Blog Archives

An Overwhelming Desire To Say Something

Evan Grove
Evan L. Grove Author Interview

To the North follows the adventures of Emily, Lehksi and Marty, as they attempt to uncover the truth behind the darkness plaguing their land. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

To the North is something that’s been swimming in my head for quite some time now, with the first inklings of it popping up in early/mid 2016. I would say my inspiration was based somewhat on world events around that time and since, as well as a desire to create a conflict of my own.

While I don’t think there is any specific spark that pushed me to write this story in particular, I can easily attribute its creation to an overwhelming desire to say something. I wished to draw others into a world of my own creation, a world both familiar and utterly different from our own.

Emily and Lehksi were intriguing and well developed characters. What were some driving ideals behind your character’s development?

Emily’s character was pretty solid from the start. She was designed to be someone that both drives the plot forward in her own unique way, and yet is consistently hamstrung by the events happening around her. I wanted a headstrong, motivated character that should, for all intents and purposes, not be involved with the dangerous happenings taking place around her. Yet there she is, front and center.

Lehksi on the other hand, was meant to be a more level-headed person. She served as a near polar-opposite of Emily as someone who both has the skills to act with confidence when necessary, as well as the temperament to know when she’s in over her head. However, it was necessary for her to be young and inexperienced. She knows she has a lot to learn, and in some cases that leads her to doubt herself and others.

I enjoyed the well thought out backstory and magic within your book. Were these planned or did they develop organically while writing?

Some of To the North’s backstory was planned, while some was not. I’m not in the habit of creating large lore documents, so many of the details of Odelia/Oul emerged as I wrote them. Of course I had a structural layout to guide my hand and I made sure to take notes on what had been established for consistency, but I wanted to “discover” this world for myself as I wrote it. So I gave it space to let it blossom on its own, and many times it surprised me with the results.

My magic system was created much the same way, though I did have to set some ground rules. Namely, from the start I wanted a system that can be expressed in different ways by different people. The Scriptors, for example, use magic by way of words. Others may use it in different ways, some of which have already been seen in Part 1. You should expect to see a considerable expansion on these concepts in Part 2.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

I’m working on two books at the moment, the first is the conclusion to The Awakener Duology and I’ve already begun my second draft. I expect it to be released sometime near the end of the year or early 2022 depending on oh-so-many differing factors.

My other novel is still in the outline stages, and as such will likely take a bit longer to release. It will also take place in the “World of Oul” since I’d like to develop my world/lore a bit more before moving on to another unrelated series. I hope for a 2023/2024 release but we’ll see how things go.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website

Emily Lee wants nothing more than to live her life in peace, safe in the comfort of home with her father. But when he falls prey to dark magic, trapping him and countless others in a foreign land, she is forced to take action. Compelled only by the desire to save him, Emily travels to the northern nation of Odelia in search of a means to free her father from his terrible curse.

Lehksi Olent works as a private investigator, helping those uncover the truth that is often shrouded by a world of magic and mystery. Together with her brother, Marty, she now travels the Odelian countryside in pursuit of the growing unrest taking place within the heart of a country torn asunder by unseen forces.

When their paths converge, Emily and Lehksi’s lives will be forever changed. Two paths, one future. Be it for the good of all, or for a singular desire, the fate of Odelia lies within their choices. And should they prove lacking, the world of Oul might never be the same.

To the North is the first novel in The Awakener Duology, an urban fantasy that explores what it means to discover the dark truths of an unforgiving land. It takes place in an alternate reality set in a pre-digital world, one that is governed by magic and corporate influence. Two young women must navigate numerous challenges in order to protect what is important to them, but in doing so they will make discoveries that may drive a wedge between them.

To the North

To the North by Evan L. Grove is the first book in The Awakener duology, a fantasy story set in a land full of magic and diverse creatures of many races. From powerful giants to talking cats, prepare to see an intricate world filled with history and realistic characters.

Emily Lee is a young woman without magical powers, which is strange for someone of her race. Despite this, as her father gets stuck in the capital of Odelia after the occurrence of some catastrophic events, Emily will try to do everything in her power to save him and get him home. She meets Lehksi Olent, one of the Scriptors, a very talented magician that uses her abilities to investigate weird occurrences around the country and fight dark powers. She and her young brother Marty, a cat-like creature known as a Haesees, are going to see themselves surrounded by trouble as they try to complete Lehksi’s latest job. Follow the adventures of Emily, Lehksi and Marty, as they travel all around the country to find some answers about the terrible things that are happening and try to defeat a new evil that’s starting to awaken and cause disruption all around the land.

Where should I start? This book is simply amazing. Creative, imaginative and unique. The story is intriguing and complex. The world depicted has many details that the author took the time to develop well: the magic system, the many characters and its different races, the political tension and its history; there were just so many things and they fit the story perfectly and were well explained to the reader. It takes some time to fully understand what’s really happening and how the world works, but the wait is completely worth it, it just lets you breathe in the world little by little, which allows you to be immersed in it as the story progresses. This intricate world building and deep lore reminds me the masterful worldbuilding done by George R. R. Martin.

This book was an adventure, and I can say I enjoyed it a lot. Each character has its strengths and weaknesses, I just loved how complex each of them were. The overall plot is also very intricate, and it was great getting to find out with each chapter new things about the world and about the story that was being told. Also, the storytelling is incredible, the author kept me glued to the page, I just wanted to know what was going to happen next, to the world and to the characters that I had started to feel attached to.

To the North by Evan L. Grove is a compelling dark fantasy novel filled with intriguing characters and a magical storyline that will appeal to readers looking for an epic fantasy novel. I can’t wait to read the next book in this duology to find out what comes next!

Pages: 389 | ASIN: B08P95R798

Buy Now From B&

%d bloggers like this: