Today I bring you an interview with L. K. Evans. Check out the link to her entry below!
Check out my ongoing interviews for SPFBO5 down below:
First of all, tell me about yourself! What do you write?
I grew up on Belgariad and Dragonlance, so I’m very rooted in epic fantasy. However, toward my last years in high school, I went through a major infatuation with horror writer Dean Koontz, so sometimes my books can go a bit dark. No matter how much I want to focus on story, I’m always more interested in my characters. I tend to throw at lot at them and then see if they can overcome it all.
How do you develop your plots and characters?
I always start with my character first. I daydream about their personalities, maybe spin up a harrowing event or two, then I build my story around my character. I’m not a fan of my own process, to be honest. I find it difficult to get those details I want to see in my world, and it can result in me getting lost or taking forever to finish the book. I’ve tried outlines, but then I find myself really wanting to write this one scene, or that one, oh, and that one is going to be so fun. By the end of what should have been my outline, I have a pretty horrible draft that takes me longer to edit than it did to draft the book.
Tell us about your current project.
My current project is yet again a high fantasy, but I’ve incorporated a bit of light sci-fi by bringing in a technologically advanced race that enslaved my planet for hundreds of years. Once my people finally drive off their captors, they are left with some technologies not clearly understood. It’s been fun to play around with the world and the magic I’ve created, one such power being the ability to control a person’s blood. Makes for some killer scenes.
As I usually tend to do, this one has a sibling relationship of a brother and his two sisters set on opposite sides of a religious upheaval, which adds a nice bit of conflict.
My main character makes a huge mistake that breaks the protection of the Walled Territories, and he spends the series trying to rectify it with the help of a thief that wants nothing to do with him.
Is this your first entry into SPFBO? If not, how many times have you entered?
Yes it is. I’ve never found the courage to submit my first series. The book I have entered, Grayden, is a standalone that doesn’t get as dark as my first series.
Who would you say is the main character of your novels? And tell me a little bit about them!
As cheesy as it is, I named the book after my main character. I had all kinds of names, but my husband said no, it has to be Grayden, so I went with it. Grayden is a man resigned to his fate. He is the right hand of the church and carries a power none others in all of Illryn possess. It is a gift from his god so he can free the children of Eadom who are fed to necrophites, a truly nasty creature. It is his mission to wage war on Eadom. However, in the heart of enemy lands, he comes face to face with his own doom and the betrayal that led to it.
What advice would you give new writers on how to delve into creative fiction?
Goodness … I always feel unprepared or unworthy of giving advice. There are so many authors I admire that I feel like the fan most of the time. For me, reading and having something to say was the most important factor of starting to write. Everything else came with time and hard work.
What real-life inspirations did you draw from for the worldbuilding within your book?
I grew up in a religious household, so I tend to use religion in my books, which is funny because I’m an atheist now. I draw from religion easier than politics. I find it gives me plenty of avenues to develop conflict and broaden my world.
In my next series, I used the landscape around me at the time, which was the desert. Living in Arizona in the summer can really give one some hate about heat and dust to throw at a page. It definitely made descriptions easier. I could just go outside and feel my skin shrivel, or breathe in dust, or wince at the sun. Now I live in Washington state, which I’d visited many times and is what I used in developing the scenery for Gradyen.
What inspires you to write?
Reading. Once I’ve read a book, I can’t wait to sit at my computer and write what I want to read.
What was the hardest part of writing this book?
Revealing plot twists at the right time. Grayden discovers a lot throughout this book, and the timing of such was quite a challenge as was explaining why he never knew before the reveal.
What is your routine when writing, if any? If you don’t follow a routine, why not?
I’m a routine kinda person, a bit of a control freak. I like to be prepared. I need to be prepared. I’m a reluctant pessimist at heart, so routine helps me keep control. However, writing is freedom from myself. The story unfolds as I write, and I find myself enjoying the surprises of my plot and characters, which is an amazing feeling. It’s extremely therapeutic.
What was your favorite chapter (or part) to write and why?
My favorite chapter is 20. To say why would include spoilers, but it is there that all secrets become known.
Did you learn anything from writing this book and what was it?
I learned my husband has quite the imagination. He came up the nechrophites in my book.
Are you a plotter or a pantser? A gardener or an architect?
Definitely a pantser, though I try so hard to be a plotter. I do love my garden, but I think it’d be easier if I were an architect. I just want to write. All that outlining and planning goes out the window so quickly.
It’s sometimes difficult to get into understanding the characters we write. How do you go about it?
For me, that’s always been relatively easy, especially for my main protagonist. I build my characters with little pieces of myself or those I know. Their quirks often are inspired by someone. It keeps me invested. They’re not strangers; they are my friends or what I see in the mirror or the dark corners of my mind.
What are your future project(s)?
Right now, I’m submitting the first of a four book series to some agents. I’ve already drafted the next two books, so I intend to work on this series for a while. Afterward, I have another book, potentially standalone, about a seer. Or I might revisit Grayden’s world.
What is your favorite book ever written? Who are your favorite authors?
That’s a mean, mean question. I’d have to say Dragonlance and quickly follow it by The Crown Tower. Royce and Raistlin are my favorite characters of all time. Michael Sullivan would make it into my top authors because I adore his no-fuss writing style. Another favorite author is Mark Lawrence (this isn’t a suckup) because of how he can craft words and drive knives right through your heart. Jim Butcher because he has my kind of dorky humor. And lastly it would be Edgar Allen Poe. I read him relentlessly when I was younger, and his darkness inspired most of my disturbing teen poetry. His prose is captivating.
What makes a good villain?
Depends on my mood. Sometimes I want the villain that has as much heart as the hero. The one that hurts and truly thinks he/she is doing what is right. But other times I want the twirling mustache and cackling evil laugh. I just want to root against him/her.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
If you couldn’t be an author, what ideal job would you like to do?
Petting dogs. Lots of dogs.
You can travel to any planet or moon in the Solar System. Where would you go, why and what would you do there?
The moon, as unadventurous as that seems. I love nothing more than to sit somewhere quiet, without people, and simply look at the earth or the darkness. It evokes an image and feeling of calm for me.
Pick any three characters from a fiction novel. These are now your roadtrip crew. Where do you go and what do you do?
Harry Dresden, Royce, and Hadrium. We’re going to get in trouble and we’re going to have fun doing it! Plus, the banter would be soooo entertaining.
Finally, what is your preferred method to have readers get in touch with or follow you (i.e., website, personal blog, Facebook page, here on Goodreads, etc.) and link(s)?
I love hearing from readers and actively stay on top of all my social media direct messages.
http://booksbylkevans.com has a contact me tab and several follow options.
Booksbylkevans@gmail.com is a great way, and probably the fastest, to reach me.
https://twitter.com/booksbylkevans is my Twitter link.
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7152685.L_K_Evans is a link to my Goodreads. Feel free to friend me.
https://www.facebook.com/LK-Evans-331938033600576/ is a link to my Facebook page.