The Literary Vixen presents…
Joining us today is Evelyn Shine! Her newest release, Dancing with the Moon: Vargree Shifters Book One released on March 23rd 2022.
Tell us a bit about yourself.
I’m an author of fantasy romance writing under the pen name Evelyn Shine and I work as a private chef. When I’m not writing or cooking, I keep company with my three crazy Australian cattle dogs and my indulgent husband.
How long have you been writing?
I started writing in fall 2019 after three months of insomnia. It began with fanfic to entertain my brain, then moved on to original works in winter 2020. A year later I had a dozen 80k word first drafts written, and at the urging of my bestie, I picked a few to polish up for publication. The other drafts are waiting patiently for rewrites.
Do you have a writing quirk or ritual?
My brain never stops. The plotlines to at least six new books are always percolating away. My ideas kick me awake around 4am every day. I make my cup of tea and curl up on the couch with my laptop to write for a few hours–or all day–depending on my schedule. On nice days, I sit outside in my hammock with my dogs to write. I’m very focused, but my thoughts are so loud when I’m working that I need absolute silence to write.
Where do you get your inspiration for your books?
Everywhere really. I’ve lived a really full life, so some of it is from experience. A great cover or a piece of art will spin an entire story in my head. An old Rumi poem I saw on Tumblr inspired Dancing With the Moon. The entire story downloaded into my brain and I started writing. That poem is at the beginning of the book.
Do you have a favorite character that you have written? If so, who? And what makes them so special?
I’m attached to all my characters so it’s hard to pick just one. I love really strong but flawed FMCs. Kiara is the star of Dancing with the Moon and was so fun to write. She struggles with her addiction to the venom in a vampire’s bite but still tries to hold her life together and be independent. I’m a big fan of the heroine rescuing herself, so women fighting to come out on top will always have a place in my heart.
How do you deal with emotional impact of a book (on yourself) as you are writing the story?
I love the highs and lows of writing a new story. It unfolds like a movie in my head and I try to type fast enough to keep up. My housekeeping and other mundane tasks wait until I hit the editing phase because everything else just gets forgotten. My wonderful husband is accustomed to this intensity, and usually makes sure I remember to do things like eat. He claims coffee is not a meal. He’s wrong, but I still love him.
What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?
Genre related covers have been my kryptonite and I’ve found the process frustrating. I’ve been reading for decades and have literally never picked a book for its cover. Usually when picking out a book, I’d open it to a random page and start reading. If I liked the writing style, I bought it. I had a rocky start with my first covers, but after swapping them, the series has done better.
When writing a series how do you keep things fresh, for both your readers and also yourself?
The overall story is already in my head, so each book takes the reader a step closer to the conclusion and reveals a little more of the overall plot. I never actually get “writer’s block” but if I get hung up on something I will go to the beginning of the story and start editing. Usually something will trigger a thought and I can move on again.
Are you working on anything at the present you would like to share with me?
I just finished a “romancing the fairy tale villain” novella for an anthology that was super fun to write. I have a sensual retelling of the goddess Inanna that I’m working on for an anthology next spring.
My current big pet project is an epic fantasy why choose series. I’m 140k words into what will be a 4 or 5 books. The main character Skadi shows up in book 2 and 3 of my Dawnchild Series as the Queen of the Vargree wolf shifters. She appears again as a side character in book 1 and 2 of my Vargree series. She’s this fabulous archetypal badass queen with five mates. How could I not give her the rags to riches origin story she deserves? Currently, I plan to write the complete series then release a book every three months. With all the time it takes for beta reading, editing, and covers, I’m probably looking at a summer 2023 release for book 1.
What advice would you give to other authors?
Lift each other up and be kind. Everyone is made of stories and will tell theirs in their own way and time.
What is the one thing you want people to know about you and your books?
I still don’t sleep much and I probably drink more coffee than I should. It’s an endless loop.
My worlds are rich and all the characters intertwine, so there are cameos and Easter eggs in every book for stories I have yet to publish. I love leaving little presents that someone can come back later to read and discover.
Thank you Evelyn Shine for chatting with me! I will include her information down below. Check out her newest release, Dancing with the Moon today!
A singular moment could change centuries of hatred.
I can’t stop thinking about her. Kiara saved my life by giving me her blood. It tasted like every fond memory I’ve ever had. And now, no matter how much I’ve tried to stay away, I’m drawn even closer. As if all I’ve ever needed is her.
But she’s a Vargree. The wolf-shifters and my kind have been at war for centuries and my hands are stained with the blood of her people.
I should let her go. Especially now that she’s found a prospective mate with her pack. But seeing her with him only makes me strive to win her over, to show her that singular moment wasn’t enough for me.
Can my love for her end the wars between our kind?
Dancing with the Moon is an epic fantasy romance about family ties, forbidden love, and the secrets that could shatter them. It’s a spin-off novel from the Dawnchild series, but can be read as a stand-alone.
Evelyn Shine is the author of fantasy romance books for anyone that enjoys steamy myths and fantastical species mixed with their adventure filled love. No matter what stories she’s writing—vampires or shifters—they all share a common thread of love, heart, and action. When she isn’t writing, Evelyn enjoys playing with her three crazy Australian cattle dogs, riding her Vespa through the countryside, or spending time with her indulgent spouse.
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