13 April 2019

Author Interview #25: Errin Stevens

My FIRST interview in forever! Can you believe it? If you're new here, here's a quick rundown: I started blogging in 2012, blogged consistently for a few years, then went on and off ever since I graduated college and started working. I call this Sab The Book Eater version 4.0 after so many theme changes and "I'm back!" posts. 

So here I am now with a new interview! Everyone, Errin Stevens, author of The Mer Chronicles

*cue the applause*

Hi, Errin! Welcome to the blog! 

Hi Isabel! Thanks for having me!

First off, please tell five quick facts about yourself.

Okay! Here goes:
1. I was born in Grenoble, France…
2. …but my French is rouillĂ©.
3. I’m a rabid – rabid! – mother and homemaker.
4. I think unkindness is the result of insecurity but the insecure usually can’t be saved.
5. I believe in goodness and light and guardian angels.

Now tell us about your books. How did The Mer Chronicles start?

Short answer: I had an insuperable drive to live in my own head as a kid, and as there wasn’t enough to chew on in there when I was a youngster, I read. As in, I mainlined fiction, and the addiction reference is apt! This practice set up a narrative filter I have for ingesting everything I see and feel as if the were a story. Updrift was the first serious daydream I applied to pseudo-reality playing outside my brain… and I couldn’t let go of it. Meaning I wrote another story and then another, and I have a fourth brewing in the same world.

What was the most challenging part about writing the first book, Updrift?

Learning to step outside of my narrative enough to see the problems with it. You need that initial passion, that massive personal investment to give your words resonance. But then you have to develop the ability to ferret out the problems, and that’s hard.

Readers sometimes have a hard time with sequels. It's either we're pressured to like it or we're overly critical of it. Did you experience something similar while writing the sequel Breakwater?

Absolutely. Especially since I played so fast and loose with my premise. And then my first book is more character-driven, the second more plot-driven, which results in a very different feel when you read them. Other writers will tell you the same thing, though: your characters and story guide you, and you have to follow them or you won’t end up with the right tale.

What is your favorite thing about Outrush? Do you have a favorite (non-spoilery) scene?

I think Outrush is a pretty perfect balance of character and plot, especially for readers who read Updrift. I loved explicating the bonds of people who’s lives had been intertwined since childhood, and I loved letting Maya charge after her life with everything she had… and then forgive herself for all she did wrong. 

In terms of a scene to share (non-spoily!), here’s one for you: 

She despised Aiden – or at least, she wanted to – for stealing her peace of mind so thoroughly after her wedding, she’d never regained it. That awful dance at the reception, where every second felt like an accusation. His recriminations, issued without actual speech, were like an internal battering ram ripping through her insides from the center of her liver. This marriage is a lie you cannot turn into truth. I’m the one you wanted. You’ve made a terrible mistake. When Mitch Donovan shook her hand, his touch was a direct transmission line to the whole, miserable litany.

And no. Just… no. She would not feel that draw again, the attraction to Aiden that had solidified her decision to marry Stu when she was finishing college. Back then, she was struggling for purchase on adult life with very little hope she’d achieve it, thinking maybe she had it in her to go to medical school, and how, if she was lucky, she might be able to build a life with Stuart Evans. Stuart had been a guy who, unlike Aiden, didn’t seem like he’d die without her. Stuart was maybe predictable by comparison, bland even… but he never freaked her out with intense, hungry stares that gave her the impression she was about to fall off a thousand-foot ledge. Mostly he never made her feel crazy, like she could suddenly smell the ocean, or feel a sea breeze on her skin; or think she wanted nothing more than to dive into the biggest, deepest body of salt water she could find. She hated swimming in the ocean. All she could think about when she waded in was a statistic on shark attacks, how most of them happened in three feet of water. 

“There are about a gazillion things waiting to kill you out there,” Maya explained once when her friend, Kate, questioned her on her saltwater reticence. “People don’t belong in oceans. That’s why God invented swimming pools.” Kate snickered. 

“Laugh all you want, Blake,” Maya retorted. “I’ll be your ER doc when you come in with shark’s teeth lodged in your sternum. Or a Man-O-War wrapped around your neck. Don’t think I’ll forget this conversation, either.”

Lastly, what's next for you? 

I’m writing Crosstide! It’s an itty-bitty, baby book at this stage, but I’m tackling the most complex characters yet and building a most improbable love story. It’s glorious to attempt.

Thank you so much, Errin, for dropping by! <3

Get in touch with the author!

Facebook: Errin Stevens
Twitter: @errinstevens
Instagram: Errin Stevens

Buy the first book Updrift on Amazon: CLICK HERE

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