The evolution of Evelyn, deleted scenes, and unnecessary babies with Tarun Shanker and Kelly Zekas the authors of These Vengeful Souls (and a giveaway)


these venegful souls

These Vengeful Souls (These Vicious Masks #3)

By: Tarun Shanker and Kelly Zekas

Publisher: Swoon Reads

Publication Date: February 20th, 2018

England, 1883. On the run with the grieving Sebastian Braddock, Evelyn wants two things: to be reunited with her friends, and to get revenge on the evil Captain Goode. Not only has he misused his and Sebastian’s powers to rack up a terrible death toll, but he’s also completely destroyed any hope of Evelyn or her friends regaining the life they once knew.

Evelyn is determined to make Captain Goode pay for what he’s done, but is her revenge worth risking the lives of Sebastian and her friends? Or is it better to flee the city and focus on staying alive? And with the Captain spreading lies about Sebastian in an attempt to flush them out of hiding and turn the populace against them, does she even have a choice at all?

We actually had a very different book when we first began writing. Because we started with a concept (superpowers in the Victorian Era), we had to think about who our MC would be in this world – and the Evelyn we came up with back then bears no resemblance to the Evelyn we have now. Here are five changes that we made since first drafting the book ten years ago:


  1. Evelyn went from a sweet, well-tempered girl who gets swept along for the ride to a slightly angry, slightly irritating, very strong-willed and stubborn (sometimes to a fault) girl who drives the action forward, hopefully.
  2. Our favorite deleted scene in the beginning of These Vicious Masks involved an anti-Sense and Sensibility moment, where Evelyn’s little sister, Rose, goes for a walk and injures her foot. Evelyn finds Rose at the same time as their mysterious new neighbor, Sebastian Braddock. But instead of doing the gallant thing and helping Rose, Sebastian runs away across a field. The sisters stare at him, incredibly confused.
  3. We originally decided this book should be first-person. Then, we decided no no, it should be third person. So we changed the entire thing to third person. BUT THEN, we decided we were right the first time … and switched it all back to first person. Sometimes it can take a while to find the right voice.
  4. After book two, Tarun came up with a very complicated plot for book three, including the addition of a baby that would be an important plot point. Our editor gently pointed out how unnecessary this was.
  5. Our first draft of book 3 had a villain with the power to bring statues to life to do his bidding, which meant, of course, that we had a scene of Evelyn fighting a Lord Byron statue near the end. Unfortunately, that power had to be changed because it was a bit too vague and led to some complications, but it will forever live on in our heads.

Tarun and Kelly met in a freshman year writing class at NYU and started writing These Vicious Masks a few years later.

Tarun is a writer living in Los Angeles whose idea of paradise consists of kung-fu movies, David Bowie and chai tea. Since completing his first horrible screenplay in high school, he’s written everything from one-act plays and film criticism to humor pieces and strongly-worded emails. He’s also magnetized, crushed and burned the hard drive where that first screenplay can be found.

Kelly is a writer and actor living in NYC. YA is her absolute favorite thing on earth other than cupcakes and she has spent many hours crying over fictional deaths. She also started reading Harlequin romances at a possibly too early age (12?), and still loves a good paperback romance.

Find Tarun: Website | Goodreads | Twitter | Facebook

Find Kelly: Website | Goodreads | Twitter

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Disclaimer: The synopsis and cover picture were pulled from the book’s Goodreads page. Neither belong to us.

Comments · 2

  1. This sounds exciting to read and I want to know what choices these characters make.

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