Author Spotlight: Erin Summerill talks Ever the Brave
Today is the best because I get to host Erin Summerill on the blog! In addition to writing, and being one of the nicest people in all of YA, Erin is also a professional photographer (seriously—go check out her Instagram—it's gorgeous!).
Her debut, Ever the Hunted launched in 2016, and she's following it up with the release of Ever the Brave which hits shelves TODAY! So please join me in wishing her the happiest of book birthdays! :)
Hi, Erin! Welcome and congrats on Ever the Brave. Can you tell us a little about this sequel and the challenges Britta will face?
I’m so excited for it to come out! Britta will face old enemies and one new one that she never expected. While she’s not battling their dark magic, she will have to figure out what to make of King Aodren’s interest and Cohen’s distance.
As a fantasy writer, I’m always interested in world building, and you do it so well! What’s your advice for writers who may be struggling to create a unique, yet cohesive setting?
Thank you! I think it’s always important to start from the ground up. I think about the actual landscape by starting with water sources. Water runs downhill, often leading to the ocean. I think about how close the community in my world is near a water source. If they have less access to water, it will change how they live. These distinctions may sound like a little, but climate builds your world as well as your character’s culture.
What part of the writing process do you find most challenging and how do you tackle it?
All of it! Seriously, it is fun to come up with new worlds, but drafting and revising and accepting critiques can be hard. I applaud anyone who has written a book because it is tougher than tough! My only advice for tackling a writing project is to keep going. It’s one step at a time forward.
I imagine writing a series is a huge undertaking. Not only does each book have to have a full arc, but the series as well. What’s your best advice for keeping the plot tight and on point?
Yes, it can be like trying to hike a mountain without ever having walked before. I started off by figuring out how I wanted the series to end, and then I plotted backwards. But because it’s difficult to think out each character’s arc, sometimes along the way I had to make adjustments to my plot.
What has been your most rewarding experience as an author so far?
I have received letters from readers who connected with the characters in this series. I know not everyone will fall in love with my books, but I’m glad that there are readers out there who find a voice they can connect to.
With two books under your belt (and a third coming in Fall 2018!), what’s the most important lesson you’ve learned on this wild journey from draft to publication?
The most important lesson I have learned is to take time away from writing now and then to remember to be a regular person. Sometimes I get so caught up in writing, I forget to visit my friends and family. It’s important to take breaks along the way and refuel myself with my supportive loved ones.
What are you reading, or otherwise currently obsessed with?
I’m currently reading The Traitor Prince by CJ Redwine, and it is so very good! I love CJ’s writing style. She has beautiful prose and great pacing.
What can you tell us about Once a King (A Clash of Kingdoms Book 3)? Was it challenging to write a story set in a world you know so well, but from a new character’s perspective?
Ah! I can’t say much or it will give away the end of Ever the Brave! But I can say, exploring more of Aodren’s story has been fun but also challenging.
And finally, what’s one steadfast piece of advice you would give to other writers?
I would say, don’t stop. Writing takes tenacity. There will be ups and downs, times you feel like a success, and times you feel like a failure, but the one thing that helps you through it all is remaining consistent. Keep writing!
Many thanks go out to Erin for taking the time to tell us about Ever the Brave! Be sure to add this A Clash of Kingdoms Book 2 to your Goodreads list, or (better yet!) order your copy RIGHT NOW from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or request it at your local indie. And if you haven't started this amazing series yet, check out the first installment: Ever the Hunted.
Follow Erin on Twitter at @erinsummerill, and check out her author website at erinsummerill.com for even more information.
And, as always,