Today, I’m interviewing Christian author E.A West about her writing process and her books.
Me: Hi, E.A. Thanks for joining me on my blog. I’ve just finished reading one of your books, so it was great to have the opportunity to ask you some questions about yourself and your stories. First up, how long have you been writing, and what do you love about it?
E.A West: Hi, Alison. I started writing my freshman year of high school. A creative writing class I was in required us to create a fictional character and write a short biography for him or her. I created a cat-owning hippie for the assignment, but I wanted to know more than the short biography told me. Ideas began flowing, and I’ve been creating characters and writing their stories ever since.
I absolutely love coming up with unique ideas for characters and plots and seeing where it takes me. Outlining and I have never gotten along well, so I’m what they call a pantser (I write by the seat of my pants). That allows me to watch the story unfold as it happens. Sometimes the characters take over and go in an unexpected direction, but that’s just part of the fun of writing.
Me: That sounds like a lot of fun. Most writers I know are avid readers. What do you like to read? Do you have any favourite author/s?
E.A West: I’m an eclectic reader. If a book catches my interest, I’ll read it regardless of genre. I do prefer clean fiction to the racier stuff out there and try to avoid books that contain sex scenes and foul language. Beyond that, I’m not picky about genre. I do enjoy a good thriller now and then, as well as romance, mystery/suspense, historical, non-fiction, and the occasional sci-fi or fantasy. I don’t really have an all-time favorite author, but I can always count on Sigmund Brouwer, Terri Blackstock, and Max Lucado to produce books I’ll enjoy.
Me: It is good not being limited to one kind of genre. I imagine this would influence your writing too. How do you come up with new ideas for your own books? What inspires you?
E.A West: My ideas come from anywhere and everywhere. I was once inspired by part of a scene in an episode of Bonanza. Conversations, books, movies, music, even just a passing comment somewhere can trigger my imagination and send me down the road of “what if…?”
Me: One of the main characters in your book Battlefield of the Heart suffers from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). What prompted you to want to write about this disorder?
E.A West: With Battlefield of the Heart, my inspiration came from a few years of a nearly constant flow of news reports, documentaries, interviews, etc. concerning the War on Terror, veterans, and the effects of PTSD in combat vets. After a while, my imagination took all of that information I’d absorbed and started putting together Danny Flynn, the hero of the book.
When I started thinking about writing a book with vets going to college, I realized it was the perfect opportunity to share a deeper look at a disorder nearly everyone has heard of but few know much about. Since the prevalence of PTSD ranges from 11-20% in those who have served
in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, I knew that what life with PTSD looks like was something that needed to be shared.
It also offered an opportunity to help combat the stigma of seeking help for mental health issues that was extremely prevalent in the military at the time I started writing the book. Thankfully, that stigma isn’t nearly as strong now as it was then, but there’s still a long way to go before it’s commonly accepted that PTSD isn’t a sign of weakness. It’s a sign that you have survived something traumatic that affected you deeply.
Me: It definitely opened my eyes to what sufferers of PTSD, and their loved ones, might experience. What kind of readers do you think would enjoy Battlefield of the Heart and your other books.
E.A West: Anyone who enjoys sweet and/or inspirational romance. Many of my books would also appeal to those who are curious about a side of life they may never experience themselves (i.e. autism, PTSD, etc.).
Me: Thanks so much for sharing with us today. Before I let you go, I have one final question – what one piece of advice would you give to your teenage self?
E.A West: Stay strong and hold on to your faith. No matter how difficult life gets, those two things will get you through. Also, don’t be afraid to speak up for what you believe in. Not everyone will agree with you and some may even ridicule you, but more will respect you for standing up for your beliefs.
Providing journeys of hope, one story at a time. E.A. West, award-winning author of sweet and inspirational romance, is a lifelong lover of books and storytelling. In high school, she picked up her pen in a creative writing class and hasn’t laid it down yet. When she isn’t writing, she enjoys reading, knitting, and crocheting. She lives in Indiana with her family and a small zoo of pets.
Find out more about books by E.A West on her Amazon author page (http://amazon.com/author/eawest) or the books page on her blog, which contains links to
various retailers (http://thewestcorner.wordpress.com/books).
Connect with E.A. West in the following places:
- Blog: http://thewestcorner.wordpress.com
- Website: http://eawest.mcphitty.com
- Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/EA-West/34280264617
- Twitter: http://twitter.com/eawest
- Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/eawest