Table of Contents

Book Info

Author:
Series:

Not Your Chosen 1 by Evelyn Benvie

Number In Series:
1
Cover Artist:
Publisher:
Mischief Corner Books
Published:
14 June 2022
Formats
Book Type
Words:
102,000
Pages:
382

Synopsis

Magic in Allune is dying. 

The stars and the goddess call out for a Chosen Hero to save it. 

Unfortunately, all they get is Kell.

IKell Hồ Sinh Porter is twenty-six years old and desperate to leave his unhappy life and his dead-end town. One night his wish is granted by a mysterious voice—though not in any way he would’ve imagined—and he finds himself in the semi-magical land of Allune where everyone thinks he’s the “Chosen One.” Kell politely disagrees, and absconds from his duties. On the search for an adventure that doesn’t come with world-saving responsibility attached, he’s joined by companions. Every adventurer needs them, but his turn out to be Ansel, a sheltered fallen angel, and Fre, a half-orlk who wants to be a hero.

Destiny, bad luck, and the gods conspire against him. The Dawn Goddess wants him to take up his Chosen One mantle, which Kell is sure means becoming cannon fodder in an ancient divine war. The Lich King’s demonic minions carry out sporadic attacks in an attempt to kill him and prove he is not the Chosen One. Temperamental elves, talking stars that aren’t all that helpful, image-conscious demons, maddening pieces of prophecy that everyone thinks Kell should already know, and his growing feelings for Ansel all mix in a frustrating stew as Kell tries to juggle his feelings, his duties, and all the things trying to kill him. No one asked him if he wanted to be anyone’s Chosen One, and he can’t begin to understand why he was chosen. Kell needs to figure out who to trust and how to forge his own path before it’s too late for Allune and for him.

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Evelyn Welcome to MM Fiction Cafe.  Lets get started with the questtions.

 

When did you first realize that you wanted to be a writer?

When I first realized than books were actually written by people, and that I, coincidentally, was a people. I don’t remember exactly when this was but I was fairly young. I had a few brief thoughts of trying to write a book in my teen years, but it wasn’t until my late twenties that I actually had the confidence to try.

 

How many books have you written?

Three … and a third? I Am Not Your Chosen One will be the second book I’ve had published, and its sequel is already written and in the editing stages. I’m working on the third book in this Not Your Chosen series now.

My first work, Something to Celebrate, was published in 2018 by the same publisher.

 

How long does it usually take you to write a book?

It depends on the length. The books in the Not Your Chosen series all clock in at around 100k or a little more and they take me a year to write, roughly. Something to Celebrate was a novella at 20k words and took about three months to write.

I also write a lot slower at the beginning of a project as I tend to change more things and plot points when I’m starting as opposed to when I’ve settled into writing it.

 

Who are your favorite authors?

Terry Pratchett, Aiden Thomas, Mo Xiang Tong Xu, Diana Wynne Jones, and Jordan L. Hawk.

 

Where is your favorite place to write?

I don’t actually have one! My life right now is not super conducive to having a consistent writing schedule, so I will literally write wherever. I keep all my writing on Google Drive so I can access it anywhere, whenever I have free time and the motivation to write.

 

When you develop characters do you already know who they are before you begin writing or do you let them develop as you go?

I know who they are in terms of plot, but not necessarily who they’ll be as a character. For the Not Your Chosen series at least, the general plot came before fleshed out characters did. The characters I was plotting for and around were placeholders, in a way. I knew their role in the story (the reluctant chosen one, the shy love interest, the strong if somewhat dim warrior, the spitfire royal) but I didn’t know who they were. That development came after figuring out where they fit in the plot as a whole.

 

What is the hardest thing about writing?

Action scenes. I hate action scenes. It’s far more of a struggle to write my characters through any kind of fighting or danger than it is to write just about anything else.

 

What is the easiest thing about writing?

Dialogue! I love writing dialogue and find it easier to write than basically everything else.

 

Do you use images to develop your character’s looks?

I absolutely love making Picrew avatars of my characters. Sometimes I’ll look for stock photos or images, but Picrews have more flexibility and customization, and they’re just so fun to make. I will always have a vague idea of what my characters main describable features are, but being able to see different hair or eye options and change them can help nail down a specific look.

 

Are your characters based on people you know?

I don’t have any characters that are based on real people. I tend to base characters, or at least character ideas, more broadly on tropes or stereotypes and then expand on them from there. This works especially well in a fantasy setting like I Am Not Your Chosen One has. I’ll take a character type that’s prevalent in fantasy (for instance, an elven princess) and then alter it.

 

What do you do when you’re not writing?

On the more professional side, I work at a library and take care of my mom. On the fun side, I theoretically read books, play video games, do D&D with my friends, and make lots of crafts. Realistically, though, I tend to spend a lot of time doomscrolling Twitter and daydreaming about things I could write but don’t feel like.

 

Do you prefer pen and paper or computer?

Computer for writing and pen & paper for notes and initial planning.

 

What do you love best about your current book?

Definitely the humor and the freedom to write just about whatever silly thing I wanted and make it work for this world. Comic fantasy is my jam, and getting to write what I love has been the best thing about this project.

 

What is your next project?

I’m still working on this Not Your Chosen series now, but after that I’m looking at either a humorous fantasy novel about wizards and court intrigue or a humorous portal fantasy novel where the other worlds keep glitching like video games.

 

Evelyn, Thanks for stopping by and chatting with us today. We look forward to reading more of your work in the future.

 

Excerpt

Kell woke up slowly. Awareness filtered back to him in pieces. Rough wood under his palms. The warmth of the sun on his skin. The low, tumbling murmur of gathered people. Something weighing hot and heavy against his ribcage. The scent of fresh baking and old sweat mixing on his tongue. He wrinkled his nose and blinked his eyes open.

He was lying on a platform near the middle of town, judging by the smell and the noise. That wasn’t necessarily troubling in and of itself. But the sky …

It was blue, yes, and the sun was midmorning high and bright enough to make his eyes water. But there were stars speckling the sky all above him, little pink pinpricks of light dusting what should have been a solid-blue backdrop. Kell stared at them hard for a long moment, then closed his eyes again.

Weren’t dreams supposed to end when you woke up? What was this, a dream within a dream?

Whatever it was, he didn’t feel up to dealing with it right now.

Apparently the world wasn’t going to give him a choice. Someone nudged at his leg, gently at first but with increasing insistence.

Someone, Kell thought, with perhaps an edge of bubbling hysteria, or something. He giggled a little, biting his lip to keep the sound in. God, what is with me?

Maybe he had heat stroke. It was unusually warm out now for only being March.

What had happened last night? Fuck it. He didn’t remember getting drunk enough to pass out in the middle of the street. He didn’t remember planning on drinking at all.

A throat cleared above him, polite but impatient. Oh, well. Time for him to get up anyway before he got cited for public drunkenness or whatever. Kell made an effort to lift his head, but it was hard, and he was tired, and staying here a little longer couldn’t hurt, right?

Was public drunkenness even a real crime?

“Oh for the love of Skuache …” someone muttered, and then Kell found himself being gripped firmly on either side and hauled upwards. He let out a yelp of surprise, flailing around as strong arms did their best to hold him steady. The world spun as he opened his eyes, and it took a moment to get his feet under him. He staggered a bit, keeping his eyes trained on his feet for balance until he felt he wouldn’t fall over at any moment. Not that his rescuers had any intention of letting him go any time soon, with the way they held onto his arms just this side of too tight.

Shouldn’t have wished for the cops last night if this is where it gets me.

“Really, goddess,” the person continued to mutter. They sounded close. And important in a kind of college professor way. The kind used to lecturing and looking down on failing students. Kell dubbed him Professor Throat Clearer and entertained a brief image of a stuffy man in tweed giving lectures on how to properly interrupt conversation with discreet noises. It sounded like a fun class. Kell would have taken it.

“I have faith in your efforts, I truly do,” Professor Throat Clearer continued, speaking low and to himself. “But I swear, these Chosen get worse every time.”

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Biography

Evelyn Benvie is the wooly jumper in a family of black sheep. Both a cynic and a romantic at heart, she writes diverse poetry and queer-positive spec-fiction with strong characters, quirky romances, and (almost always) happy endings.

Sometimes she'll try to be funny, to varying results.

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