Updated: Aug 21, 2021
E.P. Stavs is the author of YA fantasy, NA thrillers, gothic horror, and whatever else she's in the mood to write. When she's not writing, she loves spending time with her friends and family and drinking copious amounts of coffee.
Today, I’m feeling really fortunate because I got to interview one of my favorite writers. E.P. Stavs is author of The Shendri Series and also an incredibly supportive person of the #WritingCommunity on Twitter.
Hi Erin! Thank you so much for talking with me today. Congratulations on releasing your fourth novel! Book four of The Shendri Series, The Moonlit Warrior, releases this Thursday, August 12th.
So, what does it feel like to be releasing your fourth novel?!?
Completing a series feels really satisfying. Especially seeing how just a few years ago I was doubtful about my ability to even finish one book - much less four!
What is your favorite thing about The Moonlit Warrior?
The ending! Even I didn’t know how it was going to play out until I got there, heh. I’m sure there are those who will wish my battle scenes were longer, but I just couldn’t get myself to write something I wouldn’t want to read myself. I love the way it comes together.
What was your inspiration for writing The Shendri Series?
I was reading a lot of Melanie Cellier at the time, and she definitely influenced the
way I set the series up and the general tone. Her stories are technically fairytale retellings, but I really loved the way they were all woven into an over-arcing story that affected each of the four kingdoms as the series progressed. And each story had a unique MC and LI, which kept things fresh on the romance side of things.
How did you first start writing novels?
When I was a kid, my older brother and I would sit on opposite sides of our kitchen counter with our composition books and “work on our books”. I never actually finished any of mine, which ended up being a recurring theme any time I attempted writing as an adult. That is, until February 2019 when I was visiting my parents in Texas for a week. I suddenly declared I was going to write a book and spent the rest of the week outlining “The Marked Princess”. When I returned home, I started writing, sending chapters to my brother as I went as motivation to continue. A few months later, I had my very first completed draft! I’ve been writing almost every day since.
What have been some highlights of this past year for you?
Publishing not one, but soon to be four books is a pretty big one! A feat that is unlikely to repeat itself, seeing as I’d written 3 out of 4 books before publishing. Being asked to contribute to the charitable anthology “Villainous” was another highlight, especially since I was recommended by one of my favorite #WritingCommunity authors, Carol Beth Anderson. But, surprisingly enough, one of the biggest highlights of the year has been all of the amazing people I’ve met via Twitter. People like you and Allison Martine and Michele Quirke (and so many more). People I’d be happy just sitting down and hanging out with. It was unexpected, and I am so grateful to have you all in my life now.
Not getting to write as much as I’d hoped for due to the pandemic. Don’t get me wrong, I love my girls and spending time with them is the most important thing in the world to me. But when you’ve been looking forward to having actual quiet time during the day to write, market, etc and then find out your kids won’t be going to school after all? Kind of a bummer. Patience wins out, though, and next month will mark the beginning of my almost full-time writing career!
Considering all you’ve done as a part-time writer, I’m really looking forward to what you come up with as a full-time writer! So what’s next for you?
I’m doing a bit of a genre jump this fall and putting out a New Adult psychological thriller (with romance, ‘cause I do love writing a bit of romance into everything). “Split Therapy” will release November 4th, and I’m both excited and terrified to see how people respond to the switch up.
I’m not done writing fantasy, though! My current WIP is actually a spin-off of The Shendri, taking place six years later on a different continent. While there will be a few familiar characters, readers won’t need to have read The Shendri Series in order to start this new one, and it’ll have a bit more of a steampunk feel to it. I’ll probably drop the “young adult” label, as well.
Can you leave us up-and-coming authors with any words of wisdom?
Keep going! If you get stuck on your WIP, write something else. Just don’t stop writing. It’ll all come together, eventually. That, and read your book out loud before publishing (or listen to it read to you via a computer program). Don’t rely on editors and proofreaders to catch all the mistakes.
Thank you so much, Erin! I appreciate you taking the time to share a bit about you and your work. And congratulations again on releasing book four of The Shendri Series: The Moonlit Warrior!