18 Jan 2015

Fathomless Females #2 - Eva Pohler

Today, for our second Fathomless Females post, we have our incredibly dear friend, Eva Pohler here with us. Eva's been a big support to us throughout the years, both in our blogging and non-blogging lives. If you haven't already picked up her books, make sure to check out the links to her Amazon, Smashwords and Barnes and Noble pages. Without further ado, let's get on the interview!

1. What do you think your favourite thing about being an author is?

Two things really: creating stories (the writing process is both fascinating and satisfying) and reading reviews. I am very interested in what others think about my stories, because I write them with an audience in mind. As I write, I try to give the reader an exceptional journey that's both interesting and emotional. I am always happy when I read reviews that suggest I was successful.

2. Your books sell really, really well on Amazon and other sites. Do you have any tips for fellow authors?

Aside from writing a good story, it's important to promote your work. A writer can't expect to sell books if readers don't know about them. An author should first create a brand so that readers can begin to recognize it as it is used in all marketing materials and social media sites. An author should also consider writing a series or a collection of books and making the first one free. This is called a loss leader because it is a loss an author takes to lead readers to the rest of her or his works. Finally, to keep the momentum going, an author should continue to produce more product, so readers keep coming back. Having multiple books out also increases your credibility to readers and makes them more likely to want to take a chance on you. The very worst thing a new author can do is write one book, and then, when it doesn't sell, give up. Very few authors sell many copies of their first book. Most experts say you have to have three out before readers notice you. This was true for me.

3. If you had to write The Gatekeepers Saga again, is there anything you would change about it?

I believe I became a better writer with each book, and so I have entertained the idea of going back to book one and tightening it up a bit. Other than that, I wouldn't change a thing.

4. You’ve constantly got new books coming out, Eva. How do you have the time to be writing and promoting new books? Again, do you have any tips for fellow authors?

 I didn't always make my writing a priority. In fact, for years, I only half-believed that I would ever have a published book. But once I decided I had invested too much time and energy to not make a proper go of it, I made a commitment to write a certain number of books, and a certain number of words, by certain dates. What I mean is I created strict goals for myself, and meeting those goals is a top priority in my life. Luckily I have a supportive and understanding family who can be flexible and who can help me with the domestic responsibilities. They have also become accustomed to going without my company for stretches of time as I work tirelessly to reach a deadline. So my tip here is that you make a commitment to your work and you keep that commitment.

5. A little snippet from you latest book, if you would.

This excerpt is from Vampire Addiction: The Vampires of Athens, Book One, (my newest release). Seventeen-year-old Gertie has been sent from New York City by her parents to study abroad in Athens, where she unwittingly becomes a catalyst in an uprising led by Dionysus, god of wine and lord of the vampires. 

The ferry ride home was miserable for Gertie. Everyone went straight to bed, worn out from the sightseeing, but Gertie couldn’t fall asleep. To make matters worse, both her phone and her e-reader were dead, and there was no place in the cabin to charge them.
So she lay there thinking of all the things she could say to her parents to get them to let her come home.
By the time they reached the apartment, Gertie could no longer keep her eyes open, so she went to her bed to sleep. It didn’t seem like much time had passed when she felt someone nudge her awake.
“Gertoula.” Mamá sat on the edge of the bed and patted Gertie’s leg. “Did we wear you out, koreetsi mou?”
Gertie sat up and leaned against the metal head board. “I’m okay. I just couldn’t sleep on the ferry.”
Mamá caressed Gertie’s hair in a way Gertie’s own mother never had. “You are such a pretty girl. I hope you are happy with us. You seemed sad yesterday in Crete.”
“I’m a little homesick,” Gertie said, which wasn’t exactly a lie.
Mamá threw her arms around Gertie. “I am sorry, koreetsi mou. Have you spoken to your parents today?”
“No, ma’am.”
“Maybe you should call them.” She pulled back from the hug and cupped Gertie’s cheeks. “Maybe hearing your mother’s voice will cheer you up, yes?”
Gertie doubted that, but she nodded. “I could also use some fresh air.” She really just wanted to be alone with her thoughts. “May I go for a walk?”
“Of course you may. Nikita and Klaus would love to show you around after you eat.”
“I meant alone, so I can think.”
Mamá frowned. “I understand. Yes, of course. But you won’t go far? And you won’t get lost?”
Gertie brought out her phone. “I have Google Maps.”
“Google what?” Mamá looked perplexed.
“My phone will show me the way home.” She had plugged it in as soon as they had returned from Crete, and it was fully charged.
“Okay, koreetsi mou, but you must promise to return home before dark. I love my city, and am very proud of its history, but I would wish for no one to walk the streets alone at night.”
Gertie nodded. “I promise.”
“Eat something first, yes?”
Gertie followed Mamá into the kitchen where the rest of the Angelis family were already sitting around the table, crammed close together. Mamá insisted that Gertie take her chair.
“I like to stand,” Mamá said, holding her plate up to her chin.
Although the spices were different from what Gertie was used to, the pork, rice, and vegetables were delicious. She dipped the flat bread into the olive oil and wiped her plate clean. This made Mamá and Babá very happy.
When they had finished eating, Mamá announced, “Nikita and Klaus will help me with the dishes. Gertie wants to go for a walk alone. She’s not used to such a big family. Am I right, Gertoula?”
Gertie nodded with a smile.
“I don’t blame you,” Klaus said. “I try to get away as often as possible, too.”
Mamá slapped Klaus with her dish towel and everyone laughed. Gertie could tell Klaus hadn’t meant what he had said.
“Be back before dark,” Mamá said again. “In thirty minutes, please.”
“And avoid Omonoia Square,” Babá added.
“That’s where the tramps like to hang out,” Nikita explained.
“Just stay on this side of Kapodistriou,” Klaus called from the kitchen sink.
She knew the direction of the square, because they had passed it on the way to the Parthenon. It didn’t seem at all like the kind of place where tramps would hang out after dark. Tall skyscrapers, bustling streets, and a lovely pedestrian walkway at its center seemed way too open to the public for tramps wanting to take advantage of tourists.
And the square hadn’t actually been a square. It was a semicircle. As they had driven past, Hector had said something about the “Omonoia Hexagon.” And when Gertie had said it was not a hexagon, he had said he’d show her what he meant someday.
She supposed that day would never come since they were no longer speaking to one another.
In spite of everything, Gertie was glad to be out of the apartment and on her own as she followed the sidewalk along the busy street. It wasn’t as hot as it had been in the morning, and there was a nice breeze. As she passed people on the sidewalk, most of them smiled at her. A few even said, “Yasou,” which she knew meant, “Hello.” She wasn’t used to this. People didn’t do that on the streets of New York City.
When she reached one of the main roads, she turned left, in the opposite direction of the square—or whatever shape people called it.
Although it wasn’t cool out, she wished she had her gray puffer coat, because whenever she wore it, she felt like her grandma was with her. It had been the last gift her grandmother had given her before she had passed away.
She prayed to her grandma in silence as she walked the streets, fighting the tears wanting to flow from her eyes. Mamá had said to call her mother, but Gertie was still upset with her parents for making her come to Greece. She spoke to her grandma instead.
It wasn’t long before her mind wandered to Hector and what she had imagined with him in the sea. It had been an amazing dream—the best of her life. Why couldn’t Hector be honest with her about what had really happened? All of them—even Nikita—were keeping secrets from her, and (unless by some miracle her parents allowed her to go home) she was determined to uncover them.
When she reached a corner and prepared to cross the street, she was shocked to see Omonoia Square in front of her. She stopped and looked up at the tall buildings, turning around in all directions. Hadn’t she gone the opposite way? Now she was totally confused. She pulled her phone from her pocket and clicked on Google Maps. An error message popped up in the screen.
“Oh, no!” she muttered beneath her breath.
She tried to open Google Maps again, but received the same error message.
Well, at least she could retrace her steps. She turned around and headed in the same direction she had come. After two blocks, though, nothing looked familiar. She pivoted and went back the other way.
When she reached Omonoia Square again, she took out her phone and called Nikita. The call went straight to voice mail.
She texted: “Help. I’m lost. At Omonoia Square.”
She walked up and down the pedestrian path as she waited for Nikita to answer her text. Meanwhile, dusk had fallen.
Just great.
The square was still bustling with people. In fact, more of them emerged from the underground subway and strolled along the sidewalks and streets, where fewer cars drove by. Gertie thought she could see the acropolis in the fading light. If so, she really had been turned around.
She headed in the opposite direction of the acropolis in what she thought must be the way back to Nikita’s apartment, when a woman stepped in her way and asked, “Are you lost?”
The woman’s blonde hair fell to her shoulders. She smelled bad and wore very outdated clothing, but her face was young and beautiful.
“No, ma’am,” Gertie said.
“I was watching you,” the woman said. “I believe you are lost. May I help you find your way? Elate mazi moy.”
Another beautiful woman, taller and thinner than the first with short black hair and darker skin, came up beside them. “Na sas bohthhsw?”
Gertie shook her head. “I don’t speak Greek.”
A third woman came from around the corner. She wore a long scarf over her head. She was also beautiful, but not as young as the other two. “Let me help her. It’s my turn to help.”
A group of men shouted from the center of the square.
“Ela thou!” they hollered. “Trexa!”
“Prosexe!” said another.
She peered over the shoulders of the women surrounding her to see a group—some standing, some sitting—on the pavement in the center of the pedestrian path of the square.
“Here!” one voice rang out in English. “Over here!”
They looked like a group of homeless people, so why were they calling out to her? Was she so obviously rich?
“Don’t listen to them,” one of the women said. “Come with us, darling girl.”
“We’ll share,” the tallest one said.
“Look into my eyes,” said the one with the scarf.
Her phone buzzed. With a shaky hand, she pulled it from her pocket. The text from Nikita read, “Get to the center of the square NOW!!!”
The tallest of the three women took Gertie by the arm just as she was about to make a run for it.
“Where are you going, darling?” the blonde woman asked. “Don’t be in such a hurry. Elate mazi moy.”
“Leave me alone!” Gertie shouted.
She tried to break free of the woman’s grip, but couldn’t. All three women moved in closer. Gertie couldn’t breathe.
“Don’t touch her!” came a familiar voice. “She’s mine!”
The women hissed as Gertie was ripped from their clutches. Gertie looked up to see the face of her savior.
“Come with me. Quickly.”

Thank you to the lovely Eva for joining us today! Make sure to go and check out her books (remember you can get the first book in her Greek mythology series, The Gatekeeper's Sons free on Amazon.)

Next time on Fathomless Females: Hilary Thompson, author of the Starbright series.