An interview with LK Evans

7549b1002d12c93acb0ebc5bb2e7363fIt’s time for another interview! I got in touch with LK Evans through Goodreads and she sent me a copy of her book, ‘Keepers of Arden: The Brothers‘. This is the first volume in a four-part fantasy epic, which tells the tales of two brothers, as they battle the evil in the kingdom of Arden and within themselves. It’s an adventurous novel that spans years and is packed with likeable and troubled characters. After I read the book, LK was kind enough to answer some questions about her writing.

‘Keepers of Arden’ is subtitled ‘Volume 1’. How many books are there in the series and have you already written them?

If you would have asked me this question six months ago, I would have confidently responded that I have four books in total for the series, all completed in rough draft form.  However, the story is ever evolving. I’m a ‘by the seat of my pants’ writer, which is how I did all four. It was a good start and I’m happy I did it, so I knew the direction my characters were heading. But now that I’ve read through them all, I’ve realised some of the scenes are in an awkward order or just don’t make sense.

I’m in the process of a total rewrite of book two. Book three will be less of a rewrite, while book four is still a mystery to me. I’m certain of the ending, but events leading to it are in a state of flux. I’ve thought about extending the story into a fifth book, but I’m trying to keep it to four. We’ll see.

The key relationship in the book is between the brothers Wilhelm and Salvarias. Was it a challenge to create such a believable bond between two such different characters (essentially ultimate good and ultimate evil)?

For me, no. What I did was boil away all the brothers’ differences until I was left with the purity of a close sibling relationship, which is something dear to my heart. I have a sister, and, while we’re extremely different, we’ve been inseparable ever since I can remember. Though not all siblings share such a tight-knit relationship, there are a few out there who will identify with both the sisters and the brothers. Those that don’t can, I hope, live vicariously through my characters.

The narrative switches perspective quite frequently. Is there a particular character you most enjoyed writing?

Salvarias, hands down. Personally, I think every person has two sides to them. One side is capable of amazing, compassionate acts. The other is capable of indifference or outright cruelty. For most of us, we can control the cruelty easily; that dark side of us never surfaces. But what if you knew evil was a force within you? Can you imagine feeling something sinister inside your soul? And what if another presence was alive inside you, talking to you? What if you did not know its true nature? What if you thought it was helping you fight that sinister evil? What if its sole purpose was to slowly turn you towards that horrible darkness inside you?

That’s what makes Salvarias interesting to me. I love writing about his struggles, his uncertainties, the contradictions of his own thoughts, his internal battle of hope and hopelessness. My intent is that the reader knows what’s happening to him while he doesn’t. As I think with most of us, he fumbles through life trying to make the right decisions. He doesn’t achieve perfection, but he certainly gives it a valiant effort.

In your Goodreads bio you say you were inspired to start writing by reading a book that you didn’t like. How did you manage to keep yourself motivated after the original burst of inspiration?

I’ve yet to find myself without the itch to write. I admit some days are frustrating, whilst others are as satisfying as a cup of hot chocolate on a cold, rainy morning. While motivation is not an obstacle for me, doubt certainly shows its ugly face often.

Reading is a great source for boosting my motivation on those less than productive days. We’ve all read stories that have enamored or frustrated us, or whose author has a way with words that make you want to cry. Reading has also improved my own writing. I’m finding book two to be much easier than book one. The writing is smoother, which gives me a much needed dose of confidence. I’ve even got four other series waiting in the wings for me to finish ‘Keepers of Arden’.

How did you go from writing in your spare time to getting published?

I have the most amazing husband. When I left my corporate job, we had every intention of opening a dog daycare business. I spent my time researching and learning how to go about such a feat. When I had time, I sat at my computer and wrote a story. I had no intention of publishing until my husband found out. When he learned that writing was my passion, he told me to go for it.

We ditched the dog daycare idea, which ended up being a very smart move, as we later learned, and he encouraged me to write full time. We’ve made sacrifices for this dream of mine, but we’ve both felt they’ve been well worth it. I’ve never been happier and my husband’s support has yet to waver. I am one of the few lucky people that get to do what I love aaaaall day long.

After I gained a speck of confidence, I sent the book off to an editor, did some rewrites, and then put it on Amazon. I might submit one of my other series to a publisher, but for ‘Keepers of Arden’ I wanted complete control. It’s very personal to me and I didn’t want it tampered with or changed.

It’s kinda crazy. I never thought all through my childhood and adulthood that I’d be a writer. It’s amazing how life changes you.

If you enjoyed this, why not buy ‘The Keepers of Arden: The Brothers’ as an ebook from Amazon!

You can also find out more about LK Evans on her Facebook, Goodreads and Pinterest pages.

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