SG- What is the world of Everly like? How is it different from our own?
MB- Everly is a hidden magical world that you can only access through a portal in our world. There is no technology in Everly and it all feels very untouched. Everything has a sort of shimmer to it and Madison describes it as brighter and more vibrant than our world. The thing that really sets Everly apart from our world is the magical element. There are witches, mermaids and fairies and each group is very segregated from the others. The fae have their own government, the witches are run by a coven and the Strongbloods are ruled by a King. There is a struggle for power in the land because the King thinks that he rules them all but the magical groups refuse to acknowledge him. You will see that element of Everly play out over the course of the series.
SG- Who is Madison Rosewood?
MB- Madison Rosewood is an 18-year-old track star who despises running and her popularity. She really just wants to find her birth parents and to shed the nickname "Mad Dash" that she was given for her incredible speed. Madison is snarky, bold and a little too impulsive (and sometimes selfish) for her own good but she has a great heart. She has a tough time with anything emotional and leans on her best friend Jason whenever anything gets too touchy-feely. Another cool thing about her is that she is an amazing fighter. Her Aunt Ruth owns a gym and has been training Madison in various forms of combat her whole life.
SG- Madison is about to leave high school and, essentially, enter a completely different world. Then literally. Why did you decide to write a portal fantasy?
MB- Life after high school is a bit like diving through a portal into another world. So that parallel was something I wanted to work in but have it be quite literal. Everly's themes and basic plot points could have just as easily taken place in our world but it would have dulled the impact. Having it hidden away and only accessible through a portal made it much more fun because then I could strip out the modern aspects of our world and still tell the same story. In Everly, Madison wouldn't have the distractions that she may have in our world. No phones, no TV. Just her mission, her emotions and her drive.
SG- EVERLY is the first of the series. How many books do you have planned?
MB- Right now there are 3 books total planned but I may add a fourth as a prequel to the events in book one. There is a lot that happens before Madison sets foot in Everly and I would love to explore that further.
SG- What's your favorite scene from EVERLY?
MB- I have to go with the final confrontation scene at the end. I won't tell you who it's with but the entire sequence of events before and after that scene just make it a solid punch to the gut, emotionally. There are some pretty cool fights and face-offs too. It may not be the happiest ending, but you can really see the growth of Madison and her willingness to face some of her problems. There is also a giant step back in another one of her relationships that really leads into book two.
SG- Favorite SFF archetype?
MB- I would have to say the Heroic Trickster which is "a character who's just as happy pummeling villains with his wit as with his fists." That's 100% Madison. She is strong and a great fighter but she loves to use her intellect against her enemies too.
From the cover:
MADISON ROSEWOOD IS ABOUT TO GRADUATE AND HEAD OFF TOWARD A BIG, BRIGHT FUTURE THAT ANY KID WOULD KILL FOR: A FULL RIDE ON A TRACK SCHOLARSHIP, THE WORLD'S GREATEST BEST FRIEND, AND AN AUNT THAT HAS ALWAYS PROVIDED FOR HER. THE PROBLEM? MADISON JUST WANTS TO FIND HER BIRTH PARENTS, EVEN IF IT COSTS HER ALL OF THE ABOVE.
WHEN HER AUNT RUTH IS KIDNAPPED, ALL OF MADISON'S PLANS ARE PUT ON HOLD. GUIDED BY A MYSTERIOUS STRANGER, MADISON AND HER BEST FRIEND FOLLOW AUNT RUTH'S KIDNAPPERS THROUGH A PORTAL INTO A HIDDEN WORLD CALLED EVERLY. TRAVELING THROUGH FAIRY-LIT CAVERNS AND TOWERING OAK FORESTS, MADISON QUICKLY REALIZES THAT BEHIND EVERLY'S BEAUTY IS A WORLD FILLED WITH TREACHEROUS MAGIC, VIOLENT ENCOUNTERS, AND SHOCKING TRUTHS ABOUT HER FAMILY.
THERE, ARMED ONLY WITH AN ENCHANTED SWORD AND A SHARP TONGUE, SHE BATTLES HER WAY PAST DECEPTIVE WITCHES AND BOUNTY HUNTERS TO ATTEMPT A DANGEROUS RESCUE THAT CHANGES BOTH HER AND EVERLY'S FUTURE FOREVER.