ABOUT EILEEN HODGETTS
Eileen Enwright Hodgetts is the author of Whirlpool. She is a much traveled writer. Brought up in England and Wales, she has also lived and worked in South Africa and Uganda and now makes her home in Pittsburgh, PA. Her life experiences allow her to use exotic backgrounds for her novels and to understand how an adventure can begin with just one small incident. For ten years she directed a humanitarian mission in East Africa and is also involved in a Ugandan Coffee Farm. Much of her writing reveals not only her great fondness for the British Isles, but also her British sense of humor which still sees the funny side of most situations.
In addition to writing novels, Eileen Enwright Hodgetts is also an accomplished playwright with a number of national awards to her credit. Her novel, Whirlpool, began life as a stage musical playing at the Niagara Falls Convention Center in Niagara Falls, New York. In 1993 the Mayor of Niagara Falls, NY, proclaimed the summer of 1993 as Whirlpool Theater Days in honor of the production.
The author’s award-winning courtroom drama Titanic to All Ships will open at the Comtra Theater on April 13 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic. The drama, created under a Fellowship Grant from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, is a dramatic re-telling of the Senate Hearings into the tragedy. The play has won several national awards.
To get your copy of Whirlpool by Eileen Hodgetts at Amazon:
Pick up your ebook copy at Barnes & Noble:
Find out all about Whirlpool at Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/14429821-whirlpool
Could you please tell us a little about your book?
My book Whirlpool is a novel set in 1923 about a young widow who has been hired by the Womens Freedom Movement to go over Niagara Falls in a barrel. She thinks this is going to make her famous and give her a chance to be discovered as a Hollywood star in the new film industry. When she actually sees the Falls she realizes what a huge risk she is taking; and when she meets the man who has been hired to launch the barrel, she realizes that some things in life are more important than fame.
Who or what is the inspiration behind this book?
I was inspired by the story of Annie Taylor; the first person to go over Niagara Falls in a barrel and survive. She was a middle aged school teacher from Michigan who set the standard in 1901; and no one has ever really explored why she wanted to do what she did.
Who is your biggest supporter?
Your biggest critic?
What cause are you most passionate about and why?
For the past 12 years I have worked as the director of a Christian Humanitarian mission to Uganda, East Africa. I am passionate about the cause of clean water for Africans and self-sustaining microfinance projects for African women.
What are you currently working on?
I am working on a new novel set in the present but based on the promise contained in the Arthurian legend that King Arthur did not die and that he will return when his country needs him. The title of the book is Merlin’s Gate
I am also co-authoring a book on African Polygamy and its effect on poverty and the spread of AIDS. The co-author is the Archbishop of the Province of Uganda.
Do you have any advice for writers or readers?
Don’t just write about what you know; write about what you want to know, or what you have wished could happen and people your stories with characters you would personally like to meet.
For Readers; You don’t have to finish reading a book if you are not enjoying it. If it’s not giving you a good experience, give up and read something else. You are not obligated to the author to finish reading their book; they will never know.
What are some of your long term goals?
I would like to write a trilogy using the characters that I created for Whirlpool
You know the scenario – you’re stuck on an island. What book would you bring with you and why?
If I could only have one book it would be the Bible. I believe that God can reveal something new to us every time we read. If I could have two books, I would have the Bible and Isaac Asimov’s Foundation series.(I know that’s more than two books, but perhaps I could have an omnibus edition.
What is the most important lesson you have learned from life so far?
Never give up on your dreams. The world is constantly changing and so are our possibilities. Never say never. I dreamed for many years of publishing novels and the road was very discouraging. I continued to adapt. I started to write plays for the theater and this improved my craft, especially dialogue. Dreams may sometimes take a long time to come true, but don’t give up.
What is your favorite past-time?
I love to garden, especially flowers, water features and rock gardens. I was born in England, and gardening is genetic. My daughter has the same compulsion to dig around in the dirt.
Is there anything else you would like to share with us?
I have published another novel Dragons Green. It’s a book I enjoyed writing and is a suspenseful adventure about the fall of communism and the possible restoration of the monarchy in a former Soviet country, and is set in England and Wales and at sea. Also available from Amazon.
The year is 1923 and the jazz age is in full swing. Evangeline Murray, a young widow from Ohio, is recruited by the Women’s Freedom Movement to represent the spirit of modern womanhood by going over Niagara Falls in a barrel. Evangeline eagerly embraces her opportunity to achieve fame and fortune, until she sees the power of the River and begins to understand the risk she is taking. Joshua McClaren, an enigmatic battle-scarred veteran of World War I, and the best boatman on the river, reluctantly agrees to launch the headstrong Evangeline. Joshua has seen hundreds of bodies surface in the Whirlpool below the Falls, and has faced death on the battlefields of Flanders and has no respect for the charming, impetuous Mrs. Murray, and her desire for fame. Before the barrel can be launched, each of them will have to face their own demons, painful secrets will be revealed and the Niagara Rivers will claim two more lives. Inspired by true stories of the Falls, Whirlpool is a romance, an adventure, and the closest that most of us will ever come to taking the fateful plunge over the Falls.Whirlpool is a fiction that is based on reality. Seven people have tried to ride over Niagara Falls in a barrel. Four have succeeded and three have died. The first person to make the attempt was Annie Taylor, a middle aged school teacher from Michigan who made a successful journey in 1901. Barrel riding at Niagara Falls is now forbidden by law, but at the beginning of the 20th century Niagara was a haven for daredevils of all types, and many of their exploits are included in the novel.