Small Town Romance, Straight from the Heart
You have to love when small town meets the world. Everywhere I travel, inevitably conversation turns to my “accent”….my Southern accent. So it I pleases me beyond words that another “Small Town” author is making a big splash! And did I mention, she’s from the south, too? So I have to ask, have you met Erin Bevan? She has a remarkable gift for pulling readers heart strings, and making them get a little misty-eyed. From a Party Planner to Ranch Hands and Cowboys to Bikers or Handymen, Erin has you covered. Her latest release Love Comes in the Mourning will have her piling up awards. Be warned, you heard it here first!
I dropped Erin a note last week with several questions, endeavoring to peel back some of the layers of this author who has small town romance, straight from the heart covered. But trust me, Erin is just getting warmed up, her charm extends to all who know her. Be prepared to watch her career grow!
“Erin Bevan’s books are like sweet iced tea on a hot day – just what you need.” Tess Thompson, Author
You have several books out currently, of all of those, which character do you feel closest to?
Erin: Closest to… that’s a tough one. Usually when I’m writing a book there are traits about each character I like or I feel like I can relate to, but I think the most relatable to my would be Lesley in Love Comes In The Mourning. She’s kind of a mess, and she has a fake it until she makes it mentality to her. In life, I think we have to act this way, if not to convince others, to convince ourselves that we can handle what’s been thrown at us.
I know you love to decorate and that at least one of your heroines was involved with a little decorating venture, do you have any future plans to delve into more decorating divas?
Erin: That’s a really good question, and I don’t know. Maybe. I’ve become fast friends with a lady that owns a beautiful home décor shop in the town I live in. She is a fabulous decorator and I go into her store for inspiration sometimes. I also have another friend who owns a frame shop. She’s definitely provided inspiration for a series I want to do, so the decorating may follow close behind or around the other books I want to write.
And I feel that I need to clarify a bit on the decorating. I’m not sure if I found decorating or if it found me. The problem is, when I sit at home all day staring at a computer screen, I am bound to get up and walk around my house. That results in me seeing the skewed rug, or the littered coffee table, etc. and I start playing with moving things around. Decorating is a domino effect. Once one thing looks nice, you want everything else to follow.
Having left our lovely state and traveling outside of the country, what was the biggest part of Arkansas you missed while you were gone, and what was your most favorite thing about NOT being in Arkansas while you were gone? Additionally, now that you are ‘home’ what do you enjoy the most being back?
Erin: This is a loaded question. We will start at the top.
Biggest part of Arkansas I missed while living out of the country might not be Arkansas so much as just the United States. Where I lived in South Korea, in the beginning of my move, was a city of very little Western influence. There were no drive thru’s, all of my things in life that I had grown to love were stripped away almost overnight. No car, no friends, no cellphone (didn’t have anyone to call anyway) I had access to two English channels on the television, and the time zone was 14 hours difference from back home, so Skyping family was limited. But, I did have a brand new baby, and a husband whom I loved (still do) dearly. We made it. It wasn’t easy at first but we made it. As time passed, everything became SO much easier.
Favorite thing about NOT being in Arkansas, no one knew who I was. Moving is awesome because you literally get to start over with everything. No one had a preconceived notion of you because they don’t know you.
Now that I am back home, I enjoy being home. I love the small town community, the feel of being important, and that your ideas and voice matter, and that almost everywhere you go there is someone you know and someone willing to lend a helping hand. That camaraderie is truly unique to a small southern town, and it gives a person all the warm tingles inside.
From the ranches, cattle drives and motorcycles and now to Georgia, how do you decide upon locations for your books?
Erin: Is it bad to say, I don’t know? I don’t know a thing about horse drives in Montana, that was literally a Google search project and I probably messed it up royally, but I do know a thing or two about small towns. Small southern towns because that is ingrained in my blood. I talk like a girl from the south, and I write like one. It’s super hard to strip that influence from me, so I don’t fight it. I just pick a place in the South and go from there.
I love the cover of Love Comes In The Morning. How do you go about finding just the right cover, or is it just an ability to convey to your graphic artist what you are looking for?
Erin: My current graphic artist probably hates me. I don’t think I convey very well, and some covers are just easier to describe than others. Love Comes In The Mourning was easy to me. I felt a deep connection with this book.
When an artist sends me a cover to review, if I look at it and say “Yep, that’s it,” then immediately I know that’s the cover. If I cringe at all when I look at it, then something is wrong, or everything is wrong. It’s hard for me to pinpoint the specific problems because a cover is an all or nothing thing to me.
Being another southern gal, especially from, how has the local artists influenced your writing, especially in Love Comes In The Morning.
Erin: That’s a question I don’t think I can truthfully answer. My writing journey didn’t start until I was in South Korea, and it was only after I read other romances did I start writing, and these authors weren’t local artist. I will say the town square influences me, along with pretty things. That sounds silly, but it’s true. Pretty landscapes, parks, stores, etc. Those inspire me and give me ideas, but there isn’t an artist that has really helped me on my journey that I can recall.
What was your inspiration for Love Comes In The Morning?
Erin: Spoiler Alert- Love Comes In The Morning has many faith elements to it. I might not always act the best, but I do have a relationship with God that’s important to me. I might cuss a little too much but I love Jesus all the same. When I was pregnant with my third child, I remember thinking one night, what if I died while my babies were so young. They wouldn’t remember me. Then I started crying like a hormonal pregnant woman, and I captured all of those feelings and wrote them down… and that’s how LCITM was born. I wanted a story based on love, faith, and second chances, all wrapped up in a package that didn’t preach to you. A story about life. I hope I succeeded.
As a successful Indy Author, and you went back in time, what are three pieces of advice you would give Erin Bevan before she started writing her first book?
Is that the same advice you would give other aspiring authors?
Erin: Trust your gut. You really don’t “suck”.
- Read, read, and reread all of your contracts, and don’t sign just because you’re excited.
- Learn from your mistakes, and move on.
And yes, it is the same advice I would give other authors, aspiring or otherwise.
Make sure you visit Erin’s website, and look for all her other books.
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