I know how much you all love meeting new authors. Today, I am having a chat with historical fiction author, Eva Seyler
France, 1916: Estelle Graham faces a nightmare. Expecting to be met by her beloved husband and their newly-adopted daughter, she instead finds him gravely injured and unconscious in a casualty clearing station. Taking solace in his journals and letters, she fights for his care-and his life.
In a farmhouse near the Somme, Captain Jamie Graham is forever changed when he meets young Aveline Perrault. Damaged by the cold, cruel world around them-made even colder by the war-the pair form an unlikely bond. Aveline finds in her capitaine the father she never had, and with her help, Graham faces the pain from his own childhood that even his loving marriage could not heal.
Discover the depth of love and faith in the face of brutality as they learn to live while surviving the Great War.
What inspired you to start writing?
I've been writing since I was about eight years old, and spent my teen years churning out melodrama galore! I kind of took a break for a bit in my early twenties, as I started having jobs and such, but in 2005 I decided to try NaNo and wrote my first "serious" novel. It took me way longer than a month to finish it, I might add - I kept working on it, on and off, until 2008 or so. I say "serious" because it was somewhat more realistic than the entertaining but far-fetched drivel I came up with as a teenager! Then I completely quit writing for a long time until I started dabbling in fanfiction in 2016 and realised how much I MISSED writing and how much I needed it.
As far as THE WAR IN OUR HEARTS, I started out 2017 reading a book called THE ZIMMERMANN TELEGRAM by Barbara Tuchman, and realised I didn't know anything about WWI. So I started reading everything I could get my hands on, nonfiction mostly, and was saddened at how little WWI has really been written about in fiction. I wanted to change that, so by late October I was beginning to write TWIOH. It was my NaNo project that year, and it was completed pretty quickly, compared to anything else I've ever written.
I should add that the version of TWIOH coming out this year is a re-release of the original, which came out March 2019. I got the rights back last September and made some edits. The story isn't changed, but I added a few new scenes and smoothed out a lot of things that somehow hadn't gotten caught the first time around. New cover too! It's a better book, all around!
What was the hardest part about writing this book?
Finding an opening! I knew how the book would end (the ending as it stands now is not much changed from the first draft), but figuring out where to open it was HARD. Probably the second hardest thing was weaving the different timelines together so they were balanced.
Does one of the main characters hold a special place in your heart? If so, why?
Absolutely Jamie Graham. Originally the book was supposed to be entirely from Aveline's perspective, but the minute he stepped into the plot he completely took over. I feel like I channelled a lot of the musical melodrama energy from my teen novels through Jamie and made it more realistic and believable. He's an absolute cinnamon roll. The kilts don't hurt, either.
If your book was to be made into a movie, who are the celebrities that would star in it?
I honestly don't keep up a lot with current actors, so this question is always hard for me. I can tell you who my visual references are for the characters, though (some of them are, uh, Not Current).
Estelle: Diane Kruger (from the French WWI film JOYEUX NOEL) with a touch of Veronica Lake
Jamie: Jean-Baptiste Maunier
George: Joel McCrea
Willie: a Very Young Douglas Fairbanks Jr
Aveline: whoever this girl is. https://www.pinterest.com/pin/
MacFie: This guy. https://www.pinterest.com/pin/
I should add that I have done plenty of fanart for my own book (yes, I'm that person), and you can see some of it here: https://www.evaseyler.com/
What do you hope your readers take away from this book?
That love is greater than fear. That it's okay to be broken, and that there's hope if you are.
Buy this Book
Eva was born in Jacksonville, Florida. She left that humidity pit at the age of three and spent the next twenty-one years in California, Idaho, Kentucky, and Washington before ending up in Oregon, where she now lives on a homestead in the western foothills with her husband and five children, two of whom are human.
Eva cannot remember a time when she couldn't read, and has spent her life devouring books. In her early childhood years, she read and re-read The Boxcar Children, The Trumpet of the Swan, anything by Johanna Spyri or A A Milne, and any issues of National Geographic with illustrated articles about mummified, skeletonised, and otherwise no-longer-viable people.
As a teenager she was a huge fan of Louisa May Alcott and Jane Eyre.
As an adult she enjoys primarily historical fiction (adult or YA) and nonfiction on a wide range of topics, including, but not limited to, history, disaster, survival, dead people, and the reasons people become dead. Audiobooks are her jam, and the era of World War One is her historical pet.
Eva began writing stories when very young and wrote almost constantly until she was 25, after which she took a years-long break before coming back to pursue her old dream of becoming a published author for real. She loves crafting historical fiction that brings humanity to real times and events that otherwise might seem impersonal and distant, and making doodles to go with them.
When Eva is not writing, she is teaching her human children, eating chocolate, cooking or baking, wasting time on Twitter, and making weird shrieky noises every time she sees her non-human children. Also enjoys driving in snow when opportunity arises, because snow is the bomb.