I’m pleased today to interview suspense author, Misty Evans. She’s here to talk about her new super awesome release, Operation Sheba.
You can get her new book and read an excerpt by clicking here!
1. When did you know you wanted to be a writer? And how did you get your start?
The writing bug bit in fourth grade. I entered an essay contest with a story about my dad and won second place. My essay appeared in our local paper and I saw my name in print. All through school, I wrote bad poetry, dorky song lyrics and horrible short stories, sure I was destined to become a writer, actor or rock star. In college, reality came calling and I majored in business, sneaking in a minor in English lit. Every job I had, I ended up writing and editing newsletters, press releases, you name it. I wrote my boss’s memos on many occasions.
After the birth of my twin sons, I left the business world behind. The writing itch, however, was impossible for me to shake. I started writing short nonfiction stories about my kids, finances and being a stay-at-home mother. Several were published. Then September eleventh happened.
My closest friends were mothers of young children like myself and we were all worried and scared about what the future held for our kids. One day I couldn’t take it anymore. I turned off CNN and started typing a humorous mystery with my friends as the characters. That story gave me back a sense of control over my world. I served up a big heap of justice to the bad guys and could sleep again at night. My friends loved it, btw, and I wrote a couple more stories with them in the spotlight.
2. Where do you find your inspiration?
Music, movies, people walking down the street, annoying neighbors, you name it. Anyone who ticks me off should beware. I know a hundred ways to put you in a story and torture you. <insert maniacal laughter here>
3. What is the one writer’s tool you can’t live without?
Besides caffeine? Wow, hard to name just one. Can I have two? First, my sources. I can’t write accurate agent characters without them. Second, my Flip Dictionary. I have a tendency to write “that” and a few other words a thousand times in every story. The dictionary gives me choices my editor prefers!
4. How many words/pages do you do in a day/week/month? And how do you keep yourself motivated to do them?
I track progress by scenes and chapters. Once a scene gets in my head, I have to get it down on paper. As I write through the story, bits and pieces of plot or characterization pop up and I go back and edit. I often write the first draft in four months, but spend another couple of months editing and polishing to get my characters and plot just right.
Motivation isn’t a problem for me, actually. It’s lack of time. With my twins and my other commitments, I have to be very creative and flexible with my writing schedule. I often get up at five a.m. or take my laptop on road trips.
5. Whose work has influenced you the most?
I read everything from historical fiction to comics and it all influences me. Overall, though, my mother’s storytelling had the greatest influence on me as far as my writing. She’s from the South, and let me tell you, the woman knows how to tell the best ghost stories! They still keep me awake at night!
6. This month is the release of your novel, OPERATION SHEBA. Where did you get the idea for that?
All those hours in front of CNN after the planes crashed. I started reading about terrorists, which led me to the CIA. The organization is so misunderstood and undervalued. I wanted to join, seriously, but my age – ahem – was an issue. Also, my total lack of foreign language skills. I’ve got a handle on French and am now tackling Italian. Hehehe.
7. Tell us a little about the book.
Action, adventure, intrigue, sex, a good dose of humor and a romantic triangle. I nicknamed it Calgon…like the bath stuff. It will take you away…
Here’s the blurb:
Julia Torrison – codename Sheba – is keeping secrets. Seventeen months ago she was a CIA superagent, tracking down dangerous terrorists with her partner and lover, Conrad Flynn. A mission was blown, literally, when a bomb Julia built exploded early and Conrad died. Yanked back to Langley and given a new identity, she is now the Counterterrorism Center’s top analyst, spending her days at CIA headquarters and her nights in the bed of her boss. Her former life as a secret agent has been sealed off.
Conrad Flynn – codename Solomon – has his own secrets. For starters, he’s not dead. Going under the deepest cover possible, he faked his death to save Sheba’s life. Now he must tear that new life apart and ask her to help him hunt down a traitor-her new love.
Is Con a rogue operator or just a jealous ex-lover intent on revenge? Julia must risk everything personal and professional in order to decide. Drawn into a web of seduction and betrayal, she is forced to play the spy game of her life, flushing out an Agency mole and stopping a hostage situation using nothing more than her iPod and her intuition.
8. What are you working on now?
More super agent stories. The second in this series in my editor’s hands and I’m writing the third book. I’m also working on edits for a paranormal comedy that won Samhain’s Tickle My Fantasy Contest. That novella will be in an anthology with three other fabulous stories in 2010.
Thanks so much for the interview!
It was my pleasure! I’ll close with information about my contest for readers. In honor of my character, Julia (who uses an iPod to stop a dangerous hostage situation), I’m giving away an iPod to one winner. Contest details are on my website at www.readmistyevans.com.