Hello everybody! Today I am very happy to welcome Eileen Hodgetts, author of ”Whirlpool” to Coffee and a Keyboard. Thank you so much for being here!
When and why did you begin writing?
I think I have always written, even from a very early age. I was probably only about 12 when I wrote my first “book”. It was a somewhat bizarre tale about a jewel robbery but I thought it was great. I never thought about not being a writer, but I did have to decide what kind of writer I would be. Professionally I have written video scripts and voice over scripts, but my first love is for fiction and just simple storytelling.
What inspired you to write your latest book?
My latest book is called Whirlpool and is set in Niagara Falls Canada. The story began as a one act play that I wrote about a woman going over Niagara Falls in a barrel. It was turned into a stage musical and performed in Niagara Falls, New York. While staying in Niagara Falls for the tourist season, I had the time and opportunity to find out so much more about the history of the Niagara daredevils and I knew that I could tell a much bigger story in novel form. I set the book in the 1920s because that was the time when Niagara Falls was a magnet for daredevils and all kinds of people (legal and illegal)
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
The message is really about the price of fame. Evangeline wants to be famous. She is willing to risk her life to be famous; but fame is a moving target and fame is never enough. In the end she has to decide between fame and love.
What books have most influenced your life most?
Strangely enough I have always enjoyed Isaac Asimov, although I don’t write science fiction, but I do enjoy reading it; I love the freedom that science fiction gives to the imagination. However, when it comes to everyday reading, well, I remember the first time I read Gone with the Wind…I reached the last page and just couldn’t believe the story was over because I wanted to know more. I wanted to know what would happen next. I was involved the characters but so disappointed with the ending; so far as I was concerned the story wasn’t finished. I believe that this has influenced me to create believable but flawed characters, and to try to give them a satisfying outcome from their adventures so that the reader will have a sense of completion.
What book are you reading now? I am currently reading the Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton; it’s a real page turner.
What was the hardest part of writing your book? Just sticking with it; week after week, especially through the middle chapters. It’s always tempting to rush to the ending, but then it would be a short story and not a novel. Sometimes it’s a struggle to believe that anyone would want to read what I have written. It is very easy to lose faith in the story and in myself. I have to keep a picture of the potential reader in my mind and keep faith that I am writing something that they will enjoy; something that will take them away from their everyday lives and keep them entertained.
Do you have any advice for other writers? Stick with it. Just keep writing. Everyone thinks they can write a book; but you are the exception, you don’t just think it, you are going to do it; day after day until you are finished.
What do you do when you’re not writing? I am a mission director for a large church in the Pittsburgh area with a major focus on Uganda, East Africa. I travel to Uganda three or more times a year, and lead groups for medical missions, well drilling teams, farming seminars, clergy seminars, and orphan support.
Where can we find more information about you and your current projects? On my Author Page at Amazon.com Click here.
And of course, last but not least…do you have a favorite brand, flavor, type of coffee? That’s a good question. Part of the work in Uganda has involved the creation of a coffee farm. We employ all Ugandan workers and managers and import the coffee into the United States where it is roasted and sold as Ugandan Gold Coffee. It’s very good coffee, and the profits from the sale of the coffee are returned to Uganda and used to drill water wells and provide clean water for isolated villages. The coffee is sold on line at www.ugandangold.com