Hey, Eve, welcome to the blog!
Thanks for inviting me to visit The Romance Reviews.
I have to admit that I first heard of you through your gothic novels, but other than that, I know nothing about you. So, please tell us about yourself. How did you go into writing as a career?
I wrote my first book when I was nine. It was the story of an unwanted teddy bear that found a new and loving home. I actually submitted that book to a publisher and received my first rejection letter. I went on to different jobs...pumped gas...sold shoes...had a student position in medical research...got two post-secondary degrees. I worked in health care and after that taught human anatomy before taking a position as a director of academic education. But all along, my heart yearned for the chance to tell stories. So I told them, and after hundreds of rejections, I made my first sale in 2005.
How inspiring! How long have you been writing? What advice can you give to aspiring writers?
As I mentioned, I’ve been writing on and off since I was a kid. My advice is simple. Write the book. If you really want to be a writer, don’t just say it. Sit down and do it. There’s always something that will demand your time—make time to write. And when you have that first book finished, send it out. Rejections sting, but remember that they aren’t personal. That book just isn’t right for that editor/agent at that particular moment. I’ve worked with seven editors and two agents to date. Almost all of them were among those who sent me rejection letters at some point in the past. Keep writing. Keep submitting.
Now, let’s come to your newest trilogy, Sins of the Heart (Aug 2010), Sins of the Soul (Sept 2010) and Sins of the Flesh (Oct 2010). What gave you the idea for this series? What is the unifying theme that holds these three books together?
I’m super excited about these books. They’re dark and gritty and sexy. The books didn’t stem from a single spark or inspiration, but rather from a perfect alignment of circumstance and planning. I started researching mythology: Egyptian, Japanese, Greek, Norse, to name a few. I wanted to create a vast world that incorporated elements of all these. On the most basic level, the books are about family, about the quest by three brothers to find—and punish—those who killed their youngest sibling. But the books are also about loyalty. About choices and sacrifices. And love.
Why make the four brothers the sons of Sutekh, the Lord of Chaos, who is not a very um, nice god? Why not make them the progeny of some more benevolent god/goddess?
I was toying with a question about whether villains could be heroes, about whether three men who are not good or kind or noble could be heroic to the reader. They just naturally evolved as sons of Sutekh.
Please describe each of the four brothers by using one word that describes the core essence of who they are. Who among the four brothers is your favorite? Why?
Just one word? Aaack! I don’t think I can do it, so I’ll take some writerly leeway and use more than one ;-)
Dagan (SINS OF THE HEART) was trapped in the Underworld, raised by demi-demons, never learning of his human heritage until he was grown. He has a few problems with emotion.
Alastor (SINS OF THE SOUL) was raised by a wealthy, titled human family. Then one day, dear old dad—Sutekh—blew in like a storm and ripped Alastor’s sheltered, privileged world to shit. Which left Alastor with control issues.
Malthus (SINS OF THE FLESH) lived in abject poverty, raised by his mother’s sister who had five kids of her own and blamed Mal for his mother’s death. Mal learned to fend for himself early on. He took to petty thievery, then piracy. Mal hasn’t changed much. Some habits are hard to kick.
And Lokan? Well, he’s still a mystery, isn’t he? I’d love to hear what readers think about who Lokan is after they’ve read the first three books in the series.
With regard to Sins of the Flesh, which came out in October, what made this son of Sutekh perfect for Calliope, a Daughter of Aset, when their “parents” are sworn enemies?
Mal’s an adrenaline-junkie bad boy who mouths off to his überlord god of a father just for fun, and dives into danger because it gives him a high. Calliope’s cool and calm and serene, an impenetrable force by training and choice. She’s not one to take chances or let down her walls. What makes them perfect for each other? Opposites attract, and when they do, sparks fly. Never mind fly...they ignite.
What is your favorite line in Sins of the Flesh?
I have a lot of fave lines, but here’s an exchange that I like because I think it tells a great deal about the characters:
Mal tells Calliope: “Whatever has you spooked, you’re fine. You’re safe. I’m not going to hurt you.”
A bubble of laughter tickled her throat, and she choked it back.
No, I’m not safe.
And I just might hurt you.
We noticed you have another book in the series, Sin’s Daughter. Can you tell us a little bit about that? How is it connected to the trilogy?
Sin’s Daughter is the story of Kai Warin and Amber Hale. He’s a soul reaper who has an important behind-the-scenes role in Sins of the Heart, and an even more important on-the-page role in Sins of the Flesh. She’s a...well, I’ll keep that to myself for now and you’ll understand why when you read Sin’s Daughter.
The story is a novella-length prequel to the events that unfold in Dagan, Alastor and Mal’s stories. It was a challenge to write a story that tied in to the three main books, while at the same time making it optional reading. It is currently available only as an e-read. I was aware that not everyone reads e-books, so I needed to keep the information fresh and relevant, while making sure that readers wouldn’t be lost if they didn’t have a chance to read the prequel.
I’ve been to your website and saw you’ve written other books as well. Which among them seems to be a readers’ favorite? Can you tell us about that/those book/s?
It’s hard to pick a reader favorite because I get email about all my stories. I still get a ton of feedback about DRIVEN and HIDDEN—the post-apocalyptic books I wrote under the name Eve Kenin—from readers wanting another story set in the Northern Waste. I also get a lot of emails asking for another book about the Compact of Sorcerers to continue the world created in DEMON’S KISS and DEMON’S HUNGER. I get emails asking for more historical suspense/gothic stories, as well, especially SEDUCED BY A STRANGER and HIS WICKED SINS, both of which were very dark, suspenseful books.
But right now, I’m focusing on the world of Dagan and Alastor and Malthus. The next book, BODY OF SIN will be out in June 2011, and another book after that to be out in the fall of 2011.
Anything else you’d like to add?
Awesome Otherkin book trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VsPC_Bo833c
Check out our review of SINS OF THE HEART, to be posted later in the day.
A signed copy of SINS OF THE FLESH (pubbed October 2010) is up for grabs! US/Canada only, and no P.O. Boxes, please.
How to Enter:
1. Answer this question: If you've read Eve's books before, which is your favorite and why? If you've not read any of Eve's books, which do you want to read and why?
2. Be a follower! (GFC, Twitter, FB or GR). Old followers are automatically entered.
Note: No answer + no follower = no chance to enter
Additional Chances to Win:
Each time you spread news of this contest (via Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, etc) earns you one point as well. Be sure to come back and give us the link of your tweet or announcement.
Contest Duration: October 5 - 6, 1159pm EST
Contest Winner Announcement: October 7
The winner will be selected via Randomizer.org. Be sure to come back and check the Winner Announcement post because instructions to claim your prize will be written there.