I am very happy to present another special interview—This time with Roy Huff, the amazing author of the Everville novels. They are young adult, with a focus on sci-fi and fantasy. The newest installment, The Fall of Brackenbone, will be released next week, so now is a great time to discover the vast world that Huff has created, as well as get a glimpse into to his thoughts on writing, reading, and everyday life.
Everville: The Fall of Brackenbone will have a Free Kindle Promo this November 22nd, and the stakes are rising! Owen has triumphed over his enemies before, so what makes this new set of challenges so difficult?
There are several key scenes in the story when the climax builds that I believe readers will love. When Owen voyages to another distant land in search for the answers, there are some interesting plot twists and world building that I think most lovers of fantasy will enjoy.
Your books are all reader-rated above four stars. Did you set out to write a story with so much appeal?
I’m grateful that readers have enjoyed my books. I try to improve on the quality of both the characters and worlds with each book I write. I learn as I go along, and most of the comments have suggested that there is growth in style and technique. I, of course, want high quality work, and I strive to achieve that. I write off the cuff, so I usually just have a very rough idea about where I think the story might go, then I sit down and binge write for hours on end.
Congratulations on winning a Reader’s Choice for the third Everville installment! Why do you think this particular volume gained such a following?
There are plot twists and added breadth and depth in the story. It took me to an unexpected place, and I think many readers saw that.
I saw that The Fall of Brackenbone can be read as a stand-alone novel. Would this be a good place for new readers to jump in, or should they start with The First Pillar?
I think both three and four are the stronger books in the series. I do think book four is a good place to start, and if they enjoy it, they can go back and read books 1-3, which will be on sale as a box set for 99 cents during the free promo of book four.
Which parts of Everville do you most enjoy writing?
I always enjoy it when Owen has to go off world and meet new and interesting creatures. I love world building.
What was it like to develop this new world that features in your series?
Hard to say exactly. I write off the cuff, and I try to develop the characters and other aspects more in the editing phase. It’s starting to get easier though in the initial process, as I have developed as a writer. Balancing the narration of descriptions and showing of characters is always a constant challenge.
Did you plan Everville as a series, or did it just work out that way?
The first book started out as a college paper; Chapter 1 was a paper. I received feedback to turn it into a story, and then when I was a few chapters in, I decided to make it a series.
Do you like to read fantasy and science fiction yourself?
I do read both. I read C.S. Lewis as well as Tolkien. I also loved reading the Chronicles of Prydain when I was in high school. These days, I read whatever I can time permitting. I read a lot of non-fiction on just about any topic voraciously, but I also read fiction. Most recently, The Girl on the Train.
On a more personal note, I saw on your blog the way you have turned your life around. That’s a huge accomplishment and most people don’t know where to start. The steps you list in your blog post are very helpful. I personally advocate that a to-do list helps a depressed mind get a handle on things. For those still too afraid to take the first steps, do you have any words of encouragement?
Never give up. Life happens, and unexpected things can throw you for a loop. The best approach is just to realize that if your worst fears come true, it’s still not the end of the world. Make a plan, and make daily strides on the plan. Consistency is the important thing, but don’t let a mistake here and there keep you from realizing your gains.
I also saw in your blog that you co-authored a scientific paper. Does your love of science factor into your stories and how you frame the world around your characters?
It absolutely plays a part. I love science. I am a science junkie. I love science fiction, though I watch more than I read. I add it where I can. Fantasy and sci-fi can be different animals with different rules, but my love for sci-fi has bled into my series, especially in books three and four.
Is there anything else that you would like everyone to know?
I have several projects planned. I am hoping to get a non-fiction science book out for the common man in the near future, which I plan to write during the winter. I expect book five in the Everville series to be ready to send to the editors sometime in spring. Also, be sure to check out the October issue of Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society (BAMS). My co-authored research paper on volcanic smog made the cover.