The Writing Life of: Eden Gruger
This week I am thrilled to be interviewing author Eden Gruger. Eden will be sharing with us detail of her writing life, telling us all about her latest book ‘Down With Frogs‘, which was released on 20th August 2018 and answering a few fun questions too. This post contains affiliate links.
I am in my forties, on my second husband, two cats, one dog, two allotments, and tens of hang ups.
Reading and writing have always been my passions, and so publishing ‘Down With Frogs’ has been a dream come true.
1) As a child did you have a dream job in mind?
My ambition was to be an author, however my mum clearly remembers me saying to my infant’s school teacher that I wanted to be a bossy school teacher…doesn’t sound like me at all…
2) Who was your favourite childhood author (s)?
Enid Blyton hands down, The Famous Five, the lesser known but equally fabulous Secret Seven, The Magic Faraway Tree, The Wishing Chair. What’s not to love? As a young teenager I enjoyed books about jolly hockey sticks boarding schools like The Naughtiest Girl, and Mallory Towers.
3) Was there a particular point in your life that you realised you wanted to be a writer?
Two years ago I was on a ten week creative course called Peaced Together (look it up – it’s fabulous, utterly life changing, and all women should do it!). Part of the course was to look at your life as a whole, and how to make use of the experiences you have had. It was then I realised I needed to write now, rather than wait for ‘some better time’ or never actually try.
4) What is your average writing day like? Do you have any special routines, word count, etc?
I carry a notebook everywhere, and jot down funny phrases, story outlines, anything at all that I overhear that is inspiring. It might only be five words, but it all goes down. As soon as I get home these notes get their own document in the computer and it gets given a title. That means when I get to a part of my week that is marked off as writing time I can open one of these documents and start from that point of inspiration, it works for me.
My favourite place to write is always somewhere quiet, and as close to outside as possible. If it is dry then the garden, the local park, or nature reserve, or in bad weather my local library as it has big picture windows.
5) How many books have you written? Any unpublished work?
My first published book came out in paperback and ebook in August 2018, ‘Down With Frogs’ (9780244154332). It is a collection of 15 humorous, candid, sometimes tragic short stories, each told by a different female narrator about the frogs they have had to kiss, on the way to finding their prince. Down With Frogs is available worldwide through Amazon, Barnes and Noble, ibooks, and my publisher lulu.com. Independent bookshops can order a copy for you or their stock via Ingram.
6) Are you a plotter or a pantser?
Panster definitely, imagine being organised enough to be a plotter! I have always loved a bit of procrastination, so although I am trying to be more organised this year there is always a cupboard that needs tidying, or an errand to distract me from getting on with things.
Concerning your latest book:
Publisher – lulu.com
Pages – 100
Release Date – 20th August 2018
ISBN 13 – 978-0244705985
Format – ebook, paperback
Eden Gruger writes women’s stories in the way they might speak to their closest girlfriends.
This collection of witty, sometimes tragic, always candid, short stories share the highs and lows, of finding, being in, and ending relationships.
7) How did you go about researching the content for your book?
It was a lifetime of listening to my friends, we all had stories of men that we had dated, relationships that had gone wrong. Listen to any group of people and you will hear a whole library of stories just waiting to be told.
8) How long did it take to go from ideas stage to writing the last word?
One of the reasons I struggled to write is that it took me months to find my writing voice, I spent years trying to write in the long form, but my brain just isn’t suited to it. It was actually listening to David Sedaris and finally reading Sisters By A River by Barbra Comyns that gave me permission to write in the way that I tend to speak. Once I had my voice I was away, and reworking stories that I had already written meant it took me eight months.
9) How did you come up with the title of your book?
It came to me in a dream, after a late-night brainstorming session about frog turning into princes in fairy-tales.
10) Can you give us an insight into your characters?
They are you, me and all your friends.
11) What process did you go through to get your book published?
I needed to choose a publisher that would let me keep control, and it was vital to make my work accessible to as many people as possible (my friends and family included) have Dyslexia and literacy issues that get in their way of enjoying books. Having wider spacing between lines, a regular shaped font, larger print and bold titles to show where stories start were chosen following The British Dyslexia Association research.
Print on demand is really important now, if you want the book, they print the book, there aren’t loads of copies sitting in a warehouse waiting to become part of the 4 million titles a year that go to landfill.
12) What’s next for you writing wise?
There are six books in draft in my computer right now, which means some exciting and busy times to come. Plus a new post goes up on my blog each month, with some snippets of work in progress, and my next book will be out August 2019.
1) If you could have any super power for the day which would you choose?
Easy peasy, my power would be Omnipotence, to make the world a place without war and violence, without hunger, without disease, without corruption, without hate, instead filling it with love and appreciation. Then everyone gets to live a wonderful fulfilled life looking after each other and the earth.
2) Do you have any pets?
Two cats (1 very elderly senile ex stray, and one who treats us as a part time family and also lives with a neighbour). One dog, a rescue terrier now princess diva.
3) If you decided to write an autobiography of your life, what would you call it?
What a hard choice – but I think ‘How to be different from everyone else and enjoy it’
4) Your book has been made into a feature film and you’ve been offered a cameo role, which part would you choose, or what would you be doing?
Dr No Name from Day Out at the STI Clinic, definitely, and for no other reason that the dramatic chair on wheels exit.
5) Where is your favourite holiday destination?
Anywhere dog friendly, without a television, where my husband has time to rub my feet while I sew or read – bliss.
6) A baseball cap wearing, talking duck casually wanders into your room, what is the first thing he says to you?
‘Bon journo senorita – do you have dinner plans?’ (said with twitching eyebrows in a flirty but still duck-like way).
I would like to say a big thank you to Eden Gruger for sharing with us details of her writing life and for a wonderful interview.