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 Evelyn Skye, YABC's Author of the Week!!
Evelyn Skye is the New York Times bestselling author of THE CROWN’S GAME and CIRCLE OF SHADOWS series. She has a B.A. in Russian literature & history from Stanford University and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. Evelyn was once offered a job by the C.I.A., she not-so-secretly wishes she was good enough to be on “World of Dance,” and if you challenge her to a pizza-eating contest, she guarantees she will win. Evelyn lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband, daughter, and a dog who somehow seems to shed more hair than he weighs.
Website * Twitter * Facebook * Instagram
Meet Cloak Of Night!
After the devastating Ceremony of Two Hundred Hearts, Sora, Daemon, Fairy, and Broomstick are truly alone in the fight to save their kingdom. Empress Aki is missing, and everyone else who could help them is a prisoner to the Dragon Prince’s mind control.
At least Sora understands what they’re up against. Or so she believes, until she overhears the Dragon Prince bargaining with the god of war for immortality and learns that ryuu magic may be a more insidious danger than she realized.
Suddenly, the stakes are higher and even more personal for Sora—not only must she stop a seemingly indestructible Prince Gin, but she must also unravel the secrets of ryuu magic before it is too late for nearly everyone she loves.
And as Sora, Daemon, Fairy, and Broomstick face dangerous obstacles at every turn, the greatest challenge may be discovering who they truly are, and what, if anything, they are capable of.
Amazon * B & N * Indiebound
~ Author Chat ~
YABC: Who is your favorite character in the book?
There is a lot I like about every character I write, even the villains! But one of my favorites is a new character in Cloak of Night, Liga. I won't say much about him, because I don't want to spoil it, but he's just adorably awkward, and it always made me laugh when I was writing a scene Liga was in.
I'm also a big fan of Fairy, because she just says and does whatever she wants. I love a girl who is confident and not afraid to have opinions, and to take action on them.
YABC: Which came first, the title or the novel?
The book! I'm notoriously bad at naming books, so it always ends up being a brainstorming session with my publisher. We usually do this after I've written most of my novel, so that we have a feel for the world and atmosphere and plot. That way we can come up with a title that feels right for the book. So in this case, we just called the book "Circle 2" for a while, until we got to that point where we felt like we could decide on a title.
Cloak of Night ended up being the perfect title. I don't remember who plucked that phrase from the actual story--maybe it was me, maybe it was my editor--but it worked well because it was complementary to the "Shadows" in the title of the first book (Circle of Shadows). It also felt kind of ominous, which is fitting because the stakes are even higher in the sequel.
YABC: Thinking way back to the beginning, what’s the most important thing you've learned as a writer from then to now?
What I've learned is that, if you want a long career, you should settle in and be patient and enjoy each step. There's a lot of pressure these days on debut authors to hit it huge right out of the gates, and I think that unfortunately sets a lot of writers up for disappointment, if only because it's impossible for everyone to hit it big all at the same time.
If you're in this career for the money, you'd be better off doing something else. But if you're in it because you love the art and craft of storytelling and writing, then you have the opportunity to do this for a very long time. Don't put so much pressure on yourself and your first book; instead, just settle into knowing that you're a writer, and then keep doing what you love.
When I was on tour with Maureen Johnson last year, she basically gave that same advice. Just keeping writing, and you'll build a great list of books and your reader base will grow. And she also pointed out that, if you have a career over more than a decade, like she has, it's inevitable that some books will do better than others commercially, while others may not sell as well but will be treasured and very important to a niche of readers. We were on tour and she had just published her 13th book, I believe, at the time, so I trust she knows what she's talking about.
Basically, when you take the long view of a writing career, you can alleviate some of the pressure you put on yourself. Just keep having fun and keep writing.
YABC: What do you like most about the cover of the book?
I love the color palette that the artist, Ronan Le Fur (a.k.a. DoFresh), used. The deep reds and black really create a sense of lushness and danger. It's really incredible to see both books of the duology side-by-side on the shelf. They are very similar, and yet very different. I'm lucky to have gotten to work with such a talented cover artist!
YABC: What new release book are you looking most forward to in 2020?
There are always so many books I want to read that it's hard to narrow it down! Off the top of my head, though--
Bone Crier's Moon by Kathryn Purdie is incredible. I had the privilege of reading it early, before there was even an ARC, and I couldn't put it down. It's set in France and there is gorgeous magic and characters who are feisty and complicated and swoon-worthy. Bone Crier's Moon is out on March 3rd, and I am SO excited for everyone to read it!
I'm also dying to read The Midnight Lie by Marie Rutkoski (also out on March 3rd), and Aurora Burning Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff (out May 5th).
YABC: What’s up next for you?
I'm working on a secret project that is, well, secret for now. I hope to be able to share more in the coming months, but for now, I'm really enjoying the quiet, private time I have to get to know these new characters and this new world. What I can say, though, is that there is magic and there is friendship and there is love. And things are complicated.
YABC: Which character gave you the most trouble when writing your latest book?
Prince Gin was the hardest. In Circle of Shadows, he is someone who truly believes that what he is doing is for the good of his people, even though there are nasty consequences along the way, but he feels conflicted about it. However, he continues on because he believes that only bold leaders who are willing to pay such costs can achieve greatness for their countries.
In book 2, though, I needed him to cross the line from being a "bad guy with a conscience" to becoming a real villain. I think this is something that happens to a lot of idealogues on their path from being the leaders of a minority movement, to becoming the head of a population with real power. It was difficult for me to let go of that complex part of Gin that felt conflicted about what he was doing, but I think it's also a realistic reflection of how someone evolves into a really evil person. They aren't born evil, but as time and experience and misguided belief guide them, they can eventually become a true tyrant without moral scruples.
YABC: Which part of the writing process do you enjoy more: Drafting or Revising?
Definitely revising! While there is a certain excitement to drafting, it's also such an uncomfortable place to be for me, because there is so much blank space in the document. Even though I've published two complete series now, there's still always a whispering self-doubt that I won't be able to complete an entire novel again. That's why I feel so much better when I'm revising. Even if I end up throwing up entire chunks of the book (which I very often do), there's a sense of security in knowing that at least there are enough words on the page to make a story!
YABC: What would you say is your superpower?
Getting lost. It's like I was born with a compass installed backward in my brain. I am always so sure of which way is the correct way to go, and inevitably, the right way is 180 degrees from what I thought.
Cloak Of Night
By: Evelyn Skye
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Release Date: February 11th, 2020
One winner will receive an autographed paperback of Circle of Shadows
and an autographed hardcover of Cloak of Night ~ (US Only)
*Click the Rafflecopter link below to enter the giveaway*
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