Eva Marie Everson was born and raised in the Deep South and that not only flavors her memories with cultural significance, it is what makes her into the writer she is today. A neighbor who often saw Eva talking to imaginary characters and playing in the yard remarked to Eva's mother, "She's not of this world, is she?"
Eva, one year
Indeed she is not (though she did provide me with proof that she was born here--see pink slip above.) With that vivid imagination she has launched many books, articles and passions for getting the Word of God out into this world--while she's still here. And maybe if it wasn't for a teacher discouraging her dream of writing, we might have heard from her sooner? Who knows? But God had a plan for Eva on this planet, and it's being worked out today. She knows her real home is out of this world. In the mean time we get to see what life is like in her world...then and now.
Always: to become a writer.
Fondest Memory (then):
My parents were very "hands on" when it came to their roles in the lives of my brother and me. With my mother, I think, one of my favorite memories is making snow angels and of her laughter as she waved her arms up and down as she lay in about three feet of snow. Of my father, it is learning to ride a bike without training wheels, of him running along beside me saying, "Keep peddling, keep peddling..." and then realizing he'd let go and that I was independent of his help.
Proudest Moment (then):
I recited the 23rd Psalm for my mother's Methodist Women's Circle Meeting. The ladies had gathered in our formal living room. It was the early 60s and they were dressed to the nines; pill box hats, white gloves, and spiked heeled shoes. They sipped on cups of coffee and nibbled on cake served on fine china while I--all dressed up in a starched dress and lacy socks and black patent Mary Janes--quoted "The Lord is my Shepherd...." to a spellbound audience. :)
"The Lord is my Shepherd...."
10 years old
Biggest Challenge as a Child or Teen:
When I was sixteen I came down with mono the first two weeks of school. This was the year we began algebra and chemistry and a host of other difficult subjects. Losing the first two weeks, I never felt as though I fully caught up. In time, I did. I graduated after my junior year in high school.
My First Job:
(Not counting babysitting the Mills' two sons...) Gift wrapper at Allied Department Store during Christmas break.
In the food category: Chocolate. (And nothing has changed!) Also salted peanuts dropped into 6 ounce Cokes (in the bottle). (Only southerners will know that one...but it's a delicacy where I come from!)
In the "must have" category: records, books, Archie comics, and magazines like Teen and Fave. Ah, those sweet memories of Bobby Sherman and Peter Tork
and Leonard Whiting. I'm wondering if anyone else remembers him! (ed.note: Hint: Romeo, Romeo, where forth art thou?)
Favorite Outfit as a Child:
My cowgirl outfit. I'm not sure if Mother bought it or made it, but I'll never forget it!
Favorite Childhood Movie and/or TV Show: That's a hard one. I loved going to the movies. I saw all the Disney films, the spaghetti westerns with Clint Eastwood, the John Wayne flicks, the 60s beach movies, and the Elvis Presley films. Actually, I loved any good musical...still do. I'm not sure I can think of just one that I loved over the others. I do remember going to the Pal Theater with a quarter in my hand, gaining admission and purchasing a small popcorn and cola served in a cups with little red hearts running up and down them and then being penniless. A quarter!
TV show...again this is hard. I loved TV. I watched Concentration in the mornings...I remember that game show well. And I loved Where the Action Is and Bandstand and The Monkees, Andy Griffith, The Lucy Show, Bewitched, That Girl, Hazel, Daktari, Dr. Kildare, Ben Casey.....The list goes on and on. But the show that kept my loyalty the longest was Dark Shadows. (I know...creepy, huh?) Every afternoon from 4:00-4:30, just after General Hospital, which my mother was hooked on, I sat frightened and frozen to the old black and white and, eventually, color set.
Favorite Childhood Book:
"To Dance, To Dream" a book about famous ballerinas, given to me by my aunt and grandmother for Christmas, 1965. It still graces the vanity in my bedroom.
Favorite Childhood Activity/Pastime:
I created a whole world of my own on our property. Within it, I made up storylines and pretended to be any number of characters, "visualizing" the rest in my mind. Our neighbor saw me playing one afternoon and remarked to Mother, "She's not of this world, is she?"
Eva, age 3
I had many. My parents, my Girl Scout leaders (my mother was one of them), my ballet instructor, my piano teacher, and some incredible school teachers like Mrs. Boddiford, Mrs. Kimbrough, and Miss Brinson.
Eva and little bro, Van, 1962
Eva and little bro, Van, 2001
Any moment in childhood that stands out that inspired you as an adult?
My "first love" was killed in a hunting accident. Though it didn't make me "anti-hunting" or "anti-gun" (I was raised in GA after all...), it gave me a healthy respect for the connection between freedom and responsibility.
And, in an odd sort of way... When I was a little girl we would go to my great-aunt and uncle's house, which was originally the home of my great-grandparents. It was an old Victorian with a large wrap-around porch and rooms that seemed to go on forever. There were lots of little places to hide and ramble around in. Anyway, one afternoon the adults sat in the front porch rockers watching the leaves turn green and I went inside and turned on the old black and white.
The movie Rebecca (based on Daphne du Maurier's classic and directed by Hitchcock) had just begun. A gothic tale if there ever was one. With me in the setting of the old house, I was mesmerized by the movie's plot line. When the film was over, I tore out of the living room in search of my mother!
That moment has stayed with me for all these years. Today I teach fiction at writers conferences using the book and film Rebecca AND my most recently written novel (for Baker/Revel, due out 2009) is inspired by that old house, now neglected and abandoned.
Anything else you would like to share with readers about your childhood which affected the writer you have become?
I had a teacher in the 7th grade who told me I couldn't become a writer. I don't know if she was trying to keep me from getting hurt or thought I didn't have the talent. Either way, it affected me greatly. Her simple words brought a dream to an end. I kept it buried until I was 39 years old. This time, I wasn't going to let anyone stop me. (Not even some editors I now call my friends <grin>.)
Eva Marie has been interviewed by radio, television, newspaper, and Internet media outlets. In 2002 Eva Marie was one of six Christian journalists sent to Israel for a special ten-day press tour. She was forever changed.
Eva Marie’s work includes the award-winning titles Shadow of Dreams, Sex, Lies and the Media, and The Potluck Club as well as The Potluck Club: Trouble's Brewing, The Potluck Club Takes the Cake; Oasis: A Spa for Body & Soul, and Sex, Lies and High School to name a few. In 2008, look for The Potluck Club Secret Recipe and Falling Into the Bible. Eva is a contributing author and/or editor to a number of other publications.
The Potluck Club, Book One
Eva Marie with co-author, Linda Evans Shepherd (Linda also below)
In Summit View, Colorado, the ladies of Grace Church meet once a week to share a hot dish---and to pray. But the group serves up a disastrous menu of misinformed petitions---enough to bring down a church. Will they invite God to join them before trouble boils over and friendships turn sour? Includes recipes. 384 pages, softcover from Revell.
Oasis: A Spa for Body and Soul
Women have a tendency to let the busyness of life distract them from taking good care of themselves. But both their physical and spiritual bodies need daily care. Oasis helps women focus on restoring beauty and vitality to their outward appearance as well as their inner being. Like a well-appointed spa, Oasis provides women with both immediate relaxation and tips on how to nurture a lifestyle of peace and rest for their souls. Packed with ideas that regenerate and replenish body and spirit, Oasis helps women
understand and enhance their God-given beauty-inside and out. (Revell)____________________________
Sex, Lies, and High School
Part two of the Sex, Lies... books. Eva Marie & Jessica Everson explore issues such as dating (including date rape), prom, spring break, pregnancy, STDs and "the rest of their lives." This book enables parents to prepare their children for what should be the best years of their lives.
Sex, Lies, the Media
Sex, Lies, & The Media is co-written with my daughter Jessica. This book is for parents, grandparents and youth workers; to help them better understand media's influence on youth culture, especially as it pertains to their sexuality.
What's in the works? Any more books? Speaking?
I am speaking a good bit this spring, all the while working on the next Potluck Catering Club book (Book five in the overall series and book two in the newest series). This summer The Potluck Catering Club Book One (Book four in the overall series) will be released.
I have a very special book coming out this summer: Reflections of Israel: A Personal Journey to God's Holy Land (Thomas Nelson/Nelson Bibles). This book was co-written with my Jewish friend, Miriam Feinberg Vamosh, best selling author from Israel. This book is the book of my heart: a photographic, historical, and journaled travelbook through the Holy Land. I'm so excited about its release, I can hardly contain myself.
Crystal editor's note: If you want to see moving photos and Eva's story on her visit to Israel, please take some time to look at this page.
Eva's My Space this page.Click on this link to see old photos that Eva Marie has showing more of her memories.