Apr 24

{eBook Tour} Interview with David Estes, author of Angel Evolution

 

Title: Angel Evolution
Author: David Estes 
Publisher: Indy / Self
Series: The Evolution Trilogy

Release: October 17th 2011
Genre: Paranormal, Fantasy, YA
Words: ~72, 470 
Source: Enchanting Book Tours
Buy:
Barnes & Noble | Amazon (Print) | Amazon (E-book) | Goodreads | Smashwords

Angel Evolution- the first book in the young adult fantasy trilogy: The Evolution Trilogy…

When Taylor meets Gabriel at college, she is in awe of the subtle glow that surrounds him. No one else, not even her best friend, seems to notice.

Something about him scares her.

Is all as it appears? While Taylor struggles for answers, she finds herself in the middle of a century old war centered on one miraculous revelation: evolution.

Where were you born and where do you call home?

I was born in El Paso, Texas, but my family moved to Pittsburgh when I was very young. I grew up in the Steel town and am a fierce Penguins and Steelers fan. A loss by one of them is like a dagger through my heart (although being halfway around the world slightly eases the pain nowadays 😉

What or who inspired you to write? And how long have you been writing?

Mostly my love for reading, but also my wife. I have been an avid reader my entire life (I even won a reading contest at school when I was little once), and I always wanted to give writing a try, but felt like I needed a “Big Idea.” Really that was just an excuse to put it off though—I know that now. When I met my wife, my perspective began changing. She encouraged me to give it a shot with whatever idea came into my head, and when I had three weeks off between jobs I started writing Angel Evolution. Yes, Angel Evolution was my first book and I took it all the way through to self-publishing, although I must apologize for its imperfections—I have since written 8 other books and have improved drastically as a writer. I am very proud of my accomplishment as I’ve only been writing for 18 months.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?

Very good question. I actually wrote a blog about this not that long ago on my website/blog. Because I’ve managed to work on so many projects in such a short time, it wasn’t long after I began writing that I considered myself a writer. Although I’ve heard various points of view on the matter, I believe that you’re a writer if you want to be a writer and are actively writing. I read somewhere that you’re not really a writer until you’ve written one million words. By that measure I’m just half a writer at the moment, so hopefully in a year or so I will meet the criteria!

What is the name of your most recent book and if you had to sum it up in 30 or less words, what would you say?

The Moon Dwellers (currently unpublished)- YA Dystopian about a teenage girl wrongly convicted for treason, who escapes joovie to rescue her sister, father and mother. Meets the son of the President along the way. Yeah, he’s a stud.

What does your protagonist think about you? Would he or she want to hang out with you, the author?

I think my protagonist, Taylor, would like me. She’s rather low key, a bit on the weird side, and doesn’t take herself too seriously.

Which character speaks the loudest, to you? Do any of them clamor to be heard over the others?

Great question. In Angel Evolution I liked writing from Gabriel’s perspective. In the first book he’s such a conflicted character, who really can’t decide what’s right and what’s wrong. I thought it was fun to start him as a pretty evil character and slowly morph him into something better (although I won’t give away whether he ever makes it to the good side!)

In Demon Evolution I preferred writing Taylor’s character because I think her personality picks up quite a bit. She is a sarcastic person by nature and she has quite a few zany thoughts that show her good sense of humor a bit.

Lastly, my favorite character of the whole trilogy doesn’t really come out until the third book, Archangel Evolution, although he is involved in all three books. Gabriel’s brother, David (named after me, but hopefully not like me at all
!), is probably the most interesting (but very scary) character. I’ve had one of my beta readers suggest I do a spin off series that is all from David’s point of view. I really hope that readers decide to read all the way through to the end of the series if only to get a chance to appreciate David.

Do you have a specific writing style?

My writing style is a mix of suspense and humor. I think I get that from reading a lot of Dean Koontz books growing up. I love being able to create suspense, but throw in comedy along the way. It keeps the readers on their toes!

How did you come up with the title?

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!

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

Absolutely! Although it doesn’t really fully come out until the third book. The message is not to prejudge people just because of their background, race, creed, or color. In The Evolution Trilogy, the reader is constantly guessing which side is evil, which is good, or which is neutral. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter which side you were born into, as long as you make the right choices for yourself.

Do you have plans for a new book? Is this book part of a series?

Always! I have a list of over 30 books ideas, if only I had enough time to write them all! My newest book is a YA dystopian, which I described above. It will be part of a 3 or 4 book series. I’ve finished the first book and started the second. I’ve had my beta readers check it out and overall they loved it, but also provided some fantastic feedback to help me improve it. I’m currently seeking an agent/publisher for it.

Who designed the cover of your book?

The cover was a team effort, which I had very little to do with ha! My wife came up with the concept for all three book covers, and we hired the genius cover designer Claudia McKinney at Phatpuppyart.com. She took my wife’s concept and brought it to life beautifully. The custom font and jacket design was the work of our good friends, Claire and Tony, at Winkipop Designs here in Australia.

Where do you see yourself in five (5) years?

I’m leaving my day job in June and starting to write full time, so in five years I hope to be a well-established author of YA and Children’s novels. If I can support my family by pursuing my passion, I would be the happiest man alive.

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?

I’m living in Australia at the moment, which is pretty awesome, but I think I would love to live in Hawaii at some point. My wife and I love it there and can both see ourselves settling down on the sunny islands.

Is there an Author that you would really like to meet?

Tough choice. Suzanne Collins or Dean Koontz. Koontz was my favorite author growing up and Collins is my current favorite author and part of my inspiration for my new dystopian novel.

Do you prefer ebooks, paperbacks or hardcover?

Musty old paperbacks are my favorite, particularly small ones that I can stick in my pocket and take everywhere with me. But I am also finally stepping into the technology era and reading e-books and quite liking them!

Are you a self published (Indie) Author or big trad published?

Currently self-pubbed, but looking for an agent/publisher

How do you market/promote your books?

I love giving away free books. More than anything, I want people to read my writing and be entertained by it. So if they don’t know who I am and are therefore not willing to spend their hard-earned money on my books, I’ll give them one for free so they can enjoy it anyway. I write because I love it, not to try and grab people’s dollars. While I hope to make a living from it someday, now I just want to do it to entertain people.

What do you think makes a book a really good/bestseller ?

Characters who feel real emotions, ones that people can relate to. That is the most important thing. Next is a great concept. A good example of meeting both of these criteria is The Hunger Games. Collins was able to create characters that people like and care about and then combined them with an awesome concept. That
is what I hope I have done with my newest dystopian book.

Have you ever suffered from a "writer’s block"? What did you do to get past the "block"?

To be honest, I find the writing part quite easy. I have a nutty imagination that works overtime, so I don’t really get writer’s block or anything like that. My wife always says how she’s amazed how I can just sit down and start writing. I read the last paragraph or page that I wrote, and just get going. I don’t worry too much about getting every word perfect, that’s what rewriting and editing is for; rather I focus on moving the plot along, feeling the emotions of the characters, and enjoying the ride. Occasionally, I will just have a little trouble getting started at the beginning of a writing session, but it’s usually because I’m not in the right state of mind. To fix it all I need to do it listen to a song I like or read a book I’m enjoying. That’s it!

What was your favourite chapter (or part) to write and why?

In Angel Evolution it would be the final battle scene. I’ve always loved action and suspense in books and I wanted to be sure that mine had plenty of it in addition to the dialogue and romance. I think the suspense builds throughout the entire trilogy, which will keep readers on the edge of their seats.

However, in the entire trilogy, my favorite parts to write were the ones from David’s (Gabriel’s younger brother) point of view. Anyone who has only read the first book will wonder what is so intriguing about David, as he has a very minor role in Angel Evolution. Trust me, his role gets much bigger, becoming quite important in Demon Evolution, and crazy-surprising-vital to Archangel Evolution.

What do you do to unwind and relax?

I love, love, love reading and I will never stop no matter how busy I am. I sneak it in whenever I can. 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! So while I don’t have nearly as much time as I used to because I work full time in addition to my writing, I still manage to read enough to satisfy my addiction.

Have you ever read a book more than once?

All the time. The books I love the most I like to read over and over again. Growing up, I read The Lord of the Rings about ten times!

Is there a particular movie that you preferred over the book version?

No, never—just the thought is sacrilegious!

LOL. What book are you currently reading and in what format (ebook/ paperback/ hardcover)?

I am reading Lament by Maggie Stiefvater in paperback from the library. After reading The Scorpio Races, I want to read as many of Stiefvater’s books as I can!

Are there any new Authors that have seized your interest and why?

Veronica Roth, author of Divergent. I love her book and I am hoping my new dystopian will capture the attention of YA readers just like her book has.

Is there anything you would change in your last book and why?

I would change lots in The Evolution Trilogy. They were my first books so I have learned a lot since. But I still love them despite their flaws. I would not change anything in my newest book.

Do you have any advice for other writers?

My advice is that if you love writing then just do it. Don’t worry about what people will think of it or whether anyone but your spouse, mom, or dog will like it. Do it because you love words. Even if you entertain only one person with your story, it will be well worth it—that I can promise you!

Do you write under a pen name?

No. I am who I am and I want people to know that. No tricks, no secrets, just me!

Cats or dogs?

Allergic to cats so gotta go dogs!

Sadly, I am to. *pout* Coffee or tea?

Both are good for me, but I love coffee flavor 

Vanilla or chocolate ice cream?

Chocoholic

What are 4 things you never leave home without?

Wallet, keys, laptop, iPhone

Laptop or desktop for writing?

Laptop, at the pool preferably.

Where and when do you prefer to do your writing?

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.

If you were deserted on an island, who are 3 famous people you would want with you?

Sean Connery because he’s awesome. Will Ferrell because he’s entertaining. And Ellen Degeneres because she’s both.

One of your favourite quotes –

“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

List 3 of your all time favourite books?

The Lord of the Rings, The Hunger Games, Odd Thomas

List 3 of your all time favourite movies?

The Lord of the Rings, Rudy, Gladiator

The books were better (yes, I said it, lol) but I loved Rudy! What is a movie or TV show that you watched recently and really enjoyed?

I really enjoyed The Hunger Games recently. But I’ve also watched quite a few episodes of How I Met Your Mother, which is always hilarious.

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David Estes was born in El Paso, Texas but moved to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania when he was very young. He grew up in Pittsburgh and then went to Penn State for college. Eventually he moved to Sydney, Australia where he met his wife. A reader all his life, he began writing novels for the children’s and YA markets in 2010. David is a writer with OCD, a love of dancing and singing (but only when no one is looking or listening), and prefers writing at the swimming pool to writing at a table

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