Love, love, love having fellow YA authors stop by, and I can't wait for you all to meet Bethan Evans.
Tell me about your book
My debut novel ‘Necropolis’, due for release in 2020, is a YA novel set slightly in the future – when they’ve re-oppressed society and are trying to stop women doing anything; so one young girl, fed up of feeling trapped, shaves her head and tries to get into the army undercover to prove women can still do it.
But then when Special Forces get involved, things get a whole lot more complicated.
It’s a story about defying restrictions and pushing yourself to reach your goals, even if it takes an inner strength you weren’t sure you had, and about looking at challenges as opportunities to grow and making the most of everything life throws at you; with a little added romance. It’s an interesting story with some unexpected twists and with added inspiration from my own life experiences – particularly working for the Fire Service which is a very male-dominated environment.
I absolutely love how you've tied in your life experiences. What an intriguing concept! Now, what is the hardest part of the writing process / writing this book?
Writing the book the hardest part was often to believe in myself being able to finish it to a high enough standard for people to want to read it but, with it being my dream since I was young, I kept pushing myself and had the added benefit of using my dad as a beta-reader which, when he enjoyed the story and wanted to know the ending, pushed me to keep going even when I was full of self-doubt and also gave me hope that people would enjoy it.
Equally, querying the book is a process full of self-doubt which I was riddled with, but it is part of the process to receive rejections, and not every person will enjoy every story, it makes you a stronger person and makes opening that email offering you a book deal mean so much more and be genuinely one of the most amazing moments of my life to date!
So true. Believing in yourself, especially during that querying process, is incredibly difficult. Now, did you have a favourite scene to write?
Bizarrely, I think my favourite scene to write was one of the last when it all came to head with a character introduced through Special Forces.
Since a few chapters in when the idea for the full plot really started to come to me, it was one I was aiming for and was the real crux of the story. So knowing that, for the reader, it would make so many pieces of the puzzle fall into place but was also full of enticement and excitement with the new doors it opens and opportunities it creates for the main character it felt like one of the most important.
Even better, knowing I had defied all my self-doubt to reach that point and be near the end of writing my first ever book, was completely overwhelming and thrilling for me.
Yes! That's so huge! People should celebrate all writing accomplishments, not just getting a book published. Every milestone deserves celebrating. Ok, time for my favourite question. Favourite character?
I absolutely adore my main character, Wyn.
Without realising it I wrote so many of my own traits into her, as well as so many traits I’ve always wished I had, and I simply adore being able to create a world for her and living vicariously through her. That by no means will ever mean things will always be easy and go the right way, where would be the fun in that?
But having a character I truly believe in and can write to fully embrace the challenges helps me inspire myself, and hopefully that will translate to the reader.
Wyn sounds amazing! Can't wait to get to know her. Now, for the last question: Advice for writers?
My top piece of advice for writers is to keep going.
When I first started writing Necropolis, I didn’t know where it was going to end – I had a rough idea for the first part of the story but hadn’t planned the full plot, but as you write and get to know your characters and their stories, the journey you’re going on with them begins to fall into place and inspire you with where to take them next.
Equally, keep going even when you are having those moments of self-doubt, which are human nature but don’t let them break you down. So many times I almost gave up because I decided my writing wasn’t good enough, the story wasn’t enough or that I just couldn’t do it – but I managed to sit back and remind myself why I was doing it, how much I have always loved writing and dreamt of being an author, and that it was worth the challenge – and it has made getting that book deal mean all the more for it.
That is extremely great advice. Writers, if you need encouragement, re-read that over and over again. And make sure to give her a follow for updates on Necropolis!
Social Media links:
Facebook - www.facebook.com/BethanEvansAuthor/
Twitter handle - @_BethanEvans_
Instagram - @bethan_evansauthor
About the Author
Bethan Louise Evans is a YA author with her debut novel, ‘Necropolis’, due for release in 2020. She draws inspiration from experience working in health and social care as well as in the academy for the local fire service, where she assisted with training scenarios; often as a casualty being cut out of cars or doing special effects make-up. An only child, born in Wales and raised in the South of England, she has always had an active imagination and been an avid reader, often living with her head in the clouds. She has dreamt of being an author since she was six and has the childhood stories to prove it - including one that consists of three pages of the word ‘very’ repeated, just to make it the longest story she had ever written (although I'm not sure how she thought nobody would notice). With a passion for not only writing but anything to do with the theatre and spending time with friends and family she is also an advocate for mental health and hopes, in the future, to use her writing to help others, reduce the stigma around mental illness and normalise conversation around mental health.
Wyn is a 16-year-old brought up in the care of the Sisters of the religious community The Old Collection. Between their lifestyle and the oppressions of society, which is trying to regain control through segmenting cities, bringing in a gender divide and restricting freedom, Wyn is desperate for adventure and excitement.
Approaching the end of her education, Wyn is looking at her options and the lack of opportunities fuels Wyn’s desire. After years watching the soldiers in the city’s army training base, she decides that this is where her excitement could be and, with some persuasion, Wyn decides that somehow she needs to sign up. To do this she must deceive them all and prove herself in training; a lot of hard work ensues as she prepares to go undercover as a cadet in The Southern Company.
Once in the Company the hard work doesn’t stop and Wyn must work hard to maintain her cover whilst also trying to prove herself and to create allies along the way and, when new organisations get involved, the pressure and challenges faced by the cadets only increases and things get more complicated for Wyn.
Can Wyn achieve her goal and prove societal oppression wrong or will she crumble under the pressure?