October 20, 2021

#Interview with Evelyn Rainey author of Caleb's Crop

Synopsis: Giles thinks his big brother Caleb can do anything. He knows how to say just the right things to make their mother smile. He knows how to milk cows and build chicken coops. Most importantly, Caleb knows how to read, and taught Giles how to read, too. Now Giles and Caleb have immigrated with their mother to a farming planet where no one else knows how to read!


Welcome! Today we have a wonderful interview with author Evelyn Rainey!  We hope you enjoy getting to know this author today! 

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Do you have a "lucky charm" or "lucky routine" you follow when waiting for your book to be accepted by a publisher?

There is no luck involved, only hard work, research, and confidence (not egotistical blindness)  in your work. Despair must never be allowed to get in, nor the feeling that “it’s not fair.” I refuse to say “I got a rejection” from a house. I say, “That house declined to publish my book.” (usually followed by “their loss!”)  Writing is an inspired creative path which never ends. Publishing is a business with financial obligations and number-crunching guidelines. Never confuse the two.

How long does it usually take you to write a book, from the original idea to finishing writing it?

The duration of the process depends on the book itself. It took me roughly 20 years to write and get a publishing contract for Minna Pegeen, but only 4 weeks to write and another month to get a publishing contract for The Island Remains. Some ideas have to percolate in your brain until it can be written down. Some ideas can’t stop flowing from your pen or through your keyboard fast enough for you to even take a breath. The creative part has no linear timelines. 

10.Which of your books were easier/harder to write than the others?

Bedina’s War, which is actually three books combined into one, was the hardest for me to write because it poked at the wounds I had: how can you love someone who is a monster? What kind of person are you, if the one who loves you most in the world is a monster? 

What can we expect from you in the future?  ie More books of the same genre? Books of a different genre?

I am branching into women’s fiction of a spiritual nature. All of my books have a strong spiritual background (not necessarily Christian). My next series is based on a collection of women who become drawn into each other’s lives as they open a women’s institute which provides classes for arts, dance, finances, self-esteem, child-rearing, etc. I also have a series of spiritual fantasy where the power of prayer and/or despair open portals to other worlds - written but 5 are not yet published. Comes the Warrior is the first of that 6-part series. I have the Homework for a Year series – one for every grade K-6 done, just not edited and published yet. I am also working on a collection of homilies (expository sermons). My blog consists of crochet articles, devotions, and care-giving ideas. I have a collection of care-giver cards that I have pitched to a card company in Canada. Written but not polished are a book about a serial killer and a psychic, a historical fiction about the possible connection between clones lace and St. Brigit which spans from the Irish Potato Famine into the First World War,  and a series of historical fictions about Christian women leaders through the last two millennia (I have two written already – one set in Rome during the second century CE and one in France just after the first crusade. I want to go back and write a sequel to Perky’s Book and Gifts. Crochet books are just roiling through my brain, especially one for girls with Asperger’s Syndrome. And chapters for a book for caregivers keep popping up at me; the book will most likely be called Everything Washes.

What genre would you place your books into?

Visionary and Metaphysical fiction and nonfiction would best sum them up, but they are published as fantasy, science fiction, historical fiction, juvenile fiction, etc.

What made you decide to write that genre of book?

When I was young, I loved Doctor Who and Star Trek. And at that time, I hated history. So, I figured I could write a story and not have to research history if I wrote in the future. I discovered that was totally wrong – science fiction and fantasy ARE historical fictions, just set in the future or alternative worlds rather than the past, and history has a nasty habit of repeating itself. (I have grown to love history.)

 Do you have a favorite out of the books you have written? If so why is it your favorite?

Perky’s Books and Gifts was the most fun to write and I have had the most positive response to it from fans. Bedina’s War was the most creative to write, and the most healing for me personally. My fans felt these characters were so life-like that they felt like friends. The Island Remains is one of my favorite books because it is the most controversial. It proposes the idea that not all Germans were monsters during the first and second World Wars. It soared to one of the top-selling German historical fictions the first year it was published. I love Daisy and the Three Shoes because it is a story about my darlings Daisy and Moonbeam.

Do you have a favorite character from your books? and why are they your favorite?

Almost every one of my books has a goofy guy that is clueless to any evil around him, unconditionally loving his friends, and just never quite grew up, but is loved by all anyway. 

 If you had to choose to be one of your characters in your book/books which would you be? and why?

I am each character, and they are all a part of me. I’m not being egocentric or maniacal. But each of us is the diva, the neurotic, the clown, the wallflower, the monster, and the saint. Developing to fullness each sliver of these personalities allows one to keep faith with the number one rule of writing: write what you know. 

How long have you been writing? And who or what inspired you to write?

My father used to read to us every night. While he was reading the book by Paul Gallico about the cat with 9 lives, I realized that Dad had told the story to the end, but there were hundreds of pages left. My dad used to make up stories and pretend to be reading them! I loved that. He inspired me to let my imagination run free (much to my mother’s regret). 

Where do you get your book plot ideas from? What/Who is your inspiration?

All my book ideas begin with the question “what if…” 

Minna Pegeen, a quest fantasy, began with the question, “The companions believe they are bringing back the heir of the kingdom, but what if they got it wrong and he’s NOT the right one?” 

Troughton Company began with “what if aliens landed who were non-sentient, just crop harvesters. How would humans survive?”

Perky’s began with, “what if a perfectly normal bookstore wasn’t exactly perfectly normal?”


 Do you have a certain routine you have for writing? ie You listen to music, sit in a certain chair?

I have taken over my mother’s dining room for my office/study/writing. So I sit at my laptop and type away, while listening out for Mom. Lots of interruptions are normal and have to be taken in my stride. I also have to tune out Masha and the Bear or Mighty Mike – which Mom loves and are so cute. I used to write longhand because I could always pull out a notebook while I waited in line, at work, or while I ate when I lived alone. 

When routines become manacles, they need to be broken.

 Do you have anybody read your books and give you reviews before you officially release them?ie. Your partner, children, friends, reviewers you know?

Never let your family read your work. They have a vested interest in either telling you it’s the best ever because they want you to love them or telling you it is horrible because they are not supportive in your success. I take portions of my books to my writers’ group and read them for the others there to critique (NOT criticize).  The thing to remember is that publishers will want to edit it and make changes anyway, so don’t stress to make it “perfect.” It is changeable and adaptable. It has to be if you want to get it published.

Do you gift books to readers to do reviews?

Yes. But giving a book away for free usually doesn’t produce a review. I do pay for reviews (either through books, money, or bartering things), like through Amazon and this website, because they are then obligated to produce the promised review. I have learned to send the pdf copy of the book to possible reviewers, so it doesn’t cost so much. 

Do you read all the reviews of your book/books?

If I know about them, yes. I check the stats on my books every month and look to see if new reviews have been added (simple google-search of the book title). I also keep copies of them if they are published through a magazine.

What was the toughest/best review you have ever had?

I haven’t had any negative reviews. I have had a few who disagreed with me about a section or two, but that’s fine. Opinions are just that – opinions. And you can’t have an opinion if you don’t read my book! So I am grateful to all who read my books.

How much input did you have on the cover?

It depended on how new I was to the system. My first two books, the publisher asked for my input but I knew so little about the process that I wasn’t very helpful. My third book – Perky’s – was done without any input but is the BEST cover out of all my books – the artist read the book through before beginning his work. It wasn’t until Susan Krupp became my design artist through Whiskey Creek that I even knew what to ask and look for in a cover. She was brilliant and very amenable, and I later hired her to work on my covers and illustrations for Portals, BlissBooks, and GingerSnap. With ShelteringTree.Earth publishing, I now create my own covers and those for my authors. I love the creative process and give my authors full control over what they want and do not want on the front and back covers. 

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FTC Guidelines: In accordance with FTC guidelines regarding endorsements and testimonials for bloggers, I would like my readers to know that many of the books I review are provided to me for free by the publisher or author of the book in exchange for an honest review. If am compensated for any reviews on this site I will state that post has been sponsored. 


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