Today's Roving Eye interview is with crime writer, Eva Hudson. Eva grew up in south London and now splits time between the Sussex countryside and central London where she writes full time. Her three novels, The Senior Moment, The Loyal Servant (which won the inaugural Lucy Cavendish fiction prize in 2011) and current novel, The Third Estate are all available via Amazon.
When did you first realise that you wanted to write for a living?
When I was eleven my English teacher asked the class to write a short
account of what we wanted to be when we grew up. I plumped for barrister
or author (I think maybe Rumpole of the Bailey must have been on TV at
the time!). Given I've never even set eyes on a law book, let alone
studied the subject at any level, I think my authorial ambitions have
well and truly trumped my legal ones.
What made you chose crime fiction?
When I started out I decided I only wanted to write books that I would
like to read. And I do enjoy a good mystery. I love stories with great
plots, interesting characters and proper endings. You can't beat crime
fiction when it comes to ticking those boxes.
What crime novel would you most like to have written?
The Secret History by Donna Tartt. More of a 'why-on-earth-dunnit'
rather than a whodunnit, it's a compelling novel that stays with you
long after you read the last page and close the book.
Who is your favourite author outside of crime fiction and why?
Hilary Mantel. I know she's won every prize going and it's almost a
cliche to admit being a fan, but her prose is so crisp and her
characterisation so deep it's hard not to be totally charmed.
What’s the earliest memory you have of writing a story?
One I properly remember was for a local authority competition. Everyone
in my class was entered, as was every other ten-year-old in Southwark.
We had a choice of titles and I chose 'The Haunted House'. Maybe I
should be writing horror! Mind you, from what I remember of the plot, I
set it in a fun fair and I think there was some sort of crime involved
(in a Secret Seven kind of way).
How do you balance your working life with your writing life?
At the moment I'm writing full time. It's a wonderful luxury.
Previously, when I tried to work full time and write I didn't manage to
balance anything at all!
What is your least favourite part of the writing process?
In these times of author platform and social media, marketing has
effectively become part of a writer's responsibility. And it is
definitely not something I enjoy. Everything else, from coming up with
the idea, through character development, plotting, drafting, editing,
right through to proofing, I absolutely love.
One record and one book to a desert island, what would you take?
Hounds of Love by Kate Bush and Lofty Wiseman's SAS Survival Guide.
Having successfully navigated the world of self publishing, what
advice would you give those thinking of treading the same path?
I feel like I'm still navigating, but I think Lofty's wisdom could be
applied to self-publishing too. Two bits of advice that I need reminding
of regularly: 1) don't compare yourself to anyone else and 2) be
Sum up your latest novel in less than 20 words.
A thirty-year-old mystery haunts the mother of a missing child
And lastly, just for fun, have you read, or would you consider reading Fifty Shades of Grey?
I haven't and I won't. I can't get past the clunky prose and apparently the sex scenes aren't all that either.