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Interview with author Eva Gordon

Updated on December 31, 2013

About the author

  • Short stories by AJ have been published since 1994 in magazines, summer specials and international competitions, been broadcast on radio and recorded for audio books.
  • Heartwarming stories - Short Moments

I'd like you to meet writer, Eva Gordon. Hi Eva, word has it you’re a busy person. How long have you actually been writing?

Hi AJ, well I suppose I started 6 years ago after I retired my horse and suddenly had a lot of time. My kids were in high school and middle school and my biology students kept on asking me “what if questions”. One question was what would happen if a killer microbe killed most of the human population? From that question came my first sci/fi novel, Post-Apocalyptic Genome. My original intention was to prepare my students for a term paper on bioethics. I caught the writing bug and two years ago or so I wrote my debut novel, The Stone of the Tenth Realm.

  • And which genre would you place your book in, who ought to be picking it up?

Well, I’d place it in fantasy with a strong romance. This fantasy is somewhat different from the typical of this genre because it has elements of Jewish magic.

  • And did you dive straight into a book, or did you write short stories first?

Well, yes, I simply started at the novel level.

  • And the response from your family, how did they take it when they knew what you were up to?

AJ, they were great. They were very supportive.

  • That’s always good to hear. I’m afraid I was too shy to let anyone know what I was up to for ages …. Okay Eva, tell me, what prompted you to write, “The Stone of the Tenth Realm”, are there any there any special messages to the reader?

Well, I loved reading fantasy but found that most dealt with traditional swords and sorcery tropes. Though it has Celtic magic I also wanted to create a novel that had elements of Jewish magic and the concept of parallel worlds. Could there be an earth where magic was real and would it experience the same political upheaval such as World War II? Hence, my main character, Sophie escapes a concentration camp and enters the Tenth Realm. She soon realizes that like her old realm, it too has an evil leader (Hitler’s doppelganger) and that she must take action with her powers of alchemy to combat the coming darkness.
I never intended any clear message, however, one will note that we must always fight evil no matter what the situation.

  • Not a bad theme to have – always topical. Eva, what readership level is the book aimed at?

I suppose it’s mainly aimed at adults and young adults, folk who love fantasy, paranormal romance, alternative history, and Jewish fiction.

  • Don’t we all. I’m a sucker for stuff like Harry Potter. So in this case was much research involved? Did you need to establish facts and figures to add authenticity?

Absolutely. I had to research locations, WWII history, alchemy and kabbalah. However, since it’s a fantasy, it involved my own world building. I also wrote about what I know.

  • Eva, that’s a subject quite close to my heart. I’ve posted several articles with that in mind. A lot of new writers think they just sit at a keyboard and out it comes – they couldn’t be more wrong.

Also, AJ, being Jewish helped develop the Jewish characters. I taught chemistry so I had some inkling about alchemy and I am spiritually drawn to concepts of kabbalah. I have traveled to every geographic area mentioned in my novel. England, Scotland (including Skye), Spain, France, Germany (especially the Alps), Prague and Sfat, Israel. Being a zoologist helped with the animals in my story.

  • Wow! Your credentials are impeccable. It will obviously show through in your writing. So, let’s give your book a plug, who’s the publisher? Where is your book available?

My publisher is Libros International, a UK press in Spain. It’s available on Amazon and it will soon be available on other sites and stores.

  • And have you any other work in the pipeline?

Yes. I've recently heard that Libros have accepted another fantasy novel, Gaea’s Keeper, and are considering the sequel to The Stone of the Tenth Realm, called The Alchemist of the Tenth Realm (originally titled Distant Shores). I’m also finished with Werewolf Sanctuary, a paranormal/fantasy romance in a series titled the Wolf Maiden Chronicles. My current work in progress in this series takes place in the West Frank Kingdom in the year 840. Yes, I’m researching everything about Vikings.

  • Eva, I’m afraid you make me ashamed. I seem to spend too much time on promotion rather than writing. So, if you could offer as word of advice to aspiring authors what would it be?

Well, my strongest advice is to find a good critique partner or group and friends that are “honest” readers. If my writing seems slow I want to know! I personally prefer one partner because too many opinions make my head explode. Secondly write your draft like you are describing a movie (show, don’t tell or a good mixture of the two). We do need some telling. Showing however makes the read fun. And finally edit, edit, edit until your eyes pop out, then let someone else edit.

  • That’s when you know you’ve made it, when someone else is editing the final draft – the publisher. Eva, I wonder, would you like to tell us a little more about your background. It sounds fascinating and I’m sure readers will want to know.

Well, I have a BS in Zoology and graduate studies in Biology. I’ve taught High School Biology for eighteen years. I have been the lead teacher at my school in the Gene Connection Biotechnology Program. I was the first teacher-in residence at UCSF’s Science and Health Education Partnership where I worked closely with UCSF research scientists to implement biotechnology in the classroom. Last year I taught Biology, and Anatomy/Physiology at a private school. I’m currently on sabbatical from teaching to let my writing muse take over.

  • To be sure, credentials in abundance. And your interest in animals, would you like to expand?

I combined my love of animals and writing by being a guest speaker for the Silicon Valley Romance Writers last summer. My topic was on Wolves and Ravens as Archetypes in Science Fiction and Fantasy Writing. I also teach at The Grey School of Wizardry in the Department of Beast Mastery. I have also taught a Wolf Biology and Lore workshop for the Hearts Through History Romance Group. I spent several weeks last summer doing volunteer work at a wolf sanctuary in Southern Oregon. All my life I have trained and worked with dogs and horses. I hope to soon pursue the ancient art of falconry.

  • Eva Gordon, you’re busy indeed, thank you for taking the time to share this with us. I can’t tell you how impressed I am. I look forward to reading your book.


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    • ajbarnett profile image

      ajbarnett 7 years ago from Costa Blanca, Spain

      Many thanks for reading and commenting on the hub, Dallas93444. Glad you liked it.

    • dallas93444 profile image

      Dallas W Thompson 7 years ago from Bakersfield, CA

      Serendipity. Life is what you do while you make plans..! Great hub.