Today I’m very lucky to be interviewing Eva Natsumi /Mary Catherine/ author of Drowing Ophelia, Bloody Valentine, Rue Bourbon Supernatirals, Beast, The Web and more. She doesn’t much care for genres. She writes what she wants to write. Her books are a little humorous, a lot dark, and mostly about twisted people.
Hi Eva, thank you for agreeing to this interview.
• Tell me a little about yourself and your background? What were you like at school? Were you good at English? What are your ambitions for your writing career? Which writers inspire you? Or something that you feel you need to share?
Eva is my nom de plume. My real name is Mary Catherine, but everything about Eva is true, I.E. We were both diagnosed with debilitating illness(es). So high school was a real drag. I didn’t really go to school. I spent all of sophomore year at home, too sick to go, and the rest of the years I attended randomly. It was lonely. Writing makes me feel like I’m not alone. When I put pen to paper (or pixel to paper) suddenly someone else shares my problems. Suddenly there’s another person with my sense of humor. It’s the same rush I get when reading, only a billion times more. More than one writer has said they feel sick if they go a day without writing, and it’s true. Writing grounds me. I get too depressed and too lonely without my characters.
Oh and most teachers and I didn’t get along. Teachers either hated me or didn’t notice me. I really didn’t like school…. Was I good at English? I was alright. I got A’s and sometimes B’s. The thing about English is that most of the time the teacher wants you to follow the rules. I don’t follow the rules. I break them. You see that in my writing. We read these great, groundbreaking writers and essayists and then they want us to write these boring, structured essays. I did have one calculus teacher that looked like Viggo Mortenson, so even though I sucked at Calculus, that was a fun class. Wink Wink.
• What was your life like before becoming an author?
It was… antsy. I just want my stuff to be read, ya know?
It depends. I’ve been working on a novel for seven years now and the character came first with that. I love her. But a lot of the times the story comes first too. With Rue Bourbon Supernaturals and Beast the story came first. With Drowning Ophelia it was a mixture. With Miss Lonelyhearts it came to me in a dream. A fucking terrible nightmare, more like.
• When did you decide to become a writer?
I remember it like it was yesterday… Haha, but seriously I do. I had always had trouble making up my mind with what I wanted to be. One week it was marine biologist, the next actor, then fire fighter, etc etc. Then one week in drama class we were given an assignment to write our character’s back story and act it out. I had SO much fun writing my character and it hit me. I don’t want to be an actor, or a firefighter, or a marine biologist. I want to be a writer. I want to write those people’s stories, not live them. Living them gets boring, but writing them? I can write whatever I want! I had been writing since I was little as a hobby, but it never hit me to pursue it. That day was a friggin’ epiphany and I’ve never regretted it.
• Why do you write?
For many reasons. I said before I don’t want to feel lonely. It really helps when I’m struggling with something to write it down. It makes me feel like someone else has this problem too. I also write because I have this internal restlessness. One day I want to be a vampire and the next I want to be a heroine in some new adult comedy. Writing lets me live all the lives I want to.
Also, and this is a big also, I want to change someone. Every time I read something I’m changed a little bit. Whether I empathize with someone more or learn more about something, I’m changed. If I change just one person for the better with my writing then it’s done. I did my job.
• So, what have you written?
Drowing Ophelia (Drowning Ophelia, #1)
Arise (Drowning Ophelia, #2)
This is one of the darker series; it’s really not for people who like happy endings.
Bloody Valentine – Miss Lonelyhearts (Bloody Valentine, #1)
Sister Havoc (Bloody Valentine) Is the second book that I’m writing. I’m so damn excited for this too. The title is one of my favorites.
Rue Bourbon Supernaturals
Scarlette (Rue Bourbon Supernaturals, #1)
Maya (Rue Bourbon Supernaturals, #2)
Jessica (Rue Bourbon Supernaturals, #3)
This is pure paranormal and so much fun. This is the third book and I’m writing this one as well. It’s a little taboo with the age of consent blurred.
This is my taboo erotica.
The Web (The Web, #1)
I just finished the rewrite for this and I’ll release it in November. It’s much better than before.
I’m also working on a new novel.
• Give me an insight into your main character. What does he/she do that is so special?
Instead of doing any one character, I’ll talk about them all. All of my characters are a bit twisty. They’re always struggling with something internally. Take, for example, Ophelia from Drowning Ophelia. She struggles with severe depression and has to deal with that, on top of being stranded in a manor with some mysterious guy. Greta from Miss Lonelyhearts has debilitating anxiety and is thrust in to the apocalypse, enough said. I like my characters to be relateable, and I don’t think it’s relateable if the only thing a character has to deal with is relationship problems.
• How do you market your book?
My marketing is so sporadic. I try not to bombard people with spam and ads. The way I want to market my books is through word of mouth and it being read, so I focus on giveaways and reviews. Every now and then I’ll place an ad (when I’m feelin’ antsy).
• Do you have any advice for other authors on how to market their books?
A book is meant to be read, so do whatever it takes to get it read. I like giving mine away.
• What do you do to get book reviews?
I giveaway my book in exchange for an honest review.
• What advice do you have for someone who would like to become a published writer?
Make sure you edit your book thoroughly. If you suck at editing, hire an editor. I’ve hired a couple editors who (in my opinion) didn’t do that great of a job. I ended up editing my own. It isn’t just about looking over your work once. You need to read it a “bajillion” times in a couple of months to make sure it’s great. People don’t want to read crap.
Make sure you have a great cover. There are a bunch of great, online resources. Like http://www.goonwrite.com/
I even have shop where I sell pre made covers – http://thebookcoverdesigner.com/designers/eva-natsumis-custom-covers/.
• How can readers discover more about your and you work?
Send me a tweet! Or visit me at Evanatsumi.blogspot.com or come to my Goodreads page. I’m on the computer all the time and love to chat.
Twitter: @EvaNatsumi https://twitter.com/Evanatsumi
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Eva-Natsumi/e/B00AFNZ598
It was a great privilege for me to get to interview Eva Natsumi, who has inspired me in many different ways. Thank you Eva!!! Good Luck with everything!