This week, I am interviewing Christian author Eva Peck. Eva writes from an interdenominational and international background. Through her work in Australia, USA, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East, she has experienced a range of cultures and interacted with believers from various Christian groups. Having been a nature lover since childhood, she studied biological sciences and is drawing on her knowledge and interest in her books, which contain spiritual insights from both the Bible and the natural world. As she feels that faith perspectives of different denominations can enrich one’s own spiritual path, she values a nondenominational approach in her writings. She has a Bachelor’s degree in biological sciences and a Master’s in theology. Presently she lives in Brisbane, Australia.
ALLEN: Eva, it is good to have you here with us today.
EVA: Thank you for having me here on your blog.
ALLEN: What do you think prepared you or qualified you to write in your chosen genre?
EVA: There was a combination of factors. My interest in nature stemming from childhood when my family visited many places of natural beauty was combined with God’s grace and calling in my latter teenage years to an awareness of the divine. My church experience and other theology study gave me a good grounding in the Bible while my love of nature and wide reading enabled me write on both subjects. Then, spiritual work for a large part of my working career, which included training in good writing helped to develop my style. And of course, there has been God’s inspiration all along the way.
ALLEN: Tell us a little about your “real” (Non-writing) life — family, job, church life. Does it give you inspiration for your writing? Does it get in the way of your writing, or are there times when you get help, from people or circumstances?
EVA: I am blessed to not have to work outside the home any longer, so I am able to devote considerable time to reading, writing, website building, and publishing, which I find rewarding. My immediate family consists of my husband and my 91-year-old father with whom we spent time at least once a week. When I did have a job, some incidents from that context, as well as from other experiences found their way into my writing.
ALLEN: Tell us about things you enjoy — what you do for fun or personal satisfaction?
EVA: The above give me personal satisfaction – to see a book I have worked hard on assume its final form. I self-publish and always find it thrilling to hold the first print copy in my hands. I also love nature and gain inspiration from it. Hence three of my books deal with the theme of seeing the divine in nature.
ALLEN: Tell us about working with any people who help you create your books —Hire an editor or proofreader? How do you get your covers?
EVA: I am lucky in that my husband and I are both writers and editors, so we can edit each other’s writings. I am also a very good proofreader, so I catch most of my own errors as I check and edit. As far as covers, I create them myself choosing from my husband’s abundant photo collection (or purchasing a photo). In doing that, I also get input from my husband and very artistic father.
ALLEN: What do you think works for promotion. What are your thoughts on ebooks versus print books and different ways to let people know about you and your books?
EVA: This is a weak point for me – I much prefer to create rather than to promote. I have done promotion via my website http://www.pathway-publishing.org, guest blog posts, Facebook groups, local shops, friends, etc. I am still looking for effective ways to let people know about myself and my books. As far as e-books versus print books, I see advantages for both – it really depends on personal preference. E-books, of course, are much more affordable and with today’s technology well accessible and even easier to take to places on i-pads and similar devices. On the other hand, there is a great satisfaction in holding a physical print book, turn its leaves and be able to pencil notes in it. While e-books are here to stay and will outperform print books, I believe that there will always be room for print books as well.
ALLEN: Have you done anything writing-related, but besides your books, that seemed to get a lot of positive response? Something that encouraged you?
EVA: I also create websites containing my writing (as well as one featuring my father’s art) and have been encouraged by the visitors that have come and comments I have received. Mine and my husband’s websites are listed at http://www.pathway-publishing.org/websites. As far as books of a different kind, when teaching English in the Czech Republic in the 90s, my husband and I wrote and had accepted by a publisher an English conversation book for high school students entitled Let’s Talk. It sold over 60,000 copies and was used in many schools in the Czech Republic and neighboring Slovakia. Three years ago, the publisher asked us if we would like to produce an updated version and the result was Let’s Talk Anew (http://bit.ly/1udIche). Both books contain practical conversation themes as well as imparting positive values and wisdom with the aim of helping students make right choices in life.
EVA: My latest book is entitled Divine Insights from Human Life (http://amzn.to/TQf0ls). It is a collection of personal stories – some ordinary and some quite unique. Each story is followed by reflections on the wisdom and/or spiritual insights gleaned from the various events. The book consists of two parts – Wisdom from Life and Spiritual Analogies from Life.
ALLEN: What is the “message” of your writing? (For example, is your purpose to encourage oldfashioned values, encourage romance, or do you have different purposes in different books?)
EVA: Most of my books have a spiritual message and are devotional/inspirational. The Divine Reflections trilogy (http://amzn.to/1xR4J83) encourages readers to take a fresh look at the natural world and become aware of aspects of God in what is around them. Divine Insights from Human Life (http://amzn.to/TQf0ls) contains lessons learned from or spiritual analogies seen in various experiences. Pathway to Life through the Holy Scriptures (http://amzn.to/1ktf9AK) presents the basic teachings of the Bible with abundant scripture support in a concise and systematic manner. Thirty-six topics are organized under twelve broad themes.
ALLEN: Tell us one place you visited or person you met, that made a big impression on you, and why.
EVA: One place that made a strong impression on me and where I spent several years is a small village in southern Bohemia (Czech Republic), called Smrzov – only found on detailed maps. My husband and I moved there following God’s guidance after living over a decade in Pasadena,California. So it was a big contrast relocating from a big American urban area to a tiny European village. What impressed me was the simplicity, kindness, and generosity of the country people. While they had little materially – some of the homes still had outside WCs, for example – they were always accepting, welcoming, hospitable, and willing to help whenever needed.
EVA: Having lived and worked in a number of countries on several continents, I presently don’t have a great desire to travel or specific place in mind to visit. As far as an interesting person to meet, there are a few. Having studied both science and spirituality, I would love to have a conversation with a person such as Gregg Braden, whose writings have integrated these two fields in a remarkable way.
ALLEN: Share something that makes you laugh, with just plain humor, or happiness, or because it’s so stupid.
EVA: I really enjoy animal antics, such as puppies, kittens, or other animals frolicking together. I believe God put humor in nature for our benefit. After all, laughter is the best medicine!
ALLEN: Share something that’s amazing, touching, or that makes you angry.
EVA: To me, the natural world is a never-ending source of amazement and wonder. So are humans who, despite acting as though it wasn’t true, are interconnected with each other and with all that exists. Science is discovering that everything material originates and returns to a quantum field of energy and is therefore all connected. Underneath this is believed to be a universal field of consciousness (one could say an intelligent divine mind and spirit). This to me is awesome in the literal sense of the word.
ALLEN: What’s the worst trouble you ever had with getting a book written (plots, finding needed information, getting a cover done)?
EVA: A feeling of overwhelm with a lot of ideas running through my mind, but I have trouble seeing how to organize and integrate them.
ALLEN: What’s your next project? Tell us so we can’t wait for it to come out!
EVA: I have two in mind. One is on finances – how to live abundantly on a pension. My husband and I have been able to live happily on less than a pension amount for the last seven years without feeling lack of any kind. I plan to document our experience with the aim of helping others to stretch their money and be grateful for what they have. My other project will deal with my spiritual journey – starting with atheism in my early years when I grew up in a Communist God-denying country, and ending with my present perspective.
EVA: Altogether 17. Six deal with spiritual themes and two of those are co-authored with my husband. The rest feature the creations of my very creative and prolific 91-year-old father and include his art, photography and poetry. See www.pathway-publishing.org.
ALLEN: What are your future projects?
EVA: Beyond the two mentioned above, my husband and I plan to produce another one or more books featuring my father’s art. (For the completed art books, see http://www.pathwaypublishing. org/arts-2.) We also have a collection of personal stories with spiritual insights that we plan to get ready for publication.
ALLEN: Are their characters/stories/scenes/etc based on anything in real life?
EVA: The last-mentioned book will be largely based on real-life experience.
ALLEN: What is your favorite book/character?
EVA: This is a hard one to answer. I prefer non-fiction books. Presently I am enjoying books that tie together science and spirituality.
ALLEN: What is your writing style?
EVA: I write non-fiction, so I see my style as objective, clear, logical, and easy to read and follow.
ALLEN: Thank you so much for your time, Eva. I have certainly enjoyed spending this time with you. In closing, please tell us where your book is available.
EVA: Thank you so much for this wonderful interview. You can find my ebook and contact info at: