Welcome to the Sunday Street Team! I was lucky enough to interview S. Usher Evans about the first book, The Island, in a brand new trilogy of hers. See below for her answers, plus a giveaway.
Title: The Island
Author: S. Usher Evans
Publisher: Sun’s Golden Ray Publishing
Publication date: April 26, 2016
Summary (via Goodreads): Prince Galian is third in line to the throne, but prefers his place as a resident at the Royal Kylaen Hospital. When his father urges him to join the military to help reclaim their colony, Galian is forced to put aside his oath to Do No Harm and fight a war he does not believe in.
Across the great Madion Sea, Captain Theo Kallistrate dreams of a day when she is no longer bound by conscription to fight for her country’s independence. But when the Kylaens threaten, honor and duty call her to the front lines to fight off the oppressors.
When an air skirmish goes wrong, both Theo and Galian crash on a remote island hundreds of miles from either nation. Grievously injured, Theo must rely on Galian’s medical expertise, and Galian must rely on Theo’s survival skills, to live another day in a harsh and unforgiving terrain.
Can they put aside their differences long enough to survive? Or will the war that brought them to the island tear them apart?
What’s your favorite color?
It changes with my mood! Recently, I’m into Gray+Yellow, Purple, Blue, and Green. I painted my whole house gray and I just lerve it.
Was there anything specific in your life that made you want to write?
About two years ago, I went through a quarter-life-crisis. I was emerging from a six-month depression after a bad breakup (you can read more about it in my book Empath) and I decided to do something for myself. I had a book that was 90% ready-to-go that had been sitting on the back-burner because “writing was silly.” I decided to publish it on my 27th birthday, June 12th.
Along the way, I realized that “hey, I’m not half bad at this.” Then I began to ask myself, “What if I did this for real? As a job?” Once I let go of the fear holding me back, I began to make preparations. Eighteen months (and six published books) later, I’m living back in my hometown and writing full-time.
Is there anything on your bucket list that you want to do soon?
I would love to take a writing-cation to Ireland or go back to Spain.
If you were on a deserted island, what’s one book that you’d want to have with you?
A notebook with unlimited paper and a pen with unlimited ink. I’d be so productive without Twitter…
Have you started working on book two in the Madion War Trilogy? Do you know how many books are going to be in this series?
Oh yeah! I wrapped up the second book in January, right now it’s in line edits. Pre-orders should go live this month, and it’s coming out July 16th. It’s a trilogy, so the last book is coming your way February 14th, 2017.
Did you have a playlist that you listened to while writing The Island?
Oh yeah, each book has a playlist. Since Madion is a dual-POV book, I had a bunch of duets. My favorites were You+Me, Sweeplings, and the Civil Wars. Also, there’s this AMAZING cover/mash-up by Louisa Wendorff of T-Swiftie’s BlankSpace and Style.
If you could have any job in the world, what would you choose and why?
This job, writing books, is my dream job. Wouldn’t trade it for anything in the universe.
Do you have any advice for writers looking to be published?
First and foremost, figure out what your intention is. “Getting published” is a broad term these days. Do you want to be NYT Bestseller? Do you want to quit your job? Do you want control over your story or do you want others to help? There are pros and cons to every path, and depending on what you’re looking to get out of “getting published,” some pros will outweigh the cons.
For me, I had the marketing background and excessive work ethic that made self-publishing the route for me. I’d attempted to shop The Island around to agents last year, but I realized that I didn’t really like the idea of waiting for someone else when I could market and release the book myself. But self-publishing is truly what it sounds like – you are on your own. So if you opt to go that route (and once you publish a manuscript, that’s it), be prepared to get your hands dirty.
Candy, ice cream, or baked goods?
Oh lord. I don’t allow any in my house because I lack the self-control to not eat the whole box. Right now, there’s a box of brownie bites and a jar of salted caramel from a party I just had that are calling my name thanks to this question.
What are some of your hobbies?
When I quit my job, I suddenly had tons of free time at night that used to be taken up by writing. I decided to learn how to knit to keep my hands busy so I wasn’t staring at a screen forever. I also have two dogs, Zoe and Mr. Biscuit that take up a lot of my time.
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.
Evans is the author of the Razia series and Empath, both published by Sun’s Golden Ray Publishing.