USA Today bestselling author Eva Pohler’s young adult paranormal romance, The Marcella II, is on sale for 99 cents at all vendors through the month of May to celebrate the release of the second book in the Vampires and Gods Series, Pirate Academy, which releases May 23.
Welcome, Eva! Can you share a little bit about who you are and what you write?
I write what I want to read, which is a mixed bag, really. I love fantastical stories about star-crossed lovers who manage to find a way. I love edge-of-your-seat psychological thrillers. I love puzzling yet heart-warming ghost stories in which good always triumphs. So those are the kinds of stories I write, too.
Why do you write? Like, give us the deep down reason that drives you.
Honestly, I’ve come to believe that writing is a coping mechanism. It’s also the way my obsessive compulsive disorder expresses itself. It’s a way to distract myself from pain and to feel less powerless in a world where I have so little power.
What is this week’s featured book about? Tell us a little about it!
Pirate Academy is the second book in a new series that is actually a sequel series to a longer saga—my fantastical story about star-crossed lovers who manage to find a way. This book, along with the much longer saga, is based on Greek mythology. The ancient Greek gods still rule in modern times. My characters are a mix of new young gods, demigods, and vampires. They are all trying to find their purpose in a world where the legendary gods don’t always put the good of humans first.
What's your writing process?
I publish two books a year—a young adult in May and a paranormal mystery on Halloween. It takes me three to four months to write and edit each book. Before I write, I spend a few weeks researching and planning. This is great fun for me, because I love learning new things. Sometimes I’ll even travel to the location of the story. For example, in June, I’m taking a mother-daughter trip with my best friend and our daughters to Santa Fe, the setting for my October release called The Shade of Santa Fe.
When I’m in the drafting phase, I’ll write about 1000 to 2000 words per day. I edit as I go, which means that by the end, it’s a pretty solid draft that needs very little editing. Although I work with an outline created during my researching and planning stage, I veer away from it all the time, allowing for bursts of inspiration to strike and take me to new, exciting places in the story. That’s where the real magic happens for me.
Once the book is complete, I send it to my editor and ARC team. After my editor sends me her notes, I make revisions and upload the book to the various retailers in both ebook and paperback. That’s also the time I send a copy to my narrator so audiobook production can begin.
"...I’ve come to believe that writing is a coping mechanism."
What characters are the hardest for you to write/identify with, and why?
I have a hard time writing villains because I believe that any person can be redeemable. I also believe that good people can act in villainous ways and vice versa. People are complicated and can’t easily be labeled as good and bad. I think this comes through in my writing, both in the behaviour of the gods in my young adult paranormal romance and in the ghosts in my paranormal mysteries.
What are some personal boundaries in storylines that you’ll never-or-almost-never cross when it comes to writing?
I try really hard to keep politics and religion out of my stories. I have political and religious characters, but they don’t represent my viewpoints. I try to tell a good story that takes readers through the gamut of human emotion without trying to push ideological agendas onto them.
If you could rewrite the ending to any book you’ve read/movie/show, which would you pick and how would you have changed the ending? [I’ll include spoiler alert if necessary]
Do you remember the movie MEET JOE BLACK? It starred Anthony Hopkins and Brad Pitt. It was about Death offering to extend the life of an honorable man if that man would help educate Death about life. Death take the body of Brad Pitt, tastes peanut butter for the first time, has a love affair, and learns some hard things about life.
That movie was the inspiration for what eventually became my longest series, The Underworld Saga. The movie had a lot of unanswered questions. It made me wonder how it would have been different if Death had been based on Thanatos from Greek mythology.
"I believe that any person can be redeemable."
What was your last Netflix obsession?
Right now I am obsessed with Merlin.
If you can share, what is the project you’re most looking forward to writing on day, even if you don’t currently have plans for it? I’m talking that dream project that’s always on your mind!
My dream project was actually on the shelf for years until my agent dusted it off, asked me to reimagine it, and is now pitching it to both traditional book publishers and television producers. A producer and his partner have picked it up and plan to pitch it to a television network next spring. I really hope this project sees the light of day! It’s my “great American novel,” the thing most American novelists grow up wanting to write.
The book is based on a love triangle that included my grandparents and a family friend we all called Uncle. It’s my interpretation of what was going on between them.
But the story is about more than that. It’s about a woman discovering her grandmother’s lifelong diary, which reveals one family secret after another. It’s about coming to terms with the fact that you and your loved ones aren’t who you thought they were.
But the novel is about even more than that. It’s also about the subjugation of people who are different from the majority in America. The novel juxtaposes the 1960s and 1970s with today and shows that while some things have changed, a lot hasn’t.
To you, what is the value of imagination?
To me, the value of imagination is two-fold. First, it allows us to escape the pain and suffering of the world. Second, it allows us to see ways of changing the world into a better, more equitable place.
AN EXCERPT OF The Marcella II: Vampires and Gods
The Marcella II is 99c this month!
“You and Taavi create the distraction,” Alastair said to her. “Fight or kiss—your choice. And Hestie, you be the thief this time.”
Gertie clenched her fists. If she screwed this up, it wouldn’t help Hestie’s opinion of her. No pressure.
She glanced at the captain, who seemed amused by the pirate training as he enjoyed his beer.
He lifted his mug and said, “Good luck.”
“When will it be the captain’s turn?” Gertie asked Taavi.
“Never,” Prometheus said. “Never, ever, ever will I go by the name of pirate, no matter the cause. But cheers to you.” He lifted his mug again.
Their group had moved down the plaza from The Black Pearl to The Galley Bar and Restaurant, so they could work on new targets without arousing suspicion. Their newest target was a middle-aged woman sitting alone at a table across the street, where she sipped from a glass of wine and gazed at the dark, shimmering sea.
Follow my lead, Taavi said to Gertie with a wink as he took her by the hand.
For a split second, he reminded her of Jeno.
As they crossed the street together, Gertie said, “I like your new clothes.”
He was wearing a gray t-shirt with a black leather vest and black jeans.
Taavi stopped near the deck, not far from where the target was sitting, and stood close to Gertie. His body was long and lean, and he took Gertie into his arms and gazed down at her with his golden eyes from beneath dark, thick brows. His dark, wavy hair blew in the wind. She had her hair tied in a ponytail at the nape of her neck. When Taavi smiled, a single dimple appeared in his left cheek.
I am going to kiss you, okay? Then you slap me and call me a terrible name. Pretend you do not appreciate my advances. He winked again. Of course, you and I know otherwise.
Gertie chuckled. This should be fun.
Gingerly, Taavi caressed her bottom lip with his. Then he pressed his mouth firmly against hers as he pulled her into a tighter embrace. Gertie lost herself. She hadn’t been kissed like this, with so much longing and so much hunger, in such a long time. Part of her knew that Taavi was acting, but another part of her hoped that he wasn’t.
Still dazed moments after the kissing had stopped, Gertie looked up at Taavi, bewildered. Where she had previously been drawn to him by the prospect of his bite, she was finding herself longing for more.
He grinned. Any moment now, you can slap me.
“Oh,” she whispered, snapping out of it.
Remember to be dramatic, he added.
He lunged for her again, his mouth covering hers. Her body shivered with pleasure. She didn’t want it to end.
He pulled away, laughing. “Gertie! Concentrate!”
She slapped his cheek so hard that it stung her hand. “Leave me alone!”
Taavi took a step back, looking shocked by the blow.
“How dare you!” Gertie added. “You, you…” she couldn’t think of a bad name to call him.
He pulled her toward him, and she tried to fight him off, but when he pressed his lips against hers again and circled his arms around her waist, she kissed back. Before she knew it, she had grabbed fistfuls of his hair.
The others are watching, he said.
Again, she snapped out of it and slapped his cheek. She glanced at the target and noticed the woman was walking away from her table, her purse in hand, and leaving the bar altogether.
“Did Hestie have a chance to…”
“No,” Taavi said.
MORE ABOUT The Marcella II: Vampires and Gods
After the murder of a friend, teen gods and demigods join forces to face a common threat: vampire pirates swarming the Mediterranean Sea.
Poseidon asks Prometheus and his troop of young gods aboard the Marcella II to search for the pirates and their ship, the Tarantula. But in a twist of events that even the legendary gods couldn’t see coming, the Marcella II is found first, the young gods are captured, Prometheus is beheaded, and a mortal friend is killed.
Shocked by this turn of events, Hades recruits demigods Gertie and Hector to join in the effort to rescue the young gods and uncover the secret of the vampire pirate organization and stop them, once and for all. When the identity of the pirates’ leader is revealed, the entire pantheon is shocked to its core.
This brand-new series shares the world of The Underworld Saga and The Vampires of Athens but can be read first or independently of the others.
"Vampires and Greek Mythology combined in one fabulous adventure!"--Brie Strauss, Amazon Reviewer ★★★★★
"I absolutely cannot wait for more Adventures. I tried not to read so fast but honestly I couldn't be patient. This book blew me away and I honestly just need more."--Southernmermaid85, Amazon Reviewer ★★★★★
"Must read!! Anything this author writes is amazing to read. It's what got me into loving anything about the greek gods! And her vampire series is so interesting as well! This book combines both and draws you in!!"--Amazon Reviewer ★★★★★
"Everything I've come to love and expect from Eva's book, was to be found in this latest episode, constant drama, intrigue and adventure, not forgetting the romance. Can't wait for more!"--Traceyann, Amazon Reviewer ★★★★★
"I really liked the new characters that were introduced in this book. The story was interesting and had a lot of twists and turns."--Kathy E, Amazon Reviewer ★★★★★
If you like enemies-to-lovers romance and heart-breaking love triangles combined with fast-paced, high-stakes action, then this series is for you.