While living a charmed life, Eva Pasco’s summer employment during college served her well for learning how to relate with all kinds of folks and roll with the punches whether gluing eyes on pairs of lion slippers at Capitol Heel Lining, collating booklets at Sidney-Higgins Bookbinding, or getting down and dirty at H & H Screw Products. Eva attributes her youthfulness and resilience to a 29-year teaching career in the trenches at Northern Lincoln Elementary. Midlife restlessness prompted her to revive a dormant flair for writing.
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Q. What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?
Actually, I not only conduct research before beginning a book, but throughout the process of writing as the need arises to provide information for blurring the demarcation line between fiction and nonfiction.
Since my author signature is that of incorporating local setting—my native state of Rhode Island—my research delves into historic events, geographic entities, and regional culture as it fits into the parameters of my work in progress. For ‘An Enlightening Quiche,’ which features an impoverished mill, my research chased such topics as: The Industrial Revolution and Slater Mill of Pawtucket, RI; the Blackstone River; French-Canadian immigration to northern Rhode Island; colloquial expressions and cuisine.
For authenticating my protagonist’s introspective narratives, my research swerved to the Eighties, and then backpedaled to D-Day during WWII in conjunction with a minor character. I also meticulously looked up the weather for specific days in the year 2011, the year I have envisioned my story taking place.
Q. What period of your life do you find you write about most often? (child, teenager, young adult)
My first 100 Memoirs relate incidents which occurred during my childhood and teenage years during the Sixties, and are featured at The Sixties Official Site where I have my own Web page. However, my novels feature women forty and older.
Q. What are the ethics of writing Women’s Fiction?
For me, it is about writing stories that dispel the clichés that accompany the genre of Women’s Fiction by the coined term, “Chick Lit.” The label conjures an image of frivolous, lighthearted fare with book cover images of cocktail glasses, designer handbags, and high heels. Whereas, Women’s Fiction taps into the hopes, fears, and dreams of females.
I like to bill my novels as “Lit with Grit” because they embrace realism and portray women over forty who grapple with, confront, and overcome their personal dilemmas to become empowered in making profound life changes for the better. My novels are descriptive, introspective, and explore the gamut of inner conflicts: convention vs. rebellion; fate vs. free will; loyalty vs. betrayal; unbridled love vs. sacrifice; death–inevitable or tragic?
Q. It is often said that in order to write something, you must believe in what you are writing. Do you agree with that?
I agree with this statement wholeheartedly. It’s the belief that propels a writer from start to finish despite frustrations along the way such as being at a loss for words on any given day, or not being satisfied with the quality of your output during a writing session.
Q. What does the word ‘retirement’ mean to you? Do writers ever retire?
After retiring from a teaching career, I revived my dormant flair for writing, and put in even longer hours than before! Though I often struggle with the notion of walking away, resenting all the time an Indie author must invest in marketing one’s published work, I can’t do it just yet.
Q. What do you do in your free time?
I welcome the change of pace that running errands affords. I enjoy the simple pleasures of going out for breakfast or lunch. Since Rhode Island has 400 miles of coastline and over 100 accessible beaches, I walk the shore throughout our four seasons. I also take great pleasure in driving along scenic routes listening to the radio. By the end of the day, I take comfort in reading and solving challenging crossword puzzles.
Q. Describe your creative process from start to finish.
No outline. No rigid plot to hem me in. You might say the windmills of my mind propel the story, whereby the end justifies the means to get there. From past practice, my characters sabotage the ending I have in mind. Believe me, I know better than to question their judgment!
Usually bursts of brilliance for how to best articulate an idea or parlay snatches of dialog overtake me when I’m away from the keyboard doing housework. I immediately turn off the vacuum or abandon my dust cloth to heed my inner voice by scribbling the message on a notebook kept on my desk for this purpose. Another quirk of mine is to play music conducive for plying my mood to write a scene. For example, listening to “Wicked Games” by Chris Isaak provided the heat I needed to better convey one of my protagonists’ thoughts on the subject of a certain male.
Q. What makes your latest book stand out from the crowd?
An excerpt from Joel R. Dennstedt’s 5-Star review for Readers’ Favorite indicates how my book stands out from the crowd—“As a stylistic practice in relating the story behind An Enlightening Quiche, Eva Pasco accomplishes a most difficult task for a writer, and she accomplishes it to perfection: not only using alternating voices, but having each voice alternate between the present and a remembered, expository past. The effect of such stylistic mastery is to create – breaking from the culinary theme – a sensationally intricate and complex tapestry as pleasing to the reader’s mind as such artwork is to expert eyes. And though this work has been labeled simplistically as “contemporary women’s fiction,” make no mistake: this is a psychological, literary novel, and a wonderful, highly challenging masterpiece of writing.”
From Chapter 15:
Augusta – An inconvenient truth lay in the acquisition of a whiskey-soured premonition of a lost soul past her prime groping in the darkness through the thicket of another decade, then another, ravished by the winds of change. A vision of myself as a ghoul from Christmases Yet to Come appeared in the guise of a long-in-the-tooth trollop flicking fried-dyed hair and wearing age-inappropriate, skintight attire tautly stretched over my butt of a joke. A comparable image satirized every night by Cohen at closing time inside the chamber of Chuggers put the fear of God in me.