"New Worlds Are Our Oyster."
Eve Kenin writes speculative action romance for Dorchester Publishing’s new SHOMI line. Her alter ego, Eve Silver, writes gothic historicals for Kensington’s Zebra imprint and dark sexy paranormals for Grand Central Publishing. Eve holds two post-secondary degrees and works as an instructor of human anatomy in a health care field. She lives with her husband and two sons, along with an energetic Airedale terrier and an enormous rabbit.
An Interview with Eve Kenin
PNR: Welcome Eve, can you tell us a little about how you started writing; was it something you have always wanted to do?
Eve K.: Dee, thanks for inviting me to chat with you.
I wrote my first book when I was nine, the story of an unloved teddy bear that finds a new and loving home. In my teens I discovered romance novels, and fell in love with the genre. Put together my love of writing and my love of romance, and of course I fantasized about someday writing a romance novel. There were a few detours along the way: nine years of post-secondary education, a job in a health care field, a stint running a local college. But all along, in a secret corner of my heart burned the dream of publishing a novel. When my sister-in-law encouraged me to buy a second-hand laptop, I began to write, take workshops and courses, hone my craft. I joined Romance Writers of America and my local Toronto chapter. And after a bazillion rejection letters, I made my first sale in 2005, a dark historical gothic, DARK DESIRES. A year later I was contracted under two different names in three different sub-genres with three different publishers. I’m just hanging on to my keyboard and loving the ride.
PNR: Readers are very excited about Dorchester’s new SHOMI line of speculative fiction. How were you approached to join the project?
Eve K.: I wrote DRIVEN before I ever heard about SHOMI. The story spoke to me and I dove in head-first even though everything about it was so different than the historical gothics I’d been writing up to that point. When I gave this manuscript to my agent, she was determined to find the right placement for it. She was the one who found the perfect house for the book and the editor whose enthusiasm for this story was boundless. My editor told me about the idea of SHOMI—riveting, ground-breaking romance—and I knew that DRIVEN had found the perfect home.
PNR: Whose concept was the SHOMI line? What is your unique take on this line as it relates to your writing, book and characters?
Eve K.: As I understand it, the SHOMI line was the brainchild of Dorchester editor Chris Keeslar. My take on the line is that the stories are first and foremost romance (which is perfect for me, because that is what I love to write). But SHOMI offers the opportunity for the author to blend other genres. SHOMI books are speculative fiction, a melding of numerous genres such as romance, sci-fi, fantasy, paranormal, cyberpunk, action/adventure, horror…you name it and SHOMI offers the author the chance to work it. (Happy sigh.) I love this line.
PNR: Were you given a specific concept to develop for the SHOMI line?
Eve K.: DRIVEN was complete when it was purchased for the SHOMI line.
PNR: DRIVEN, the third book in the line will be released in September 2007. Could you tell us about your contribution to the SHOMI line?
Eve K.: My editor, Leah Hultenschmidt, came up with a description that nails this story: post-apocalyptic, trans-Siberian trucker tale.
Raina Bowen knows she can handle herself just fine against anything the harsh Northern Waste throws at her. Until it throws her an enigmatic stranger called Wizard. First, she has to haul him out of a brawl he can't hope to win. And next, her libido is shooting into overdrive at the feel of his hard body pressed against hers on the back of her snowscooter. But there's something not quite right about this guy. Before she can strip bare Wizard's secrets, they're lured into a race
for their lives, battling rival truckers, ice pirates...and a merciless maniac with a very personal vendetta.
PNR: How do the characters you developed for your SHOMI release differ from other projects you have done? Would you describe the Shomi line as “female focused”?
Eve K.: I always try to keep my characters true to the story and time period. In my historical gothics, written as Eve Silver, I follow the gothic norm: my heroes are mysterious, enigmatic and tortured, even a touch villainous; my heroines are brave and resilient. Those books would not work with a tough, take-no-prisoners, kick-butt heroine. But the SHOMI books do.
I was a little shocked when a post-apocalyptic tale of truckers, ice pirates and a deadly villain with a personal vendetta flowed from my fingers, not to mention an amazingly hot hero and a heroine who can handle absolutely anything. She was the biggest surprise of all: Raina Bowen, the kick-butt heroine of DRIVEN. In that sense, DRIVEN is female focused: the heroine is smart and brave and empowered. But I think the SHOMI books cross age and gender barriers. While the idea is to introduce young readers who grew up with Manga to the possibilities found in romance, in truth, the books will appeal to readers of all ages.
PNR: World building is vitally important in speculative fiction. What were the challenges you faced in developing your “world” that were unique to the SHOMI line?
Eve K.: The challenge was in the subtle nuances of flavor: putting in just enough, and not too much. I wanted the science to ring true. I did a great deal of research into current technologies, then I created a world to reflect the possibilities offered by scientific principles. Sound dry? That was exactly what I didn’t want. I didn’t want the book to read like a physics text. I wanted it to be a great romance. Balance was key…romance/science/suspense/action.
Also, the SHOMI line is meant to break boundaries and draw new readers. But I’m not just a romance writer, I’m a romance reader. I wanted a book that would appeal to existing romance readers (like me) as well as new ones looking for something unique and different.
I feel that world-building is an important aspect of all my work. My historical gothics (DARK DESIRES, HIS DARK KISS, DARK PRINCE) have settings that are dark and frightening and vivid; I’ve been told the setting almost becomes a character in those stories. I carefully construct that gothic world. I also write dark, sexy paranormals (DEMON’S KISS) about sorcerers and demons. Again, a huge amount of world-building is required. But each of those have a basis is history or in an existing but slightly altered reality. DRIVEN is completely outside the box.
PNR: How much of a role do the characters’ romantic relationships play vs. the plot action? Does this differ from your usual balance? How would you describe the “heat” level of your book?
Eve K.: In DRIVEN, the romance and external plot are intricately linked, each supporting and developing the other. DRIVEN is a romance, with a strong emphasis on the characters, their emotional change, their growth. But DRIVEN is also a heart-pounding adventure, and a suspense with unexpected twists and surprises.
Actually, this is a balance I strive to maintain in all my work.
PNR: The eye-catching Anime/Manga inspired covers are awesome; who do readers have to thank for such striking artwork? How much input did you have in the cover art concept? Do you feel the final cover has captured the essence of your book?
Eve K.: The Manga style covers are definitely eye-catching and fun. You can read more about the artist, Eric Kim, and the cover process at http://www.shomifiction.com/gallery.html.
My editor worked closely with the artist to create the cover of DRIVEN, and I was very excited about the results. I did suggest a scene from the story that I thought would be appropriate for the cover. Interestingly, my editor had come up with the exact same scene, so we were in perfect synchrony on that, and I feel the cover captures the frozen wasteland and high-energy feel of the book.
PNR: What was the biggest challenge you faced being one of the pioneer authors for a new line? The most rewarding aspect? Would you do it again?
Eve K.: A rocky path makes a great story, but short of making something up, I can’t write about a single challenge, LOL! My experience with the SHOMI line and Dorchester Publishing has been rewarding every step of the way. I must admit that I had a real personal thrill when DRIVEN received a starred review from Publishers Weekly and a Top Pick from Romantic Times.
Would I do it again? In a heartbeat.
PNR: What advice would you give to an author looking to be part of a line like this?
Eve K.: Write the best book you can. Don’t be afraid to try something completely genre-bending. Have fun.
PNR: Could you tell us about your current projects, what can readers expect to see in the coming months? Do you have any additional series in the works? Single titles?
Eve K.: I have three new releases coming out in three consecutive months. DARK PRINCE by Eve Silver is my third historical gothic, a dark, brooding tale set on the coast of Cornwall in the early 19th century. DARK PRINCE hits shelves in August.
In September, my first book for SHOMI, DRIVEN by Eve Kenin will be released.
Then in October, DEMON’S KISS by Eve Silver, the first in a series of dark, sexy paranormals about demons and sorcerers hits shelves. And I’ve already completed book two in that series, DEMON’S HUNGER. Watch my website for excerpts and release date info.
Currently, I’m finishing up my fourth historical gothic, HIS WICKED SINS, due out August 2008, and I’m working on two other projects: my second book for the SHOMI line, due out in 2008, and a historical gothic novella, due out September 2008.
PNR: Thank you Eve, for giving us a peek at the exciting new SHOMI line, where can readers find out more about you and your work?
Eve K.: Thanks for having me. For info, contests, excerpts and more, please visit my websites at http://www.evesilver.net or http://www.evekenin.com To join my newsletter, send a blank email to email@example.com
a.k.a. Eve Silver
ROAD WARRIOR Raina Bowen knows she can handle herself just fine against anything the harsh Northern Waste throws at her. Until it throws her an enigmatic stranger called Wizard. First, she has to haul him out of a brawl he can't hope to win. And next, her libido is shooting into overdrive at the feel of his hard body pressed against hers on the back of her snowscooter. But there's something not quite right about this guy. Before she can strip bare Wizard's secrets, they're lured into a race for their lives, battling rival truckers, ice pirates...and a merciless maniac with a very personal vendetta.
Coming in July 2008
by Eve Kenin
Eve Kenin/Eve Silver
Featured in this issue:
Paraphernalia is a feature of PNR, the official website of firstname.lastname@example.org