Abbie Evans grew up in Wellington, New Zealand, and spent many years travelling the world before settling back down in a small New Zealand seaside town. She writes queer-centred fantasy stories that have been described as adventurous, fun, chaotic, and “too gay to function.”
Welcome to another post on my favourite section of the web, interviewing the authors. Today we are accompanied by Abbie Evans, author of Mysterious Ways and SPFBO8 finalist.
Let's dive in!
1.- When did you start writing?
I’ve been writing in various forms – short stories, plays, blogs – as a hobby all my life, but started taking novel writing seriously around four years ago. Since then I’ve written three books and discovered I love the process of writing a whole book much more than shorter forms of writing because you can delve so much deeper into characters, arcs, and entirely different worlds.
2.- What made you decide on self-publishing?
Traditional publishing can take years before anything happens, and I’m too impatient for that. Also, all of the core characters in my book are queer, and while publishers have become much more progressive about that nowadays, I think they probably still would’ve balked at an all-queer cast. And of course, I love that self-publishing gives you full control of the final product.
3.- What inspired the world of Mysterious Ways?
Well, the real world did. Mysterious Ways is set in a matriarchal society, and I just looked at how patriarchies work in the real world and what people’s reasons are for why it should be that way, and turned those reasons on their head.
4.- Which part of writing this kind of book would you say has been the most challenging for you?
Finding the time to do it was the hardest part for me. I work full-time and have other obligations, so it was often a struggle to find the motivation and energy to write when I’m tired after a long day.
5.- I know authors say you don’t have a favourite character, but which one of the ones you’ve written is your favourite?
I really like my three main characters, Isabella, Cerys, and Theo. I don’t know if I could pick one as the favourite, but if I HAVE to, I’ll go with Cerys.
6.- Mysterious Ways is a finalist of SPFBO8. Did you expect this kind of success? Could you tell us how you have been following the process of SPFBO?
I wasn’t expecting it at all. I was really surprised and honoured to find myself included amongst all these fantastic authors. I’ve been following SPFBO for a couple of years now, although I didn’t realise until I became a finalist that there’s a whole community of writers who are incredibly supportive and encouraging, and I’m so glad to be a part of that now.
7.- You also have written another series, The Gossamer Globe, what could you tell us about it?
The Gossamer Globe is a science fantasy book about a country that has just had a revolution and overthrown the monarchy. It follows Lucia Straw, the country’s first-ever Prime Minister, as she and her advisers try to figure out how to run their country as a democracy, with plenty of problems along the way. The style of humour in it is pretty similar to Mysterious Ways, so people who enjoyed that will probably enjoy the Gossamer Globe.
8.- What can we expect from Abbie Evans in the future?
Mysterious Ways is going to be a trilogy, so the second and third books will be coming out in 2023 and 2024. I also already have another series planned for after that which I’m super excited about, but it’s too early to say anything about it yet.