Welcome to our weekly special feature post, Author Of The Week!!
Each week we will be interviewing a different YA author and highlighting their upcoming release!
We will also be hosting a giveaway of the book we are highlighting!!
Introducing Erin Summerill, YABC's Author of the Week!!
Erin Summerill was born in England. After bouncing between Air Force bases in Hawaii, England, and California, Erin moved to Utah and graduated with a B.A. in English from Brigham Young University. When writing proved tougher than she first thought, Erin grabbed a Nikon and became a professional photographer. The scenic photography detour provided world-building inspiration. It gave her the vision to draft her debut YA fantasy. When Erin isn’t writing or photographing something, she’s chasing her four kids, two dogs, one cat, and five chickens. Thus the reason she downs gallons of Coke Zero and Hot tamales.
Meet Ever The Hunted!!
Seventeen year-old Britta Flannery is at ease only in the woods with her dagger and bow. She spends her days tracking criminals alongside her father, the legendary bounty hunter for the King of Malam—that is, until her father is murdered. Now outcast and alone and having no rights to her father’s land or inheritance, she seeks refuge where she feels most safe: the Ever Woods. When Britta is caught poaching by the royal guard, instead of facing the noose she is offered a deal: her freedom in exchange for her father’s killer.
However, it’s not so simple.
The alleged killer is none other than Cohen McKay, her father’s former apprentice. The only friend she’s ever known. The boy she once loved who broke her heart. She must go on a dangerous quest in a world of warring kingdoms, mad kings, and dark magic to find the real killer. But Britta wields more power than she knows. And soon she will learn what has always made her different will make her a daunting and dangerous force.
YABC: What inspired me to write Ever The Hunted?
There wasn’t one specific event that inspired this book. It came as more of a culmination of thoughts and ideas.
I have a deep love for fantasy novels. When I was growing up, I devoured all things written by Robin McKinley and knew I wanted to write fantasy. So flash forward many years to when I worked as a wedding photographer. My photography assistant, Madalyn, was an avid hunter. On a trip to New Zealand, she mentioned she wanted to hunt a red stag. And I was like, what in the world? I’d never hunted anything. The thought sickened me a little. Well, my shock led to a lengthy conversation about hunting…which eventually fed some of the ideas for this book.
Another inspiration for Ever the Hunted came from my deep love of romance. I’ve been a wedding photographer for almost ten years. I love talking to my clients about how they met. I’ve found that my favorite stories are about couples that reunite after time apart. I love the depth of overcoming past hurts.
YABC: Who is your favorite character?
Crap. Do I have to pick one? First, I love Saul. He has the best one-liners. But, I suppose that’s sort of a cheat answer.
So my second favorite is Enat. She’s old and gruff, but also sprightly and compassionate when needed.
YABC: What came first, the title or the novel?
I’m actually horrible at picking titles. However, I was about 1/3 into writing Ever the Hunted when there is a scene in which one character says to the other, “If I were ever the hunted, you’d always find me.” When I was reading back through the scene, I thought, holy nuts! That’s the title. For the record, this particular scene is also one of my favorites in the entire book. Thankfully my editor and publisher liked the title enough to keep it.
YABC: What’s the scene in the book are you most proud of?
The end. Is that lame for me to say? Honestly, there are loads of scenes I love, but writing a book is so ridiculously hard. Like rip your hair out, eat buckets of candy and drown in Coke Zero hard. Anyone who makes it to the end deserves a reward. Every time I write The End on a manuscript, I want to run around, scream, and jump up and down.
YABC: What do you like most about the cover of the book?
It’s so damn beautiful! Houghton Mifflin Harcourt hired Martin Schmetzer, an artist that specializes in handwriting font. The guy is a genius! I love what he did with title. But my two favorite touches are the dove and the antlers. Did you notice them?
YABC: What was my favorite book in 2015?
Hands down it was The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh. The cover was amazing and the story was utterly gripping. Less than twenty-four hours after I got it, I read it and texted all my friends about it.
The book deals with themes of love, loss, and sacrifice. When I wrote Ever The Hunted, my father was gravely ill and in the hospital. Because I am close to him, it was painful for me to watch him suffer. Many of my fears and hurts were poured into a specific scene in which Britta deals with the loss of someone she loves. Because this scene hits close to home, it took multiple tries to complete the scene.
YABC: What’s up next?
I just finished writing the second Ever The Hunted book! Keep an eye out for the cover and title release. But now I’m returning to my Hawaiian roots and working on a Hawaiian inspired fantasy.
Ever The Hunted
By: Erin Summerill
Publisher: HMH Books For Young Readers
Release Date: December 27th, 2016
Two winners will receive a signed hardback of the book, signed bookmarks and custom Ever The Hunted tattoos
(US & Canada only)
*Click the Rafflecopter link below to enter the giveaway*