Author Interview: Gretchen Evans

Hello, friends! Today I’d like to introduce you to Gretchen Evans, author of the upcoming f/f historical novel How to Talk to Nice English Girls, out on 2/14 from Carnation Books!

How to talk to nice english girls coverIn the aftermath of The Great War, everything is changing. But not for Marian Fielding.
Marian’s life is quiet and predictable in the solitude of the English countryside, where she plans to remain and care for her parents.
But Marian’s world is turned upside down when she meets brash, confident Katherine Fuller. Katherine arrives at the Fieldings’ estate for the wedding of Marian’s sister and immediately shakes things up. Instead of keeping an eye on the ill-mannered American girl and keeping her out of trouble, Marian finds herself magnetically drawn to Katherine’s vivacious nature, and they are swept into a whirlwind romance that will change both of their lives.
But will Katherine’s unconventional behavior ruin their chance at happiness? Can Marian leave her old life behind? Will two women from different worlds find a way to be together against all odds and expectations? (Goodreads)Goodreads

Hello, Gretchen! Welcome to LFAI! Tell us a little bit about yourself!

A: Hello! I’m Gretchen Evans. I’m a cis lady who lives in the South with her partner. My day job is as a social science researcher. I do a lot of reading and writing as part of that, so reading and writing queer romance is a wonderful way to clear my head. Other than that, I enjoy running, yoga, and really good TV.

What’s the first book you remember falling in love with?

My mother still complains that I made her read me To Give A Mouse a Cookie by Laura Numeroff and Felicia Bond over and over again, but the first book I really remember loving was Animals Should Definitely Not Wear Clothing by Judi Barrett and Ron Barrett. I checked it out of my elementary school library so often the librarian politely suggested I try some other books.

What is the worst piece of writing advice you’ve ever been given? Why?

I don’t think I’ve ever been giving writing advice specifically, at least none that I listened to enough to remember, but I hate the “write every day” nonsense. I’m sure it works great for some people, but it’s just not feasible for everyone. Forcing yourself to write when you’re tired or sick or just don’t feel like it doesn’t produce quality work.

What’s your favorite emoji?

HEART EYES

What authors are auto-buys for you?

KJ Charles, Jordan L. Hawke, Eva Leigh, Rose Lerner, Sarah Maclean, Alyssa Cole, Courtney Milan, Cat Sebastian, Alisha Rai, Austin Chant, Lisa Kleypas, and Hallie Deighton. I’ve also got my eye on several new authors that I hope become auto-buys.

 

What’s one thing that would surprise people to know about you?

I fenced foil and epee for five years through undergrad and the beginning of grad school. It was a huge part of my life in college. Fencing was how I met my partner, nearly all my friends, and spent all my free time.

 

What inspired you to write HOW TO TALK TO NICE ENGLISH GIRLS?

I had these characters rattling around in my head for a while. I knew their story would be slow and deeply emotional but I had never written anything novel length before. Eventually, I thought “What the heck? Just see if you can do it.” I wrote it and re-wrote it and edited it over the course of several years. That and there can never be enough historical lesbian romance in the world.

What do you enjoy doing when you aren’t writing?

I like to be active, which generally means running, yoga, and walking around my urban neighborhood. I’m also a huge sci-fi fan, Star Trek in particular. I love watching Star Trek, reading about Star Trek, talking about Star Trek, etc. I attend a couple of sci-fi/fandom conventions a year and help organize a local con where I live. It’s a ton of fun. I’ve also been listening to a bunch of true crime and financial podcasts lately.

If you could spend a day with someone you admire (alive, dead or fictional) who would it be?

Oh, throwing fictional people into the mix makes this a much harder question. If it was only one person, I would probably pick Jean Valjean. Les Miserables is one of my favorite stories and Valjean’s character growth and dedication to service and sacrifice hits me in the heart. I love him.

If I could pick more than one person, I’d want to be an ensign or yeoman on the Enterprise for a day. Being able to have a “fly on the wall” experience around the original bridge crew would be amazing.

Which of your characters would you say is the most like you in HOW TO TALK TO NICE ENGLISH GIRLS?

Of the two main characters, Kitty and Marian, I’m probably most like Marian. More internally focused, quiet, a little scared to go beyond the prescribed path. I wish I was more like Kitty but I know myself pretty well.

Which one is your favorite?

Each one is special to me in some way. I identify more with Marian but Kitty’s energy and wilder emotional swings appeal to me. I can see bits and pieces of a lot of my loved ones in Kitty.

If you could teach everyone in the world one thing, what would it be?

How to evaluate research methods and what to look for when someone says “Look at this amazing, unbelievable finding!” What’s the sample design? How was this study done? Was the study designed to answer this research question from the beginning? That kind of detail makes all the difference.

Do you have any other works in progress you’d like to talk about?

To do a complete 180 from this book, I have a m/m contemporary novella coming in July from NineStar Press. It follows two men who meet on a hookup app while sitting in traffic. Obviously, if you’re going to be late for work anyway, you might as well have sex in chain coffee shop bathrooms along the highway.

I’m also finishing the first draft of another f/f historical that features a very earnest woman meeting the heroine of her favorite paperback adventure novels. She discovers her heroine isn’t who she thought, but just might be better.

Thanks for having me on your blog!

 

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