Friday, July 26, 2013

Amazon Breakthrough Novel Awards Interview: Evelyn Pryce

Today Evelyn "Evie" Pryce tells how she fell into a romance with Romance!

GC: Tell me about your novel and how you began writing it!

EP: For most of my life, I wrote literary novels in obscurity and I never submitted them anywhere. 

When I started reading historical romance on a whim years ago, it was really like beginning a romance of my own. 

I got obsessed as a reader and then I wanted to write one. A Man Above Reproach just sort of came out when I sat down and let my fingers type what they wanted, not really caring if it pleased anyone but me. My heart is definitely in this book. 

It’s about feminism, love, society, music, literature…pretty much everything I find sexy crammed into one novel. Turns out it’s not just me, though!
GC: When did you hear about Amazon's Breakthrough Novel Award contest? Were you set on entering right away?

EP: I did not even know about it until about a week before the deadline. 

Amy Loveridge, a very good friend and an amazing poet, pointed me to it via a link on Twitter. (I’m quite glad to tell this story, because I really owe her my gratitude!) Amy had read and helped edit an early draft. She basically told me, in a nice way, that I would be stupid if I didn’t enter. She was right and I did it. 
GC: What was the waiting process like? Do you consider that you were calm, cool and collected, or were you biting off your nails like the rest of us mere mortals?

EP: I really pushed myself to disengage, but I can’t say I was calm, cool, or collected. I leaned on my husband and best friend a lot; they counseled me through it. 

I had to do things like not read the other contestants’ work; stay away from the message boards. 

I worked on my second novel and threw an event for a literacy organization I founded. 

Distraction is the only tactic, I think. 
GC: When did you hear you were a finalist? What was that moment like?

EP: May 6th. 

I wrote a blog post about it because it was such a strange experience. 

I was thankful to be at home on my couch when I found out; it would have been dangerous elsewhere. Thankfully, the Amazon staff is very polite and they warned me to be sitting down before breaking the news. After I hung up the phone, I wandered around my house with my cell still in my hand, laughing like a crazy person. 
GC: Have you had the chance to read your fellow winner's 
work? What do you think of their novels?

EP: I can’t wait to read everyone’s novels. I’m pre-ordering all of them. I’ve read the summaries and gotten excited, but I’m holding off until they’re all released. I know I’ll get hooked and I don’t want to be stuck with just an excerpt! 

GC: Would you care to share your favorite quote from your winning title?

I had sent this before, but if it’s not in your email, just let me know. (Sent a paragraph I like and also one line.) It’s so difficult for me to just pull one line out of context—I’m surprised by how difficult it is!
GC: What's next for you?

EP: I’m almost at the end of the first act of my second book, tentatively titled The Thirteenth Earl. This one’s more Gothic than AMAR and I’m just letting myself go completely whimsical. 

Let me know if you have anything other questions!

GC: Oh, Evie, I'm sure you'll be back at MPB soon and questions shall abound!

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