THE PROBLEM WITH PROMISES BY LEIGH EVANS: INTERVIEW AND FREE EXTRACT
21 February 2014
By Bella Pagan
This month the fabulous third book in Leigh Evans' Mystwalker quartet is out - welcome to The Problem with Promises. It's a great read, but I'll let the wonderful Romantic Times review speak for me here, as they said:
'Third in Evans' Mystwalker series, this is the book where everything comes together, with a spectacular bang! Everyone is in jeopardy and the stakes could not be any higher ... Readers looking for an explosive, action-packed thrill ride will definitely find it'
1) Hedi is going from strength to strength as she comes into her powers and takes control. What did you enjoy most about developing her character in The Problem with Promises?
Seeing her kick ass. So. Satisfying.
2) If you could choose someone to play Hedi in a film, who would it be and why? Or is it too difficult to visualize your central character in this way after being so close!
Why couldn’t Jennifer Lawrence have waited to play Hedi? It would have been such an easier gig for dear Jenn- she could have forgone the archery lessons and worn jeans to work every, single, blessed day. Plus, she could have gorged on Kitkats during the entire shoot. Hedi’s supposed to be curvaceous!
Does that mean that I think Jennifer Lawrence resembles Hedi?
Probably not, though I can’t be sure. You see, I don’t really have a composite picture of Hedi. If I focus on her mouth, I’ll get an achingly clear image of her full upper lip, but nothing for the nose above it. If I summon up her eyes, I’ll see her thick brown eyelashes and her peridot-pale irises, but not her eyebrows. She’s a jigsaw puzzle. I can call up the dip in her waist, but that usually comes with Trowbridge’s hand resting on it. I can visualize her feet - inevitably dirty and in dire need of footwear - but not her trim ankles.
Here’s the question we should really be asking: does Jennifer Lawrence have the acting chops to show Hedi’s vulnerabilities and emotional range? You betcha.
3) I love that Hedi is half-fae, as it makes for interesting complications and mythological explanations. Do you have any favourite fae sources, be they myths, films, TV or contemporary books.
When I was fourteen or fifteen, I read Bullfinches’ Mythology. Not once, but quite a few times. For pleasure. (Yup, I was a tad weird.) That held me until university, where I read The Hobbit. And that was it, nerd-wise, until several decades later when I stumbled over the Sookie Stackhouse series, written by Charlaine Harris.
Oh hello! I became an instant urban-fantasy addict, sliding into a two year reading spree that was wholly focused on the genre. By the time I’d reached my saturation point, I’d decided to create my own series. With my own rules. Because why else write fantasy? You only have so many chances to be Master of the Universe. You want to hear some Leigh rules? Be the bad-ass. Steal what you want. Make up the rest. Own your universe.
4) I was so impressed by the glowing Romantic Times review for your book and here's just a snippet 'Readers looking for an explosive, action-packed thrill ride will definitely find it'. What's it like reading reviews like this, when someone really connects so wonderfully with the book?
I could fib in order to maintain the illusion that I’m hipster-cool and unaffected by praise, but I’m not either of those things. Praise fills me with more bubbles than a magnum of Veuve Clicquot. Truth is, when I read a great review like RT’s, I do the Snoopy Dance.
That’s after telling the cats that Mama’s dang-near brilliant. And after sending a 'Look at me!' email to my husband, kids, siblings, agent, editors, pals, concierge, that woman I met in the doctor’s office . . . Then, once I’ve finished checking off all those celebratory boxes, I usually sit in my office chair, doing the obligatory spin, thinking about that review. I’m always grateful for the reviewer’s insights and praise, but somewhat abashed by it too. What if I can’t do it again? What if that’s as good as it gets?
Nonsense, I tell myself. I’m never going to let this be as good as it gets. That’s when I stop spinning in my chair and get back to work.
5) So, we've one more book to go and you must be gearing up for the series finale. Are you drawing up spreadsheets of loose ends (!) or just really excited that Hedi is heading for the grand conclusion?
Actually, my brain hurts.
But this is it - the payoff for me, the series writer. I’ve been super-gluing this girl back together, and now I get to see her whole. Ready for her to answer the call of her Destiny. So, I’ll take some aspirin for the pounding head and keep on going. Because I really want to write that scene with Merry...
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You can find out more about The Problem with Promises here. And please see other posts about and by Leigh Evans and the series on Torbooks.co.uk here.