Thursday, February 19, 2015

Author Interview: Geraldine Evans

The Speculative Fiction Showcase interviews Geraldine Evans, author of the Rafferty & Lllewelyn cozy mystery series, the speculative thriller The Egg Factory and other works.

  1. These days, most writers are glued to their laptops, tablets, and/or e-readers. A few still swear by print books and typewriters, the question is: Do you move at all? 
I try to keep up with technology. I have a website. I use Mailchimp for newsletters. I’m on fb, twitter and other social media. I use photo-manipulation software (sometimes successfully!), I format my own books and have done most of my own covers, though I’m now in the process of getting professional custom covers. I do my best to keep up, but it’s all challenging if you’re not particularly geeky.

  1. Apple or PC? 

  1. Do you use Scrivener or Word?
Word. I have recently bought Scrivener, but it takes more time than I currently have available to get to grips with it. It’s probably better to learn with a short story rather than a novel, especially one, as at present, for which I have an editorial deadline looming. I really have no desire to risk losing the entire thing at this stage!

  1. Do you have any pets? Do they influence your writing?
I have no pets at the moment, though, if I had, I’m sure I’d introduce a pet or two for one of my characters; animals can always add another element. And look at how popular pictures of cats are on fb—surely an indication that their introduction would be an excellent idea for an author to incorporate.

  1. Would you rather see your stories on the big screen or the little screen?
The small screen, I think because if they were taken up it would be as a series and my main series (Rafferty & Llewellyn) has fifteen books in it. What’s not to like about the possibilities?

  1. Are you hooked on any science fiction or fantasy TV shows? If so, which one(s)?
No. See my answer to question 7.

  1. Do you own copies of Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings DVDs? The extended version? Do you ever watch them?
I haven’t watched a DVD for months as my TV’s sick and has been for a couple of years. But I doubt I’d watch it as I’m more into mystery series, documentaries and historical drama, which I occasionally watch on iPlayer. But my lengthy working day generally precludes much indulgence in TV.

  1. Have you seen the first two parts of the The Hobbit? Are you planning to see the final instalment?
I haven’t seen any of it.

  1. You are mainly a crime and mystery writer with occasional forays into the realm of speculative fiction. How do you balance both genres?
It’s not a problem. It’s good to be challenged in your writing and try something new. That way, if you mostly write series, as I do, you come back refreshed.

If you have an intriguing idea for a novel, it’s great to go with it, even if it’s for a new area of writing. Perhaps especially if it’s a new area of writing.

  1. Your speculative works all touch on medical and biological subjects such as reproductive medicine and cryogenics. What is it that draws you to these subjects?
Perhaps the draw is that they’re both in the realm of the possible or the almost possible in the latter case. I suppose, too, that we all find the idea of being mere mortals with a finite existence unpalatable. The concept of the day coming when we will cease to exist is a strange one. So the prospect of some kind of immortality either through your children or of being brought back to life by medical science has its appeal.

Also, I find it such a waste when the mind of a person with an amazing gift, whether it be for art, science or sheer inventiveness, can be lost forever. None of us can know what the future might hold for the human race, so I believe we need all the gifted minds we can get so we’re prepared to deal with any uncertainty.

  1. Are you a Luddite? Or do you prefer to be on the bleeding edge of technology?
 Neither. I suppose like many people, I’m somewhere in the middle, with the majority of the population who strive to keep up and get to grips with the seemingly never-ending new technologies. Though I do sometimes find myself wishing that the rush to the future would slow down a bit!

  1. Are you--or have you ever been--a gamer?

  1. What kind of foods do you eat? Are you a health-food-nut or is it strictly junk?
 Again, I’m somewhere in the middle. Appropriate really, for a woman whose astrological symbol is the scales.

  1. Do you cook? What is your best/favourite/most popular recipe?
Yes, I cook, though I admit that when I’m just cooking for myself, I tend to eat convenience foods. It’s a matter of time, rather than idleness, as like most self-employed, I tend to work very long days. But my Spaghetti Bolognese is pretty good. If I’ve invited guests I become much more adventurous in the kitchen. Unlucky guinea pigs! Probably wiser to invent a pressing engagement elsewhere from someone who’s a thoroughly practised culinary expert.

  1. Have you ever heard of or had a green smoothie? If you’ve ever had one, what did you think about them?
I’ve heard of them, but I’ve never had one. I’m not much into what I term ‘gimmicky’ food.

  1. Do you have a garden? Have you ever grown your own food?
Yes, I have a front and back garden. And a greenhouse. I’ve had a vegetable plot ever since we moved away from London to a Norfolk market town in 2000. I grow a lot of different vegetables, salads and herbs. Though I’ve given up with carrots as they never seem to grow straight which means peeling them is tedious.

17 Have you ever been to Starbucks or any other coffee shop?

No. I find all the decisions you’re expected to make over the type of coffee you want too tedious. I don’t even know what most of them are. Besides, I’m a tea person. I’m far more likely to pop into the pub.

18 Coffee or Tea or Water? Espresso, Drip, Instant, or French Press? Bag or Looseleaf? Bottled, Filtered, Tap or Rainwater?

Tea (bag). Coffee (instant).  Water (tap).

19    Do you wear socks?

Yes. Every day in winter. Every night, too. Sometimes, the wind in East Anglia comes straight from Siberia. Brrr.

20    What are you wearing right now?

Socks! Trousers, sleeveless top, jumper, long cardigan.

21    How often do you wash your hair? 

Two/three times a week.

22    Do you do your own laundry?


23    Does life fascinate you?

Yes. Its possibilities are endless if you’re open to them. I find the creative life, the production of something that didn’t exist before, very fulfilling.

24    What would your animal totem be?

No idea. But seeing as I’m curled up by an open fire right now, possible a pussy cat.

25    Do you recycle?

Yes. The local council gives no choice in the matter. But I’ve always tried to recycle anyway, even without the threat of a fine from the council if I don’t. But I’m more into hoarding, which, I suppose, is a form of recycling in that you don’t waste anything, retaining any old junk in case it ‘comes in handy’ some day. And given that whenever I’ve felt the urge to sort out the clutter, I’ve often found a use for the thing I’ve disposed of the day after it’s gone forever. Infuriating.

26 Do you do Yoga? Meditation? Or Deep Breathing? Does it help you cope?

I don’t do any of them. I find sinking into a good book provides escapism enough.

            27 On a scale of 1-10, how eccentric are you?

Quite mad. So a 10.

28    What’s your astrological sign?


29    Do you consider yourself a slave to the muse?

I don’t think I’m a slave to it. Perhaps we’re mutually interested parties!

About Geraldine Evans:

Geraldine Evans has been writing since her twenties, but only managed those blissful words: ‘The End’ once she hit the milestone age of thirty.
She has had eighteen novels traditionally-published (Macmillan, St Martin’s Press, Worldwide, Hale, Severn House), but, in 2010, she made the decision to turn indie. Since then, as well as  producing digital editions of her backlist, she has published another six books, including Kith and Kill, the 15th in her Rafferty and Llewellyn series, The Egg Factory, a standalone suspense thriller, and four shorter non-fiction works.
As well as her popular Rafferty and Llewellyn procedural series with a policeman protagonist who comes from a family who think – if he must be a copper – he might at least have the decency to be a bent one, she has a second crime series, Casey and Catt. She has also published a suspense thriller set in the world of the infertile, a biographical historical novel about the little sister of infamous English king, Henry VIII, two romances and articles/short books on a variety of subjects, including Historical Biography of People/Places, Writing, Astrology, Palmistry and other New Age subjects. She has written short stories, a dramatisation of Dead Before Morning, her first in the Rafferty series, and a sitcom, Jamjars, (Cockney rhyming slang for cars), set in a vehicle repair workshop (awaiting offers).
She moved from London with George, her late husband, in 2000 and now lives in Norfolk (England). She is currently working on the next in her Rafferty and Llewellyn procedural series as well as the research for a second biographical historical novel.
Her interests include selecting unwilling victims to sit for her amateur portraits, annoying the neighbours with her less than inspired keyboard playing, and getting God-like in the greenhouse.

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  1. Thanks Cora. My first appearance here; must try to write some more books out of my usual genre to ensure it won't be my last!

    1. You're always welcome, if you ever decide to venture into speculative fiction again.