imagine dinosaurs could possibly roam the Earth again, but the concept of DNA being found in a fossilised mosquito makes it believable.
Suzanne Collins – Who isn’t fascinated by the creator of ‘The Hunger Games Trilogy’? The strong female protagonist who fights the corrupt government that was responsible for social inequality and inexplicable violence. Everyone loves a protagonist and a strong one at that.
Stephen King – The weird and wonderful, sinister world of Stephen King. The master of horror and the supernatural. He is a genius.
WM. Paul Young – One of the most spiritually profound and life-changing books I have read is this author’s novel, ‘The Shack’. It’s a beautiful read with vivid imagery and it left a lump in my throat that I can still feel now when I think back to when I read this wonderful book.
Lisa Jewell – This author often gets me blubbing whilst reading her books. Love, drama, humour all merged into one bubble of loveliness!
If you could meet any author, who would it be and what would you ask them?
The ‘king’ of all writers, Stephen King of course. I mean, who wouldn’t want to meet him? He is an inspiration.
I would probably ask him what he thinks of my book and ask for his feedback, if he could spare the time for little old me. I would massively value his opinion. Now, if the ‘king’ of horror, supernatural thrillers and suspense were to buy and read my novel, ‘Junction: Time’s Ticking’ that would be overwhelming as mine is also a suspense thriller with an air of supernatural mystery. It might make me pee my pants with excitement a little though!
Were you a big reader as a child?
Yes, I loved reading books, namely books by Roald Dahl and C S Lewis.
Although, my favourite author was Enid Blyton. My favourite childhood books were and are still ‘The Magic Faraway Tree’ novels. Moonface, the Saucepan Man and Silky the fairy, to name a few of the marvellous characters. The slippery slip and the magical ladder at the top of the tree bring back so many emotional memories.
Enid Blyton allowed me to escape as a child into another world, whether it be up the ladder of The Magic Faraway Tree, in a smuggler’s cave with The Famous Five or investigating mysteries with The Secret Seven.
When did you start to write?
About six years ago, I had my dream. It was this dream that inspired me to write ‘Junction: Time’s Ticking’. Whilst working full time, I wrote my book over three years, with a number of breaks. Over the course of the last year, I was encouraged by Carl to pick it back up again, dust it off and knuckle down with editing. Now it’s available for purchase on Amazon which is fantastic! With this continued support and encouragement from Carl and my family, I’m currently writing a sequel called ‘Junction: Still Ticking’ which will be the second book in the trilogy. Don’t worry, it won’t be six years before the second book is released! It will be published early next year.
If you could re-write the ending to any book what would it be and what would you change?
Honestly, I wouldn’t want to re-write or change anyone’s work. As a reader, sometimes you can think, ‘Hmmm, I’m not sure about that ending,’ or ‘I think this ending may have worked better’. But that author has written their book and their ending for a reason and they stand by it. Endings will appeal to many people but not all, that’s just how it is and how it should be.
Is there a book you wish you had written?
The Harry Potter series is the most creative writing written in the history of fantasy. Who wouldn’t wish they had the innovative mind of J K Rowling? She is an inspiration to every aspiring writer out there, especially those who have received knock-back upon knock-back from publishers. The publishers who didn’t give her a chance must be kicking themselves now!
If you wrote an autobiography, what would your title be?
Good question! I’ll go with, ‘A Billion Stars’. My partner is a song writer and wrote a song called, ‘A Billion Stars’ and dedicated it to me.
As an author, I am one small star out of billions in the Kindle sky. If you read my book and review it, you are supporting a little star and helping me transform into a Supernova!
If you could invite any fictional character for coffee who would it be and where would you take them?
Definitely Charlie Bucket. He’d invite me to his chocolate factory, we’d have a coffee, I’d meet some Oompa-Loompas and maybe walk away with a few free samples!
Tell us a random fact about yourself
I love writing silly poems or changing lyrics to songs to make them current and humorous.
I also have my zombie apocalypse survival plan fully rehearsed in my head. You never know when you might need to be prepared!
What are you working on right now?
I’m currently working on the second book in the Junction Trilogy, ‘Junction: Still Ticking’, to be released early next year.
Tell us about your last release?
‘Junction: Time’s Ticking’ is now available to buy on Amazon as a Kindle or Paperback. Without giving any big spoilers, it’s a suspense thriller about a woman who crashes her car with another woman and upon waking from a coma, she finds that she is no longer the woman she was before the accident. Her parents are dead, she has a stranger for a husband, and she looks completely different. I’ll let you read the rest, there are lots of twists and turns to keep you on your toes!
Do you have a new release due?
Not yet, the sequel to ‘Junction: Time’s Ticking’ is currently being written. I’m on track and have a deadline for spring 2021, so as not to keep people waiting for too long.
What do you generally do to celebrate on publication day?
Repetitively flick through my new paperback, sniffing the pages and feeling exceptionally proud. There might be gin involved too!
How can readers keep in touch with you?
I have my own Facebook Page (www.facebook.com/laevansbooks) and I am on Twitter (www.twitter.com/LAEvansBooks). I’m more than happy for people to contact me regarding my novel or for advice, if I can be of any help to aspiring authors.
Is there anything else you would like us to know?
Only that I’m so proud to be interviewed as the author of ‘Junction: Time’s Ticking’. Please, if anyone fancies giving it a read and posting a review, you’d be massively supporting me as a new and upcoming author. I’m so grateful for those who have already taken the time to read my novel and review it. Please check out the reviews people have already written as this may encourage you to give it a shot. It’s available to buy now on Amazon.
happy reading! 🙂