August 19, 2016

Author Interview with Joe Evener / The Elders

Today I have a guest returning to Write with Fey. Joe Evener shared "Journey to Seras" here years ago, and now he's back for Book 2! Welcome back, Joe!

Genre: Fantasy/Young Adult
Publisher: Rogue Phoenix Press
Release Date: September 15, 2015

BLURB: "The Elders" – book two in The Heart of Seras series.

In "The Journey to Seras" we met Julie Ayers, a fifteen year old girl living in the quiet town of Sunset, Ohio. Her world was turned upside down by the arrival of the school’s new teacher, Marcus Campbell. 

Her teacher, Marcus Campbell had a secret. He was a warrior from a medieval dimension searching for the mythical "Heart" - a hero given to the people of Seras to rid their world of impending evil. Marcus’s quest was challenged when he realized that the "Heart" was the vibrant teenage girl. Against his better judgment he convinced Julie to go to his world and begin preparation to face whatever evil laid ahead while keeping his bigger secret, that he is part demon and was once a ruthless leader who terrorized Seras, from his young protégé.

The evil Julie must face was manifested in the form of Queen Pallanex. She was a wandering follower of the Elderess Eryx, displaced by her temple leaders as being dangerous and unholy. Little did they know that was the type of follower Eryx preferred. Pallanex was young, beautiful, and flirty. She seduced the aging Canis, father of Marcus, and became his queen...and his downfall. What secrets does she have? With the help of William, a demonic warrior equal to Marcus and his former comrade, Queen Pallanex has a plan that threatens both worlds.  

In "The Elders," we find Julie Ayer's reeling from her freshman year of high school, and how horribly it ended. Now Marcus Campbell must try to convince her to return to Seras to learn the secrets of Seras from the mysterious immortal, Redderick Bobo. Going back to Seras is the last thing on Julie's mind. She wants no part of Seras, or her teacher. What secrets does Redderick Bobo have to tell? Who were the Elders known as "The Five Lions of God"? Why is Julie Ayers the chosen savior of Seras? 

Only returning to the dreaded dimension will answer these questions and more for Julie. Can she bring herself to forgive Marcus, and return to Seras? The future of Seras and Earth depends on it.

Books Links:

1. What inspired you to write this book?

I started writing this book series in 2005 during my first year of college (I was 41 years old at the time), after being inspired by a freshman writing class which had the first three books of Harry Potter as textbooks, and Classical Mythology 101. While I have always had a vivid imagination, I just had to put the idea I had to paper. I got inspired to the point that it was impossible to ignore. I started to put that together with my love of books, television and movies like "Lord of the Rings," "Gladiator," "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," "Angel," "Highlander," "The Hobbit" and many others. I came up with an idea in which a normal teenage girl is whisked away into a medieval time by a trusted teacher who has a secret and is really a warrior with an even darker secret. I often joke that if you could picture Buffy the Vampire Slayer being in Tolkien’s Middle Earth, you would get a good idea of what I was putting together.

2. Is this book part of a series?

This is book two of the six part The Heart of Seras series. Book one, "Journey to Seras" was released in 2013. I am currently working on book three, "Revelation." Book four (The Dark Warrior), book five (Into the Abyss), and book six (Journey's End) are all outlined, and just waiting for me to get to them.

3. What movies inspired your book?
I'm a huge movie buff, so there have been a lot of movies that have inspired me: "Gladiator," "BraveHeart," The Lord of the Rings trilogy, the Harry Potter series, "Star Wars," and "King Arthur" are the major ones. I'm sure there have been bits and parts from other movies, like "The Terminator," and "Robin Hood, Prince of Thieves," and I love Disney movies from my childhood.
4. Which actors would play your hero and heroine in a movie?

Well, I've always had trouble with this. In writing them I have people in mind, for Julie it's a young Valerie Bertinelli (think "One Day at a Time"), but I saw a picture of Danielle Campbell from "The Originals," and she would be a great match. For Marcus, I think Stephen Amell from "Arrow" would be perfect. Now if I could get someone to make my books into movies.

5. Is there a teacher (or teachers) you would like to personally thank for his/her influence?

I would start with my fourth grade teacher, Miss Blatt. She was the first teacher that inspired my love for writing. I wrote two stories called "Super Joe" that I shared in her class. Mr. Pry, my sixth grade teacher was a positive role model. In high school, I had several teachers that were positive influences: Joyce Barker (English/Drama), Ed Foster (Physical Education), and Lou Sartori (History/Motivation).  

6. If you could give your book to anyone in the world to read (dead or alive) who would it be and why?

The person I would most like to give my book to would be J.R.R. Tolkien. He was the master of the genre, and if I could have him read it, I would be on cloud nine. Tolkien created an intricate world, complete with individualized histories, religions and languages. I would love to get his input.  

7. J.R.R. Tolkien is an excellent choice! What’s on your bucket list?

I've checked off a lot of things on my bucket list so far: sing karaoke, do stand-up comedy, get my master's degree, become a teacher, run road races, and write a book. I have travel Europe, and travel across the western part of the USA left to do. Have my track team win a state title. Run a marathon. I would say those are my big four left to do: 1) win a team state title, 2) travel across Europe, 3) travel across the western half of the US, and 4) run a marathon.

8. What is the silliest thing you ever did while writing a story?

I act out scenes all the time, especially the sword fighting. I want to see where the body position is, how to move, and stuff like that. When I was writing book one, I was working in a warehouse…pretty much by myself, so I had time to act out scenes. I'm sure I would have had a lot of explaining to do if someone walked in on me as I wielded a makeshift sword, having an imaginary battle against myself.

9. I act out action scenes, too! If you could write anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?

I have written in some really cool places: Hawaii, Mexico, Puerto Rico, cruising the Caribbean, the Outer Banks, Cleveland during the championship celebration, Walt Disney World, and the Bahamas. But, if I had to pick one place where I would go, I would say London or Paris, maybe somewhere in Spain, or Prague. Gosh, I can't decide - it would be exotic, completely different, a different culture and atmosphere, any of those places would get the creative juices flowing in overdrive.

10. All amazing places. Do you listen to music while you write?

Oh yes, I listen to music constantly. If I am writing a fighting scene I will be blaring AC/DC, Van Halen, Aerosmith, or Heart. If I need something softer with a little more poignancy I go to The Police/Sting, Rod Stewart, Phil Collins, Joe Cocker, Seal, or Tom Petty. If I just want to unwind and have fun, I listen to everything from Justin Timberlake, to Earth, Wind, and Fire, Outkast, Dierks Bentley, Thomas Rhett, Stevie Wonder, anything from the 80s, and so many more. Listening to songs from musicals often get me going to – I love musicals: "Singing in the Rain," "High Society," "Oklahoma," and "Gigi" are among my favorites. My friends, family, and coworkers say I have the most eclectic taste of music of any person they know.    


Joe Evener is currently preparing for his fourth year in the classroom, as well as his 23rd season as a girls' track and field coach, and writing his third book in The Heart of Seras series, "Revelation."     

Joe's first book from The Heart of Seras series, "Journey to Seras" came out November 20, 2013. His second book from The Heart of Seras series, "The Elders" came out September 15, 2015.

Author Links:

Thank you for being my guest today, Joe!
Please leave a comment for Joe. :)


  1. Congratulations, Joe. I love your music selection!

  2. You like a variety of music.
    With my luck, my wife would walk in on me while acting out a scene.
    Six books is ambitious. Good luck and congratulations.

    1. Thank you! Yes, my wife has caught me acting out scenes, luckily she is used to my zaniness.
      Thanks, Joe

  3. Great show and music tastes indeed. lol yeah that would have been interesting to explain if someone walked in while you were acting out scenes.

  4. I love reading how teachers influence the young writers! It helped me find my gift too!
    Great interview, Chrys!
    Good luck, Joe!

    1. Thank you! Yes, they were so influential that I eventually became a teacher.
      Thank you, Joe

  5. Congrats to Joe this was wonderful to read.

  6. I don't remember reading about Joe's series before - maybe I wasn't following your blog yet, Chrys. So glad to meet Joe and discover the books now! These books sound like great reads and I really enjoyed the interview. Plus I can't deny I have a crush on Marcus based on the cover of book 2 - assuming that's him. LOL nice cover! :D

    1. It was a long time ago. I didn't have as many followers.

    2. Thank you! I'm glad you enjoyed the interview. It was a lot of fun. The cover is pretty darn close to what Marcus is supposed to look like :)


  7. Your accomplishments are remarkable, Joe! Very best wishes to you:-) I must say, after seeing the cover I thought the dream-guy had already been found; no need for an actor (unless he looks like the guy on your cover).
    Acting out scenes is a great idea - I often get caught talking in 'voices' and when I explain it's my characters, the looks I get are priceless - ha!
    I applaud your tastes in music and can easily see how you could be so productive - Write on, Joe!
    Thanks for another fun and entertaining interview, Chrys :-)

    1. Thank you! Oh, the things we writers do to bring our characters to life :) I'm glad you liked the interview.


  8. Congrats, Joe. Eclectic music tastes, indeed.

    1. Thank you!! Music and literature makes the world a better place :)


  9. Wow, your books look interesting! Your inspirations are some of mine as well. I love the book covers design too. So cool that you've already outlined the other 4 books in this series. I'm inspired by your bucket list. It really shows how ambitious you are, Joe. Nice interview, Chrys. Thanks for the introduction!

    1. Thank you! I'm glad you enjoyed the interview.


  10. Chrys, thank you so much for the great interview!! I appreciate all of your hard work and effort! Best wishes!!