Thanks for having me! Where to begin?
Like anyone my age, my childhood was cut short by the Total War. When eventually the fighting stopped, I fled to the shadows of Beacon City, where I’ve spent the last fifteen years living without the Mark and hiding from the Department of Marked Emergencies (DOME).
Recent events have forced me to speak up, so I began writing the Swipe series, and here we are today.
My name is Evan Angler. But if anyone asks, you know nothing about me. I was never here, and Christian Bookshelf Reviews never interviewed me. I’m in enough trouble already.
So are you, if you read my books.
Will you tell us about Swipe and what inspired it?
Swipe is the first volume in the chronicles of Logan Langly, Erin Arbitor, and the Dust. It takes place soon after the end of the Total War, in the newly formed American Union. Here, basic rights are only acquired beginning at age 13, once people are mature enough to Pledge allegiance to Chancellor Cylis in exchange for his Mark of citizenship.
A few years ago, while I was still living as part of the undergound Markless community in Beacon, I spent a lot of my time helping Unmarked refugees sneak in and out of the city. It was through these interactions that I began hearing whispers of Logan Langly and what he was getting involved with out west in Spokie, outside New Chicago.
It wasn’t long before these whispers caught the attention of DOME. They began rounding us Markless up, taking my friends away, never to be seen again, and I realized that these were events I simply couldn’t leave untold.
Swipe tells a story of what happens when a country ignores its biggest problems for too long. Environmental destruction, political inaction and polarization, severe cultural divisions, constant fear—these are the things that have led to the state of the American Union, and as a writer, I felt I needed to respond to that.
But at its heart, Swipe is, most simply, a story about friendship against the odds. It’s a story about a group of boys and girls who come together to do the unthinkable: to stand up for what they believe in.
What is something the average reader wouldn't know about you?
I’ve been hiding from DOME for so long, by now I’d be more curious to hear what the average reader does know about me...But here’s a fun factoid: I wrote the first draft of Swipe in winter, and it was freezing inside the building where I was staying. Consequently, I wrote a good bit of Swipe while wearing the warmest clothes I could find: outer space print pajamas and a sweatshirt with the hood pulled up. How’s that for work attire?
When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
There was never really a question of me being anything else. Even before I was good with words, I would spend my free time “writing” stories by drawing them in pictures. Eventually I graduated to putting things in sentences, but the storytelling process never really changed. It’s the thing that makes me happiest, and that’s the way it’s always been.
How many books have you written/published and do you have a favorite?
Swipe is my first published book, and it’s definitely my favorite Evan Angler novel so far.
The second book in the Swipe series—Sneak—comes out in September, and that will probably become my favorite Evan Angler novel once it launches.
What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?
What, you mean besides the outer space pajama uniform?
Honestly, when I am really writing, my mind is so far away in the world of my fiction that I have very little awareness of where I am or what I’m doing outside of it, and that makes it hard to pinpoint any one quirk that I may have during the process. It’s a lot like asking me what my sleeping quirks are. I’m sure there are many, but I’m not fully there to find out!
I love to write in motion. I do a lot of my writing on trains and on electrobuses. Something about the physical progress feels inspiring to me (or maybe that’s just the motion sickness).
What do you like to do when you're not writing?
When I’m not writing I like to be outside. I’m a long distance runner (as so many writers are), and when I can make it out of Beacon, I love to hike and camp. I also love playing pre-Unity musical instruments, especially the piano, acoustic guitar, and banjo.
Is there a place you’d like to visit, but haven’t yet?
I’ve been lucky enough to do a lot of travelling in the time I’ve spent running from DOME. I’ve been all over the American Union and the European Union, so these days, anywhere not under direct DOME surveillance would be fine by me!
Someday, I suppose I’d like to visit the area that used to be called Japan.
Do you have a favorite song and/or movie?
It’s so hard to pick. I like songs and movies that teach me something, that transform me in one way or another. Favorite songs include hits by pre-Unity musicians like The Beatles, Sufjan Stephens, Mumford & Sons, and Joanna Newsom. My favorite movie is probably the pre-Unity animated classic, WALL-E.
What is your favorite dessert?
Ice cream. Mint chocolate chip.
Current favorite: Matthew 25:40. Whatever you have done for the least of my brothers, that is what you have done to me.
Here are a few this-or-that questions:
Snowstorms or Thunderstorms?
I’ve been hit by lightning (true story), so I’m going to have to go with snowstorms on this one.
Tea or Coffee?
Neither, usually. When it’s really necessary, I turn to tea. (And when it’s really necessary, I turn to coffee. Black—no milk, no cream, no sugar.)
Print or eBook?
I prefer print (it’s harder for DOME to trace). That said, I do about half of my reading on eBook at this point.
Early-bird or Night-owl?
Both. It’s 2:45am right now, but I work just as well at 5am. Usually I end up spending my afternoons avoiding DOME, so I like to be creative in the hours when no one else is awake.
Cats or Dogs?
Iguanas. No, I’m kidding—cats. I did have an iguana as a kid though.
Are you currently working on any new novels? If so, could you give us a hint?
I am! Right now I’m working on the third novel in the Swipe series, and it’s a doozy. The second novel, Sneak, is finished, and it’ll launch this September. Needless to say, DOME is not pleased.
Thanks so much for being here! Is there anything else you’d like to tell readers and where can we find you on the web?
Thank you for having me! I’d just like to remind everyone that the Swipe series is officially banned throughout the American Union, so please do be careful about just leaving these books lying around—especially if you’re Markless.
If DOME does give you any trouble, let me know, and I’ll see if I can pull any strings within my network. Best places to find me online are www.facebook.com/swipeseries, www.evanangler.com, and www.twitter.com/evanangler.
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