Monday, March 4, 2019

Citadels of Darkover Author Interview: Evey Brett

Coming in May 2019
Strongholds of rock . . . fortresses of the spirit . . . a planet set apart . . .

Citadels can be psychic, emotional, and cultural as well as military, and the wonderfully imaginative contributors to this volume have taken the basic idea and spun out stories in different and often unexpected directions.

Pre-order it at:

Here I chat with contributor Evey Brett:

Deborah J. Ross: How did you become a writer?
Evey Brett: I was a music major in college, and toward the end I got to a point where I couldn’t play a whole note without freaking out and needed a creative outlet, one that wasn’t noisy. I’d always liked writing stories and had written several as a kid and teen, so writing stories as an adult came easily enough. I started with some fan fiction and realized I could never sell it, so I started going to the library and picking up books on writing so I could learn to write in an original world. I took some classes at a community college, got accepted into the Clarion writer’s workshop, and my career picked up from there.

DJR: Were there any pivotal moments in your literary journey?
EB: There are a few. I went to a very good writer’s program at a community college in San Diego, and was a little stunned when one of the teachers told me my story was good. That gave me the confidence to keep writing. There was going to Clarion, of course, and I believe it was the next summer when WesterCon came to San Diego and I met Deborah J. Ross, and we bonded over Darkover, and I’m so glad I was able to write three stories in a world that meant so much to me.

DJR: Tell us about your introduction to Darkover.
EB: Back in 2002 when I was just out of college, I got a job working retail at a now-extinct Foley's department store in a mall. There was a Waldenbooks right across from the store, so I'd often go get a book and settle down in a comfy chair somewhere in the mall to eat my lunch and read. One day I was looking for a new book and picked up The Fall of Neskaya, and I was hooked. Fortunately for me (and the bookstore) they had several other Darkover novels as well.

DJR: What about the world drew you in?
EB: I'm a sucker for stories with telepaths and damaged characters. I'd gone through a number of Mercedes Lackey's books, so finding Darkover gave me a whole new world with a sizeable canon to explore. Having just read the back of The Fall of Neskaya, I'd still pick it up to read because it's got everything I want--telepaths, power, gifts, a tormented character with a secret he can't reveal.

DJR: What inspired your story in Citadels of Darkover? How did you balance writing in someone else’s world and being true to your own creative imagination?
EB: I don’t remember exactly where the inspiration came from, other than wanting to write a chieri story and having DyanArdais’s dance in Heritage of Hastur stick in my head. As far as writing in someone else’s world, I find that the limitations actually make it easier to construct a story, and I find it kind of fun to work out story details that function within the world. Plus I enjoy research, which means flipping through multiple books and resources to find details I can use—like how chieri have ecstatic dances of their own.

DJR: Is there another Darkover story you would particularly like to write?
EB: I’ve wanted to write a chieri story for a while now, and I managed to do it with this one. And since this is the last Darkover anthology, I’m glad my final story is also my favorite one. 

After being ordered (coerced?) to move to southern Arizona by her Lipizzan mare, Carrma, Evey Brett developed a fondness for the local creepy-crawlies such as snakes, scorpions, tarantulas and Gila monsters, not to mention the coyotes, buzzards and hawks that frequent the area. Some of those critters (and/or Carrma) have influenced a number of Evey’s stories, including one in Masques of Darkover and several in Lethe Press anthologies. When not feeding carrots to her equine mistress, Evey can be found shuffling papers for the city or reading submission stories for The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction.

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