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Advice from IR Approved Author Joanna Evans: “The only way to truly fail is to stop trying.”

Sinai Unhinged received a 4+ star review, making it an IndieReader Approved title.

Following find an interview with author Joanna Evans.

What is the name of the book and when was it published?

Sinai Unhinged, August 5, 2020.

What’s the book’s first line? 

“Alex scanned the room, little more than a small, hard box set aside to interview the riskier patients of Sinai General, and then looked back at her patient, her last session of the day.”

However, before the first line is an epigraph by Carl Jung. I absolutely love it. It deals with his felt sense of being alone and knowing things that others do not know. It just seemed to compliment the themes of Sinai Unhinged so perfectly.

What’s the book about? Give us the “pitch”. 

Lethal mistakes during a secret physics experiment drive scientists insane and plunge their therapist into a frightening search for the truth—and a dangerous fight for her life.

What inspired you to write the book? A particular person? An event? 

The news—every single day.  And, that’s only gotten worse in recent times.  The amount of cruelty that people display in the world every single day is overwhelming. In reality, there are no sides, no people to be against, but we certainly do not behave that way. We forget that we are all unified at the subatomic level. Everything and everyone that exists are comprised of the same elements. Electrons no know boundaries from one person to the next. The lines are blurred and we become indivisible at the finest level.

So, any cruelty one may demonstrate in words or deeds only hurts the “victim” temporarily, superficially, but the consequences of that negative energy on the “offender” are permanent. The damage caused by emitting hateful energy lingers for a lifetime, maybe longer, in one’s soul because that was a choice. I felt driven to craft a story that illustrated some of these principles in an attention getting fashion. Of course, there are subtle spiritual as well as philosophical underpinnings to this work as these ideas are not new. I hope they’re presented in an interesting way in order to reach a new audience that may not currently be aware of their value.

And, very concretely, I hungered for a thriller that took place in a particle physics complex because it’s a fascinating setting where so many things could go so horribly wrong!

What’s the main reason someone should really read this book? 

Because they want to experience a fantastic adventure that will plunge them into the depths of the mysterious world of particle physics. Because they want interesting characters that face complex emotional and physical challenges. Because they want to learn a new perspective and, possibly, ponder the world in a different way than they had before they read the book.

What’s the most distinctive thing about the main character?  Who-real or fictional-would you say the character reminds you of? 

Alexandra Kraig (Alex) enjoys syrup-drenched pancakes and wine. I’m sugar crashing just thinking about that combo. She had a conflicted relationship with her father before he went missing and, therefore, has a love/hate relationship with physics. She’s tough and tenacious but a little war-weary, perhaps if Sarah Michelle Gellar’s Buffy had decided to become a therapist …

Is this the first book you’ve written?

Yes. Along the way, I had heard if you’ve written a book and you can’t find an agent or a publisher you should set it aside and start your next book. I could not do that. I believed in Sinai Unhinged and the important message that it carries. I entered the world of writing because I felt like I could bring something that was missing. It would’ve been a disservice to myself and to the book if I had let that go to the wayside.

What do you do for work when you’re not writing?

I’m a Licensed Clinical Social Worker practicing as a psychotherapist, often treating anxiety, depression and trauma. I’ve essentially written a story that I hope puts me out of business. I feel that a large portion of my client’s therapy needs would have been reduced or eliminated if other members of the general population were able to behave in a less self-centered, more compassionate fashion, perhaps making more of an effort to put others’ needs first.

How much time do you generally spend on your writing?

I try to do something writing related everyday. I’d love to say I do a certain word count per day but …  I will do something writing related daily whether it’s social media promoting, plotting, researching, editing, submitting, something.

What’s the best and the hardest part of being an indie?  

The best, the creative independence and a supportive community of fellow authors. The hardest, the marketing. It takes time away from writing and it’s been quite a learning curve for me. I wasn’t a particularly big fan of social media prior to being an author. It took a lot for me to plunge in since, by nature, I don’t really talk about myself much. Also, I’ve always thought if a product is good, it’ll catch on by itself by word of mouth. Yikes, I can hear the publicists out there groaning already! I get it; people need to know about a book for it to catch on.

What’s a great piece of advice that you can share with fellow indie authors?

It may not be earth shattering or original but, don’t give up. If you want to be a writer, just remember that any mistake that you might make can be fixed. Any skill that might be poorly developed can always be improved upon with practice. The only way to truly fail is to stop trying.

Is there something in particular that motivates you (fame? fortune?)

So, here’s my hokey and overly ambitious motive: to help humanity form a new perspective about what creating a kind and positive energy on earth really means. It’s a very social-worky motivation. In terms of other rewards like fame, I’m not sure that I’d be good at being famous. I’d be one of those famous people you’d never see. They’d call me a recluse. Or maybe elusive, that’s more flattering.