Author Interview: E.B. Roshan
I had the pleasure this past month of reading E.B. Roshan's debut novel, Wrong Place, Right Time. (You can read my review here.) After I read it, I jumped at the chance to interview this new indie author--so, without further ado, let's welcome E.B. Roshan!
ER: First of all, thanks so much Grace for letting me share this interview today! I really appreciate the opportunity. I've really enjoyed poking around on your blog and reading some of your articles and reviews.
GJ: Aw! *grins sheepishly* Thanks! You are so very welcome! On to the first question...What first inspired you to write?
ER: I've been writing nearly all my life. When I was very young, I would write letters, that were really just wobbly scribbles, to my great-grandmother telling her about what I was doing. Writing runs in my family, I think. Nearly everyone seems to enjoy doing it on some level. Also I love making beautiful things; it's a stress reliever and has helped to keep me sane through some challenging periods of life (lockdowns, bombing, sickness, etc.) Writing, whether it's letters, essays, blog posts or stories, is a great way to do this if you move around a lot and don't have much money. About two years ago my husband bought me a computer, and then my writing really took off.
GJ: What are some of the driving forces behind you and your writing now?
ER: To tell the truth, it was the Coronavirus pandemic that inspired me to begin this series. It has nothing to do with pandemics, or even with disease, but if that hadn't happened, I wouldn't have had nearly so much head-space available to plan stories in, let alone time to write. So while it was, (and still is) a difficult time for us and many others, I'm thankful for the gift of a very fruitful novel-writing year.
GJ: Can you name any authors who have inspired your voice in different ways? How can you see their influence in your writing?
ER: I love to read old-fashioned sounding books. The elaborate diction and lengthy sentences of writers like Dickens, the Brontes (or even E. Nesbit with her magical children's stories) delight my soul. But I have never even attempted to imitate them. Actually, what I think has influenced my writing style as much as anything is my years of teaching English to speakers of other languages. I'd like to think I can tell an exciting and moving story using language that even non-native speakers could easily follow.
GJ: What are some of your most favorite books/genres—to read and to write?
ER: Two of my all-time favorite books are Moby Dick and The Brothers Karamazov—both good stories to get lost in. More recently, I've really enjoyed The Poisonwood Bible and All the Light We Cannot See. However the genre of the book actually matters less to me than how well it's written. If a book has that special touch that makes the words sing, I hardly care what it's about.
The series I'm currently working on is romance, but I could see myself moving on to action or sci-fi when I'm done.
GJ: What do you do when you aren’t writing?
ER: I cook, I clean, I teach, I chase my boys. I sleep. Sometimes.
GJ: I just finished reading your debut novel, Wrong Place, Right Time, and I was wondering could you tell me how you came up with the idea for this story?
ER: I began with the climatic scene near the end (which I had previously written a short story about) and started asking more questions. Then I worked back from there, building the story around my answers. I realized pretty quickly it wasn't an adventure story after all, but a romance. When I had got that fact clearly in my head, the story took off on its on.
GJ: What was your writing process for Wrong Place? Did you pants it? plot it? How long did it take you to write it?
ER: Well, I wrote a novel, and it was a mess, so I scrapped it for parts. One of those parts ended up being the basic plot-line for Wrong Place, Right Time. When I'm writing a story, I often begin with inspiration that comes from imagining a climatic scene at or near the end of the story, and then I work back, and around, and in and out from there. As far as an outline, I'm not too detailed. Perhaps a dot-to-dot picture is the best analogy. I have the dots in mind, but the lines in between pretty much just appear as I write. And it's not unknown for a dot or two to shift as well! From start to finish, writing, editing and publishing the book took about six months. It's quite a short book, though.
GJ: What made you choose self-publishing for your Shards of Sevia series (great series name, by the way)?
ER: Thanks! I'm glad you like it. I decided early on if I was going to publish at all, I'd self-publish. It just seemed simpler and more fun, and I like doing things hands-on as much as possible. It was a major learning curve, and I wouldn't necessarily recommend it (especially if you want to sell a lot of books) but I've really enjoyed the process and wouldn't want to do it any other way. In addition, I self-edited and designed my own covers. This is not to say I didn't have help—I had a great deal of help from the very supportive community at ChristianWriters.com—but so far I haven't spent a penny on the process of getting my books into the hands of an eager (or perhaps not so eager?) public.
GJ: What is your most favorite character in Wrong Place, Right Time, and what endears them to you?
ER: I like Anna, to tell the truth. She's not the most vibrant or exciting character I've ever written, but because she's sweet and generally optimistic, I find it fun and relaxing to write from her perspective.
GJ: Which part of your debut novel was the easiest to write, and what was the hardest? Where did you stumble and second-guess yourself in the writing of this novel?
ER: I really struggled with writing from Boris's point of view—not least because he is a guy and I am not, but also because I wanted to make a character who's hurt, who's angry, but at the same time, appealing and sympathetic, so readers won't be furious (or incredulous) when our heroine falls for him.
GJ: If you could rewrite your novel, right now, what would you change about it? What would you leave the same?
ER: To be honest, I don't think I'd change anything. That is not to say that it's perfect, or even incredibly good, but one day I was agonizing over the story (as one does) and I realized, “This is as good as it's going to get. Time to be finished.” That doesn't mean I couldn't write the same story (but better) three years, or five years from now—though by that time I might have even better stories to tell—it simply means that what I've written is the best work I can accomplish at this particular season in my life as a writer. It's a milestone. I'm pleased with it, and very thankful. Besides, I'd rather move on than look back.
GJ: What are your thoughts for other aspiring writers on writing and publishing?
ER: I'd say to have fun with it—there's no high like the creative high—it's what we were made to do, after all. Write lots, scratch lots, write lots more, have fun (did I already say that?) and most of all, don't let criticism or the achievements of others discourage you. As long as you're learning, and doing your very best with the skills you currently have, there's nothing to worry about.
GJ: What do you want your readers to take away from this story?
ER: It may sound cliché, but forgiveness really is one of God's best gifts. Bitterness is deadly for love, for relationships, for life. Whatever happened, it's not so bad that it's worth destroying your life over. Besides that, I'd love for my readers to enjoy my stories as much as I enjoy writing them—which is a lot!
GJ: Have you ever endured any discouragement as an author? If so, what inspired you to persevere?
ER: Writing, like any creative activity, is going to have its ups and downs—but after the initial disappointment of struggling for days over a scene and STILL not getting it, say, or an un-constructively critical comment, I try to take what I've learned and move on. There's more to life than writing, after all, and no point in getting bogged down by something that's supposed to be refreshing, revitalizing and relaxing.
GJ: What are your greatest aspirations for your future, be it as a person or as a writer?
ER: I want to love God better each day I live. If writing more is one of the ways I can do that, I'm all for it!
GJ: What has being a writer taught you?
ER: I've learned that online communities (while no replacement for flesh-and-blood ones) are great! The encouragement, criticism and advice I've received from mine brought me from an occasional scribbler of random bits to a published author.
Also, I've learned that made-up people can be feel surprisingly real at times—almost like you might meet them walking down the street. But perhaps that's because I often see people who look how I imagine various characters would...
And that's all I have for you now! Thanks for reading, and please do check out my series website at and writing blog at: https://shardsofsevia.wordpress.com!
I hope y'all enjoyed getting to know E.B. as much as I have! If you're interested in reading Wrong Place, Right Time, you can purchase it here! Thanks for joining us, guys, and keep your eye out for more author interviews and book reviews!