Interview With Evelyn Benvie
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.