Yvonne Eve Walus lives in New Zealand, where she writes mainstream, crime, romance, and soft-core science fiction.
In addition to being a novelist and poet, you are also a Doctor of Mathematics. How does that play in your novels?
I guess the biggest impact is that I’m trained in left-brain thinking. That’s the thinking that has to do with logic, analysis and orderliness…which may not sound like a lot of fun, but is quite useful when structuring a novel. Note that I did not say “plotting a novel”, because I’m not a detailed plotter - when I write my books, I use a mixture of loose planning and letting my fingers take over the keyboard.
Also, the heroine in my amateur detective crime fiction “just happens” to be a Doctor of Mathematics, and she uses her structured reasoning to solve the murder puzzles. But because she’s so very left-brained, she needs her artistic right-brained husband to add a creative dimension to her merciless logic.
How long have you been writing? In what genres do you write?
I’ve always enjoyed writing letters to friends and making up adventures, but I was in my twenties before I decided on a more structured approach to my hobby (see that word “structure” and the mathematical training coming through again?). I mainly write mainstream fiction, crime fiction, romantic fiction and soft-core science fiction (also known as women’s science fiction, because it deals with future societies and the impact of technology on people’s lives; men’s science fiction is cowboys in space).
Who is your favorite author and why do you like his/her work?
Terry Pratchett: for his original ideas, his quirky writing style and his fabulous sense of humour.
What is the biggest challenge you face as a writer?
Currently, my biggest challenge is changing writing hats. When I have my novelist hat on, I’ve discovered I can’t do any promotion work for my new releases. And it gets worse: when I have my novelist hat on, I can’t write articles for magazines (which are a major source of income for me); when I’m writing romance, I don’t remember how do write a murder mystery. Earlier this year, I tried to have 3 writing projects going simultaneously, and it ended up being very stressful.
What is the title of your most recently published book? Briefly tell us what it’s about and let us know where we can buy it.
What are you working on now and when/where do you expect it to be available?
I’m approving the final edits for “The Hanukkah Time Capsule” (that’s my science fiction line), and the e-book should be out by the time this interview comes out. I don’t have the exact URL for it, so please check http://www.echelonpress.com/.
Writers, especially new writers, are always looking for tips and helpful information. What is the single most important “tip” you can give to a new writer?
Writing is not a get-rich-quick scheme, and most writers can never afford to give up their day job. Writing is not glamorous: it’s a lengthy, solitary and usually difficult process. Still want to be a writer? Good. Writing is fun - do it for the love of it.
Do you prefer writing mystery or romance? What do you see as the challenges of each genre?
On the whole, I prefer writing mystery to romance (probably because of that mathematical training of mine again). But my murder mysteries are full-length books and take about a year to write. My romances are short e-books (on average 10,000 words), so the writing time for them is just a month or two, and only a six-month wait to see them published, which is great for somebody like me who loves instant gratification.
Are you a member of any professional writing organizations? Why? Why not?
Yes. I’m a member of Romance Writers of New Zealand, because their annual conference is so inspiring and motivating, it keeps me going for 12 months till the next conference. I’m also a member of Crime Writers Association for prestigious (read: snobbish) reasons.
Feel free to share anything of interest to other writers.
Three months ago, I formed a brainstorming circle with two fellow writers. They happened to be personal friends, which meant there were no trust issues or bashfulness to overcome. The objective was to see whether we could help each other overcome any “sticky” points in our works-in-progress: saggy middles, two-dimensional characters, dead-end plot turns, and so on. Initially, I was a little concerned that if I used their ideas, it wouldn’t feel like my book anymore, but it’s not like that at all. The ideas in the brainstorming sessions are thrown around, bounced back and forth, kneaded, stretched, turned upside down and inside out to such an extent, that nobody can possibly claim ownership (even if it was possible to copy-right ideas, which it’s not).
What are the addresses of your website(s) and blog(s):