Sunday, January 8, 2017

Author Interview: Victoria Evers + Giveaway

VICTORIA EVERS is a debut paranormal fiction writer who feels really awkward referring to herself in the third person.... When she's not vacationing in Narnia, you’ll probably find her reading, watching horror movies, spending time with her AMAZING family, or daydreaming about the newest story in her head.

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About Insidious (The Marked Mages #1)
(Click the Title for More Information)

All Kat Montgomery wanted was a fun night out on the town. What she got was a death warrant. As it turns out, the quaint little hamlet of Mystic Harbor, Maine houses more than sandy beaches and adorable B&B’s. Beneath the New England charm rests a deadly world where shifters, demons, vampires, and angelic hunters all vie for power. 

A world where magic is the greatest weapon. 

Magic that Kat now possesses.

After that one fateful night, she can feel the changes beginning to take hold of her. Only problem, she doesn’t even know what she’s turning into. With threats hiding in plain sight, deciphering the lines between friend and foe is nearly impossible. As if things couldn’t get any worse, Kat learns her only real ally rests in the one person she can’t stand: Reese Blackburn, an insufferably handsome magician whom the town fears most.

Kat’s very soul is at stake, and destiny doesn't seem to be playing out in her favor. Can these two unlikely partners challenge fate itself before it's too late? (Via

Casey Marie: What was your inspiration for Insidious?

Victoria Evers: A friend and I had been talking for years about writing a paranormal young adult series, but I honestly didn’t think I could do it. The only experience I had was writing short mystery stories in English class, so the thought of an 80,000 + word novel seemed impossible. All I had was a vague idea rolling around in my head and an opening scene that sounded kind of cool. I knew what I wanted to do with my main character in the beginning of the story, but I didn’t know where the story was going to take her or what the paranormal theme was even going to be. Then one night, I was going through some of my favorite music videos on YouTube, and wound up watching 30 Seconds to Mars’ “Hurricane.” It’s a thirteen-minute music video, and one particular scene just really stuck with me. At around the 10:30 marker, Jared Leto finds himself in an alleyway where, out of the blue, a series of strange tattoos suddenly covers his body. I thought, “Huh, that’s kind of interesting…” 

That one image wound up inspiring Chapter 7, and then some. It wasn’t until I was halfway through writing the primary antagonist of the story that I realized I’d already cast Leto in the role! The ideas just snowballed from there, and I wound up with a book that’s over 113,000 words long! It’s proof that all you need is a single spark to start a fire. ;)

CM: The paranormal genre is rather diverse; however the plots of paranormal novels generally stem from the same concept. Were you nervous that Insidious would end up too similar to other paranormal novels?

VE: There’s a quote from Malcolm Forbes that I’ve always liked. “How to fail: Try too hard.” We’ve been telling tales since the dawn of time, and some might argue that there are only seven basic plots in storytelling. With thousands of years before us, the concept of writing something wholly original is pretty much impossible. Everything can be compared to something else to some degree or another. Star Wars to Star Trek, Twilight to The Vampire Diaries, Inception to The Matrix. They may share a few or just one singular element, but the similarity is there nevertheless. That doesn’t mean your story is going to be unoriginal. Your story is your own. When I started writing Insidious, I had no intention of publishing it—or ever letting another human being even read it, so I didn’t go in with the fear that people might compare it to something else. The story that’s in your heart is the one you should tell, not the one you’re desperately trying to conceive as “original.” In all honesty, trying to do the latter will drive you crazy.

CM: What are some of your favorite paranormal romance novels/series?

VE: It’s actually funny. I didn’t read paranormal romance up until a few years ago. Growing up, all I read was Stephen King and Arthur Conan Doyle. Once I discovered Becca Fitzpatrick’s “Hush, Hush,” Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl’s “Beautiful Creatures,” and Amanda Hocking's "Trylle" trilogy, I became hooked!

CM: If you had to be roommates with one of your characters, who would you choose to be your roommate and why?

VE: That’s an easy one: Reese! What could be better than curling up on the couch, watching Star Wars, with a loveable smart aleck?

CM: If you could have any ability, such as invisibility, teleportation, time-travel, etc., which ability would you want to possess?

VE: Oh, boy. That’s a toughie. I love the idea of time travel, but I’m equally horrified by the whole Butterfly Effect theory. Considering how accident-prone I am, flying probably wouldn’t be a good fit either.  Invisibility would definitely be cool, but I’m leaning more towards teleportation. Seeing films like Jumper, it really opens your eyes to the possibilities. Spend the morning surfing in Hawaii, enjoy the afternoon in Disney World, walk the streets of Paris in the evening, watch the sunset in Bora Bora, and spend the night in Time Square. Not too shabby. Plus, it saves on airfare! Definitely teleportation.

CM: As we enter the new year, do you have any writing or reading goals that you hope to accomplish within the next year?

VE: I’m a voracious reader, so I always try to finish at least two books a month. I usually get through four, but it just depends on my schedule. As far as writing, I spend pretty much every free minute I have scribbling down thoughts for the sequel. Right now, I’m about 25% of the way through writing the next book. If I could publish three books this year, I'd be thrilled!

CM: What are you currently working on?

VE: Apart from the sequel to Insidious, I’m also working on a New Adult Contemporary Romance about a college freshman who has to return home for the summer to find her sexy high school tormentor waiting to make her life hell…again.

CM: Any advice for aspiring writers?

VE: You’ll hear the same tips everywhere about how you need to read and write as much as possible. Yes, both are very important, but understanding the craft of writing a novel takes more than that. Even the best prose can fall flat for a reader if the pacing and character development isn’t planned just right.

    1.     Begin the book with a “hook.” What is a hook, you may ask? It’s the opening shark attack in Jaws or the bank heist in The Dark Knight. It literally means you need to “hook” your reader from the get-go. You can’t count on your readers to be patient. Begin your story with an exciting scene, and you’re off to a great start.

     2.      Try to end each chapter on a cliffhanger. You’ve captured the reader’s attention. Now you need to keep it. It’s your job to keep your audience flipping the pages. The best way to go about this is to treat it like it’s the last moment before a television show goes to a commercial break. Cut a scene in half between chapters, cut a scene short, end on a sharp note. Always leave your reader wanting more.
     3.      Don’t worry about word count. A lot of authors preach that your book needs to be an exact length in order for it to sell. The market, however, is different these days, especially if you’re self-publishing. A standard Young-adult novel should be between 70,000-90,000 words long. Insidious is 113,000. Writers make the mistake all too frequently trying to tailor their stories to fit a specific length, and more often than not, it crimples their work. Readers recognize absent character development, and readers know fluff when they see it. Don’t add any unnecessary content to your book, and don’t remove important plot points just for the sake of word count. You’re putting the cart before the horse. Write your story first, worry about the details later.

    4.      Don’t follow trends. Unless you’re a speed-demon behind the keyboard, don’t try to write a certain kind of story just because it’s popular. Timing really is everything, so take some time to study the market. The last thing you want is to spend months pouring your heart into a project that’s “soooo last season.” Write the story you want to write, and try to anticipate when the market will want to read it.

CM: Were any of the Insidious characters harder to write than others? If so, how did you overcome the problem?

VE: As Robert De Niro said, "One of the things about acting is it allows you to live other people's lives without having to pay the price." The same can be said about writing those character. I honestly didn’t have a problem with writing for any of them. In fact, the more devilish they were, the easier it was to write for them. In order to understand a character's motives, you have to step inside their shoes. And seeing through some people's eyes was so much fun, especially the ones who may be a bit off-kilter.

CM: Although Insidious is recently released, does the second book in The Marked Mage Chronicles have a title or an expected release date? Or is there anything you can tease about book two?

I haven’t named the sequel to Insidious yet (but I’m open to suggestions), and I’m hoping to release it in the spring. Without spoiling too much, anticipate some villainous characters to resurface and expect some unlikely allies to be forged. New characters will be brought into the fold, and others will meet some unfortunate ends. There will be terror, and there will be some real sexy times.

CM: How are Reese and Kat celebrating the holidays and the New Year?

VE: The sequel actually takes place just before the holidays, so it’s safe to say that their New Year is going to be quite eventful. I’ve learned that I’m a sadist when it comes to my characters, because I really enjoy putting them through the ringer! 

This is honestly the only job on the planet where you can proudly announce to loved ones that you're planning on murdering someone for work, and their only reaction is a shrug. It's kind of amazing!

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