It’s a privilege and my great pleasure to have this chance to talk to you, thanks to the idea behind this unique blog. I still haven’t fully gotten into the groove of social media so this opportunity is doubly welcome.
I’d like to be able to answer the questions that interest you most, but I can only guess at what those are. So maybe, I’ll just take a stab at what the first one might be, based on the questions I often get asked by book bloggers.
When you get down to it, writing is unrewarding, based on the criterion of number of sales—arguably a criterion less weighty than that of making enough money to live on. An enlightening 2013 article in the Huffington Post (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/william-dietrich/the-writers-odds-of-succe_b_2806611.html) gives a two percent probability that a book will sell 5,000 copies. The average book sells 500. And those were statistics gathered at the start of the self-publishing explosion. That probability might be lower now.
So why write? Every author has unique reasons for persisting in the face of such odds. I didn’t really know why I’ve persisted. When asked this question, I’ve given the facile answer that it’s because I love words. In fact, it’s more than that. And it wasn’t until I was painting a large picture a couple of years ago that I realized what the deeper reason might be. Why did that insight come at that moment? Because the subject of that painting is essentially what I deal with when I write fiction.I start every new novel the way I start a new painting. Essentially, I’m facing a large blank canvas, sometimes intimidated by the empty, titanium whiteness of it. When any painter starts to fill a blank canvas, there’s always some central question—often a philosophical one that goes to the core of who she is—which intrudes into that work. I realized then that the central question for me is what being a woman means in this society at the time I’m working on a piece. A question I’ve turned over in my head many times and to which I’ll keep seeking answers. As in the picture I was painting, it’s the issue at the heart of novels I’ve written.
A love story is often the pivot around which my stories revolve because in life, love of one form or another is what most often drives us. My stories hardly ever satisfy the format of romance novels because of what I focus on. So I call them Women’s Fiction. My goal is to nuance what it means to love, mostly from the woman’s point of view. But loving is not something you can take outside the context of how a particular life is lived. So, ultimately, the story becomes one about life, about issues women and men face, and the changes we inevitably go through.
I hope that in knowing why I write, you’re likelier to find something that will connect us through the story you are or will be reading. In Hello Agnieszka, you’ll find at least three love stories. Two of them between Agnieszka and two different men at different times and the third, between a mother and her daughter.
But that isn’t all. There’s also Agnieszka’s passion for music, a passion that leads to shattered dreams but which also sustains her in her heartaches.
All the best and—as Elizabeth Bennet writes to an aunt in Pride and Prejudice—all the love I can spare from my husband and my son.
P.S. If you’re curious about my painting, it’s at https://www.evyjourney.com/the-naked-art-of-writing-and-painting/
About the Author
Evy Journey has always been fascinated with words and seduced by beautiful prose. She loves Jane Austen and invokes her spirit every time she spins tales of love, loss, and finding one's way—stories she interweaves with mystery or intrigue and sets in various locales. SPR (Self Publishing Review) awarded Evy the 2015 Independent Woman Author bronze for her writing.
She's lived and traveled in many places, from Asia to Europe. Often she's ended up in Paris, though—her favorite place in the world. She's an observer-wanderer. A flâneuse, as the French would say.
The mind is what fascinates her most. Armed with a Ph.D., she researched and spearheaded the development of mental health programs. And wrote like an academic. Not a good thing if you want to sound like a normal person. So, in 2012, she began to write fiction (mostly happy fiction) as an antidote.
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About the Book:
Elise thought she knew her mother. Agnieszka Halverson is a caring woman, a great cook, and an exceptional piano player; but living in a secure, predictable world, she’s also a little dull. Her world is devastated when her oldest son attempts suicide, and Elise finds her mother has a past—both sweet and bitter—that she must now reveal to explain the suicide attempt. A past rich with a passion for music and shattered dreams, betrayal of a sweet but tragic first love, second chances and renewed hopes.
Born to immigrant parents weighed down by their roots, Agnieszka takes solace in learning to play the piano, taught by a sympathetic aunt who was a concert pianist in Poland before World War II. But when her aunt betrays her and her parents cast her aside for violating their traditional values, can Agnieszka’s music sustain her? Can she, at eighteen, build a life on her own?
When she finally bares her soul to her children, Agnieszka hopes they can accept that she has a past that’s as complex as theirs; that she’s just as human, just as vulnerable as they are. But do her revelations alienate her husband and can they push Elise farther away from her?