I’m really excited to be able to share with you an interview with one of my favorite authors: Nicole Evelina. She is currently celebrating the release of the second installment in her Guinevere’s Tale series: Camelot’s Queen with a blog tour hosted by Amy of Historical Fiction Book Tours.
Welcome to One Book Shy of a Full Shelf Nicole. I’m thrilled to have a chance to chat with the lady behind the pen (keyboard).
1. Your book is now a movie, who would be your stars?
Jessica Brown Findlay as Guinevere, Christian Kane as King Arthur, Jamie Ray Newman as Morgan, Rachelle Lefevre as Isolde, Orlando Bloom as Aggrivane, and Emily Blunt as Viviane. I have a whole Pinterest board where I cast my characters: https://www.pinterest.com/nicoleevelina/guinevere-trilogy-characters/.
Fantastic choices! That board is amazing. I’m especially loving Christian Kane as Arthur. My mental picture from the book meshes nicely with his photo.
2. Do you have any particular writing quirks or habits?
I’m sure I have plenty. My characters talk to me (and each other) in my head – does that count? I know that’s pretty common among writers. I hate it when they start talking when I’m doing something where I can’t write down their dialogue, like I’m driving or in the shower. They also sometimes do what they want in the middle of a scene. I’ve learned not to fight them and just go with it. So, far, they’ve always been right!
Personally, I’m glad you listen to the voices. Their stories have been fantastic.
3. Besides Guinevere, who is your favorite character in the series?
Oh, that’s like asking me to name my favorite child. I love Isolde for her free spirit, Aggrivane for his romantic, poetic soul, Morgan for her deviousness, Father Marius and Malegant for their evil spirits, and I love Elaine’s vulnerability.
But if I had to pick one, I’d pick Isolde. She’s so much fun, the woman I wish I was. She does what she wants, when she wants and who she wants and doesn’t feel guilty about it in the least. She’s getting her own novel at some point in the future, so that will be fun to write.
Oh! That is great news. Isolde was one of my favorites of the girls and I was sad to see her go about her own life in the first book.
4. What books or authors have influenced your writing?
When I was in college, a friend gave me a copy of Marion Zimmer Bradley’s The Mists of Avalon as a gift. I read it and loved it (it changed my life in more ways than I can say), but I hated her portrayal of Guinevere as meek, Christian and agoraphobic. That led me to seek out other fictional books written about her and I came across Parke Godwin’s Beloved Exile, which covers her life after the fall of Camelot. That got me thinking that you don’t hear too much about what happened to Guinevere outside of her time with Arthur.
Around that time, Guinevere came into my head and said previous portrayals have done her wrong and it was time for me to set the record straight. We made a deal that day that I would tell her whole life story, from before Arthur, through after his death. Here we are 17 years later, and the first two of three books are out.
I love that you mention The Mists of Avalon as changing your life in multiple ways – aside from spurring you on to tell Guinevere’s side of things. That is a book that touched many of us as well.
5. Do you ever encounter writer’s block? What do you do to get past it?
I do. Most of the time it means I’m either just burned out or have taken a wrong turn in the story. If it’s burnout, some time away from the book and a good night’s sleep (or two) will fix it. If it’s the plot, I need to think my way through it. Talking things out with my mom usually helps. And if all else fails, meditation has been known to give me a solution.
6. When can we expect the next book?
I am hoping to have it done by the end of this year or early 2017. I have a first draft, but it’s missing the middle and needs major work. Given how well people are reacting to these first two books, I want to make sure it lives up to, if not surpasses them. So if it ends up taking longer, please know it’s because I want to give you a quality product, not a rushed one.
I can be patient – I think! It will be a book well worth the wait I’m sure.
Thank you for taking the time to answer these questions. I must say that while I’m anxiously awaiting the third book, I am now quite excited about the prospect of Isolde having her story told as well. She is a great character!
If you’re just joining us today, you can read my reviews of these first two spectacular books: Daughter of Destiny and Camelot’s Queen. We also have a lovely and fascinating guest post from Nicole on the religious aspects in Daughter of Destiny. Did I mention that I’m a fan???