Author Interview: E. K. Seaver (The House That Didn't End Blog Tour)
EEP! Double eep! Nah, make that a triple eep, because today, I am bringing to you a super fun interview with my good friend, fellow writer, and debut author, E. K. Seaver! You may have heard of her...and, more specifically, her new novella, The House That Didn't End!! You can learn more about her lovely story by checking out this post (in which I fangirl over the cover), and by viewing it on Amazon and Barnes & Noble!
But today isn't about THTDE - it's about the amazing Ms. Seaver herself! So, without further ado, the interview!
GJ: What first inspired you to write?
ES: My babysitter, actually. She would always tell us (me and my second sister) stories while she did laundry for my mom. When we moved away, I ended up telling that sister stories at night before we'd go to sleep. Turns out, my overactive (*cough* undiagnosed ADHD *cough*) brain couldn't sleep after coming up with stories, so I ended up writing them out.
Unfortunately, said sister has dyslexia and only started to enjoy reading over the past year, and has not read my stories so far. My other sisters are enjoying it, though.
GJ: What are some of the driving forces behind you and your writing now?
ES: I feel like God's calling me to write. It's a unique gift, and an amazing way that you can use to change the world. I want to honor Him and use the talents He has given me. (Also, you can write and travel... so...)
GJ: Can you name any authors who have inspired your voice in different ways? How can you see their influence in your writing?
ES: Nadine Brandes is the author that's the biggest influence for me right now. She wrote the first Christian dystopian books I have ever read-- and since my next series is Christian dystopian, she's had a heavy influence on my writing. She's shown me that you can write Christian books elegantly.
GJ: What are some of your most favorite books/genres—to read and to write?
ES: I love reading and writing in fantasy and dystopian genres. However, the Selection Series and Divergent series are the only mainstream ones I've read, and I 10/10 do not recommend. I have preferred less popular dystopian books.
GJ: What do you do when you aren’t writing?
ES: Wait... I'm supposed to have another hobby?
Kidding. Sorta. I don't have many friends who live near me, but I enjoy hanging out with them when I can. I also enjoy reading-- oh, and I work as a party princess. Which is basically getting paid to cosplay. I wouldn't say I cosplay, because that's associated with a very anti-Christian community, but I essentially do.
GJ: Tell me about your debut novella—The House That Didn’t End! I’m so excited for its release!
ES: The House That Didn't End is basically about two teenagers who are trapped in a magical house and have two completely different goals: Ly wants to win a scavenger hunt and Jackson wants to destroy the dark fae living underneath the house.
I'm super excited too!
GJ: What inspired THTDE?
ES: I started the very first chapter back in... 2019, I think. My writer... clique, technically... did a short story challenge among us. It was really fun, and I completely forgot about this story until early 2021 when I was looking for short stories to post for my 30 days of posting challenge on my author blog. I realized I finished the story with a quick paragraph because I realized back then that it was too long for just a short story, so I expanded on it for the blog! It got so much positive feedback and coincided with me researching what it would look like to indie publish, that I decided to indie publish it!
GJ: THTDE began as a serial on your blog. What did the writing process for that look like? Did you pants the story or plot it? Where did you stumble and second-guess yourself?
ES: I pantsed the short story, and then did something I'll often do with my writing-- I write the basic plot points (or with this novella, wrote a one-sentence summary of what would happen in each chapter.) I always give myself permission to diverge from the plan if I'm writing and want to switch it up-- but I didn't change too much in this one.
I think the part that I second guessed the most was how to end it. It's been years since I wrote a happy ending. (Yes, this is foreshadowing for my next books. ;) I prefer melancholy endings.) THTDE has kinda a modern fairytale vibe, so I couldn't decide if I wanted to end it Grimm brothers or Disney style.
GJ: What does your writing process typically look like?
ES: I generally start writing the first few chapters to see if I even like the story idea. If I like it, I'll write out a list of what I want to possibly happen with the story and try to figure out how it should end. I go through the first draft as fast as possible and it normally ends up several thousand words shorter than the ultimate thing. After that, I'll set the first draft aside and work on another project (often editing the book I wrote before it.) After a month, I'll pick up the book again, read through it, note what should change, and rewrite the whole thing.
Yes, you read that right. The whole thing. This doesn't work for most people, but it's perfect for me. I love getting into the nitty-gritty in the second draft. I normally send it to betas after that, then edit, betas again, one more edit, and then send it to a content editor. Everything after that goes about how you'd expect for a book (Edit from content editor, line editor, and then you're done with the writing part of the book.)
GJ: Out of all of your stories, which one is your favorite? Why? (Bonus question: who’s your favorite character?)
ES: The Reflections (coming spring 2022) is my book baby because.... Well, it just means the most to me for a lot of reasons. The second book in the RF series is emotionally my favorite.
Character-wise... Nina and Justyn from The Reflections and Jackson from The House That Didn't End.
(Hecate is justified, though. I will forever argue that Hecate was justified in her goals-- she's the antagonist, but she's not a villain.)
GJ: What do you want, most of all, for readers to take away from your books?
ES: That there is always hope worth fighting for. As someone who's struggled with deep depression and suicidal thoughts, I want my readers to realize that hope is worth fighting for and giving up, while tempting, is not the right answer. The House That Didn't End isn't a specifically Christian book, but The Reflections is. I want my readers to know that there is hope in Christ.
GJ: What led you to self-publishing?
ES: You. :P
Actually, a lot of things, including some intense humbling from God. I used to think indie publishing was "lazy" or "not legitimate" because it wasn't, well, traditional. I originally tried to get The Reflections traditionally published, but the more I read about traditional publishing-- basically, I wanted to get more of a say about my book (and, y'know, I want to actually be able to make money.) After talking to you (Gracie), I decided to try indie publishing with THTDE and let me tell you, I love it so much. Even though it's expensive, there's just something that an Enneagram 8 loves about being in control of the experience and taking risks that have glorious rewards.
GJ: What are your thoughts for other aspiring writers on writing and publishing?
ES: Trust God's timing and be willing to be flexible. I'm literally publishing this book while in the process of travelling to bring four more siblings into my home. Is it easy? No. Is it sanctifying?
But if God is calling you to publishing, whether indie or traditional, He will open the right doors and you're going to learn so much through it.
GJ: Have you ever endured any discouragement as an author? If so, what inspired you to persevere?
ES: All the time, yeah. I'm actually in the middle of rewriting RF2, and it's so discouraging because I know how much work it's going to be. (Funnily enough, this is the book I almost quit writing entirely during while I was in the middle of the first draft.) For writers-- find a community. Someone is going to love your writing, and others are going to be amazing at helping you correct where you've gone wrong.
GJ: What are your greatest aspirations for your future, be it as a person or as a writer?
ES: Let's see. I would really love to be a missionary. Actually my current dream, given that I don't get engaged in college, is to move to England after college and write, then work a few months out of the year as a missionary in the Middle East. And possibly meet a cute British guy and fall in love sometime in my mid-late 20s. I really just want to travel and experience God's beautiful creation while writing and sharing His gospel.
GJ: What has being a writer taught you?
ES: People are important.
I know this sounds so weird, but people are really important. God has been teaching me this a lot through my writing. I have friends who *cough* heavily inspired some of my characters. I have stories that people have helped me develop. Even in the publishing process, it's been amazing to see people come alongside and support me. People are important and everyone has a voice. It's always worth using that voice to share the truth and support others. Be kind. Words matter.
About the Author
To find an E. K. Seaver, you must set a trap. The best option is to lure her in using chocolate, blankets, and a typewriter, but if none of those are on hand, spare books and Broadway music can be easily substituted.
She prefers to be wild and free, though. Whether it includes adventuring through the Rocky Mountains or curled up at a local bookshop, she uses her freedom to produce art. From books to scarves to paintings, Ms. Seaver strives to honor her King in every aspect of her creative works. She desires her stories to hold a meaning beyond the tale and attempts to follow in the footsteps of storytellers who came before her. You can find her and her wild adventures at ekseaver.wordpress.com or on Instagram @ekseaver.author.
I hope you enjoyed this interview! I know I did!!! Don't forget to take a peek at The House That Didn't End, visit E. K. Seaver's website, AND follow the rest of the tour!