Get ready to learn more about the book Green For Love in this discussion with sapphic author E.V. Bancroft.
Join us for an exclusive peek behind the scenes as we quiz E.V. Bancroft about Green For Love, writing, reading, and more.
This book is part of the Opposites Attract category in the 2024 IHS Reading Challenge.
Why did you write this Green For Love?
The clash between the characters comes around the environmental issues. Or, more accurately, their approach to environmental issues. Climate change is so important now, yet Oil companies are still pumping oil as if there’s no tomorrow. If they continue there will be no tomorrow! But what if people inside the energy companies were trying to change from within?
Who is your favorite character in the book?
Jay is my favourite character because she comes from a poor background and has worked her way up to the top of her industry (head of technology in an oil company) through hard work and diligence and being mentored by the CEO. My background was not as dire as Jay’s was, but I also had to push to the top by my wits and intelligence rather than through grace and favour, but I’m not a scientist and I definitely never wanted to aim for a CEO position!
What inspired the idea for Green For Love?
It was prompted because I asked a woman I liked and was dating, if she thought her green activism was effective at eliciting change. She took umbrage at that and we’ve never seen each other since. I hadn’t intended to be offensive, just curious. They say you should write about personal disasters, so I got to thinking “what if?” and Green For Love emerged from there!
How did you come up with the title for your book?
Easy. Lia is really into the ancient energy system in the body, the chakras, and the heart chakra, representing love, is green. The core conflict is around the environmental issues, hence Green For Love.
How much research did you need to do for Green For Love?
In addition to the usual reading and research, an astrologist friend of mine prepared the charts of the main characters and discussed what time of day they would have been born. It was fascinating how closely the characters quirks and personalities seemed to match what she predicted. For the Northumberland part of the book, my brother, who is an ecologist, drove me all around the North Northumberland countryside, informing me of the geological and environmental issues. It was fun to spend some time with him and he loved talking about a subject he is passionate about!
What is your favorite line from your book?
“Hers was a cultured voice, a voice that belonged in a place like this and was probably born to it, with an accent so sharp it could cut ribbons at a hundred village fairs.”
What is your writing process like?
I am definitely a plotter and need to have every scene in place before I start. As I plan using Scrivener it is easy to swap around scenes as part of that process.
Where do you usually write, and what do you need in your writing space to help you stay focused?
Last year I splashed out on a writing room in the garden ( that my daughter calls my “lady cave”!!). My biggest motivator is that I often write on zoom with my writing buddy and we declare what we are going to achieve each session and hold each other to account. We also start with a ten minute chat. It works really well for me.
Is there a particular genre you would love to write but only under a pseudonym?
I would love to write literary fiction, but it’s very difficult to break in to that market and I would hate the process of having to find an agent and go through the excrutiating process of rejections from publishers. I know I would take it all personally, so would need to be very strong mentally to deal with that.
What is the most valuable piece of advice you’ve been given about writing, and by whom?
“Go slower. Go deeper.” This is said by my editors, Nicci Robinson and Victoria Villasenor, of Global Wordsmiths, for every book I’ve written! It’s a great reminder that a book should elicit an emotional response in the reader, not just an intellectual one.
When you’re writing an emotional or difficult scene, how do you set the mood?
I sit on a sofa in my writing room and scribble in a notebook, rather than the computer. I think there’s something about writing organically that links deeper in the psyche. Reliving my memories of a particular emotion I felt, really helps to get in the mood and tap into the scene. If I’m writing historical fiction, watching a good film based in the time is great for picking up the flavour of the time.
What author in your genre do you most admire, and why?
My favourite author of romance is still Jane Austen, because she made such a sharp observation of people’s foibles. She describes them in such delicious language, it’s like tasting a fine wine, smooth but a slight acidity, I can’t help but admire her skill. Persuasion in particular is such an exquisite criticism of “polite” society: from Anne’s father’s self aggrandisement to her sister Mary, who enjoys ill health. The characters still feel alive today, two hundred years later.
What type of books do you enjoy reading the most?
My favourite genres to read are literary fiction and Sapphic fiction. I love a lyrical turn of phrase, where a book should be read aloud to gather the nuances and I can be carried along with the momentum of the sentences. It’s not surprising that my favourite sapphic fiction writers also write beautifully. When I was younger I used to read a lot of mainstream fantasy, maybe because I still believed there was a chance of righting wrongs and I could follow the hero’s journey. Perhaps I’m too sceptical to think that’s a possibility now!
What book do you wish you had written?
I would love to write a sapphic retelling of the life of Ada Lovelace. The estranged daughter of the rakish Lord Byron, she developed the first “computer” code of Babbage’s analytical engine. She was highly intelligent, but also had a troubled life, falling foul of conmen and being a gambler and died in her forties of uterine cancer. I love stories from history where women have not “settled” or accepted what they have been given but fought for the right to express themselves or use their intelligence. In short I like bad ass women I suppose!