April SST: The Island by S. Usher Evans Interview + Giveaway!!!

Posted April 24, 2016 by Nori in Giveaway, Interviews, Street Team / 1 Comment

Was there a reason you decided to publish indie rather than going the traditional route? 
When I published Double Life, it was 100% about doing SOMETHING for myself with zero barriers to entry. I was muddling through a quarter life crisis and trying to find something to do for me. I’d had this draft book that I’d told myself I was going to publish for four years, so I said, “Okay, Evans. June 12th. Your birthday. Let’s just put it out into the universe.”


Two years later, I continue to indie publish for a couple of reasons. First, I notice that I can do about as well sales-wise as with a trad publisher, and I don’t have to split the profits. Second, I love being 100% in control. I love that I don’t have to listen to anyone (except my line editor) and I can do whatever I want, whenever I want. As someone who spent nearly a decade at the whims of indecisive government clients, indie publishing rocks.


Third, and those who follow me on twitter know this, I am the most impatient person on the planet. It was hard enough to wait four months for The Island to come out, I couldn’t imagine waiting for an agent, then a publisher, then a release date…talk about torture.


What has been one thing that has surprised you about indie publishing?
The most surprising part of indie publishing is how easy it is and how hard it is. It’s very easy to publish a book. Like, “create-an-account-and-upload-a-manuscript-and-a-cover” easy. For all the pomp and circumstance that I put around a book release, the actual act of publishing content is super simple and takes me literally one minute.


The hard part is everything else. I’ve been at this for almost two years and it’s still a slog. I finally feel like I’m getting somewhere with nearly six books out, but sometimes I feel like I’m screaming into the vacuum. Then again, I don’t want to be doing anything else, so I’m willing to trudge through the mud. The writing part, though, is still my favorite. Nothing beats that rush of exhilaration when I’ve got a new book idea swimming in my head.


Could you recommend a couple of your favorite indie authors?
My favorite indies are Nina J. Lux, Christina McMullen, J. Leigh Bralick, Karen Lynch, Hailey Edwards, and Renee Meland. Mostly fantasy (that’s my bailiwick), but all really, really well done. And lovely human beings, to boot.


What’s the hardest and easiest type of scene to write? (romantic, action, etc…)
Because I hear voices in my head (HAH!), dialogue is the easiest to write. Characters have conversations and I just document what I hear. Descriptions and describing worlds are where I have my troubles. I see the world vividly, but often times I forget to describe what I’m seeing in my head. That’s why I employ beta readers who tell me “Er…where are we in this scene?”


As far as the type of scene, I would say romance is really difficult for me because I’m afraid that it comes off as cheesy. The romance scenes where the characters get a little buz-ay are super fun and not at all awkward to get line edits back on though… /sarcasm.


What’s your favorite food? Curious minds want to know! 😉
Mexican food. Put salsa or hot sauce on anything and I’m a happy camper. Or salted caramel.


Are you currently working on anything new? Care to share?
I have a couple things going on right now. The sequel to The Island, called The Chasm, is going through the line editing process right now, and will be available to preorder sometime in the next few weeks. The final piece of the Razia series, a novella and a collection of short stories, comes out in June and I’m putting the last QA touches on those (the first book in the series is a free download, if you haven’t yet checked that one out).


The new(er) kid on the block is my new YA Fantasy about a very straight-laced girl who’s into physics and history and finds out that her family’s been hiding a lot of secrets from her. Namely, they’ve all got magic. It’s one of those stories that’s been playing on repeat in my brain for 15 years, and I’m really excited for everyone to meet Lexie. It’s coming your way October of this year.


Lastly, I’m playing with The Union, which is the last in the Madion War trilogy. That’s coming in Feb 2017 (because I am mean).


What are some tips/suggestions you have for aspiring writers?
First, own the title of writer. If you put words on paper, you are a writer. If you haven’t put words on paper, what are you waiting for?


Second, learn to love your voice. It is the voice you have at this moment, and the sooner you accept your talent where it is today, the sooner you can get on with the business of improving it. If you spend all day agonizing how you wrote this one thing, you’ll never get around to finishing the whole draft. And if there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that things always look worse when you’re writing them than when you go back two weeks later and read them.

About The Author
S. Usher Evans is an author, blogger, and witty banter aficionado. Born in Pensacola, Florida, she left the sleepy town behind for the fast-paced world of Washington, D.C.. There, she somehow landed jobs with BBC, Discovery Channel, and National Geographic Television before finally settling into a “real job” as an IT consultant. After a quarter life crisis at age 27, she decided consulting was for the birds and rekindled a childhood passion for writing novels. She sold everything she owned and moved back to Pensacola, where she currently resides with her two dogs, Zoe and Mr. Biscuit.

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