Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Meet Stephanie Jaye Evans!


1. Tell us what Faithful Unto Death is about
Faithful Unto Death is about how we all hold darkness inside us—how we can, with the best of intentions, do terribly ruthless things to protect what we love.

2. How long did it take to write?
If you condense the down time, a year—the first 30,000 words were written before I started my Masters, the next thirty to complete the novel so that it could serve as my capstone, another 10,000 for the Shark, another 25,000 for my editor at Berkley Prime Crime.

3. Do you outline, or just write by the seat of your britches?
People who outline are clearly psycho-geniuses.  I am not a psycho genius.  But the seat of my britches is too hard to write with and I’ve been using three fingers on each hand with the occasional thumb making contributions.

4. What did you learn when you wrote it?
Okay, this is going to sound so bad, but I learned I can write what I love.  I love my book.  It’s funny and snarky and tender and sad but not too sad.

5. When you're stuck while writing, what do you do?
Laundry.  Not because it’s inspiring, but because I like to wear clean underwear.

6. What did the copy editor catch that made you groan?
Oh, my gosh—my editor, Shannon Jamieson Vazquez, caught a time-line error.  I hadn’t caught it, nor my psycho-genius husband, nor two Rice University professors—not even the Shark caught it—but Shannon did and I thank her from the seat of my britches (while not good for writing, britches are good for thanking).

7. Do you have a favorite book about the craft of writing?
I don’t have a favorite but there are many, many I love.  Anything by Lynne Truss is great fun to read and I keep a Strunk and White to hand.  I also love the author interviews that sometimes come at the end of audio books.

8. A memorable book you've read this year, and what made it stand out?
The Homecoming of Samuel Lake by Jenny Wingfield.  One of her protagonists is a preacher—a conservative Christian, and not only is he not a wife-beater or a child-molester, he’s genuinely sympathetic—a flawed but good man.  That’s a hard to pull off and Wingfield does it with grace.

9. If you could save the life of any one fictional character who would it be and why?
Oh, my gosh!  Sophie’s Choice here.  I can only save ONE?  What do I tell the others?  No, no.  Better we all die together.

10. Is there a book that makes you think "if I could write something like this,  I'd die happy?"
There are thousands of books that are so heartbreakingly lovely they  make me want to be a better writer—a better person.  The one that comes immediately to mind is Louise Penny’s Bury Your Dead.  But I’ve had a fortunate life.  If I died today, I’d die happy.  Not happily, but happy.

11. Care to confess to any guilty pleasures?
I categorically decline to share my guilty pleasures.

12. What's your ringtone?
I’m not a ringtone person, I’m a words game person.  My game name is maliceinsugarland if any of you play Scramble.

13.  How does your dog or cat make you laugh?
Well, they’re pugs.  So, I mean, look at them.  Do they really have to do anything?  But, let me think.  Lately, they’ve been socially ostracizing my son’s new dingo puppy (Charlie says Rango is not a dingo, but he is.  He really is) and the pug’s machinations have been pretty funny. 

14. Will the world end in fire or ice and why do you think so?
Ice preserves, fire transforms.  I’m going with fire.

Library Journal chose FAITHFUL UNTO DEATH as their debut of the month saying:  "Evans, who received a Malice Domestic Grant for Unpublished Writers, turns the village vicar cozy on its head with her reluctant pastor sleuth. In addition to a smart mystery, readers will enjoy humorous takes on running a church, owning a dog, and dealing with father-daughter angst. The clever structure, remarkable dialog, and subplots result in a wholly satisfying read."

If you love Louise Penny, or G. M. Malliet, FAITHFUL UNTO DEATH is your kind of book!


Colin Smith said...

Hello Stephanie! Your answer to #5 made me LOL. Your book is going on my TBR list as quickly as I can get to Goodreads. All the very best to you! :)

sam said...

I'm adding this to my to-read list immediately!

Heidi Willis said...

I think the Shark picks books in part by the awesomeness of the author. Both look amazing!

Joyce Tremel said...

This looks like a great book! I just added it to my TBR list.

Is it just me or do these word verifications get harder to read every day?

SiSi said...

Also added to my list--and I'm sending the title along to two friends who will also like it!

Anonymous said...

Murder AND Mirth! I love it!