Today's post is the second in a monthly author interview series. This month features author Joseph Evans, self-published author of City of the Falling Sky, the first in a young adult series called the Seckry Sequence which has sold over 50,000 copies. I reviewed City of the Falling Sky last month in my monthly book reviews post. If you missed it, you can read it here. Joseph is in the middle of finishing up his second novel and I really appreciate him taking some time out of his day to answer these questions.
What is your favorite part of writing a novel?
My favorite part is getting to the final stages and piecing all of the bits that I've written together. I work in a slightly unorthodox way, in which I plan very heavily beforehand so I know exactly where the story is going, and then I write all of the main segments out of chronological order before piecing them together at the end. Because my books are very plot orientated, it's really satisfying to see the how all of the twists lock into place. And, of course, the relief of knowing that I have a break coming up soon after spending every single day working is a bonus too!
I know you are a big fan of the Harry Potter series and the young adult realm. What draws you to read young adult fiction and write young adult fiction?
Surprisingly, I was a very reluctant reader as a child, and didn't start reading for pleasure until I was around thirteen or fourteen. I was much more interested in playing video games or watching anime before that. My mum was a school librarian at the time and she knew these books called Broken Sky by Chris Wooding that had anime covers, and she bought the first one for me to see if it would encourage me to read. I read the first few chapters, then the next few, and before I knew it, I was hooked. I went out and bought the rest of the series and couldn't put them down. It was the first time I had ever spent my own money on a book, and it felt like the best money I had ever spent. I went on to read tons and tons of teenage fiction, and couldn't get enough of it, and whereas a lot of people my age grew out of it, and started reading much more literary adult fiction, I just felt at home reading the teen stuff, even into my twenties. I'm now twenty seven and still choose to read teenage fiction over anything else because it has such a soft spot in my heart, and I suppose deep down I just feel like I've never really stopped being a teenager inside!
What are a few of your favorite young adult books and series?
Aside from the Broken Sky series that I've mentioned, my other favourites are Harry Potter (which I read shortly after Broken Sky, and completely blew me away), His Dark materials by Philip Pullman, Mortal Engines by Philip Reeve, The Discworld series by Terry Pratchett (not technically young adult, but maybe crossover), Troy by Adele Geras, Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer, and Percy Jackson by Rick Riordan.
I loved reading about Friction in The City of the Falling Sky. For those who haven't read your novel yet, can you explain the game of Friction, where the idea of Friction originated and why Friction is a centerpiece in your novel?
Friction is a massively multiplayer video game that allows players to become virtual avatars and run around in arenas, using their real body movements to control that of the avatar's. There is a yearly event called the Mega Meltdown in which all four of Skyfall City's schools compete for a trophy. Friction was mainly inspired by Quidditch from Harry Potter - I, along with many other, loved reading about Quidditch, but I struggled to find many other books that had some kind of sporting event as a side story to the main plot. in early planning stages for City of the Falling Sky I decided I was going to invent my own sporting event to fit into the story, and being an avid video gamer, it just felt right to invent something like Friction, especially since the world of esports is actually starting to take off in the real world right now, and MMOs are are taking over the gaming world.
What adventures await Seckry in Book #2? Do you have a general timeframe for its release?
Ok, at the end of the first book, Kevan Kayne, who was thought to have been shot dead by Darklight, is actually back from the grave, and he plays a very important role in the Trinity Awakening because he has a very strange obsession with Eiya. Also, in City of the Falling Sky, we learn that Seckry's father is still out there and alive, but Seckry has never been able to contact him. This time, Seckry is determined to find out more about his father's mysterious disappearance, and his search takes him far out of Skyfall City and into the snowy peaks of the northern mountains. On top of this, there is more Friction training to be had before the twenty eighth Mega Meltdown, and Tippian is devising a weird plan to help him get a date for this year's annual school ball!
I've almost finished writing the book and I'm hoping to have it released sometime this April. A teaser trailer will be going up soon, which you can see on my Youtube page here: youtube.com/josephevansauthor
I'm always looking for recommendations of great self-published books and indie authors. Do you have any recommendations for self-published fiction books or indie authors to check out?
Unfortunately I have been so engrossed in writing over the last few months that I haven't even looked at another book, I'll be doing a massive reading spree when I'm finished, but for now I'd like to take this opportunity to give a shout out to some friends of mine who are up and coming - Karla J. M. Brading and Charlotte Kane.
Thanks so much for the time, and I hope you enjoy The Trinity Awakening when it's released!
Learn more about Joseph and his books at the following sites: