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They Made Me Do It




1)      Starting with the most obvious question: What is your Author name; use your Pen name if you have one.


E.V. Belknap.


2)      What is your genre and what drew you to it?


I read across all genres, but when it comes to writing, funny fantasy is my home. It’s probably all to blame on Terry Pratchett. I grew up on the Discworld novels, which have a way of making you laugh, while also bonking you on the head with important down to earth issues. With dragons. 

 

3)      How far along are you on your current work-in-progress?


I’m currently working on two books; The first, Stake around and Find out, is about Ava, who wants to be a vampire, but has so far failed to find even a single vampire to turn her, and as a somewhat desperate last resort to find one, has joined the vampire hunters. Surely this is a brilliant plan and nothing at all can go wrong. 


I have gotten my editorial notes back from my editor, and am currently in the process of integrating them.


The other book, The demon parent, has been partially edited for beta readers,  and I’ll return to it once I’m done playing around with vampires.


Then there’s the other one I’m really not supposed to be working on yet, but I can’t help sneaking in notes… I’m always working on at least two things.

 

4)      What is the best time of day for you to write?

 

In a perfect world, this would be evenings, however bills and responsibilities tend to muck this up a bit. So I write whenever I find the time. On work days when I know I’ll be working late, I’ll write some during my lunch break. Free days mean writing in between school hours. Overwhelmingly busy days, I’ll drag the laptop along and write in hallways and cars while the offspring has hobby activities.


I have to write every day, or my brain will convince itself it forgot how to, and restarting it can be a right pain.

 

5)      How did you come up with your cover design?


I wanted something colorful that included all the tenants. One of my inspirations was the cover of ‘Castle in the air’, from Diana Wynne Jones, which has a lot of silhouettes inside the title. I figured since the house is an important part of the story, we could maybe show the house in the city, with a tenant in each window. It was my amazing cover artist, Illustoryart, who pointed out to me that this would make for a way too busy cover, and came up with the wrap around design that not only gives each tenant more room to shine, but also effectively turns the book into the actual house, as it were. They did an astounding job, giving a sneak peek of every tenant, as well as a perfect use of color, which invites you to come right in and join the tenants. I could gush about this cover forever, they are an incredible artist. I can’t wait to show off the one they came up with for the next book…

 

6)      What is the hardest challenge in being a writer?


Oof, there’s so many. For me personally, it was realizing that yes, I too could do this, and a book doesn’t have to pop into existence in a day. Writing can also be a very lonely thing, but it doesn’t have to be. I have made so many writer friends since I started writing seriously, and the indie community is such a dream. They keep each other going, root for each other, lend all the helping hands… I think a lot of people have this image of writers being lonely creatures, but they’re really not. You need life, for one, to write, and people to nag at when your characters misbehave, people to read your things and poke at your plot holes,  and, at times, people to say ‘give up then’ when you’re having a bad and mopey day, because they know it’ll trick you into rage-writing.

 

7)     Did you receive encouragement from a mentor, family member, teacher, coach…?

 

There are too many people to fit in here, so I’ll limit it to two, for now, and may the rest forgive me.

My husband is my number one fan.  He’s the first one to read all the books and give honest feedback, he’s fully behind me self publishing. He keeps the house standing whenever I go into hyperfocus edit modes, intercepts the kid when I’m in the zone… without him I would have probably starved by now.

 

Then there’s Rebecca Thorne, an amazing author who has blazed a glorious path through indie publishing, only for her to turn around and gleefully start chucking down ladders for the rest of us. She is intent on being the polar opposite of gate keeping, and I learned so much from her.

 

8)      Who did you dedicate your first book to and why?


My dedication reads ‘Terry and Neil made me do it’ (Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman).


Because it’s their fault, really, that I finally realized I too could write a book. I’ve always been a writer, but there was always this sense of ‘I can’t be a real writer, I have a job, a family, where would I find the time, it’s too late, that ship has sailed.’ But then Good Omens happened. We don’t have to talk about how many times I saw season one. Let’s just say the hyperfixation was strong. It re-awakened in me this desire to write again. I’ve been doing it all my life, on and off; short stories, fan fiction, RPGs, LARP scenarios, short films… but never a full book. And then my hyper fixation picked up the Good Omens book again, read it through to the end in one sitting, up to and including the author notes. Where Terry wrote things about Neil, and Neil wrote things about Terry. And one of the things Neil wrote, was: ‘He wrote 400 words a night, every night; it was the only way for him to keep a real job and still write books.’ I will never forget sitting there, gaping at those words.


So yeah, this book is totally their fault. So will all the others be.

 

9)      Where is your favorite place to read?


I can read wherever, whenever. I was that kid reading in the playground, on the train, walking in the street… just give me a book and I’m happy.

 

10)  Which book villain would be the hardest to defeat?


That’s a tough question, the entire appeal of villains in books is that they are, in the end, defeatable.  Or are we talking about me, personally, as a one person show? I’m fairly sure I’d be no match for Smaug.

 

11)  What is your favorite quote and why?


I always flounder when I have to pick just one thing out of the entirety of great things. Let’s go with a classic;

“Humans need fantasy to be human. To be the place where the falling angel meets the rising ape.”

(Hogfather – Terry Pratchett)

 

12)  What is one book that is currently on your To-Be-Read list?


Ancient as the Stars, by Maya Darjani. It’s a found family time travel adventure. I love Maya’s writing, she’s very funny, and I’m excited to read her debut.






13)  What is the name of your book/series? Tell me a little bit about them.


The tenfold tenants is an adult fantasy standalone. It’s a story set in modern day London, about, you’ll never guess, ten tenants sharing a house. They’re a bunch of magical queer idiots, which includes their current caretaker, Corvinian Hark. Who was supposed to have been a villain, went to school for it and everything, but has instead been stuck in this temporary going on eight years job on account of such evils as market saturation and unpaid internships. And now he has a new tenant, only this one might be human. Which he has to figure out, at the risk of his own job. Oh, and she’s not allowed to know about the magic bit.

 

14)  Do you have a website? If so, what is it?


I sadly do not, and I really should get on that. Apparently it’s all the rage.

 

15)  Where can we find and follow you? (Name your social media platforms.)


Tiktok: @evbelknap

Instagram; evebelknap

 

16)  If there anything important that you would want my readers to know about you?


Hi! Feel free to come say hi, I love talking books, and flailing about fandoms.

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