I asked the questions that matter of Eva Sandor! But first, the book: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09CYRYJYF
And now, without further ado:
Hello, Eva! Do you know what your name means or who you were named after?
Well, first off: “Eva” is certainly having a moment! After a lifetime of people not knowing how in the world to pronounce my name (hint: the Hungarian way, which is common all over Europe, with the “e” as a long A) , all of a sudden every other little girl in the known Universe is named Eva— often long-A Eva— and I’m constantly hearing moms yell “Eva! Stop that!” and wondering what in the heck I just did.
As for meanings Eva is, of course, the very first human woman’s name—English speakers would translate it as “Eve”, meaning “life”. But I’m Hungarian on both sides of my family, and although I don’t use the language much anymore, I grew up speaking it. Maybe that’s why I enjoy words so much— from a young age I knew you use certain ones at certain times, and that they all have their own distinctive flavors.
And a lovely name it is! Were you the class clown or the teacher’s pet?
My mom recently Marie-Kondo’d a lifetime’s worth of stuff and, after sifting through several huge boxes full of everything I ever did— art, writing, school projects— I was able to look back on my childhood through the magic of 1970s report cards. I found out what teachers really thought of me. So in answer to this question: I think I may have been the class wild animal.
I kept reading notes such as: “Eva is very friendly and bright, but we need to make sure she knows the rules apply to her, too. For example, if she is bored with class she cannot simply get up and leave”!
Wow. And here I always remembered it as: “I had such a cool education, I could go explore the science classroom or the library whenever I wanted to.” Nope. Apparently I was an elusive creature that could not be caged!
But then later I became an artist and a writer, both of whom are famous for being weird and impatient with the rest of the world, so there you have it.
Art needs inspiration and freedom! Which animal-person are you?
Speaking of animals, I would say I’m a horse person. Not only because I’m a horse owner and rider, but because I think I do have their personality.
Horses are infamous for having a dual nature. They have a burning curiosity about their surroundings, but are also wizards at tuning stuff out. A horse can remember everything that’s happened in the past twenty years… but then they’ll spot their own saddle pad lying in the barn aisle, looking slightly different that day, and be convinced it’s something never before seen on this Earth.
I think this kind of all-over-the-map personality is typical of a creative type. We need to possess an unusually broad range— being able to see things not only from unusual perspectives, but also from the commonplace ones— because our job is to show people views of life that hadn’t previously occurred to them, yet in a way they can relate to.
I have seen a horse spook at swaying grass, so yes! I understand! Are you high or low maintenance?
Low, in the sense that if there’s something I want done I will 90% of the time just do it myself. I really don’t often ask for help with anything— I’d rather learn a new skill.
Sometimes people talk about “maintenance” in the sense of hair and makeup. With those, I’d say I’m still fairly low. I have no patience at all for hairstyles— if it’s anything fancier than a ponytail or a chopstick bun, I’m going to nope right out— but makeup, since it’s a form of painting, is more my speed. As a teenager I definitely had the outrageous 80s eyes and the wild lipstick. But come to think of it, nowadays I really just let it slide. I’m 51. What’s cute and colorful on a teenager would be… eek!
If “maintenance” refers to specific food and drink preferences: well, I’m pretty much zero maintenance there. I definitely know what’s good and what’s not— but like Homer Simpson the restaurant critic, I’ll cut food a lot of slack just for being where I can reach it.
The only place I’d say I’m high maintenance is that, for some reason, I have a far-higher-than-average need to be protected from biting insects. Why, I don’t know, but there it is. Spread out the mosquito net and pass the jumbo can of OFF!
No Calamine needed here! Coffee or tea? Iced or hot?
Ah, caffeine, fuel for the ol’ thinkeroo. As a kid, whenever we visited my grandparents, my sister and I would slug down torrents of tea for weeks on end and my mom never questioned it. But back home in the US, we really didn’t drink tea to that extent and coffee, oh no, that was a bridge too far! I really, really wanted to try coffee— after all, it didn’t seem to hurt the kids in Pippi Longstocking— but instead I had to console myself with my favorite Baskin-Robbins flavor, Jamoca Almond Fudge.
Finally I went off to college and like many an art student in those pre-Starbucks days, stayed in the studio all night with the help of some really nasty cafeteria ditch water. Since then I’ve embraced all the different flavors and formulations coffee has to give, but hot and black are still my go-to. I want a cup of Joe, not a pumpkin sundae! (And even as I say this, I realize I went to Culver’s today and had… a pumpkin sundae.)
And I’m off to find some Jamoca Almond Fudge! But before I go shopping, which season defines you?
My books so far have both been set in late summer, when everything is dry and the cicadas are loud. To me that’s the exhausted part of the year, the “get-on-with-it-already” part, and it’s a refreshing jolt to have it turn into fall.
I probably picked this idea up because to childhood me, back-to-school season felt like life’s starting line. Even today, I find excitement in autumn: the air turns sharp, the trees get that once-a-year chance to briefly flash their true colors, the sun starts holding off in the morning as if it’s finally learned to be gentle. I can wear layers, which provides a creative opportunity. And being a runner, I’m pleased that cool weather is on the way— see ya later, miserable overheating!
I could not agree with you more! If you had to live without one of the five senses, which one would you give up?
Sadly, and as much as this will astonish those who know me, I’d have to boot taste off the island. I know, I know, I’ve already described how I’m a mega gourmand and live for food, but without taste perhaps I’d save a lot of money on said food.
The thing is, I’d need the other senses for my work: sight for drawing and typing, sound for hearing words read aloud, and— as one of my characters put it— the sense of touch is the foundation for all true experience. Smell has to be retained if, for no other reason, as a safety mechanism: how else to notice gas leaks and things on fire?
I do have some further thoughts on the loss of sight, however. As a visual artist I place a lot of importance on being able to see, and many people find the prospect of blindness to be terrifying. I might have been one of them, but a few years ago, a friend and I experienced Unsicht-Bar in Berlin: a dining experience in complete darkness, served to patrons by hosts who are blind.
It was a stunning revelation to me. True, neither my friend nor I could see a thing and we had plenty of laughs over our mistakes as (among other errors) I confidently assured her that my salad was actually a dip for our bread! But a couple of hours without sight taught me that blindness really was far from the anguish many of us assume it must be. My personality was unchanged, my sense of humor, my delight in food and adventure and company. Afterward I told the host so: that Unsicht-Bar had changed my life, taken away one of my fears.
In fact, one of the most interesting characters in my books— the young Queen Margadet de Vonn— is blind. I hope readers will find her believable, positive, and well written. Which, of course, is what I hope they’ll find both of the books, in general!
An interesting experience! Thank you, Eva, for taking us on this journey with you! Support Eva by checking out the links below! Then, get a spoon for your Jamoca Almond Fudge and join me in reading more interviews!
Happy reading! 🙂