Friday, October 29, 2010

FEATURED AUTHOR: Evelyn (Eve) Cogdell

Evelyn (Eve) Cogdell is a Poet/Writer, and the self-published Author of 5 books: a Cookbook, “Auntie Eve’s Favorite Dishes”; a Prose/Poetry collection, “5th Story Reflections”; a Short Story collection, “Matters of the Heart”; a Novel, “Cashmere & Silk, A Love Story”; and her latest book, “Cashmere & Silk---Two, A Tapestry” (the sequel to “A Love Story”). Like “A Love Story”, “A Tapestry” is a work of Romantic Fiction.

Ms. Cogdell’s poems and articles have been published in newspapers, magazines and ezines, as well as one anthology. In her writings, Ms. Cogdell seeks to enlighten and entertain her readers. It is her fondest wish that her audience will join her in her celebration of life’s triumphs and tribulations.

Cashmere & Silk --Two: A Tapestry

In “A Love Story”, we watched Connie & Stoney’s rocky relationship grow and blossom into something truly beautiful. Now as a married couple, Connie & Stoney face new challenges to their love.

Will the fire of the couple’s new found love for each other be extinguished by the flood of obstacles which threaten to pull them apart forever?

A blissfully happy relationship is what we all strive for. And, the relationship between a married couple can be thrilling. Come with me on the journey of love between Connie & Stoney as they struggle to maintain happiness amid chaotic conditions.

How did you start out your writing career?

I wrote my first poem when I was in elementary school. In high school I wrote two poems which were published in our school newspaper. Then in college I had two more poems published in our college newspaper. After college I took a 16 year sabbatical to focus on my administrative career. But in 1993, I was inspired to enter a Poetry Contest sponsored by a major Poetry publication. Although my poem was not a winning entry, I was forever bitten by the writing bug.

What did you learn while writing this book?

Basically, I learned more about the art of storytelling. I became more adept at getting inside my character’s heads and expressing myself through them. I also learned how to ensure the ‘cohesiveness’ of the general plot. In other words, my chapters relate to each other in such a way as to provide the most satisfaction and understanding for my audience.

What did you hope to accomplish with this book?

I hoped to finally establish myself as a ‘certified’ Romance novelist. I wanted to ‘put myself on the map’, so to speak. But most importantly I wanted to entertain couples, especially married couples. And, finally, I wanted to show how beautiful married life can be, if couples really strive to make it work.

Is the “writer’s life” what you thought it would be?

It is all that, and then some. I truly get a kick out of writing and would not trade it for anything else in the world. Of course, as with all careers, there is a down side. While the “writer’s life” brings me much joy, it is not always as lucrative as some other careers. However, as the old saying goes, you ‘get out of it, what you put into it’. Although I am committed, I feel I could apply myself even more.

Which five characters (can be from books, movies, or TV shows) would you invite over for dinner and why?

My desired five dinner guests would be: Diana Ross as Lady Day from “Lady Sings the Blues”; Halle Berry as Khalia Richards, the ‘crackhead’ mother who temporarily loses her son in “Losing Isaiah”; Samuel L. Jackson as, Carl Lee Hailey, the father who takes revenge on the two men who raped his 9-year old daughter in “A Time to Kill”; Jamie Foxx who did an excellent portrayal as Ray Charles in “Ray”; and Vin Diesel as Detective Sean Vetter, whose wife is killed because of his criminal ties in “A Man Apart”.

I selected these five actors and actresses because I admired their work. All five have excellent acting skills and I loved their character portrayals. I would love to discuss with them how they ‘got inside the heads’ of their characters, as well as how they felt while playing these very interesting roles. Both Diana Ross and Jamie Foxx played ‘against type’, which is always intriguing and one reason Mr. Foxx received an Oscar for his portrayal.

What are three things you wish you’d known before you reached where you are now?

The first thing is: I would like to have known how much work and expense are involved in gaining the attention of a welcome audience; I also wish I had known how to better relate to my readers. And finally, I wish I had known how to establish a better marketing plan.

Can you give us one do and one don’t for those aspiring to be a writer?

To aspiring writers I would suggest: hone your craft. Keep writing until you find your perfect niche; and then continue to expand upon it. Don’t listen to naysayers, because, as one writer friend advised me, if you do, you’ll never accomplish anything. You can’t let the negative opinions of others (including ‘well-meaning’ friends and family members) keep you from achieving your writing goals and subsequently reaping all the rewards the “writer’s life” has to offer.

What one thing about writing do you wish other non-writers would understand?

I know this is ‘cliched’ but everyone has a story to tell. Most of us just don’t know how to tell it or where to start. Writing is a form of self-expression that brings pure satisfaction not only to us as writers, but also to our audience. And, pleasing our audience, just puts ‘icing on the cake’.

What was the best advice you’d ever gotten about the publishing industry? The worst?

The best and worst advice I’ve ever received about the publishing industry involves whether or not to self-publish or go through a traditional publisher: Self-publishing provides the Author with greater freedom of choice; we are free to use our own creativity regarding book covers and fliers. And we have greater flexibility regarding the sales and marketing of our books.

The worst: For Authors who are not well-known or don’t have a clue as to what they are doing, self-publishing may not be the best route to travel. These Authors might do better if they employ the services of a traditional publisher, as self-publishing can be very expensive.

What is something readers would be surprised you do?

Readers might be surprised to know that in addition to my books, poetry and articles I also write humorous short plays or skits.

If you could be a character from any book you’ve read, who would you be?

I’d love to be Mrs. Louise Clark from Author Carole Piller’s book titled, “From Avinger to Iroquois Street”. Louise Clark was an attractive, interesting, courageous woman who had the sincere love and loyalty of her husband Dennis. And, even though Louise was nice, she knew how to deal with adversity when it reared its ugly head in her adventure-filled life.

Our theme this month is The Business of Writing. Can you offer any advice about the business side of writing?

Whether an Author is self-published or has gone through a traditional publishing company, they should take advantage of as many marketing tools, resources and opportunities as possible. The Internet, local libraries, schools, churches, blogs, radio, TV, public transportation, and just about anywhere people congregate for information and entertainment, are great marketing avenues. Never pass up an opportunity to let readers know about your books. Of course Authors must be sure to budget themselves and stay within their individual means.

Oprah always asks, What do you know for sure?

I am sure that I have written an excellent book that readers will enjoy. I literally poured my heart and soul into this book, and conveyed the resulting story to the best of my ability. It is my sincere belief that my audience will be thrilled with my achievement.

Can you give us a sneak peek of your next book?

For my next book, I plan to switch venues again, and tap into my religious and poetic side. So, most likely I’ll write an anthology of religious poems. That’s a little ways down the road, so we’ll see what is happening in my life at that time.

How can readers get in contact with you? (mail, email, website)

I don’t currently have a website, however, readers can reach me through my email address:, or through my Publishing Company address: Evelyn (Eve) Cogdell, Green Apple Publications, PO Box 201982, Chicago, IL, 60620.

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1 comment:

cher79 said...

Congratulations, Eve! Very inspirational interview and I'd like to be where you are one day

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