Sunday, November 18, 2012

Author Interview: Margi Evans

Today I would like to welcome Margi Evans, author of the Mist Trilogy to the blog.

When did you first know you wanted to write?
I was born with two things: Manure in my blood and ink in my veins! As far back as I can remember, I have loved horses and writing. How lucky am I to get to combine those two passions!
As a child, I played with my Breyer horses or wrote stories about horses. As I grew older, my interest in writing became less fun as I applied it to writing curriculum for the school district.
A move to Colorado in 1995 enabled me to get horse property and return to my riding. My desire to find trails to ride led to my non-fiction books: Riding Colorado (2005,) Riding Colorado II (2007) and Riding Colorado III (in the works.)
Meanwhile, I was raising five wonderful children and focused most of my creativity on them…from planning fun activities to coaching Odyssey of the Mind (Om) and Destination Imagination (DI) teams. When I was down to just one teenager left in the house, I finally had time to begin writing the fantasy that had been floating around in my brain: The Mist Trilogy. The first of the trilogy, Behind the Mist, was released in 2011 and the second, Mists of Darkness is being released in early January but will be available for early purchase in December on the website:

Which authors inspire you the most?
Fantasy is my favorite genre and of those fantasy books that I love, J.K Rowling is my favorite. She is amazing. Not only is she creative, she is funny! Also, my Mist Trilogy has a lot of spiritual symbolism in it so you can probably guess that I love C.S. Lewis as well. One reviewer actually said that I was this generation’s C.S. Lewis. I was thrilled! He couldn’t have given me a greater compliment.

How did you get the inspiration for your novel?
Horses are my inspiration. I think everyone can relate to that, even if they are a bit afraid of horses. (I have never felt fear when I was around horses but I realize that some people do.) Horses are so beautiful, magnificent really, that they are the subject of many art forms from literature to painting to movies.

What is your favorite part about being an author?
I love creativity, hence the reason I so enjoyed coaching OM and DI teams for 17 years. That is a creative problem solving competition for teams of 5 to 7 kids for those of you who don’t know about those organizations. I grew up in a creative household where the arts were encouraged. My mother taught ballet and my grandmother and aunts were artists. While I enjoyed dancing and art, it was writing that drew me in. I love playing with words to try to describe what I am imagining.

What is your least favorite part about being an author?
It can be a bit lonely working away all by yourself at your computer for hours on end. You also have to be very thick-skinned as it hurts when agents or publishers turn down your work or reviewers criticize it.

Could you write a bit about what your publication process was like?
The Riding Colorado books have all been self-published and have been easy to market because I know who the audience is…horsemen and women in the Denver area. I know where that market has to go all the time…tack and feed stores. So, all I had to do was pick a printer that did quality work then get the books to the stores. Easy!
Jazz (The Star of the Book)
The Mist Trilogy is a different story. The target audience for those books is the middle-grade reader who enjoys either fantasy or horse stories. The geographic area is nationwide. Obviously, I needed to turn that over to professionals to distribute. I was fortunate to have an investor who loved the story and got it published. However, regardless of how big the publishing house is, they all expect the author to do a lot of marketing themselves. Many authors hate this but I think it is fun. I love talking to people about my books. I love doing book signings and author visits to schools.
With the advent of e-books, the publishing world is clearly changing. My publisher wants me to get the book in as many formats as possible. So, Behind the Mist and Mists of Darkness are both available as e-books. Behind the Mist is also being put into an audio book by a Colorado recording studio. I am so excited about that because audio books can reach a younger audience.  And it sounds so-o-o-o-o-o-o cool.

Do you have any upcoming projects?
I am currently working on Riding Colorado III and this one will include over-night trips around the state. I am also preparing the final book of the Mist Trilogy: The Rising Mist, and I just finished the manuscript for a juvenile fantasy about trolls and leprechauns that I am excited about. So, yes, I have a lot of things that I am having fun with.

Describe in three or less sentences what makes your book unique and why a reader should buy it.
The Mist Trilogy is an original look at the role of unicorns and animals in the after-life. It combines the classic fantasy struggle of good versus evil using unique characters while teaching good values to the middle-grade reader and adults love it, too!

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