ERIN M. EVANS got a degree in Anthropology from Washington University in St. Louis—and promptly stuck it in a box. Nowadays she uses that knowledge of bones, mythology, and social constructions to flesh out fantasy worlds. She is the author of several Forgotten Realms novels, including the Brimstone Angels Saga. She lives in Washington State with her husband and son.
Charles Tan: Hi Erin! Thanks for agreeing to do the interview.
Erin M. Evans: My pleasure!
CT: Without reading your previous novels, I was able to catch up on what was happening in Fire in the Blood. Are the novels being stand-alone intentional? How do you juggle bringing new readers up to speed, while still addressing the concerns of previous fans?
EME: This question cracks me up, because honestly I gave up trying to be new reader-friendly with this book. It seemed impossible! But apparently I can’t help myself.
I think the key is that the books in the series are both sequential and episodic—structurally it’s sort of similar to a drama you might watch on television. What’s the plot of the week, and how does it fit into the plot of the season, and how does that fit into the plot of the series? If you’re coming in cold, you might not fully understand those larger arcs, but if the “episode plot” is engaging enough, then you can pick up a lot as you go (and hopefully go back to read the earlier titles!).