Author’s Corner: With Eowyn Ivey

Posted: June 11, 2012

In the ‘Author’s Corner’ series we shine the spotlight on promising first-time female authors. Hope you enjoy reading some fun facts about them!

Meet Eowyn Ivey, author of The Snow Child, a mystical tale which straddles the realms of both fantasy and realism.

If you had not become a writer, what would you have been?

I can’t imagine not having the written word as a part of my work life – I spent nearly a decade as a newspaper reporter and now work at a bookstore in addition to writing. If I wasn’t writing, I imagine I would enjoy teaching literature. My English literature classes were some of my favorites in college, and I so enjoyed the sense that I was falling deeper and deeper into a text. 

What is the best thing about being a published author?

Getting messages and emails from readers who have enjoyed my book. First and foremost I’m a reader and have over the years been swept up in so many different kinds of stories that have touched me and changed me. The idea that I could perhaps offer that experience to even a single reader is incredibly profound to me.

What is the hardest thing about writing a book?

Putting aside my own fears and doubts to keep going back to the story, even on days when I’m feeling uninspired or worn out. Sometimes I can find excuses to not write – too many chores, too tired, too busy – but I think really it is about my own fear that I won’t succeed, that I won’t write at the level I aspire to. But once I’m involved in the work, I stop worrying about these sorts of distractions and become engrossed in the joy of putting words and stories together.

If you were a man, would there be anything different about your book?

If I were anyone else, a different gender, a different age, from a different homeland with a different childhood, with a different set of beliefs or life experiences, I couldn’t and wouldn’t have written The Snow Child. That’s what I love about fiction – people are basically retelling the same plots of love and death and birth and hope and fear over and over again, but each time the story can be unique because each person’s understanding of the world is so different.

Who was the first to read your book? What was their first reaction?

I had three first readers – my husband, my oldest daughter, and my mom. It was a great trio. My husband knows the Alaska wilderness like the back of his own hand, and was a wonderful resource to me. Also, he has always had complete faith in my abilities as a writer; he never doubted that I would write this novel and it would be published. My oldest daughter loves stories and has an amazing imagination, so she provided so much inspiration. And my mom is a poet and avid reader – she gave me great insight into the language and metaphors of the novel as I was writing it. All three of them were encouraging and excited about The Snow Child in their own way.

One book you would love to have written?

Only the one I have written and those I hopefully will write. There are so many books that I have read and loved, and I’m incredibly grateful for them. Novels like Louise Erdrich’s Love Medicine and Annie Proulx’s The Shipping News made me want to be a better writer. But as I said, I see novels as unique reflections of the authors, and that is their beauty.

Future literary plans?

I’ve been writing more short stories and essays these past months, but I have a novel in the works and am anxious to get back to it. It will share some similarities with The Snow Child – it will be set in Alaska and have some mythological and fantastical elements. But I’m imagining it as more sweeping and adventurous in scope.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us Eowyn!

*Photo credit: Stephen Nowers

Previous Interviews in Author’s Corner:

Shakti Salgaokar of Imperfect Mr.Right

Himani Vashishta of Princess Of Falcons

Lata Gwalani of Incognito

Nina Godiwalla of Suits

Urvashi Gulia of My Way Is The Highway

Kiran Manral of The Reluctant Detective

Ameera Al Hakawati of Desperate In Dubai

Judy Balan of Two Fates

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