About a year ago, I interviewed one of my great friends and fellow writer, R.M. Evans, about her work as a young author and the steps she was taking to publish the first book in the Quarantine Trilogy. I am thrilled and proud to announce that the first book, Quarantine, has been published on Amazon and is currently available for purchase. Since the last time I interviewed her, Evans has accomplished so much in her writing career (even giving me the honor of editing the first book), so I couldn’t resist a follow up interview!
Tell us a little bit about the quarantine trilogy.
“I started this series with a friend in middle school and actually finished the first two books in the series. Those books are nothing but old files now, but I used the same general idea to inspire the current Quarantine Trilogy. I also used my friends and loved ones to inspire the characters in the series.”
“The book is an adult fiction post apocalyptic novel told from the viewpoint of a strong and desperate mother, fighting to protect her community and ultimately her son, who she fights to know. It takes place in a quarantined society– Haven– and follows the narrative of what it is like to live in a world that no longer has the luxuries we expect from today and how difficult it is to maintain society, relationships, morals, and family in this time.”
What separates Quarantine from your typical zombie apocalypse story?
“I never say zombie in the entire novel. In the first book they are referred to as Infected and as victims of the Outbreak. It also focuses more on an organized society post apocalypse rather than a group of displaced individuals.”
How long did it take you to write the first book?
“Counting the years in which I was writing the original trilogy, it took six years to finish and publish the first book, though it really only took two to do the current version.”
Who/What did you get inspiration from for the characters/story?
“I came up with the main character of Merin Abernathy by taking all of the traits in which I wanted and putting them into an adult version of myself. I built her into a sort of traumatized role model. I wanted a badass female character who rose above despite her traumatic life experiences to get what she wants and help those she loves.”
What surprised you about the book writing process?
“Even if I have the entire idea mapped out years in advance, I forget that writing non action and climax scenes is difficult, and I got writers block much more than expected before I learned how to overcome it. It surprised me how much I could become the characters and envelope myself inside an entire world that I had created and know every little thing about dozens of carefully crafted characters in which had been born from my mind. I looked at it when i was done and i was like… ‘Wow. I created that. I did that’.”
When can we expect the release of the last two books in the trilogy?
“The second book, Fallout, releases December 18, 2018, and the third book which is untitled should come approximately a year to a year and a half after that.”
If you could do anything differently when it comes to writing this first book, what would it be?
“I would put in more chapters explaining certain topics and lengthen the novel.”
What advice would you give to someone who is thinking about taking the leap and self publishing?
“Just do it. If you believe that someone out there would read it and if you have the endurance and ability to finish an entire novel that you are happy with, that is a HUGE accomplishment in itself. Do a LOT of research first on different publishers, but ultimately, don’t hold back.”
Do you have any other work we can expect to see from you besides the Quarantine Trilogy?
“My first poetry book, The Princess Finds Atlantis, comes out February 23, 2018. It is separated into three parts and focuses on the concept of young love and heartbreak. My second poetry book is a year long project composed of 365 poems [a poem a day] entitled Dollhouse. It comes out January 1, 2019.”
Firstly, I want to thank R.M. Evans for taking the time to do this short interview with me, and I hope you are just as excited as I am for her upcoming release dates. To stay in the loop about new releases and exciting announcements, you can visit her website and follow her on Instagram (@rmevans_).
Aside from being a wonderful friend, I support R.M. Evans’s books because of her strong dedication to representing women in a way that girls can relate to and look up to. The main character is a strong-willed and brave female that I wish I had seen more of in books growing up. My hope is that with more authors like R.M. Evans, young girls will grow up to value the strength and courage of her characters.
Make sure to go checkout the first book of the Quarantine Trilogy, available on amazon at https://www.amazon.com/R.M.-Evans/e/B077C9GTC5 .
Until next post,