HELLO AND WELCOME to my stop of the blog tour. In celebration of the release of These Ruthless Deeds (These Vicious Masks 2), coming out on March 14th 2017, authors, Tarun Shanker and Kelly Zekas, have graciously accepted my interview. And, I've got some juicy details to share with you! I hope you enjoy getting to know them as much as I did. Read on for details about the book, authors' interview, and authors' information. Be sure to enter the giveaway found at the end of the post for a chance to win a print copy of These Ruthless Deeds. Good luck!
England, 1883. Still recovering from a devastating loss, Evelyn is determined to use her powers to save other gifted people from those who would harm them. But when her rescue of a young telekinetic girl goes terribly wrong, Evelyn finds herself indebted to a secret society devoted to recruiting and protecting people like Evelyn and her friends.
As she follows the Society’s orders, healing the sick and embarking on perilous recruitment missions, Evelyn sees her problems disappear. Her reputation is repaired, her friends are provided for, and her parents are newly wealthy. She reunites with the dashing Mr. Kent and recovers the reclusive Mr. Braddock (who has much less to brood over now that the Society can help him to control his dangerous power). But Evelyn can’t help fearing the Society is more sinister than it appears...
FLYLEF REVIEWS: Describe yourself in one word.
TARUN SHANKER: Dry
KELLY ZEKAS: Messy
FR: Why do you write? And, what would you say is your most eccentric writing quirk?
TS: I generally write to satisfy my weird, picky tastes. To make the things I would love to read myself. My most eccentric quirk would probably be my incessant need to outline everything, down to a character’s thoughts in a scene. For something so creative as writing, it feels like an oddly logical and mechanical way of approaching it.
KZ: I write because I can no longer imagine finding anything else as satisfying and fulfilling. I crave writing, crave getting my thoughts down and building characters. I don’t know if I have a quirk, exactly. Perhaps just that I can really write anywhere, anytime.
FR: What's the strangest thing you have ever had to research online for your book?
TS: I spent an absurdly long time trying to research and nail down the exact mechanics for how Oliver’s Kitty Pryde-esque phasing-through-walls power works. I went down a hole of quantum physics explanations that I could barely understand.
KZ: I like to leave these fun things to him.
FR: What would you say are the challenges of co-writing These Vicious Masks trilogy? Would you do it again?
TS & KZ: It definitely takes a bit longer because we don’t really split up the writing. One of us may draft a chapter, but then we keep passing it back and forth for edits until we’re down to arguing for ten minutes about the best word for a sentence. We definitely would do it again though. We need to agree on everything that goes into the book, which means we’re harsh on each other in a good way, questioning the significance of every little thing. It’s like having a beta reader as you write.
We do plan many other co-writing projects so that probably means we would do it again!
FR: What authors have most influenced your writing?
TS: Jane Austen, Oscar Wilde, Louis Sacher
KZ: Jane Austen, Jude Morgan, Tessa Dare, Megan McCafferty
FR: What was the first element of this amazing historical world that popped into your head? How did it blossom from there?
TS & KZ: We like genre and trope mashing, so it pretty much started from a random what-if? thought experiment where we combined two of our favorite things–the Victorian era and superheroes. We just kept going back and forth with ideas about all the fun ways powers could slip into the world and how people from that era would deal with them and understand them differently than all the contemporary settings we usually see.
FR: After doing a bit of research, my understanding is that These Vicious Masks series is a trilogy. Can you share with us what the title of the final installment is? Without going into anything spoilery, can you give us any hints on where you will take Evelyn and the other characters?
TS & KZ: We have some title thoughts, but nothing quite definite yet! The ending of book 2 is definitely our biggest hint of what to expect. Their lives are going to be a bit different now without their comfortable homes and with Captain Goode still out there. Lots of revenge and guilt!
FR: What are your plans after These Vicious Masks trilogy?
TS & KZ: We’re definitely planning to keep writing together, though we might want to take a tiny break from historical fantasy. We’ve had a couple cute and snarky contemporary ideas rattling around our brains the last couple years.
Tarun and Kelly met in a freshman year writing class at NYU and started writing These Vicious Masks a few years later.
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