For my latest Author Spotlight I’m joined by the lovely Evie McGlynn. We talked about starting her publishing journey, being an avid reader, taking inspiration from Tolkien, and writing around work.
Take it away Evie…
First things first, please introduce yourself!
Hi, I’m Evie Mcglynn. I am, as in most things in my life, a late-blooming author. As it says in my bio, I got my master’s in counseling after raising three children into adulthood. I published my first book, Moonlight, at the ripe old age of 59. I live in New Jersey, down by the Jersey Shore, so I get to go see the ocean whenever I like. One of my favorite things to do is go down to the beach early in the morning and watch the sunrise. I am very connected to my Irish roots, which is where my pen name came from. You can probably see the influence of my Irish heritage in my first book.
Tell us a little bit about your writing style.
I am most definitely a pantser. I usually have a basic plot in mind when I start writing, so I know approximately where the story is going, but I don’t make an outline. I will, at times, sit down and write what I want to happen in the book. Sometimes not all those things make it into the book and sometimes things I didn’t expect sneak their way in.
Describe your books in only three words.
Contemporary, emotional, comforting.
Can you tell us a little bit about your latest release?
My latest release is Starlight, book 2 in my Down the Shore series.It features Marco, a grumpy ex-Navy SEAL and Liam, a sassy, sunshiny nurse. Marco lost the man he loved in a pretty brutal way and decided it was hookups for him from now on. Then he meets and gets to know Liam. No matter what he tries, he can’t stay away from him. Their story has a lot of tragedy and adventure, but I loved writing these two.
Out of all your books, which one are you most proud of?
I laughed a little when I read this question as I only have 2 books and one short story published. I’d have to say I’m most proud of my first book, Moonlight because I pushed through my fears and insecurities and hit publish.
What or who (or both) has influenced you most as a writer?
I would have to say I was inspired first by my mother, who never got to publish her story because she was too scared to go through the process. But she was a good writer. I have been influenced by some of the great writers of the past like JRR Tolkien, Charlotte Bronte, and Alexandre Dumas.More recently, I have come to admire several writers of MM romance like Lily Morton, AJ Sherwood, and Louisa Masters.
What inspired you to start writing?
Being an avid reader, I have had a love affair with the written word since I was a child. But I really started writing in earnest much later in life. My husband and I play Dungeons and Dragons and I was inspired to write an epic hero’s journey based in the world he created. I wrote four full fantasy novels (unpublished). It was when I decided to write the backstory of a side character who was being brought into the main story that I ended up writing my first MM romance. While doing research on how two men interacted in a romantic way, I discovered the whole wonderful genre of MM romance and I was hooked.
What’s your writing process like? Do you have a typical “writing day”?
I wish I could say I have a set process or a typical writing day. I work full-time as a therapist and often don’t get home until after 7:00 at night. I write when I can and set aside larger chunks of time on the weekends. Most recently I have joined a group of MM romance writers and we meet via Zoom every Sunday and go over each other’s work of the week. It pushes me to commit to completing at least one chapter a week.
What comes first for you – the plot or the characters?
The characters definitely come first. The inspiration for my first book, Moonlight came from a conversation I had with a friend of mine who is in recovery. He was describing how he was at a wedding and was the only one not drinking. From that one conversation, Moonlight was born. I give my characters a pretty complete backstory that informs how they will act in a given situation and then I write the situations and see what they do. Sometimes they surprise me.
What’s a book that you wish you’d written?
I’m not sure. I do wish I could write more paranormal or fantasy but, at the moment, my time is so limited I have to stick to contemporary because I don’t have the time to do decent world-building.
If you could only write one trope for the rest of your life, what would it be and why?
I guess it would be hurt/comfort because it ends up being in every book I write even when I don’t necessarily intend to put it there. I think it has something to do with being a trauma therapist.
What would be your three desert island books?
Lord of the Rings (I actually have it in one book), Jane Eyre (because she’s shouting at me right now), and Rule Breaker by Lily Morton.
If one of your books could be made into a movie/TV series, which would you choose and who would you cast?
I would choose Moonlight. I think it would make a wonderful movie. It’s funny, I had to look through actors to find people I would like to play my main characters because I don’t generally base them on famous people. So I chose Liam Hemsworth for Sean O’Neil and Zac Efron for Jeremy Fitzgerald.
What do you like to do when you’re not writing? Do you have a secret passion or hobby that we don’t know about?
I sing. When I was eight years old, someone asked what I wanted to be when I grew up and I said “a singer!” It didn’t quite work out that way, but I have never stopped singing. I have taken voice lessons on and off since I was 16 (I’m now 60). I am currently taking a group voice class at Juilliard’s School of Performing Arts evening division (it’s night school for amateurs). I will likely sing Karaoke at GRL.
Finally, what’s your favourite dinosaur?
Triceratops. Way back, many years ago, I worked for a children’s theatre company. I am a short person (5’0”) so I got to play the baby dinosaur, which happened to be a baby triceratops. My son came to see one of the performances and I could hear him saying from the audience “Mommy baby dinosaur!”
EVIE McGLYNN is a new author who has always been an avid reader, mostly fantasy, science fiction and, of course, romance. After raising three children into adulthood, acquiring a master’s degree, and opening a counseling practice, she figured she didn’t have enough to do, so she decided to write books. Evie lives “down the shore” in New Jersey with her husband, her youngest son, his fiancée, and her goofy Rottweiler. Every summer she complains about “the bennies” coming down and snarling up the traffic, but she’s a Jersey Girl through and through.
For more information on Evie and her work you can find her on her website, where you can also sign up for her newsletter, and follow her on Bookbub, and Instagram. You can also join her Facebook Reader Group for more news and updates.