Evangeline Denmark cannot sing. The tragic discovery of this truth led to bouts of angst-ridden poetry writing in her teens, several ill-advised relationships with literary characters, and the compulsive creation of her own fictional worlds. Having found her true voice, Evangeline now writes fiction with hints of whimsy, glimmers of fantasy, and strokes of the supernatural.
Her debut novel, Curio, a young adult steampunk fantasy, releases January 2016. She has also co-authored two children’s books, The Dragon and the Turtle and The Dragon and the Turtle Go on Safari (Waterbrook Press.) Evangeline lives in Colorado in a house stuffed full of animals and creative people that would surely go to ruin were it not for the watchful eye of a cattle dog named Willie.
From Amazon.com (click above) or Curio (Blink) on Amazon.ca
To celebrate Curio’s release, Evangeline popped by for a Q & A with me! If you want to read the review of Curio first, go ahead and read it, we’ll wait for you.
Q & A with EVANGELINE DENMARK
by Melony Teague
Q: When you are writing, what treat do you like to keep you going?
Evangeline: Large amounts of trail mix, preferably with chocolate covered espresso beans.
Q: Tell me about why/how you chose the genre you write in and what about it appeals to you?
Evangeline: It took longer than I would’ve liked to find YA. I’m not sure why because I’ve always read young adult books and loved the themes often found in those pages—coming-of-age, first love, rebellion, gaining independence. Nevertheless, I tried a few other genres first, but I began to find myself more at home in out-of-the-box stories. I’ve always loved faerie tales and stories with supernatural elements, anything that lights up my imagination and gives me goosebumps. Everything seemed to come together when I started writing CURIO. I wove in fantasy elements and plenty of angst, but the steampunk was a surprise. I was a fan of the steampunk aesthetic and series like Cassandra Clare’s The Infernal Devices and Scott Westerfeld’s Leviathan, but I hadn’t set out to write a steampunk book. When my porcies (porcelain people) showed up on the page, it seemed to make sense that they operated on steam power and their counterparts, the tocks, ran on clockwork. From there things got out of hand in the best possible way for a writer, inspiration bloomed. Once you get a little taste of steampunk, it’s hard to go back, so I embraced it. And there you have it—that’s how I landed in Young Adult Steampunk Fantasy.
Q: If you were to pick one character out of your books that could materialize and become a real live person, a friend, who would it be and why?
Evangeline: Well, I once wrote a book about a house faerie who cleaned and cooked all while being ridiculously hot. Yeah, who wouldn’t want him around the house? Someday I hope to publish that book, but since it’s not out, I’ll pick a character from CURIO. And that would, of course, have to be Blaise aka The Mad Tock. And it’s not just that I’d like to see this muscled warrior boy with his wire-threaded dreadlocks flying around with a steampack and wings. Really, it’s not that. What I love most about Blaise is his heart. He has a very painful past and he’s been a prisoner amongst strange creatures for a hundred years, but he spends his days trying to atone for his past wrongs and making the lives of those around him better. He’s a tinker, a fixer, a problem solver. In that way he’s very like my husband whose scientist/engineer viewpoint is constantly making my life better, easier, and more fun in a thousand little ways.
Q: What do you do to get into “the zone” when you are writing?
Evangeline: I shut down any connection to social media and mentally set a time for when I will check it again. I usually write during the day when my kids are at school and the house is quiet. Sometimes the quiet is what I need, but often I listen to music. I make a playlist for each novel. The songs have to have some connection to the story or themes, but I also have to be able to tune them out if necessary. That’s not usually a problem after I’ve listened to the same playlist a hundred times. When I’m on deadline or in an intense writing phase, I’ll write most of the day and forget to do things like shower and buy food. Unfortunately my family doesn’t think living on trail mix is a viable option.
Q: Please give me one fun fact about yourself that readers may not know.
Evangeline: I have an irrational fear of helium balloons that have lost some of their lift and float around the house like disembodied heads. You know what, that’s not irrational at all. That makes total sense.
Q: Is there anything you would like to include?
Evangeline: Be sure to check out the CURIO prequel novella, Mark of Blood and Alchemy. It’s a short, action-packed introduction to one of my created worlds and is available from your favorite e-tailer.
Twitter: @EvangelineD or Instagram
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