I am very proud to present a interview with this months author Molly Evangeline!
First could you tell us a bit about yourself?
I’m twenty-five and a full time indie author. I started writing when I was eight and published my first book when I was eighteen. My mom homeschooled me and my two younger brothers, which really helped develop my love for writing and gave me a great do-it-yourself mentality that has been invaluable as an indie publisher. Besides writing, I also enjoying designing and sewing fantasy and historical costumes, and reenacting the 18th century. On the side, I make and sell jewelry on Etsy that’s geared toward writers and inspired by my books. I started out and published eight books, four of which were historical, as Molly Evangeline, but have recently decided publish under the pen name of Jaye L. Knight and focus on writing Christian fantasy.
What’s your favorite book?
I feel like I should say Lord of the Rings because of how much it means to me, but I have to say Books of the Infinite by R.J. Larson. That’s technically not one book, but a trilogy, but it would be hard to pick just one from it. If I had to, I’d say my favorite is the second book, Judge. Books of the Infinite is a recent read for me, and one I can’t seem to stop talking about. I adore the characters, especially the male protagonist, Kien. I will definitely be reading them again in the near future.
Who's your favorite Author?
I have to answer this with J.R.R. Tolkien. If not for him, I probably wouldn’t be writing fantasy today, which I can’t imagine because I have such a passion for it and enjoy it so much. Of all my favorite authors, he’s definitely had the biggest impact on who I am, not just as a writer, but as a person too.
If you could meet one person who would it be?
Besides my best friend who I only know online, I’d say Wayne Thomas Batson. He’s been one of my favorite authors for a long time and I think it would be really fun to meet him and sit down for a chat (if I could get over my shyness). As for a historical person, I would definitely want to meet Joseph from the Bible. His story is so incredible and means so much to me. It’s been a big inspiration in how I live and what I write.
Can you tell us anything about the book you’re working on right now?
I’m currently writing the fourth book of my new fantasy series, Ilyon Chronicles. It has six books total and is the biggest project I’ve ever worked on. I’m almost finished with my last deep edit of the first book, Resistance, and plan to publish it this spring. The whole series started with inspiration for the main guy, Jace. He’s a half-blooded former slave/gladiator who most of society believes is soulless and no better than an animal. He struggles more than any character I’ve ever written, but I’ve connected with him better than any other character. In many ways, he’s a lot like me, though our personal struggles are a bit different. The series is really to tell his story as he struggles with his fears and searches for the truth, but I have an insanely large cast so there are many other storylines entwined with his. I have more information, as well as the back cover text for Resistance, on my Ilyon Chronicles website: www.ilyonchronicles.com. I’m terribly excited to share the adventure and see how God uses it. I don’t think I’ve ever been quite so invested in a story and its message before.
How did you begin writing?
My mom is to thank for that. She’s been writing since she was a teen. Watching her write as I was growing up gave me the urge to try it myself.
What inspired you to begin writing?
Besides my mom, I have a very active imagination. Writing is the perfect outlet. It was also a way for me to sort of live the lives and adventures I always wanted to have. Especially when I was young. I longed to have a horse, so all of my early stories were about girls and horses. That only changed when I discovered Lord of the Rings at thirteen. That’s when I first realized writing as actually something I wanted to pursue seriously and not just for enjoyment.
What is your favorite genre?
Fantasy, for sure. As much as I love history and historical fiction, fantasy is what I get the most enjoyment out of, at least as far as writing goes. I love the freedom and unrestrained creativity it allows me. I don’t have to worry about being historically correct. I can let my imagination completely go free and create incredible new worlds and people. I love that.
Do you do any research for your books? If you do what are your main sources?
I had to do a lot of research for my pirate novels. I read through a lot of websites on colonial life and sailing. With fantasy, research is a little different. It mostly involves researching objects or very specific subjects like weapons, war machines, or dealing with injuries. It depends on what I draw inspiration from. For Ilyon Chronicles, the subject of gladiators is prominent, so I read up on gladiators online and watched an awesome TV documentary that ended up adding a huge new back story to my main character.
What do you like most about writing?
Getting to know my characters until I can feel what they feel. I love character growth and interaction. Particularly between siblings and when there is a lot of family conflict. I also love see how pieces of a story come together, especially in ways I least expect. That’s the biggest reason I love writing Christian fiction. It’s incredible to see God working in a story. Ilyon Chronicles has been amazing that way. So many things have fit together in ways I never saw coming.
Any final thoughts?
For anyone who loves to write as much as I do and hopes to pursue publication, writing is an incredible, sometimes exhausting, adventure with a lot of ups and downs, but definitely worth it. It’s easy to get discouraged, but I always tell my fellow writers to never get up. And always love what you write. Always improve, but don’t change to suit others. You should write for yourself and God first because it’s what you love. That’s when you can be the most creative and tell your best story instead of struggling to meet the expectations of other people. Never stop working to improve your craft, but don’t be too hard on yourself either. We writers seem to be prone to this. It’s hard not to compare our work to others’ and feel inferior. I always try to remind myself that I’m doing my very best with the skill God gave me. He made each of us different and gave us just the skills we need to write the stories He intends for us to write.