An interview with Joseph Evans

A few weeks ago I reviewed City of the Falling Sky, for Adopt an Indie month. The author, Joseph Evans, was kind enough to answer a few of my questions about his series.

I can tell from your book that you’re a big fan of the Harry Potter universe. I think you did a good job of creating your own, while still paying your respects to the world JK Rowling created – how did you go about that?

Yes, I am a huge fan of Harry Potter and they are the most enjoyable books I have ever read. I don’t know of any other books for that age group that have the same level of worldbuilding, and I think that is one of the key aspects to its success. When I began writing, I consciously wanted to make a world that was just as complex and just as enjoyable to live in.

How many books have you got planned for the Seckry Sequence, and what kind of timeframe are they going to be written over?

There will be five books in total, and each one will cover an academic year, much like in Harry Potter. So by the end of it, Seckry will be nineteen! When I began this journey as a writer, the first thing I did was spend six months not only planning the first book, but the whole five books! I know what’s going to happen in each book and I think this will really help to keep the quality consistent without me losing my way with it.

I found it interesting that you had a lot of made up creatures and items in your world, like the animals at the school, and then on the other hand, used some regular words from our world, like carrots and milkshakes – how did you decide on the balance between regular words and invented items?

One of my favourite authors, Chris Wooding, wrote a blog on this once, and It was very helpful. Here’s the link.
I took a lot of advice from this post, as it is very important to balance the completely alien with the familiar. My personal rationale is that if something if onomatopoeic enough, it doesn’t matter that the reader doesn’t know exactly what it is, since the word itself gives you a very good idea. I have no idea what a gloopy mullsquash dip is myself, but I can picture and taste it just the same! Some of my favourite things to invent were the names for my characters. Again, some of these sound very familiar and some very strange. The name Loca Thumbsuckle was my favourite to invent, because it makes her sound very delicate and innocent when she’s not like that at all!

While the book deals with some serious material, it also has some really fun aspects as well. Do you think it’s important to work in some light-hearted moments in a series like this?

Definitely. Another thing JK Rowling does excellently is humour, and that was one of my favourite things about the first three Harry Potters before they got darker. Another one of my favourite authors is Terry Pratchett, who is renowned for his humour, and I’ve taken a lot of influence from him. I enjoy  the darker parts more in books if they are counterbalanced by humour, as I think the light hearted scenes are where we really get to know the characters as if they are our own friends.

Finally, when do you think the second book will be available?

I’m hoping to have it ready next spring if I can really work on it non stop. I don’t want to keep my new fans waiting for too long as I can’t wait to hear what they think of book 2. The title is going to be The Trinity Awakening, and it’s going to be even more epic than the first!

Thanks so much, Joseph!

It was great to get some insight into the decisions and process that went into the creation of this book, and the series to come. All the best with City of the Falling Sky, and I hope the writing goes well for The Trinity Awakening!


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