Author name: Eileen Stephenson
Genre: Historical Fiction and History
Books: Tales of Byzantium, Imperial Passions – The Porta Aurea, and Byzantine History in the 11th Century – A Brief Introduction
What’s your story and how did you become a writer? I grew up loving history and stories about far off places, and I had a dream about being a writer, but could not decide what to write about. Eventually, I got into a day job in finance, married and had three daughters before I found my subjects – Anna Dalassena and the Byzantines.
How do you balance your work with other demands? I still have a day job so the time I can devote to writing is limited to nights and weekends (when family needs don’t interfere). I will be leaving the day job this summer and I’m already working on a schedule to increase my productivity.
Name one of the happiest moments in your life: When I attended my first Historical Novel Society Conference in London in 2012 and realized that I had finally found my people.
What’s your approach to writing? Are you a “pantser” or a planner? I write about historical people and the events they lived through, so planning is critical. However, you can’t plan everything!
Could you write in a café with people around? No, I can’t even write with music playing. Silence is golden.
Have you ever written dialogue in a second language? If so, how did you do it? Not that ambitious!
What’s your favorite book and what are you reading now? Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander is my favorite for entertainment, while John Julius Norwich’s A Short History of Byzantium is my favorite for inspiration. I just finished Philippa Gregory’s first novel, Wideacre, so trying to decide on the next book now.
What’s your favorite way to read a book: hardcover, paperback, eReader? I prefer eReaders for fiction and entertainment. Paper of any kind for research material.
Do you think print books will always be around? Yes.
Would you ever read a book on your phone? Only when desperate due to my chronic case of abibliophobia (fear of being without books).
What’s your go-to device? iPhone, Android or something else? The day job keeps me tethered with an iPhone, so I think that’s what I’ll always use.
How long could you go without checking your phone? Let’s not go into that. I’m working on it.
Do you listen to audiobooks? If you do, what do you do while you’re listening? Yes, my daily commute is crazy; I’ve kept my sanity with audiobooks.
Do you like using social media to promote yourself and your book? If so, what’s your favorite platform? I am on Facebook and Twitter and love them both. The people fascinated with Byzantine history are all over the world. Social media has connected me to them and helped me find many of my readers.
Awards/special recognition: All of my books have been awarded the Indie/B.R.A.G. gold medallion. Imperial Passions – The Porta Aurea has been recommended by Discovering Diamonds – Independent Reviews of the Best in Historical Fiction. Imperial Passions – The Porta Aurea was a semi-finalist for the Chaucer Book Awards by Chanticleer Book Reviews & Media.
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