Thursday 12 June 2014

Author Interview ~ Evie Gaughan.

Today I'm really pleased to be chatting with Evie Gaughan on my blog, author of The Cross of Santiago and The Mysterious Bakery On Rue De Paris. Evie will be talking to me about her debut novel The Cross of Santiago but please do follow Evie on Twitter to check out all the blogs taking part in her current blog tour for The Mysterious Bakery On Rue De Paris.

Tell us about yourself…

Oh dear, this is a bit like a dating website... let’s see, I like pina coladas and getting caught in the rain! Actually I don’t, but living in Ireland, it’s hard not to get a torrential soaking every once in a while. Well that’s the first thing about me, I’m Irish and therefore something of a talker, which ties in well with the whole writing thing. I studied business and marketing in University (yawn) but in my final year, I studied in France as part of an Erasmus exchange, which was anything but boring and inspired my love for all things French. After travelling around for a few years, I returned home to Ireland where I embarked on my writing career. I’m also a creative type of person and am a self-taught artist. When I’m not writing, I enjoy painting and crafts.

When did you know you wanted to become an author?

I’ve always enjoyed telling stories, since I was a child, but I really knew that I wanted to become an author around 11 years ago. I was living in Canada and feeling homesick, so I borrowed tons of books by Irish authors from the local library. It sort of re-ignited my passion for story-telling and I just knew it was what I wanted to do. It took a long time to get to the stage I’m at now, to find my writing voice and learn my craft, but I think that little girl from long ago would be pleased!

What do you love the most about writing?

I love the point in writing a story where something just clicks and you know you’ve captured the essence of what you were trying to say. Starting out with a blank page or screen can be daunting, so you have to ignore any doubts and try your best to get the story down. But at some point, (I think it must be rather like surfing – though I never tried!) you’re just riding the wave and you think, “Hey, this is pretty good!”

What can you tell us about your debut novel, The Cross of Santiago?

It is a time-slip novel that asks the question, can you get a second chance at life, or love for that matter? Set in my hometown of Galway, the historical part of the story begins with the Spanish Armada invading England. Once I discovered that an armada ship actually wrecked on the Galway coastline, I knew I had to write this book! I’m a huge fan of historical fiction and really enjoyed researching this pivotal time in European history. The contemporary sections of the novel are split between our two protagonists; Xavier and Amanda. Two lost souls, who seem destined to meet, but will their past guide their ships safely to harbour? The Cross Of Santiago is a love story full of mystery, sacrifice and a past that won’t let go.

What has been the most rewarding thing about releasing your first novel?

Like all authors, you think the dream is to see your words in print. But that really doesn’t count for very much unless someone reads those words. So the most rewarding part for me is getting feedback from people who really enjoyed the story. That connection is what makes publishing so rewarding.

What did you find most challenging about writing The Cross of Santiago?

Definitely the most challenging aspect was trying to re-create 16th Century medieval Ireland. I knew that if I didn’t get that right, I would lose the reader. So I put an astronomical amount of work into researching that time period and it really paid off because the reviews are so positive about the historical sections of the book.

Did you do anything to celebrate when The Cross of Santiago was complete or released?

Honestly? I had a duvet day! Self-publishing requires you to be an author, an editor, a designer, a promoter and a publisher, so by the time the book was actually released, I was exhausted! But I did manage to ditch the duvet for a nice tapas dinner with friends :)

Have your family and friends read The Cross of Santiago? If so, what did they think?

I’m glad to report that my family were quite impressed with my novel. I had been writing it and chattering endlessly about it for around two years, so when they read it, they finally understood the amount of time and research it took to write that kind of novel. It was a bit surreal actually, chatting to extended family members about the characters in my book. It was like introducing them to old friends of mine!

Can you tell us anything about what you’re currently writing?

Yes actually, I’m about to launch my second book ‘The Mysterious Bakery On Rue De Paris’. I’m very excited about this novel because it is a bit of a departure after the epic that was my first novel. It’s shorter, for starters and while it isn’t a time slip as such, it does have historical elements from the Second World War. It’s set in France, in a rather unusual bakery with a secret hidden deep in the old building. The protagonist is Irish, middle-aged and single, and is hoping to make up for the ‘wild years’ she never had. It’s a very endearing story, full of charm, romance and a hint of magic!

Do you prefer print books or ebooks?

I don’t really have a preference to be honest. I don’t think (as people often suggest) that one has to replace the other. I agree with Stephen Fry who said, “Books are no more threatened by Kindle than stairs by elevators.

Name your favourite book, the best book you’ve read this year and the book at the top of your wishlist.

Tough question. My all-time favourite book is Wuthering Heights, but my favourite contemporary book would have to be The Shadow Of The Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon. I haven’t read many books this year as I’ve been working a lot on my own novel, but I am currently enjoying Life After Life by Kate Atkinson. The book at the top of my wishlist is probably ‘The Herbalist’ by Irish author Niamh Boyce. It’s a book I’ve been meaning to read for ages.

You can only read one author’s books for the rest of your life – who would you choose?

Joanne Harris – she is so versatile in her subject matter and I love how she writes her women. Dark, funny, magical and quite often set in France – her books would definitely keep me happy!

Anything you’d like to add…

My new novel ‘The Mysterious Bakery On Rue De Paris’ will be available on Amazon on the 9th June 2014.


Title: The Cross of Santiago.
Author: Evie Gaughan.

*25% off at Smashwords this week only! Use code GQ83M here*

“One cross will bind two couples across four centuries”

An ancient love story, locked in the heart of a sunken treasure, is destined to find its happy ending... even if it takes four hundred years to do so.

Amanda Morrison does not believe in love or destiny, but when a long-lost aunt leaves her a mysterious golden cross in her will, her uneventful life in Galway City is turned upside down. The arrival of Xavier, a charismatic yachtsman in search of treasure and adventure, complicates life further, as their paths seem destined to cross. While Amanda tries to uncover the truth about her family’s past, a strange series of events ensues, involving drama on the high seas, hypnosis, scary sheep, Armada treasure and five-a-side football championships. Though, not all in that order.

Evie Gaughan is the author of ‘The Cross Of Santiago’ and the soon to be released ‘The Mysterious Bakery On Rue De Paris’. She lives in Galway on the west coast of Ireland where she happily divides her time between writing and painting. Influenced by writers such as Maeve Binchy and Diana Gabaldon, Evie has crafted her own unique writing style that is warm, engaging and full of humour. She has published several short stories, poems and feature articles and is currently working on her third novel.

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  1. Great interview! I'm a big fan of Joanne Harris, I love how she creates her atmospheres! The Cross of Santiago sounds really good, I'm definitely going to check it out on Amazon.


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