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.
On Amazon.com: Mark of Blood and Alchemy: The Prequel to Curio
Evangeline’s WEBSITE or On Facebook
Twitter: @EvangelineD or Instagram
ENTER TO WIN A COPY OF EVANGELINE DENMARK’s CURIO
Contest runs from 1/05/2016 (12am) until 1/11/2016 (12 am)
US and CANADA ONLY
I am so very excited about this book! GREAT interview, Melony! And THANKS for hosting a giveaway! I LOVE giveaways!
This looks like such a exciting read!! 🙂
The only one I have read is Storming by K.M. Weiland. It had a Steampunk vibe but otherwise no.
Great interview. I love your irrational fear. Looking forward to reading Curio!!
I’ve never read a steampunk novel before but this sounds good!
I love steampunk novels! I don’t read many of them (simply because there AREN’T many out there…), but I love Scott Westerfeld’s Leviathan series. So delightfully steampunky. 😀
I have actually never read any steampunk before! I tend to stick to books/authors/series/genres I know. But I’ve wanted to read steampunk for several years now. And so I’ve been anxiously awaiting “Curio”s release so that I can experience this new genre. Plus, it’s Evangeline Denmark’s book! 😉 That alone says it will be AWESOME!
Bethany A. Jennings
This book has one of my favorite covers ever – I’m excited to read it!!
I love the cover too, Kirk DuPounce does a great job!
As I think about it I don’t think I’ve ever read a steampunk novel before! I’ve read Fantasy… but pretty sure they aren’t the same…
I like the fantasy and I like the fictional machines in steam punk.
I working on Mark of Blood and Alchemy now.
I have never read a steampunk novel, but it looks interesting. Hope to read it soon!
Would love to read this book. I have never read steampunk but would like to try it…who knows I might like it!!!
Thank you so much, Melony, for having me on the blog today, and thank you to everyone for stopping by and commenting. I’m glad to hear some of you have read some Steampunk (Katie Grace, I loved Scott Westerfeld’s Leviathan) and that others are willing to give it a shot. Curio is light on the technical aspect of Steampunk and heavier on the aesthetic of the movement. A friend of mine says a better term for what I write would be “magic punk.” Either way, it falls in the realm of fantasy, which we can probably all agree is the MOST FUN EVER!
I have to admit that I haven’t read any Steampunk novels… yet…but I have watched, and enjoyed, a few of the kids/YA Steampunk movies.
I’ve read a couple steampunk books and would love to read more. I’m not sure what it is about the genre, but I find it interesting.
This sounds like a really great book! I used to read fantasy novels all of the time, but I’ve never read a steampunk before. I’d certainly love to though!
I have and I find it so fascinating! I am quite excited for Curio. Thanks for a great interview and giveaway!
I’d love to read this new book. YA is my favorite, but I’ve never really tried steampunk.
I’m new to steampunk, but have read one or two before! This looks like an interesting read!
I’ve heard of steampunk fashion and jewelry, I’ve even seen a steampunk car, but I had no idea steampunk fiction existed until this post. I was intrigued, so I visited your website and then your Pinterest storyboard for Curio. The airships remind me of Mary Weber’s Storm Siren series. Any similarities between you two? (I love that series!)
Will you share your playlist for Curio?
Congrats on the new book!
(I can’t sing either.)
Amanda, see Evangeline’s comment above!
I’m glad you’re checking out Steampunk. Airships and/or dirigibles are one of the tropes of Steampunk and why not? They’re just so cool! I’ve read the first book in Mary Weber’s Storm Siren series and I loved it. I definitely got a Steampunk vibe from the airships that showed up at the end of the book, but I haven’t read the next in the series (I intend too!) so I don’t know if that tone continues. I can say that we are alike in that we fall more in the fantasy category than the sci-fi category of the speculative genre.
Here’s a link to the Curio playlist on Spotify, which I sing along to loudly much to my family’s dismay.
Yippee! My 15 year old daughter and I can’t wait to read this one. Congrats on this release!!!