An Interview with Crow Johnson Evans: Author, Musician,
Songwriter & Zoologist
Sylvia: Hi Crow, it’s a pleasure to meet you. Please tell us about you, your book and of course your very unique name.
Crow: I knew you’d ask me about my first name “Crow.” No, there is not enough Native American in our family history to count. Crow was my grandfather’s nickname, since his last name was a French mouth full, Crocheron. I go by Crow Johnson Evans which sounds like a legal firm… not a former singer/songwriter, zoologist, woman who writes from her heart with humor and a southern accent. The title of my book says the rest, “Flights of Fancy Short Stories, Essays, Novella, and Other Pieces.”
I live with my true love, Arthur, in a patch of woods in North West Arkansas. There I weave stories and spin yarns. It’s really all about feeling, texture and color. A hand spun Alpaca shawl, woven with heart can wrap around the wearer just like a carefully fashioned story can wrap around the reader.
Sylvia: LOL (laugh out loud) about your name, does sound like a law firm… very legal! What a calm and inviting life you have. We are practically neighbors! I live in Mobile AL. What inspired you to write your first book?
Crow: I was working on co-writing a song with a friend in Nashville. We were sitting in a laundry-mat. The more we brainstormed the more I could see the “movie.” It started, “Drive to the four-way and hang a right…” By the time we’d described the Star Light Hotel with its dance floor, a converted hardware store with worn oak floorboards… and each of the old gentlemen who played music there, once a week… well, you get the idea. Some stories refuse to be corralled into three verses, a repeated chorus, and a time span of three and a half minutes.
Michael said, “Crow, we’re not writing a book.” The seed was planted. Why not use a bigger canvas?
Sylvia: Is there a message in your book?
Crow: Being alive is this very moment, nothing else. It’s a thousand things thought and felt simultaneously. Each of us has the puzzle, first hand, to figure out. How do we make sense of the moment, its enormous sadness and giddy joy? How do we interpret it and make the next step…and the one after that? What do we choose? Life screams through every cell in our bodies, this very moment.
Sylvia: Very interesting! Do you have any advice for other writers?
Crow: Only you can write your truth, in your own words. Find joy in the challenge and the doing rather than the imagined rewards. What was the line from a song Guy Clark recorded? “Dance as if nobody’s watching?”
Sylvia: Yes, I like that. What marketing techniques have you used to sell your books and which ones have been most successful?
Crow: “Flights of Fancy” is the first book that I’ve released through a publisher, Mockingbird Lane Press. So far, I’ve used my website, www.CrowSpun.com, Facebook, a gallery show of my weaving, book signings in a book store and knit shop and café, two concerts, and the publicist, Breakthrough Promotions. I think people who enjoyed my music, which was all self-written, may like my wild and caring imagination in words alone. Word of mouth, will probably be the best technique. If someone loves it, they will recommend it. Ask me again in a year, okay?
Sylvia: I certainly will! How do you define success?
Crow: When something I have created can stand on its own and delight others. Success is the moment of trying one more time to get the wording, the story, the pattern, or the melody better. Setting achievable goals and celebrating as if reaching them were the Grammys.
Sylvia: Why should we buy your book?
Crow: Because it is as varied and intriguing as a bag of marbles, each one a different size, color, and texture. I can’t see writing the same story over and over and over. Miss Henrietta is a woods woman with some pretty unusual advice for a young girl. MB is a club owner in Houston, female impersonator, sleuth and single parent. The “Red Leather Glove” is an ethically potent sci-fi short story. “Sleeping in Cars” is the true story of my sleeping in an abandoned car outside the city walls of Gibraltar as changes in my personal life unfurled. One story is about a town after some kids found a body in an abandoned house. And “Glorious Cacophony“? An essay about dawn on a sleeping porch in South India. You should buy “Flights of Fancy” because I have a short attention span and a monkey mind that must be entertained…maybe you will be too.
Sylvia: What projects are you currently working on?
Crow: Madame Butterfly keeps demanding that I follow up the semi-risque cozy murder mystery in which he starred.
Sylvia: Is there a special place that you prefer when you write?
Crow: Anywhere I can have the time to focus and get “lost” in the writing. The Writers’ Colony at Dairy Hollow in Eureka Springs, Arkansas, is such a place and has been a joy for hundreds of authors, from across the world, in the last decade. I was on the founding board for this non-profit organization and have benefited by supporting the colony as well as being a resident. The novella in “Flights of Fancy” was finished over one week in April… in the Peach Room.
Sylvia: What is your POWER WORD? Why this word?
Crow: My power word might be “authentic.” When anything is stripped down to its very bones, it must stand and ring true.
Sylvia: Crow, it’s been a pleasure. So that my readers and followers connect with you, please share your social media and book contact information.
Crow: I enjoyed it as well, Sylvia. Thank you for interviewing me.
- Website: http://www.crowspun.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Book available at Amazon.com, CrowSpun.com, BarnesandNoble.com, Mockingbirdlanepress.com
- Mailing address: Crow Johnson Evans, PO Box 1000, Gravette, AR 72736