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Sunday, September 16, 2018

What Makes My Heart Beat Faster by Evie Gaughan - Guest Post & Giveaway

About Evie Gaughan

Evie Gaughan is the author of The Story Collector, an enchanting novel steeped in folklore and superstition, which will be published on 14th June 2018 by Urbane Publications . Her debut novel, The Heirloom, is a fusion of historical and contemporary fiction set in Ireland and The Mysterious Bakery On Rue De Paris, is a magical story about a French boulangerie.

Living on the West Coast of Ireland, which is not renowned for its sunny climate, Evie escapes from the inclement weather into a converted attic, to write stories and dream about underfloor heating. Growing up in a walled medieval city, Evie developed a love of storytelling and all things historical. With a taste for the magical in everyday life, her stories are full of ordinary characters with extraordinary tales to tell.

Evie is also an artist and has been known to hold the odd exhibit of her works in her native Galway.


Books by Evie Gaughan

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What makes my heart beat faster 
Guest post by Evie Gaughan

I love this question, because a racing heart can mean anything from terror to elation and it changes throughout your life. What made my heart beat faster with excitement as a girl can now fill me with dread! However some things remain the same. If I'm speaking to someone I'm attracted to, my heart beats faster, but in a good way. As we get older, surprises aren't always pleasant ones and I think we grow to appreciate the happiness that can be found in peace and contentment. In fact nowadays in our busy and stressful lives, I think we are all searching for ways to find inner calm. 

A writer's life can often be uneventful. We spend much of our time either observing or writing, so it's not really a career for adrenaline junkies! But when I first saw this question, one moment in particular came to mind. It was a moment of such pure joy and happiness! There was no ambiguity whatsoever. It was the day that my publisher (Matthew Smith, Urbane Publications) sent an email saying he would like to publish my novel, The Story Collector.

To give this situation some context, I wrote my first novel back in 2008. I submitted to one publisher and they requested to see the full manuscript, which is a very positive step. However, they eventually wrote back with a rejection letter and my dreams of becoming a writer were crushed. This obviously meant that I wasn't good enough, right? In reality, what it really meant was that I had received my first rejection, for the first draft of my first novel. I was yet to learn that this is a rite of passage for most authors and if you let your dream end at this very early stage, you are doing yourself a disservice. But this insight did not come overnight, it was another two years before I found the courage and determination to write again.

This time I found my preferred genre (timeslip) and wrote the best story I could. Then I worked on it, wrote several drafts and kept trying to make it better. I still didn't manage to get a traditional publisher, but this time, I had enough belief in myself and my work not to give up. So I self-published. It was a huge learning curve and so rewarding that I began writing another book, which I also self-published. I was quite content to continue as a self-published author, but as I completed my third novel, a friend suggested I submit to a new and exciting indie publisher, Urbane. Their ethos was very much based on collaboration - something which made them stand apart from the traditional model, in which the author has no say in the production or the marketing.

With Urbane, I would still have an input. So I went for it - hopeful but without expectation. So when the reply came, that they actually wanted to back me and my work, it was a dream come true. I actually hugged myself with excitement! Self-publishing offered me independence - a direct route to my readers, but signing with a publisher gave me a sense of validation from the industry. There are so many moments along the way to publication; cover reveals, receiving your first proofs, reading advance reviews, but that is the moment I will always savour. It meant so much to me, the culmination of years' worth of work, hope and resilience had finally paid off. And yes, my heart beat faster!


One very lucky reader of With Love for Books will receive a signed paperback copy of The Mysterious Bakery On Rue De Paris by Evie Gaughan.

The winner will be notified by email and has 3 days to respond. All of our giveaways are international.


  1. You have chosen beautiful covers for your novels.

  2. Great guest post. It must have been very exciting to get a publishing deal.

  3. Oh, these sound wonderful! Love the covers so much.

  4. Great post! Getting your books out there to the readers sounds like a hard process . Thank you for writing them they are awesome!

  5. Would love to win a book for my Mum who reads a lot.

  6. fantastic post, would love to win a good book to dig into!

  7. Awesome covers! Congrats on your publishing deal. Thanks for sharing your talent with us

  8. I love the cover of the Heirloom! Gorgeous

  9. I'm so glad you looked past the initial rejection and saw it for what it was. A beginning.

  10. I enjoyed reading about your road to publishing.