Meet Michael Evans.
Michael Evans is the author of the novel Control Freakz, a Young Adult Post-Apocalyptic Thriller, and the forthcoming novel entitled Delusional. He is currently attending high school in Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina, but he is originally from Long Island, New York. Some of his hobbies include hiking, running, camping, going to the beach, watching and taking artsy pictures of sunsets (it’s honestly a very enlightening activity to partake in), and walking his ginormous, fluffy golden doodle underneath the stars. He is also fascinated with the environment and neuroscience, and his true passion is learning about how the wonders of the human mind and the environment we live in will change with time. The future, specifically his goal of helping to impact the future of humanity positively is what drives him to tell stories. Writing is something that is instinctive to him, and he seeks to express his thoughts on his own life and the world to inspire others to use the power in the voice they have to advocate for positive changes in their own lives and the world we all live in.
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I love the cover of your upcoming Control Freakz. How did the final product change from the original cover you had in mind? Did you have much say in the cover creation?
The cover of the novel is actually supposed to depict the inside of the mind of the main character Natalie! Due to that fact, I had no idea what the cover was going to look like, and I presented my cover designer with a few abstract concepts that he turned into a tangible, mysterious image. I was really happy with the design of the cover, and it was nice to have control over the little design changes that I desired to make.
What drives you to explore the darker aspects of the future and life? Is there any dark aspects that you can see happening now that concern you and you want to bring awareness to?
For me, writing and any art has the unique responsibility to bring to light what is both beautiful and just totally awful in our world. I don’t plan on relishing about the bad aspects of the future in all my writing, in fact I hope to also show people the unbelievable aspects of the present and the future, however, I believe it is important to make people aware of the negative possibilities of our future so that as a society we will take action to prevent it! For me, I am passionate about a lot of issues, and with the growing power of technology I could literally list dozens of things that need to be changed in the present so that they don’t metastasize into bigger problems in the future. However, for me the two biggest issues I see in our society today that will only continue to have graver consequences in the future is climate change and mental health, specifically the atomic precise manufacturing revolution. Mental health is especially important to me, because my worry is not with the presence of mental health issues in the future, but with the emergence of technology that are powerful enough to cure schizophrenia and depression, they are bound to be engineered to also completely destroy us as well. My novel actually explores my vision of how technologies designed to cure addiction may also cause the very foundations of society to crumble.
Dystopic in YA has been growing in popularity. What do you hope to see in the genre in 2018?
I hope to see more contemporary novels set in societies that have minor dystopian elements to it. Much of the audience for the purely dystopian genre has already been maxed out, and the best way to still incorporate dystopian themes into novels to expose readers to darker futures is to incorporate them into novels that are primarily romance, sci-fi, and even contemporary novels.
Trilogy vs. standalone, what do you find more fun and perhaps even more challenging to write?
I have only written one trilogy (I’m currently writing the last book Triggered), and I can say that although it has been very fun, it is challenging because although there is so many awesome possibilities when writing a trilogy, sometimes I tend to feel boxed in due to the fact that it is not a blank canvas. However, it’s really fun to incorporate new plot twists and elements to characters, even after the reader has been with them for 1000+ pages. However, I’m excited to start writing my first standalone novel, The Conspiracy of Happiness, when school is over for the semester.
Can you share the writing and editing process for Control Freakz? How did you get through any road blocks that may have occurred?
I first wrote the novel when I was 13, and at the time it was the first novel I ever wrote. I’m not gonna lie and say that it wasn’t hard; at times it was emotionally exhausting just thinking about how much left I had to write. However, I did love the process and upon finishing the first book I promptly wrote the first draft for my second book. At this point, I went back and began to revise my first book and realized how much my writing had improved. That’s why I completely rewrote the entire novel in 9 weeks over this past summer. My goal was to write 12,0000 words per week and writing for multiple hours each day actually made my story flow even better! After finishing the novel, I took a month break before jumping into two rounds of revisions, and then two rounds of editing with my editor, which collectively took about 3 months.
Is there anything you’d like to share with the readers today?
Yes! First of all, I will be attending the Teen Book Fest in Rochester, New York, on May 19th! Also, Delusional, the second novel in the Control Freakz trilogy, will be published in the fall of 2018, and the last novel Triggered, will be coming out in early 2019! I also am starting an entirely new concept, and although I won’t share what the story is about just yet, the title will be The Conspiracy of Happiness.