Title: These Vengeful Souls
Authors: Kelly Zekas and Tarun Shanker
Series: These Vicious Masks #3
Published by: Swoon Reads
Publication date: February 20th, 2018
Genres: Fantasy, Paranormal, Young Adult
England, 1883. On the run with the grieving Sebastian Braddock, Evelyn wants two things: to be reunited with her friends, and to get revenge on the evil Captain Goode. Not only has he misused his and Sebastian’s powers to rack up a terrible death toll, but he’s also completely destroyed any hope of Evelyn or her friends regaining the life they once knew.
Evelyn is determined to make Captain Goode pay for what he’s done, but is her revenge worth risking the lives of Sebastian and her friends? Or is it better to flee the city and focus on staying alive? And with the Captain spreading lies about Sebastian in an attempt to flush them out of hiding and turn the populace against them, does she even have a choice at all?
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1. What does your writing process look like? Do you know the whole story when you start? Or do you just start writing and go with it (seat of the pants writing)? If you plan it out, how do you do that? Outline, notecards, post-it-notes, etc.?
We usually spend a decent amount of time texting bits of ideas for characters, plots and broader themes. Once we land on something we love, we start a shared Google Doc and write down everything we can think of - still texting, but whenever an idea pops up we will throw it onto that general document. Then it’s a lot of brainstorming sessions using Facetime to create a vague outline. Kelly would happily jump into the draft at that point, but Tarun won’t start drafting until he has a pretty solid, well-filled outline with an idea of what each chapter will be. Then we each draft the chapters we want to do and edit the other’s chapters in between!
2. How do you come up with your ideas for your stories?
We often get ideas from reading and watching movies–whether it’s something we loved that sparked a new idea or thinking about a totally different direction a story could have gone in.
3. What kind of research do you do for the history of the time periods where your stories are set?
Libraries, libraries, libraries. We would be nothing without the e-library programs. We try to read a decent amount of non-fic and fic set or written in the time period and then if we need a specific topic we’ll dig further into that with primary sources. One of our favorite things to research, though, is words and phrases. We love looking at Google Books or the Oxford English Dictionary, then selecting pre-1900 to see if something was used. It’s surprising how old some words are!
4. What tips do you have for aspiring writers?
Read constantly within the genre you’re writing. Know it intimately. Then go read plenty of things outside your genre. Finish things, even when it feels like crap. You can make it less-crap in the next draft. Discuss books and movies with others, especially writers– it might often help you figure out what works or doesn’t work in your own writing.
5. What are your favorite:
Kelly: Too hard! Recent YA favs are: The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas, I Believe in a Thing Called Love by Maurene Goo, Allegedly by Tiffany Jackson
Tarun: Too hard indeed. I’ll say Oscar Wilde and leave it at that.
Kelly: Buffy, The Good Place, Crazy-Ex Girlfriend
Tarun: In the Mood for Love has been my favorite movie forever. Happy Endings for TV show. I still miss it.
Kelly: If it has lyrics that are incredibly sad OR a female vocalist is very angry at an ex … I probably love it.
Tarun: David Bowie, Soul and R&B, (classics like Ray Charles and Earth Wind and Fire to current stuff like Frank Ocean and Ella Mai)
Kelly: Popcorn, chocolate chips and anything left over in the cabinet, really.
Tarun: Cake, cake, and when I’m in the mood for a change, cupcakes.
Tarun is a writer living in Los Angeles whose idea of paradise consists of kung-fu movies, David Bowie and chai tea. Since completing his first horrible screenplay in high school, he’s written everything from one-act plays and film criticism to humor pieces and strongly-worded emails. He’s also magnetized, crushed and burned the hard drive where that first screenplay can be found.
Kelly is a writer and actor living in NYC. YA is her absolute favorite thing on earth other than cupcakes and she has spent many hours crying over fictional deaths. She also started reading Harlequin romances at a possibly too early age (12?), and still loves a good paperback romance.