Interview With Evy Journey, Author of Sugar and Spice and All Those Lies
To read a previous interview with Evy Journey covering her journey to writing & more click HERE!
- - - - -
I forgot to ask in the last interview makes a great starting question
here. While there are bits of intrigue, cooking and other themes
included in your storylines, they are wrapped around the main focus
which is Romance. As a writer, why did you chose to write in this
I don’t think my
latest book fits neatly into the romance genre. At least one romance
blogger/reviewer says romance is secondary in this novel. And some,
expecting the usual trajectory of this genre, have been disappointed.
I think it’s because the story does not conform with some tropes
they expected. The sexy billionaire bad boy doesn’t get the girl,
for instance. You could go further and say that, as far as that
particular pairing is concerned, there isn’t a happy-ever-after. I
intended to subvert a few expectations from the get-go. I turn the
tables on another trope. The bad guy usually commits the crimes. In
Sugar and Spice and All Those Lies, the crimes are perpetrated by the
heroine’s close friends. But that’s real life—stats show
victims often know their assailants well.
also real life that love is a big concern among the age group I write
about. My books, though, are cross-genre, with more than a soupçon
of mystery/thriller and an emphasis on character development that
lends a literary flavor. There’s no one category you can snugly fit
them into. So I choose a vague genre— women’s fiction. And this
is okay. The focus is the heroine’s viewpoint, her growth, and what
loving means to her. In romance, the alpha hero is front and center,
even when the POV is the heroine’s.
is the sixth book you've published. How does the journey to
publication with each new title change. Does it get easier or
gets easier, but because I’m compulsive and try not to repeat
myself, I struggle occasionally. Promotion and marketing have always
been hard, though. When you think you’ve learned techniques that
sell, the marketing landscape changes, maybe because there really is
no science to it. And very little data. The book business remains in
a state of flux.
share a bit about where you found the inspiration for the storyline
and characters in Sugar and Spice and All Those Lies.
love to eat and I live in an area where the first gourmet ghetto
sprang up in the seventies. If the name Alice Waters rings a bell,
then you know what I mean. The San Francisco Bay Area is a foodie
paradise. Of the 14 three-star Michelin restaurants in the US listed
in Wikipedia, half are in the Bay Area. You can stumble on ethnic
restaurants—which greatly enrich local cuisine—nearly everywhere.
a propos, the oft-mentioned but absent grandfather of the heroine is
a French chef who has an artisanal French deli. He’s based on a
real person. It was while walking out of his deli carrying my
purchases in vacuum-sealed bags that I got my inspiration and the
hazy first outlines of the story. He remains alive and well with his
Chinese American wife and their now grown-up kids. They were young
children when I first saw them.
idea of love at first sight is embraced in this latest book. Do you
believe in love at first sight in real life? Has it ever
happened to you or someone you know?
love! Can it hit you at that first shy glance? If you remember, Gina,
the heroine, discounts this idea. She calls it lust at first sight.
And if you read research studies, which I still do (I always ask: Who
says this and what’s the evidence?), you’ll learn she’s right.
The trouble is too many of us cannot distinguish lust from love. If
you care to know a bit more about this, read my short article.
have I had lust at first sight? No, some tingling, yes. My trouble is
I think too much.
looking back over the 6 books you have written, what elements of you
can be found scattered throughout the characters of the heroines you
from love of food? And love of music like that of the heroine in
female protagonist’s interiority. My heroines all have rich inner
lives. Sometimes, they even talk about it like Elise in Hello My Love
when she says, “Our inner life is what makes us human and, to me,
it’s even more important for the way we live now.”
is voicing my thoughts. The overt passivity of thinking doesn’t
appeal to many modern readers, however. We prefer action and
excitement. Maybe interiority is important to me, at least partly,
because of my training which I share (somewhat) with the heroine of
Welcome Reluctant Stranger. Leilani is a clinical psychologist, while
I trained more in the theoretical/research area of psychology.
called yourself an "Adventurous Foodie." Can you share one
of your favourite taste experiences? Where did you experience
it and what was the food treat?
one? I remember many. My most vivid first memory, though, is of
steaming black rice rolls sprinkled with brown sugar and
freshly-grated coconut, served on fresh banana leaves. The fragrance,
the contrasting textures, the cool and hot, the sweet caramelly sugar
and the rich, creamy, chewy coconut sinking into sticky
Jasmine-scented black rice. Imagine how that hits a three-year old,
standing outside an old Spanish-era Catholic church after midnight
mass on Christmas eve. Shivering in the humid tropical breezes from
an ocean only a mile away.
your website under blog you list 2 headings - Love, Life, Small
things and A Writer's Life. How do they differ?
Life is chiefly about my thoughts on writing. Love, Life, and Small
Things is much more about those topics. Many times, of course, the
categories intersect—how can they not since writing is what I do?
So several posts are classified under both.
love ending with this question, "What's Next?" Do you have
new book in development or ??????????????
want my next novel to be about an artist, a painter. Art is one of my
other loves, apart from writing and my family. I’m toying with the
idea of a historical novel, using material from an art history paper
I once wrote on illuminated manuscripts—the first illustrated books
inscribed on paper (vellum actually). Or I could write parallel
stories, one set in medieval times and the other in the present when
illustrated manuscripts have morphed into comic books or graphic
novels. This book would be much more demanding and would take longer
end by saying you have the best, most original author interview
questions. Thank you for that.