Hello and welcome to the next interview of 2021! To read past interviews, click here. Today’s spotlight is on author Evalyn Broderick. Let’s dive in.
Who, or what, encouraged your writing journey? Is writing something you’ve always felt you wanted to do or did it come later in life?
I was the kid with a notebook and a mechanical pencil writing stories in my college lined spiral bound notebooks in high school instead of passing notes to friends. However, there was actually a lot of discouragement about pursuing a career in writing or publishing so I put that dream aside from sophomore year of college through my medical training.
I got really rusty really fast!
I do not regret my choices. I needed a stable career and I LOVE taking care of children and their families. It brings so much enrichment to my life. However, I wish I had known that the two things did not have to be mutually exclusive. Medical training is hard and I could have used the emotional outlet that writing has always provided me.
There is actually an extremely vibrant community of physicians that write both fiction and nonfiction. Finding them is what encouraged me to start writing again. Their encouragement, as well as the support of writing friends I met through online networking, has been invaluable to me
There is no right or wrong time of life to write. There is only the work and our ability to engage with it. I am grateful to have that ability now.
Would you ever consider writing for a demographic other than MG? Childrens, YA, NA, A? And how about switching up genres? Would you ever try your hand at, say, historical fiction?
Absolutely. These days I mostly write YA but I have started experimenting with Adult short stories. I read across age boundaries and I am open to writing for readers of all ages.
In terms of genre, I don’t see myself ever venturing out of speculative fiction. I love building worlds and exploring new spaces. These are also my preferences as a reader. There are exceptions, but historical and contemporary fiction don’t often hold my interest for an entire novel and I therefore don’t have the skills to write these genres. Luckily, there are writers who are more talented at research and capturing the essence of today than I am. I happily cede these genres to them and wish them much success.
In your opinion, do you think social media’s been good for the publishing world or more detrimental? Does having an online presence really sell more copies, or is it just one more distraction writers who have it have to manage?
I think social media is neither good nor bad. On the pro side, it helps connect writers with the larger community even during a pandemic. It has opened a fund of knowledge to those without traditional “whisper networks” and spreads the word about mentoring and publishing opportunities. My family and personal network have zero publishing knowledge. I found all of my critique partners and learned the ropes of publishing through social media.
On the negative side, it is very easy to harass, gaslight or spread rumors without repercussions online. This is especially true for attacks on marginalized authors. Plus, there is an expectation that authors will be “always available” on social media which can derail productivity. I also dislike the pressure on authors to share every part of their lives with readers on social media to help sell books. Many authors do not live in a safe space to do so (I don’t).
I think having an online presence will help sell copies only if you have a strong network and the time to devote to maintaining it. It can be a second job! I would hate to see publishers requiring a large social media platform before considering an author’s work for publication. This would be really dangerous in terms of limiting the types of voices that get published.
How do you manage your time holding a full time position in the medical field with writing? Would you ever give up one or the other if the two no longer meshed well together?
I can’t afford not to! Writing is my form of self-care and relaxation. I am never so connected to myself as when I am creating. My writing group is also a huge form of support for me. We celebrate each other’s success in writing AND in life. Keeping up with advancements in medicine and science is a great source of inspiration for a scifi writer.
I would love to be in a position where my writing was able to fund itself but I don’t see myself giving up my job. I love the patients and families that I meet and they bring me so much joy.
And now for a bit of fun! Answer with the first thing that comes to mind with these Either/Or questions:
Galaxies or oceans: galaxies!
Forest or desert: forest
Cabin in the woods or lake house: lake house
Ball gowns or party dress: Both? Can I have both? I love all the pretty dresses.
Star Trek or Star Wars: Star Trek
Spring or Autumn: Spring
Farmer’s market or supermarket: farmers market
Bath & Body Works or Yankee Candle: Bath & Body Works, but I don’t really use either of these types of products much.
Takeout or home cooked: Depends who is cooking. I love to cook and feed others but I prefer eating taking to cooking for myself. On the other hand, I love when others cook for me.
Cake or pie: Another Both situation but if I had to choose then cake.
Okay, so once again that was more than five questions, but still loads of fun. Many thanks once again to Evalyn Broderick for participating in this year’s interview series!
Check back next week, Wednesday, March 3rd to meet author Gabriella Saab!
Interested in being interviewed? Message me here.
Evalyn Broderick is a Brooklyn based pediatrician, working as a hospitalist with newborn babies. As a reader she cut her teeth on books by Tamora Pierce, Robert Heinlein, Ursula Le Guin, and Anne McCaffery. Together with her undying devotion to Star Trek and Battlestar Galactica, this has fueled her lifelong passion for science fiction and fantasy. She is a proud graduate of the City University of New York where she completed degrees in biology and chemistry before pursuing her MD PhD. You can find Evalyn at evalynbroderick.com or on Twitter @EvalynBroderick.