Sunday, 29 January 2012

Interview with David Estes: Author of Evolution Trilogy

It was fun interviewing David Estes, the author of Evolution Trilogy (read review here).   For those of you, who are new to this author, here is the brief introduction about the author from him.
I was born in El Paso, Texas but moved to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania when I was very young. I grew up in Pittsburgh and then went to Penn State for college. Eventually I moved to Sydney, Australia where I met my wife. A reader all my life, I began writing novels for the children's and YA markets in 2010. I'm a writer with OCD, a love of dancing and singing (but only when no one is looking or listening), a mad-skilled ping-pong player, and prefer writing at the swimming pool to writing at a table. 
Now to the interesting interview..

Interview with David Estes

You believe in angels and demons?

Sure, why not?  I mean, there’s a lot of crazy stuff that happens in this world, why not angels and demons?  I purposely kept my angels and demons separate from all of the religious views of angels and demons because people tend to have strong opinions about all of that.  The Evolution Trilogy is more about the question of what if?  What if humans evolved into something else?

How did you come up with this title?  Did you have any other titles in your mind for the books or the series?

My wife, Adele, actually came up with the title.  I was really hoping to have the words angel, demon, and archangel in each of the titles, but at first I was thinking of keeping it simple.  Just Angels for the first one.  Demons for number two.  Archangels for the third.  Then one night we were talking about my books, tossing around other ideas for titles.  Adele said something about how evolution was central to the stories.  The words Angel Evolution came out of her mouth and I loved it!  The titles were decided!

Where do you write your novel? Is it a messy desk or a great garden or a coffeeshop? 

Inspiration comes at so many different times and in so many different places, that I find myself writing all the time.  Sometimes I may just jot down a few ideas or words on my iPhone, and other times I might write a few paragraphs.  Then I can come back to these random thoughts and piece them together later.  I write every single day on the way to and from work on the Manly Ferry in Sydney, Australia.  The entire trip is 30 minutes so I get a solid hour of writing done while commuting.  I also try to write at least an hour over lunch in my favorite café, GGs.  But the ferry and GGs are definitely not my favorite places to write.  I much prefer writing on our day bed on our balcony overlooking Manly Beach with the sun shining, a cool breeze in the air and more inspiration than I usually know what to do with.  I’ve also recently started writing at the pool while my wife, Adele, does her laps.

Apart from this series, do you have any other future literary plans?

Absolutely.  I am pretty much obsessed with becoming a full time writer and have many other projects in various stages of publication. 

My current project is a YA post-apocalyptic dystopian thriller written from the perspective of two characters in alternating chapters.  Without giving two much away, the two characters (one male and one female) come from very different walks of life, but are thrust together unexpectedly.  As their lives intertwine, they must seek to bring balance to a world that is out of control.   I hope to release the entire trilogy in mid-2012.

I have recently finished a YA novel about a boy with a very unique disability and one hell of a sense of humor who meets loads of interesting teenagers on a suspenseful yet funny adventure to uncover the truth about the father he never knew.  I am seeking an agent for this novel but am still open to self-publishing it if I am unsuccessful.

I have also completed the first four books in a children's series aimed at kids between the ages of 7 and 10.  It's a classic superhero story about a girl who meets a strange animal who leads her to a treasure chest in the middle of the forest.  The chest contains a gift that allows the girl to perform miraculous feats.  I have another two books planned for the series, which I will be working to complete in 2012.  The first book in the series is currently being reviewed by a large children's book publisher.

My remaining projects range from a variety of children's novels from the fantastical to the downright silly, to my next venture into YA fantasy, and to the creation of an adult suspense/mystery series with a strong and interesting male character.  I have written the first page of more books than I can count without taking off my shoes!

What was the hardest part about writing 'The Angel Evolution'?

Having zero experience writing books.  Angel Evolution was literally my first effort at writing a novel, and thus, it required so much rewriting and edits that by the end I was exhausted!  I had no plan, no outline, just a basic idea about what the story was.  I just started writing and plowed through the first draft in about six weeks.  Then I had some beta readers give me feedback and the rewrites started.  While I was rewriting I was reading everything I could about writing from successful authors like Stephen King and Donald Maass.  I’ve written 8 books since and I am getting better and better with each book.

If you had the opportunity to collaborate with another author, who would be your pick?

Suzanne Collins for sure.  I loved the Hunger Games and one day I hope one of my books is compared to it.  It would be awesome to work with her on a dystopian project, something that captivated people worldwide like the Hunger Games has.  I wish all my characters could be as cool as Katniss Everdeen!

Did you do researches while writing this series?  Like to share with us?

Very little.  Unlike some authors, I really do not like research and much prefer to create a place from scratch.  However, as I got into some of the other books in the Evolution Trilogy, I have some scenes that take place in New York City so I had to do some very small amounts of research on where places were located.  But I much prefer to create worlds of my own, similar to the way Suzanne Collins did in The Hunger Games.

If you are given a second chance at your book, will you change anything in it?

Tough question.  Maybe.  I hate to have any regrets about Angel Evolution, because it was my first book and it’s what made me want to be a writer.  But when I read the later books in the trilogy I realize how much I’ve improved and it makes me wish I knew at the beginning what I know now.  I’ve found that for the YA genre, I prefer writing in the first person.  I might have tried that with Angel Evolution.  I also would have developed Taylor’s character a lot more in Angel Evolution, instead of waiting until Demon Evolution for her to really come into her own.  I also would have slowed down the love story a bit.  I was so focused on moving the plot along and getting to the action, I skipped over the romance more than I probably should have.

Three 'good to know' facts about you.

The first thing is that my wife calls me ‘Brick’, after the child character from the TV show The Middle.  In the show, Brick is constantly reading no matter where he is.  That’s me.  We’ll be watching TV and then a commercial will come on and Adele will run back into the kitchen to get a drink, and when she comes back, I will have my book out, trying to sneak in a page before the show comes back on!

The second thing is that I am a mad rollerblader.  I grew up playing hockey, and now that I live in Australia, there isn’t much opportunity to play as they are more into cricket and rugby here.  So I just rollerblade instead.  Every weekend my wife and I go to the pool to swim laps.  To get to the pool, Adele rides her bike along the beach.  I rollerblade!  There aren’t too many good rollerbladers in Australia, so I get a lot of funny looks when I’m cruising along, doing jumps and skating backwards.

The final thing is that Adele and I love dancing in our apartment.  Like crazy, silly dancing on Saturday mornings.  We put on a good Shakira song and jump around doing our favorite dances, like the sideways dance (invented by Adele).  If a softer song comes on we’ll slow dance, too.  It’s really nice.  Adele is my best friend and I love our time together—all of it.

One funny secret about you, for your readers? :)

I have a touch of OCD.  Okay, maybe a lot of OCD.  Some of my readers who follow me on Facebook probably already know this as I post about it sometimes, usually in joking manner.  There are so many silly things that bother me because of my OCD, like when different types of food are on the same plate and touch each other LOL.  Also, when things are out of place, or someone moves something that I put somewhere.  Sometimes I wish I could just not worry about such things.  On the other hand, I think my OCD helps me as a writer.  I am obsessive about meeting a minimum word count every day, so that helps me to write every single day, no matter what, and be quite productive.  Generally, I like to write at least 2,000 words a day, although lately I’ve been at around 3,500, while working full time in an office at the same time.

Quick Answers

Favorite place?
Hawaii, we hope to live there someday!  Although where we live now at Manly Beach in Australia is pretty awesome too.

Favorite pastime?
Playing tennis maybe.  Although chilling out and watching movies is awesome too.

Favorite book?
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Favorite author?
Dean Koontz

Favorite character from your books?
One from one of my unpublished books.  His name is Touch and he’s awesome.  I can’t wait to publish this book so everyone else can fall in love with him too.

Favorite series?
Lord of the Rings!

Favorite genre?
YA Dystopian at the moment.

Favorite writing spot?
At the pool probably

Favorite movie?
Lord of the Rings again!  All of them!

Favorite dish?
Vegetable pasta with chili, my wife’s specialty.  Yum!

Favorite color?
I dunno, it changes.  Blue I guess.

Favorite quote?
“It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door.  You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no knowing where you might be swept off to.”  
As I’m sure many of those who read this will know, this is from The Lord of the Rings by Tolkien.  There are a million amazing and inspiring quotes out there, but this one has always been my favorite.  It was the perfect line for Tolkien’s characters and their story, but the beauty of it is that it can be related to many other books, as well as to real life.  Sometimes the first step is the hardest, because once you take it you are out of your comfort zone.  But I can promise you that it’s always worth taking anyway.

Your best trait?

Your worst trait?
A bit stubborn and quick-tempered

Hope you enjoyed the interview!  Below are the ways, you can contact author and buy his books.

Contact David Estes at Facebook | Blog | Twitter.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for this. Sounds very interesting. I will have to check out the series!

    Visiting from WBC Comment Luv


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