Hi E.A., first, tell us a little about yourself.
I’m an author who writes sweet and inspirational romance, contemporary young adult fiction, women’s fiction, and any other genre that catches my fancy. Most people don’t realize it, but I have learning disabilities, including dyslexia. It makes writing and editing a challenge at times, but the reward of seeing my books available for readers is worth it. I’m also autistic, which can make for some interesting challenges of its own.
What an inspiration you are. Lots of writers enjoyed reading as children. How about you? If so, what did you read?
I loved reading as a child (still do, actually). I spent hours reading my way through my local library’s children’s department. Most of what I read was fiction, but sometimes I picked out a nonfiction title. My favorite types of books usually involved adventure, animals, or both.
Let's talk about your writing. Why do you do it?
I write because I love to create stories and share them with other people. Or you could say I write to get the characters in my head to shut up. Lol
Lol. Tell us about your latest book.
Redeeming Honor is an inspirational romance between an American woman and an Afghan man. Meghan Carpenter owns an alpaca farm and yarn business; Basir Hamidi is a former interpreter for the Marine Corps. After he’s injured in Afghanistan and undergoes medical treatment in the United States, Meghan’s brother talks her into letting him stay on her farm with them. What follows is an unusual romance that has to overcome cultural and personal challenges in order to happen.
What inspired you to write this particular book?
I’ve been writing romances with veterans for several years, and I absorbed a lot of information about the war in Afghanistan in the process. One thing that caught my attention was the interpreters. Learning about them and the danger they face inspired the character Basir Hamidi.
That sounds so interesting. What do you love about this book? And what do you hope readers will tell others about it?
I loved the challenge of writing about a character from a culture vastly different from my own. It gave me a deeper respect for the Afghan interpreters and made me consider things I hadn’t thought about before, such as how a religion can become so ingrained in a people that it influences the culture. I hope Redeeming Honor will help readers see another side to the war in Afghanistan and understand the challenges immigrants face when transitioned to American culture.
In three words describe your style of writing.
Clean. Hopeful. Literary.
What themes do you write about?
I write about a wide variety of themes. My books have covered PTSD, veterans going to college, autism, immigration, street children in Bogota, disabilities, having a step-parent, and more.
Does your faith affect your writing? If so, how?
My faith does affect my writing simply because it influences the way I see the world. Even in my books that aren’t inherently Christian, you can see glimpses of my faith in the way the characters behave and think.
What are you working on right now?
I’m serializing a novel on my blog and Tapas (formerly Tapastic) called Out of Her Element. It’s the story of a twenty-year-old Palestinian immigrant woman who goes from dirt-poor and homeless to living a life of luxury in the blink of an eye, thanks to wealthy family friends. Unfortunately, it’s not always as easy a life as she might hope.
Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
Writing for publication is hard work. It gets discouraging at times, and rejections or poor reviews can be downright depressing. But if you truly want to be an author, want to see your work published and available for the world to read, you have to keep going. Learn to accept constructive criticism and apply it to your writing. Realize that a bad review about your book isn’t about you as a person. If you develop a thick skin, never stop learning, and persevere despite the inevitable discouragement, you have the opportunity to go far.
What would you be doing if you weren’t writing?
If I weren’t an author, I would probably be an artist. Believe it or not, art was my first love. I actually hated writing when I was a kid, so painting and drawing were my creative outlets.
Bio: Award-winning author E.A. West is a lifelong lover of books and storytelling. In high school, she picked up her pen in a creative writing class and hasn’t laid it down yet. When she isn’t writing, she enjoys reading, knitting, and crocheting. She lives in Indiana with her family and a small zoo of pets.
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