Author Spotlight & Giveaway: Imelda Evans

Today we have the lovely and talented Imelda Evans under the RWA Author Spotlight. Imelda is giving away a copy of her book to one lucky commentor! (worldwide)

1. Welcome Imelda! And congratulations on your release with Destiny Romance. Can you tell us a little about RULES ARE FOR BREAKING?

Rules are for Breaking is a contemporary romance set in Melbourne.  It’s a story of two people who’ve been successful in their professional lives, but less so in love.

Jo, my heroine has had it with men.  After a long run of trying to find a diamond in the rough and ending up with cubic zirconias, she’s decided she’s going to give them up altogether and find her bliss – whatever that means.

But Declan, my hero, has other ideas.  He’s decided that Jo is the woman for him and he’s not about to let her round-the-world cruise-sized set of baggage get in the way.

They’re both determined and good at getting what they want, but they have to learn that they can’t run their love lives the way they run their businesses if they want to make it to a happy ending.

2. How long have you been writing for? Did you always want to be a writer?

I have wanted to be a writer on and off over the years but for most of them it wasn’t a serious goal, more of a dream.  It wasn’t until I had been copywriting for 10 years and learned how to persist through writer’s block that I came back to the idea of writing fiction.  I’ve been writing fiction seriously for about five years.

3. Do you have a writing schedule you follow, or are you a ‘write whenever I can’ type of author?

I do better when I follow a schedule.  When I’m on a roll I will get struck with inspiration in the middle of other things and I’ll end up writing on the backs of envelopes and bus tickets and bookmarks and whatever comes to hand.  But the backs of envelopes only take you so far.  I get most done when I show up reliably at the same time each day.

4. Do you write detailed character profiles before starting a new book, or do you find the characters come to life as you write?

I usually start with characters (rather than situations) so I always know some things about them before I start, but it’s only the things that relate to the story.  The details get fleshed out as I go.  So, for example, I might know that a character doesn’t get on particularly well with her mother.  I need to know that at the start, because it affects her relationship with her daughter (say) – but I might not find out till well into the planning, or even the writing, why that is.  The thought of filling in one of those hyper-detailed charts where you know everything down to what their favourite colour is, horrifies me.  I like to set up the fundamentals and leave the rest to Jenny Crusie’s ‘girls in the basement.’

5. Describe yourself in three words:

Do I have to?  I always feel like saying Huey, Dewey and Louie, or Larry, Curly and Moe.  But if you insist…
Strong, Generous, Impatient

6. How important do you think it is for authors to be actively engaged in self promotion?

Ooh, hard one.  In the current publishing environment, I think a certain amount of self-promotion is expected, even if you have a traditional publishing deal.  I think it would be a rare author these days who didn’t at least have a website and many do a lot more than that.

Having said that, though, it is still true that the best promotion is to write a good book.  And then another one.  Engaging with other writers and readers can be great fun, and can help you build a profile, but the jury is still out on how much that genuinely helps your sales.  Do what you enjoy and energises you, but not at the expense of finishing the book!

7. What advice would you give to aspiring romance authors out there?

Write as often as you can.  Write more often than you can. Finish the book.  Enter competitions. Submit.  Write more. Go to conferences. Read craft books. Write more. Don’t give up!

I suppose the short version is that the road to success is paved with hard work!

The only other thing I would say is once you have written enough to find your voice, trust it.  Listen to advice you’re given – especially if a lot of people are saying the same thing – but always filter it through your own feelings about the story, the characters and your voice.

8. What are you working on now?

I am currently working on two projects.  One is a companion story to Rules are for Breaking, tentatively titled Rules of Engagement, which tells the story of Jo’s brother and sister-in-law getting together.  The other is a longer story which is not so much a romance – although it does have a very tasty policeman in it – as a funny, girly thriller.  It’s about a group of women who come together for a craft weekend and find themselves caught up in something much darker.

I also have roughly half a million other brilliant ideas of stories I’d like to do, but I am taking my own advice and firmly sitting on them until these ones are finished!

Thanks for joining us, Imelda!

Imelda is published by Destiny Romance. You can visit her online at her website/blog, facebook, and twitter.

To WIN an ebook copy of RULES ARE FOR BREAKING, comment below and tell us a rule that you think is meant for breaking. Winner will be drawn on Fri 30th Nov and notified via email. Winner has one week to respond to the email or another winner will be chosen. Good luck!

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37 Comments

  1. Queen Imelda,
    So lovely to hear more about you and your writing. You’re an inspiration to all writers.
    I think the rule to break is that after a person turns 70? 80? 90? 100? they should give up on their dreams to write a book, Any age is good to become an author and let’s hope we’re all still writing amazing books at 100.
    Suzi Love

    Reply
    • Aw, shucks, Suzi, you’re a love! And I LOVE your rule to break! I don’t think we should ever give up on our dreams whatever they are. It’s never to late. The author of the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society was well past retirement age and submitted at the urging of her writers’ group – and it’s one of my favourite books. I certainly intend to continue as long as I have fingers to type. I started past the first flush of youth – I have catching up to do! 🙂

      Reply
    • I agree, Suzi! It’s never too late 🙂

      Reply
  2. Great interview Suzi and Imelda…I especially resonated with the advice to not let all the self-promo get in the way of writing – a common obstacle. Your book sounds really good..on my TBR pile.

    Reply
    • Thank you, Joanna! I hope you enjoy it. It’s a tough thing, the self-promo, especially for the self-published. You have to do it, but if it kills your writing time or enthusiasm, it’s a real problem. I think you have to see all of the non-book-finishing tasks as business activities and treat them in a business-like way. It’s easy for us to see ‘free’ as automatically good, but while it might be free to use online platforms like Twitter, our time isn’t free! We need to do the sums and work out a schedule that makes sense in the context of our goals. And if the thought of that makes you cross-eyed, as it does quite a lot of creative people, find a friend who is better at it to help you! 🙂

      Reply
  3. sourris25

     /  November 26, 2012

    Know your limits–break that one! Push past them, and then some. Shoot for the stars; even if you miss, you’ve still reached higher than you were.

    Reply
    • Oh, yes, indeed! No-one ever did great things by knowing their limits. If any further proof is needed, this guy’s story provides it. He was told he would never walk unassisted. But he decided he didn’t like those limits and did the ‘impossible’.

      I found this just yesterday, and today your comment – I think it’s a sign! 🙂

      Reply
  4. Great interview, Imelda. I am very new to this writing gig, and I found your answers really helpful. It obviously takes a lot of talent to be successful, but I love that you are highlighted the hardwork and perseverance required. Congratulations on the book. Jo and Declan sound like wonderful characters and I can’t wait to read their story.

    Reply
    • Thanks, Lauren, I’m glad it was helpful. Talent is what it takes to start, but no-one gets there on talent alone. Or if they do, they don’t stay there long. And everyone starts from being new, Lauren. If you had seen as many people as I have, in the time I have been in RWA, come from being ‘new’ to publication, you would be even more encouraged! Persistence really does pay.

      I hope you enjoy Jo and Declan’s story. I got very fond of them while writing the book, for all their pig-headedness!

      Reply
  5. What a beautiful photo of you! I love all the Destiny covers too. They do good work, don’t they?

    Reply
    • Thank you, Claire! I credit the photographer for at least half of the prettiness. She made it fun, which is a fairly rare thing! And yes, I do think the Destiny covers are lovely. They’ve got an interview up on the site at the moment with the guy who does them. He says it’s no hardship spending his days going through pictures of beautiful women, so I guess he likes doing them too! 😉 http://www.destinyromance.com/news

      Reply
  6. Lovely interview Imelda. Wow – you do take a great photo.

    Hmm, which rules are made for breaking?? Never eat cheesecake because its fattening – I break that one all the time!

    Reply
    • Ha! I’ve lost count of the eating ‘rules’ that I have broken! They’re just a broken wreckage that I crunch over on my way to the buffet…

      Thank you for the compliment. You’re too kind. (And the photographer too talented.) I just hope the photo me doesn’t look so good that people are disappointed by the real thing! 😉

      Reply
  7. Natasha Devereux

     /  November 26, 2012

    Hi Imelda, I think that the biggest rule that needs to be broken is the one that most people live by – that you have to fit in to get along in life. In trying to be everything for everyone, you won’t become the you you were meant to be.
    My motto is ‘Never grow up – Never grow old’

    Reply
    • I do wholeheartedly agree, Natasha that the energy expended in trying to fit in could be much better spent! I think I was lucky in that I was never naturally the most popular or whatever, so I fairly early decided that I didn’t care too much about fitting in. It saved me quite a lot of angst!

      Reply
  8. Hey Imelda,
    Can I say that photo of you is stunning. And I love that ring.
    I think something that resonated with me during my uni years is that ‘it’s never too late to study’. There were a handful of mature aged students at the time. This year, I went back to study and all the part time students are mature aged. LOL though mature in a sentence refering to me feels a bit odd 😉
    Congrats on your release, Queenie.

    Reply
    • Thank you, m’dear! I love that ring too. It was a gift and I thought it would be great for photos. I’m glad I wore it, as my hands ended up in most of the photos and as I think they would have looked naked without it! I absolutely agree about the never too late thing. A friend of mine recently did a complete career change, including study to requalify and has never been happier. Melbourne Uni recently graduated a man in his 90s. Learning keeps you young!

      Reply
  9. Yep! Never too late. Bryce Courtney first debuted when he was 53. (My debut age!!!!! Ah, wouldn’t a career like that be nice!)

    Reply
    • I didn’t know that about Bryce Courtney! That certainly is encouraging. He will be missed, I’m sure. He seemed like a brave man and his career is an inspiration to all of us later starters.

      Reply
  10. Hi Imelda
    Gee have you any time to breathe. You’re one hell of a busy lady. 🙂 Rules… What rules lol I think pov change can be broken when absolutely necessary, as long it not abrupt and the reader doesn’t get lost or jerked from the story.

    I know everyone has said it, but it’s such a lovely photograph.

    Reply
    • Never as busy as I feel I should be, Suzanne, or not as productive, anyway! I absolutely agree on POV changes. I think that the extreme ‘rules’ that people espouse now are more a fashion than hard and fast ‘rules’. Anything that serves the story is okay by me!

      Thank you re the photo. It’s a lovely novelty for me to have some photos of myself that I like! 😉

      Reply
  11. Lovely interview, Imelda! I’m dying to know what these ‘girls in the basement’ are haha.

    Reply
    • Thanks, Carla! Sadly, I don’t have a coterie of idea-generators locked up and at my mercy. Jenny Cruisie uses the expression for her muse or muses – the unconcious part of the creative process. The theory goes something like if you show up and do the hard work, the girls in the basement will also work for you. An example from the book above: my hero had said, early in the book, something about not being much of a team person. Later, when he was talking about the sport that he does, it turned out he was a triathlete and a rock climber – both individual sports. I hadn’t planned that, I’d just set him up and followed him through the story and when sporting activity was needed, that’s what flowed onto the page. That’s the girls in the basement at work!

      Reply
  12. I love this Imelda:
    “Do what you enjoy and energises you, but not at the expense of finishing the book!” Good advice.
    Lovely to hear & know a little more about you!

    As for breaking the rules… I break the rules by refusing to say the word “Diet.” I say “I’m eating healthier”

    Reply
    • Ah, Marianne, I am with you on the ‘diet’ thing! I think it’s significant that the first three letters of the word spell ‘die’… Glad to know you better too! 🙂

      Reply
  13. Love the interview, Imelda, and the story sounds fabulous!

    As to rules that are meant to be broken? The motto I’ve adopted, with a bit of adapting, is ‘Rules are for fools and the guidance of wise men. Be wise, be guided.’ 🙂

    Reply
  14. This is all very exciting, Imelda!

    Reply
  15. Celia (aka Jules Matthew)

     /  December 4, 2012

    Hello from Barbados. Thank you for sharing your experience in writing. As an aspiring writer, I love to read writer author interviews. It’s a good way to pick up tidbits and get inspiration. They keep me coming back to the keyboard to eke out a few more scenes with the hope that one day too, I will be asked for an interview 🙂

    Reply
    • Hi Celia! – you hail from a very beautiful part of the world! Best, best, best of luck with your writing. I have a secret for you – I was asked for this interview, not just because I (finally) published a book, but because I am a member of this fabulous organisation, the Romance Writers of Australia. I don’t know whether there is a similar organisation in Barbados, but if there is, you should consider joining. I have found Romance writers to be astoundingly generous and wonderful people, who are full of encouragement and support. Even if the organisation isn’t that close, in these internet days, a lot of the action happens online, so you might still get some benefit. In the meantime, you’re welcome at our blog any time! 🙂

      Reply
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