1 March 2012

Getting to know you Thursdays with Eva Maria Hamilton

Please welcome new author Eva Maria Hamilton to my blog today. I met Eva at both goodreads and facebook and have gotten to know her over the past several months. I was excited for her when she told us about her debut release. Welcome Eva Maria.

Can you tell us a little about yourself?
Thanks so much for having me on your blog today! I’m very excited to be here!

I live in Southern Ontario, Canada (halfway between Toronto and Niagara Falls) with my husband of over twelve years and our four - almost five - year old daughter. I have a love of learning and have spent many years in university getting numerous degrees and taking courses in just about every field of study. I homeschool our daughter and of course the reason why I’m here today is because I write for Harlequin’s Love Inspired Historical line.
When you were a child did you have a favourite book or books?
I read lots of books growing up. My parents used to read to my brother and I every night before bed and take us to the library every two weeks to restock. J Depending on my age, I had a favorite author or series that I would gravitate toward before advancing to the next reading level. I remember thinking the Amelia Bedelia books were hilarious and I loved getting Highlights for Children magazine in the mail each month. When I got a bit older I loved Gordon Korman’s books such as Something Fishy at Macdonald Hall (Bruno and Boots) and Cynthia Blair’s books like The Pumpkin Principle. Then when I entered high school I started reading all the classics like Dickens, Austen, the Bronte sisters, etc. and I’m still working my way through other classic authors.

Do you have a favourite Genre to both read and right write?
I really enjoy all three of the Love Inspired lines Harlequin offers. I find that whether I’m reading a Love Inspired, Love Inspired Suspense or Love Inspired Historical the books give me a heartwarming feeling and a new insight into some facet of my life. Apart from that I am still reading a ton of children’s books since my daughter is a voracious reader! J (Jenny here I have to say I love all Love Inspired series.)
Did you have favourite authors growing up who have influenced you?
Highlights for Children was great for getting me to write. They always had story prompts that I wanted to finish. The earliest book I ever wrote (and please bear with me, I was about six or seven at the time) was about a man who shrunk a beautiful girl and locked her up to keep her. I remember writing out the whole story and drawing all the pictures and compiling it into a neat book with a cover and everything. I also remember reading diaries like Laura Ingles Wilder and Anne Frank and they always made me want to keep a journal. I still have my diaries packed away somewhere. Hopefully my daughter will enjoy reading them one day! J

When did you know you wanted to be an author?
In high school I took all the English courses I could and even one on creative writing. By the time I was finishing my first degree in university I started a novel but never finished it. However, I am glad I wrote it because that exercise is where I found my voice. Tucking that away though, I went on to get more advanced degrees and didn’t try my hand at another novel until I was pregnant with my daughter. I wrote that novel with no knowledge of the publishing world, just a sweet romance my heart wanted to tell and then I packed it away too. But then two years later in the fall of 2009 I started looking into becoming a writer seriously.

How did you go about becoming an author?
So in the fall of 2009 I started scanning the internet reading what publishers and agents were looking for and fortunately I came across a local library that was hosting a Romance Writer in Residence. I jumped at my chance to join this group and put myself through a crash course of the romance industry. That’s where I was introduced to Inspirational Romance and I’ve been hooked ever since. I tried reworking the first novel I ever wrote from two years prior, but that didn’t work. So I wrote another novel in 2010, submitted it to a couple contests to get some feedback and then by the end of that year I submitted it to Harlequin. I got “the call” in April 2011 and Highland Hearts was set for publication in March 2012! J So overall, I guess it was a rather short road to publication for me. J

If you were not a writer what would you like to be?
If I wasn’t a writer now, I would still be homeschooling my daughter and I’m guessing I would also be pursuing my PhD.

Outside reading and writing what do you like to do?
Apart from reading and writing I love spending as much time as possible with my family doing just about everything: hiking, playing games, sports, watching movies, visiting museums, travelling…

Do you have a place you love to visit or would love to visit?
I have so many places I would love to visit that I won’t even list them – you name it, I probably want to visit, even places close to home! J

If you could have a meal with 3 living people who would you choose and why?
If I had to choose from people I’ve never met before I would choose J.K. Rowling, Martha Stewart and Oprah Winfrey. I think that mix of women would make for some interesting conversation. (I agree an interesting group and some interesting comments would come.)

Highland Hearts is set in 1748 Scotland. Here is the back cover blurb which describes the book:

Logan McAllister survived years of indentured servitude in the Americas to reach this moment. Now he’s returned to Scotland, ready to redeem the secret promise from Sheena Montgomery’s father – that his years as an indentured servant would earn him Sheena’s hand in marriage. But when he arrives home, he learns that Sheena’s father has died, his contract has been lost… and Sheena is engaged to another man.

If anyone is interested in reading the first scene from Highland Hearts please follow this link: http://amzn.to/HighlandHearts And if you would like to watch the book trailer please click on this link: http://evamariahamilton.com/ But then of course please come back J

Since writing Highland Hearts, I have been writing other novels based in Scotland that tie into my debut.

Please visit me at my website at www.evamariahamilton.com to find out more about me and to connect with me.

Now to leave you with a question that I hope you will answer since I am always looking for new names for characters, what are some of your favorite Scottish names, both first and last names, male and female?

Again, I just wanted to thank Jenny for inviting me to be a guest on her blog today! I’ll be checking in to respond to comments so let’s have some fun!

Eva Maria Hamilton spent years studying people from all different areas of academia and brings that understanding of the human condition into each of her written pieces. An advocate for lifelong learning, Eva Maria Hamilton studied in both Canada and the United States, earning a diploma in Human Resources Management, a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology, an Honors Bachelor of Arts Degree in History, and a Master of Science in Education.


Marianne said...

Such an interesting interview. Thanks Jenny for introducing a new author to me, and a fellow Canadian at that. Have a great day!

Eva Maria Hamilton said...

Hi Marianne! Glad you enjoyed the interview! How great to meet a fellow Canadian here :)

Sandra Orchard said...

Yay, a Canada-fest :) Wow, Eva, I'm learning more about you all the time. You don't look old enough to have that many degrees!

Great interview, Jenny

Eva Maria Hamilton said...

Lol Sandra!
Thanks for stopping by! :)

Ausjenny said...

looks like a canadian party here. thanks for dropping by.

Eva Maria Hamilton said...

Who knew it would turn into that Jenny!?! lol

Jim Callan said...

Great interview, Eva. And I particularly liked your book trailer. Very well done, and certain to draw readers to your book. Congratulations.

Eva Maria Hamilton said...

Thanks Jim! And thanks for commenting on the book trailer! The photos in that book trailer all have significance to the story, for instance those waterfall photos are of Bracklinn Falls in Callander, Scotland which are very important to the main characters :)

Eva Maria Hamilton said...

Just wanted to say thanks again to Jenny for hosting me today! And thanks to everyone who stopped by! It's been fun! :)

Laetitia :-) said...

My husband's father comes from Scotland. My husband's name is Ian; his Scottish grandparents apparently were upset that he wasn't given the "Iain" spelling.

Here are some Scottish surnames that get used as given names - Robertson, Munro, Angus, Bruce, Mortimer...it seems you can use them in any order. :-)

Eva Maria Hamilton said...

Thanks so much for sharing those names Laetitia! And that's really interesting about your husband's father! Thanks for stopping by :)

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