July is a hot month, so it would be remiss if we didn’t take the time to feature our own “hot” author. E.C. Jarvis joined Our Write Side as a monthly columnist back in February, and since joining us has self-published four more books! Read her erotic series, but don’t expect to cool down! The first book in her Steampunk series is also one of our featured books on our summer reading list!
Welcome Author E.C. Jarvis. Get to know her through our exclusive interview with this fantastic author….
Name: E.C. Jarvis
Latest Book Released: The War – Book three of the Blood and Destiny series
Contact Info: www.ecjarvis.com/contact
Preferred Genre: Fantasy
E.C. Jarvis is a British author working mainly in fantasy and erotic romance genres. For the last thirteen years, Jarvis has been working her way through the ranks of the accountancy profession in various industries. During ten of those years she has also been writing.
Since the start of 2015, she has completed three full novels, won a number of online writing competitions and is on track to complete her first series.
She lives in Hampshire, England with her husband and daughter and cat.
We are so honored to have you as our Author of the Month! Thank you for sharing your words with the world! Let’s talk about your latest released book. Tell us a short blurb about the book, please?
When your day begins with an escape from a volcanic eruption and a plane crash leaving you stranded in the desert, you’d be forgiven for giving up all hope. Larissa and Cid have survived the journey to the hostile land of Eptora, having experienced an incredible number of bizarre events. Can their luck hold out on the journey home? Larissa and Holt both believe each other dead, and with good reason.
As she learns more unsettling details of her father’s past, and his devious plans for the future, Larissa once again finds herself in the middle of a mess. With two nations on the verge of a war fabricated for one reason, it’s up to the unlikely crew under Larissa’s command to put a stop to the inevitable.
Fights, airships and explosions keep readers of this fast paced action adventure on their toes once more.
Where did your idea for the story come from?
It began as a short story based on a writing prompt for a short story competition. The prompt was for a steampunk themed story involving the characters needing to achieve something before the onset of winter. I believe the word limit was around two thousand words. I had an idea about a character inventing a machine which was something akin to a nuclear reactor, in a world where the only heat and power source available was coal fired steam. Instead of uranium, I had anthonium which was an incredibly rare element in my world (I suppose as it is in the real world). My female heroine unwittingly carried a lump of the element around in the form of a necklace, and the inventor of the machine tried to woo her in order to get her to give it up.
That is the basis of the beginning of the series. I wrote the entry and won the competition (let’s not mention the fact that mine was the only entry). However, the handful of people who read it all said the same thing, that it felt like the start of something bigger. As I’m nearing completion of the fourth and final novel in the series, I can’t help but agree with their assessment.
How long did it take you to write it?
I began in December 2014. The first book took around six months. The second book flew from my fingers in about three months. The third and fourth books took about four months each, but I have also been writing a few other books at the same time.
How did you come up with the title?
For the first book, it was easy. It began with a machine, therefore I named it The Machine. The second book was similarly simple in that it involved a pirate, therefore I called it The Pirate. Once I’d sort of created that theme I suppose I was committed to calling book three and four “The – something”. Book three was a little harder to pin down. I went back and forth with the title for a while. The War had been a placeholder title since early on, but by the end of the book, when I realized that it doesn’t technically have a war in the story, I wondered if it still worked. After much debate, I left it as it is. The whole book is a foreshadowing of war and there are internal struggles with my main group of characters which could be considered a war of sorts, so it fits.
What is your favorite line from the book?
“She remembered the skin beneath his shirt, the lines of his muscles, the scars that told a thousand stories she would probably never hear and the ones from the stories she knew all-too-well.”
There’s a lot of talk in the writing community about “writing what you know.” Does that apply to this book?
Yeah, I never did quite grasp that idea. I don’t know Victoriana England all that well. I certainly don’t know much about nuclear fission, or the workings of dirigibles and steam trains. I had to do a bit of research on those things to make sure my twist on them in the book was at least moderately reasonable. So I guess you could say there was an element of including knowledge of reality within the fantasy in doing that. Other than that, it’s all a nonsense. I’m not a psychotic murderer but I can write one. I know my imagination, I know my world, I know my characters. That – to me – is enough.
How did you find “your voice?”
It took a while I’ll admit. When I read the beginning chapters of the series, even I can see the vast improvement that has been made over the course of just eighteen months. Once I settled into the flow – my voice – it became much easier. I attribute much of it to doing a lot of reading. I find it really helped me to get into the swing of things when I saw how other writers structured their sentences. It’s not plagiarism, it’s emulation.
I am a multi-genre author. I currently have two different genre series – the steampunk one, and an erotic fantasy. I think I will almost always work within the realm of fantasy, but there is such scope. I’m tempted by a sci-fi story next.
What are you currently working on?
An anthology submission, book four of the steampunk series, book three of the erotic series. Blogs, marketing, website design, a secret writing project… oh and a full-time job and family as well.
Which manuscript did you have the most fun working on?
The Pirate. That story flowed out of me like turning on a tap. I didn’t get “writers block” once and I managed by first ever 10k word day. It was such a pleasure to write.
What is your best one sentence advice to other writers?
Read lots, write lots.
Let’s talk about you, the author, now. What do you do when you aren’t writing?
Work (boo), cleaning and cooking (boo), spend time with my family (yay). I also like gardening, we have a lot of vegetables growing this year.
If you had to sum your life up in 3 words, what would they be?
Ninety percent imagination
What motivates you?
A challenge. I get bored very easily and I usually end up setting myself stupid challenges in order to complete a dull task. Give me something complex to figure out and I’m a happy bunny.
Tell us about your favorite cause.
Anything that helps animals. The RSPCA (Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) in the UK has a special place in my heart.
Identify your superpower.
What’s your favorite quote? Book? Movie? Song? Food?
Movie – The Empire of the Sun.
Song – Insomnia by Faithless.
Food – CHOCOLATE.
Are you coffee or tea?
I’m a brit… tea… always
And lastly, what is the one thing you wish people who DON’T write would understand about writing?
Just how much it takes to write a book. The sacrifices a writer makes to complete a novel. When you read a book you don’t see the pieces of heart and soul that a writer tore out to put those words down. You don’t see the sleepless nights, the stress and frustration, the pain and suffering, the edits and edits and edits. You don’t see the character sheets, the endless notes, the first draft, second draft, the pages of cuts, the character we loved but couldn’t fit into the story so had to throw him out. The subplot that was so awesome it could be a novel of its own. With indie books, you don’t see the costs of cover art, the editing, the marketing and the pitiful return of $0.30 per ebook sold at a cost of only $0.99 to the reader. And some people have the audacity to complain about that being expensive. You don’t see the tears shed over a poor review with no explanation or justification, and a writer is expected to take it on the chin, no, we’re not allowed to feel bad if someone publicly abuses us for something that we poured our heart and soul into.
Writers are looked down upon by almost everyone. When you announce that you’re a writer you get that look, that subtle judgemental patronizing look.
When I emailed my dad to tell him I gained a publishing contract for my book, he didn’t respond. When I rang him the next day to check he got the email his response was “oh, I thought it was spam”…
Being a writer sucks in so many ways, and readers just don’t see it. At times it’s like having a mental illness, if you don’t see it then you can’t understand or appreciate it, but trust me, it’s there.
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