Ever the Brave (Clash of Kingdoms #2)
By: Erin Summerill
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: December 5th, 2017
Ever the Divided. Ever the Feared. Ever the Brave.
After saving King Aodren with her newfound Channeler powers, Britta only wants to live a peaceful life in her childhood home. Unfortunately, saving the King has created a tether between them she cannot sever, no matter how much she’d like to, and now he’s insisting on making her a noble lady. And there are those who want to use Britta’s power for evil designs. If Britta cannot find a way to harness her new magical ability, her life—as well as her country—may be lost.
The stakes are higher than ever in the sequel to Ever the Hunted, as Britta struggles to protect her kingdom and her heart.
1) If you emptied out your purse, wallet, desk drawer, pockets, backpack, beach bag, saddle bag, or fanny pack, what would we find?
Three old Hot Tamales (which, if I’m being honest, I would probably still eat), a nail file, a fingernail trimmer (I hate hang nails), 638 old receipts, two empty gum containers, my small laptop, a notebook and eleventy-thousand pens.
2) What is your writing process? Are you a plotter or a panster? Which do you prefer: drafting or revising?
I’m about half of both. I like exploring ideas over a blank fresh page, but my brain needs the organization of an outline. I usually draft up a one page outline so I know where the story is going. Then I write down a page about each of my main characters before I begin drafting. I would say I prefer revising. But when I’m revising, I prefer drafting.
3) What was the best, the worst, and the hardest thing about writing your sophomore novel?
Ah, the hardest thing is I wanted to go back and lay a few more hints in the first novel, but I couldn’t! I had thought out the second novel, but there was so much that happened in it, I sometimes think the second novel could’ve been two!
4) Can you give a brief refresher for EVER THE HUNTED? What are some things that we as readers need to remember from book one before starting EVER THE BRAVE?
Important tips from book one: Britta’s father has been murdered. She spends book one searching for his murderer and discovers it is (SPOILER ALERT)…………Lord Jamis. He’s a double-crossing, power hunger, wannabe ruler, and he has an evil Spiriter (someone who has the ability to manipulate soul/spirit energy) in his pocket. At the end of book one, we don’t know who the evil Spiriter is, but at least Lord Jamis has been thrown in the dungeon and Britta and Cohen are together. But…well, that’s not perfect because Cohen is a bit of an arse sometimes. Always too worried about Britta’s safety, he sometimes makes decisions for her or without her. Britta hates that. But what she hates more is the fact that at the end of book one, she realizes she had a magical link to Cohen that’s been severed. And in its place, she is now connected to the sickly King Aodren! She’ll have to figure out what to do about that in book two while she’s hunting down the evil Spriter.
5) A book goes through a lot of different versions and rounds of editing before it’s complete. What are some “fun facts” or behind the scenes info you can share about the characters from your book or the world you created for it that may or may not have made it to the final draft of the book?
In book two, both King Aodren and Cohen are interested in Britta. Originally when I thought of this series, I imagined it being three books in Britta’s point of view. And so, when I first drafted book two, Britta may have ended up with a different person. But then I realized it would be better to bring closure to Britta’s story because then the next book in the series could be a companion novel, dedicated to a character that is not Britta, but one that I love! In order to do that, I had to rethink Britta’s relationship status with the two male protagonists.
6) Do you have a special story, a discovery you made while doing research, or an innocuous thought that grew into something bigger that is behind your inspiration for the series?
My curiosity about the sport of hunting has now grown into days, weeks, even months of research. I have more respect for the art of bow hunting.
7) Who was your favorite character to write and who gave you the most trouble?
At some point, they all gave me trouble. But my favorite character to write was King Aodren! He’s kind and a bit self-deprecating at times, but also confident to lead a country.
8) If you could ask a character of your choice from the CLASH OF KINGDOMS series one question what would it be?
I would ask Enat what more she knows about the magic of the kingdoms. She knows more than she ever let on.
9) What scene from the book are you most proud of (because of how you handled the atmosphere, characters, dialogue, etc)?
I can’t be too specific or it will be a spoiler. But there is a scene in which King Aodren must make a difficult decision about a Lord in his kingdom. I like his internalization about the balance between leadership power and doing what is right.
10) Is there a scene that you had difficulty with and just had to “power through” to finish the book? Or a scene that made you very emotional?
There is a scene in this novel where someone dies. I had a love/hate relationship with this character. And during the first draft, he didn’t die. But then I realized it was needed. I cried after I wrote that scene. But that’s because I’m a clinger to my characters. I love them too much.
11) What is your relationship to your main character, Britta? Do you have similar interests or reactions to situations? Is your moral code similar, or do you have issues with what you character has done or has to do?
Britta and I are opposites. In a way, she is more similar to a dear friend of mine. I’m extroverted and often overly friendly. I am not a fan of the outdoors unless I’m seeing it from a comfortable car. Writing her story has sparked my love of hiking, but I doubt I’ll ever be a camping lover.
11) What is next for you? What are your currently working on?
I just finished ONCE A KING, it is technically the third book in the series, though it is a standalone novel in the Clash of Kingdoms world. It can be read without having read EVER THE HUNTED or EVER THE BRAVE!
Erin Summerill was born in England. After spending years bouncing between Air Force bases in Hawaii, England, and California, her family settled in Utah, where Erin graduated with a B.A. in English from Brigham Young University. She had aspirations to write the next great American novel, but writing proved tougher than she first thought. So she grabbed a Nikon and became a professional photographer while crafting manuscript after manuscript. The scenic detour of shooting weddings across the United States, as well as internationally, provided world-building inspiration. It gave her the vision to draft her debut YA fantasy, EVER THE HUNTED. Now when she isn’t writing, or shooting a wedding, she’s chasing her four kids, two dogs, one cat, and five chickens. This could be why she downs massive amounts of Coke Zero and Hot tamales.
Find the author:
11/27/2017- Bibliobibuli YA– Interview
11/28/2017- Books and Things– Review
11/29/2017- Novel Novice– Guest Post
11/30/2017- YA and Wine– Review
12/1/2017- Two Chicks on Books– Interview
12/4/2017- Emily Reads Everything– Review
12/5/2017- BookHounds YA– Guest Post
12/6/2017- Dani Reviews Things– Review
12/7/2017- Never Too Many To Read– Interview
12/8/2017- Book Briefs– Review
Disclaimer: The synopsis and cover picture were pulled from the book’s Goodreads page. Neither belong to us. The author info, image, giveaway, and more were provided by Rock Star Book Tours.