I know Everless is technically a 2018 release, but it was just SO GOOD that it made my top reads of 2017 list. I absolutely adored this book and am so excited to share this Q&A with author Sara Holland!
In the kingdom of Sempera, time is currency—extracted from blood, bound to iron, and consumed to add time to one’s own lifespan. The rich aristocracy, like the Gerlings, tax the poor to the hilt, extending their own lives by centuries.
No one resents the Gerlings more than Jules Ember. A decade ago, she and her father were servants at Everless, the Gerlings’ palatial estate, until a fateful accident forced them to flee in the dead of night. When Jules discovers that her father is dying, she knows that she must return to Everless to earn more time for him before she loses him forever.
But going back to Everless brings more danger—and temptation—than Jules could have ever imagined. Soon she’s caught in a tangle of violent secrets and finds her heart torn between two people she thought she’d never see again. Her decisions have the power to change her fate—and the fate of time itself.
Sara Holland grew up in small-town Minnesota among hundreds of books. She graduated from Wesleyan University and worked in a tea shop, a dentist’s office, and a state capitol building before heading to New York to work in publishing. These days, she can be found exploring the city’s bookstores or finding new ways to put caffeine in her bloodstream. EVERLESS is her debut novel.
• What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
Reading, of course! My day job is in publishing, so it’s all books, all the time. In the rare moments I’m not reading or writing, I like discovering new music and podcasts, catching up on Netflix, or wandering around NYC. And my New Years’ resolution for 2018 is to teach myself how to cook more than my current repertoire of pasta and rice.
• Which part of Everless was the most fun to write?
I loved writing Jules’ burgeoning friendships with Ina and Caro—complications and obstacles aside, I think there’s also real affection between the three of them. I think teen friendships are often as intense and fraught and rewarding as romantic relationships, so I really wanted to reflect that side of life in Everless.
• What was the coolest or strangest thing you found yourself researching for your worldbuilding?
Oh man, everything from historical castle layouts, feudal hygiene, various murder methods, and reincarnation myths across cultures… My favorite part was talking about all this with my editor on our coffee dates! We may have gotten some weird looks from the other patrons.
• Your pacing was perfect and the worldbuilding was so wonderfully detailed — how did you approach your first draft? Did you have any specific method for mapping everything out?
Thank you so much for your kind words! I’m definitely more of a plotter than a pantser, which helped on both those fronts. I had about a three-page outline for the entire book, and then before I started each chapter, I’d write a paragraph outlining what needed to happen in that chapter. I didn’t live or die by those outlines, but they helped me keep sight of the larger goals I always had to be moving toward.
• Who would you cast in the movie version of Everless?
Hmm, good question! I don’t tend to fan-cast (author-cast?) too much, just because I don’t know many actors. But going just on the few things I’ve seen them in:
- Zoey Deutch as Jules
- Harry Styles for Roan
- Selena Gomez as Ina
- Ezra Miller for Liam
- Young Catriona Balfe as Caro
• Which other YA character(s) do you think Jules would be friends with?
I think she would definitely be friends with some of YA’s other reluctant heroine types, like Laia from Ember in the Ashes or Scarlett from Caraval. But she also needs some more upbeat friends to balance her out… maybe Laia from Ember in the Ashes or Scarlett from Caraval, they are both more dragged to their fates than rising to them. She needs some happier friends to balance her out.
• Any advice to beginning authors?
It’s really hard in the age of social media, but try not to compare yourself and your writing journey to others. Find what works for you and have fun doing it. Everyone has a different process and different milestones, and it’s all worth celebrating!
Thanks for sharing & congratulations on your new book!
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