TQ: Welcome to The Qwillery.
Evie: Thank you very much for having me! It’s a real pleasure to be part of the 2013 Debut Author Challenge.
TQ: When and why did you start writing?
Evie: I started writing when I was a kid, and I never really stopped. Our elementary school librarian had this lovely idea to laminate little ”books” written by students, and make cards for the card catalogue so that other students could check them out just like real books. My book was about dragons. I’d like to think that my writing has improved since the second grade. My drawing… not so much.
TQ: What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?
Evie: I try to keep my hands busy while I’m not actually typing, to stay focused while I’m thinking. Sometimes I’ll keep my knitting in my lap and pick that up; if the knitting project is too complicated, I use worry beads, or the little felt sculpture of a fox my daughter got me for Christmas. I can’t write sitting at a desk, either. I sit curled up in an armchair or on one side of the couch, like a cat, eating Pepperidge Farm Goldfish from a bowl. Yep, that’s me - a typing, Goldfish-eating cat with borderline OCD.
TQ: Are you a plotter or a pantser?
Evie: I’m a plotter in denial. I tell myself I can’t work unless I know exactly where the story is going, but then I never stick to what I’ve worked out, not even remotely. I’m also constantly revising backwards as I go along. It’s not an efficient process, and I don’t recommend it. It’s like knitting a sweater while someone’s unravelling it from the other end.
TQ: What is the most challenging thing for you about writing?
Evie: The biggest challenge is to stay emotionally connected to my work. It can be very hard to keep myself open in that way, particularly when my outside life is stressful, or when I’m dealing with something that’s too close to my own unresolved stuff. At the same time, that’s when the best work happens. The instant I lose that closeness – when the writing becomes about moving chess pieces around on a board - I get frustrated. Those are the times when I should just take a break, but I’m usually too stubborn to do it.
TQ: Describe Blood's Pride in 140 characters or less.
Evie: Blood’s Pride is about an epic rebellion, but one in which the action takes place on a very personal level – or put another way, a fantasy novel as told by an unabashed shipper.
TQ: What inspired you to write Blood's Pride?
Evie: Blood’s Pride really started with the character of the Mongrel. I had this image of her appearing out of the desert. I didn’t really know much about her story at first, but I felt very connected to her, and knew it was one I wanted to explore. She and her world evolved together after that, along with other characters who had their own stories to be told. The more deeply I went into it, the more discoveries I made, until it all wove together strand by strand.
TQ: What sort of research did you do for Blood's Pride?
Evie: I researched different things here and there – details about biology, climate, flora and fauna, all sorts of other things that came up as I was working, often only tangentially related because I was curious or procrastinating – but since this is a wholly invented world, my research informed my choices more than it dictated them.
TQ: Who was the easiest character to write and why? The hardest and why?
Evie: Frea was by far the easiest character to write. She is a juggernaut, all straight lines and fury. She doesn’t allow herself the slightest bit of introspection, so her resolve never wavers. Harotha was the hardest because she’s just the opposite. She’s conflicted in so many ways, at any moment she could go off in a dozen different directions. Harotha and I also share some significant flaws, and that makes it harder to stay open to her than some of the others.
TQ: Without giving anything away, what is/are your favorite scene(s) in Blood's Pride?
Evie: One of my favorites is Isa’s scene in her mother’s tomb. It’s a pivotal scene about 2/3 of the way through, so I can’t give away much more than that. It was extraordinarily difficult to write from her point of view at that moment, but as a result, I think the scene is as raw and visceral as it should be. That’s also the scene when Daryan shows us the man he’s capable of being: compassionate, intelligent and with all the strength of his convictions. I fall a little more in love with him every time I read it.
TQ: What's next?
Evie: I’m working on the next book in the Shattered Kingdoms series, Fortune’s Blight. It picks up right where Blood’s Pride ends, and opens up an even wider world for us to explore.
TQ: Thank you for joining us at The Qwillery.
Evie: Thank you so much for letting me stop by!
About Blood's Pride
Shattered Kingdoms 1
Tor Books, February 19, 2013
Hardcover and eBook, 528 pages
Rising from their sea-torn ships like vengeful, pale phantoms, the Norlanders laid waste to the Shadar under cover of darkness. They forced the once-peaceful fisher folk into slavery and forged an alliance with their former trading partners, the desert-dwelling Nomas tribe, cutting off any hope of salvation.
Now, two decades after the invasion, a rebellion gathers strength in the dark corridors of the city. A small faction of Shadari have hired the Mongrel, an infamous mercenary, to aid their fledgling uprising—but with her own shadowy ties to the region, she is a frighteningly volatile ally. Has she really come to lead a revolution, or for a more sinister purpose all her own?
This thrilling new epic fantasy is set in a quasi-Medieval Mediterranean region, drawing together the warrior culture of Vikings, the wanderlust of desert nomads, and the oracles of ancient Greece. Evie Manieri's Blood's Pride is an intricate, lush fantasy novel full of taut action, gut-wrenching betrayal, and soaring romance.
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What: One commenter will a hardcover copy of Blood's Pride (Shattered Kingdoms 1) from The Qwillery.
How: Answer The Qwillery's Question:
One of your favorite novels with a strong female main character or characters?
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