Phantoms, Aztecs, Vampires…and Love in a Zombie Apocalypse! Interview and giveaway with Evelyn Shepherd.
Today, my guest is the lovely Evelyn Shepherd, author of some thrilling supernatural m/m stories, including I Am Here, The Hunting Moon, and Event Horizon (A Theo Bourne Story). She’s got an exciting new release, Stay With Me, newly published by Loose Id — and she’s kindly donating a copy of her other recent book I Am Here for one lucky commenter to win. Yay!
Q. Hi Evelyn! Please tell us all about your latest release!
Hi Kay! Thanks for having me. I just recently had two releases – I Am Here and Stay With Me. Stay With Me was my attempt at a contemporary/non-fantasy novel. I enjoyed writing it, especially since I was trying something new. It follows the struggle between an alcoholic artist and a bartender as they meet up every Christmas. I Am Here is the first novel in my Meteora Trilogy. I’ve always wanted to write a zombie novel (it’s one of my favourite horror genres) and I got an idea in my head for one small scene, and from there it developed into this massive story. The first book is through Sawyer’s POV and follows him as he not only struggles to adjusted to the drastically changing world, but also overcomes his feelings for not one man but two! Did I mention I also always wanted to write a ménage? It originally wasn’t going to be one, but well… not kill two zombies with one bullet?
I’ll be truthful, I Am Here is not for the light hearted. My favourite thing to write (other than sex) is horror/action, so it’s loaded with the gory details. But I tried to give it also a deeper level beyond blood and guts, to show the true struggle of facing such a serious nightmare.
Q. Your novels build upon and reinvent all kinds of supernatural myths and legends – vampires, Aztecs, it all sounds amazing! What do you enjoy most about world building? And what’s the hardest part?
World building is really fun. I’ve always enjoyed it. Ever since I was a little girl I’ve created new worlds, so it only seemed natural for me to do that when I wrote. It’s hard to pick my favourite part, because I really love it all. I guess I would have to say that creating creatures is really fun, but it can also be extremely hard. When I created Phantoms (in The Hunting Moon), I spent countless hours researching various preternatural abilities, carefully crafting a power that I knew would fit Theo just right. I also really love designing maps for the worlds I create. I’m currently working on a high fantasy novel and the detail and depth I’ve put into the world building is absurd. I could make a book alone out of the information I’ve compiled (including maps, lexicons, history, etc.)
The hardest part is really developing the back history. It doesn’t matter whether it’s an urban fantasy world, a horror world, or a high/speculative fantasy. Whatever the case is, you have to keep in mind that even though it’s fantasy, the back stories have to be believable. With urban fantasy I have to find the right balance between historical facts and the new world. If it doesn’t mesh well, then the world you build becomes confusing and a mess. I always say, there is nothing worse than fantasy that you can’t believe in!
Theo or Topher, depending on which scenario I wanted to go with. Theo could probably manage to get us out, but Topher could also provide me entertainment for the countless hours we’d be stuck. Heck, I’d take both. While Theo does the work, Topher and I can aggravate him.
Sawyer would be the last person I’d want. He’d probably just run in circles in a panic, and I’ll already be hyperventilating so it wouldn’t do either of us any good to be stuck together.
Q. Please tell us about a typical writing day –if such a thing exists! – in the life of Evelyn Shepherd.
I like to write at night, so daytime doesn’t happen. I always feel guilty sitting down throughout the day in front of the computer. But come evening I’ve entered writing mode. Generally I start by selecting the right mood music, depending on the scene and story I’m writing. Then I kind of just go into it and keep going until I’ve exhausted myself. Mix in researching, editing, and various other things that have to be done while I write or go over a manuscript. I really try – key word try – to not get distracted by facebook or other networking sites. Hence why I rarely post on them. It can be hard though, especially when I get stuck at a scene and need to clear my mind.
Sometimes my dog likes to join me and sit in my lap while I write. But then I get frustrated because I have to stretch my arms over him, so that never lasts long.
Q. Do you remember the first story you ever wrote? And which story are you most proud of?
If we’re talking about true first story, that would be in first grade. It was a horridly short story (probably… I don’t know, one page) I wrote on this weird machine that the school had. Well before laptops. It was about a female sheriff and some bad guy. I can’t remember the details, but I do remember I killed her in the end.
I love all my stories, but I have to say I’m really proud of I Am Here. I poured my heart and soul into it and I hope that people will be happy with the plans I have for the Trilogy.
Q. It’s war between the vampires and the undead from your books! Who would win?
Vampires, especially if Eztli is leading them.
Thanks so much for sharing, Evelyn
Scroll on to read more info. on Evelyn’s novels and for some more beautiful covers! And don’t forget to leave a comment for a chance to win I Am Here!
Sawyer never it saw it coming. He never expected Jesse to finally respond
to him. He never expected the meteors to take out LeVeque tower. He never expected an old woman to try and eat his face off. Sawyer thought that when he went into work that night it just be another boring evening at the bookstore. But the impromptu quickie in the bathroom is just the
beginning. Sawyer, with his gorgeously infuriating boss Jesse, his best
friend Chloe and her little brother Jaden are in for more than a boring
The undead are rising up and they will have to find their way through the
aftermath. With the aid of Jesse’s wryly sexy ex-lover/best friend Topher,
they will attempt to head south to find a safe haven in a world turned to
bedlam. But with the government keeping secrets and the infected turning,
it’ll prove that the nightmare is far from over.
As Sawyer struggles to come to terms with his new world, he’ll also face
the conflicting truth that he is in love with not one, but two, men.
It leads him to ask life’s great question: can you find love in a zombie
Theo Bourne, a powerful Phantom, has returned to Columbus to escape his
past. He didn’t plan on sleeping with it. But the one-night stand he had
with Carlos is proving to be unforgettable in every sense of the word, mainly because Carlos is his new partner on the Preternatural Task Force. Theo wants to put as much space between him and the very evident sexual desire he has for Carlos, so that means immersing himself in their latest case — the gruesome murder of two lycanthropes.
Carlos Ramirez has been pining for Theo for a very long time and he isn’t
about to let him go. Theo’s heart is guarded by a protective ten-foot
layer of ice, though. It’s going to take a lot of charm and a lot of
coaxing for this werecoyote to melt the ice. Especially since it feels
like every time he starts to warm up to his cold hearted partner, the case
takes an unexpected and deadly turn.
Valentine’s Day turns into a nightmare when an ancient vampire burns her
way through the greater Columbus, ushering in the Aztec God of Death. Theo and Carlos will have to set aside their personal problems in order to put an end to a deranged killer. But as the body count rises, they find out
they’re going up against more than a vampire — they’re going up against
In the midst of the chaos, Theo faces his own personal turmoil. When Lloyd
confronts Theo about his feelings, Theo isn’t sure whether his heart still
belongs to Carlos or if he truly cares for Lloyd. If he wants to save the
world, Theo will have to overcome his troubled heart and harness the power within.
The demons of his past haunt Gregoire Wood and dog his heels on his trip
home for Christmas. Over and over, they drive him into the bottom of the
bottle of Scotch. But this Christmas, they drive him into a bar called the
Haven and the arms of owner and bartender Pierce Lawson.
Pierce usually spends his Christmases alone, but he doesn’t mind it. He
also doesn’t mind when Gregoire washes up in his bar. His life, he knows,
from that minute forward will never be the same.
The attraction runs deep, hot, and mutual, but Gregoire leaves when the
holiday is over. This year and for the next eight years. Pierce is a
patient man, though. He’ll follow Gregoire all the way back to New York if
he has to in order to help Gregoire find peace and to bring him home once
and for all.
Don’t forget to leave a comment to win a copy of I Am Here, leaving your email when promted. Your email will not be displayed, stored, or used for any other purpose. Alternatively, email your entry to email@example.com, titling the email Evelyn comp. Giveaway closes 1st Feburary. Thank you!
Don’t forget, there’s still a chance to win Lynn Crain’s The Taking of an Apprentice here.