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These Ruthless Deeds by Kelly Zekas, Tarun Shanker
(These Vicious Masks #2)
Published by: Swoon Reads
Publication date: March 14th 2017
Genres: Fantasy, Paranormal, Young Adult
England, 1883. Still recovering from a devastating loss, Evelyn is determined to use her powers to save other gifted people from those who would harm them. But when her rescue of a young telekinetic girl goes terribly wrong, Evelyn finds herself indebted to a secret society devoted to recruiting and protecting people like Evelyn and her friends.
As she follows the Society’s orders, healing the sick and embarking on perilous recruitment missions, Evelyn sees her problems disappear. Her reputation is repaired, her friends are provided for, and her parents are newly wealthy. She reunites with the dashing Mr. Kent and recovers the reclusive Mr. Braddock (who has much less to brood over now that the Society can help him to control his dangerous power). But Evelyn can’t help fearing the Society is more sinister than it appears…
Inside the Mind of the Author
If I had to describe my author mind, it’d be some sort of weird addiction to problems. It always starts with a random idea that comes from out of nowhere. It could be big and vague like say superheroes existing in the Victorian era or a tiny and ridiculously specific image like an elaborate fistfight ending in a kiss. There’s a rush of excitement at first, but then my critic brain has to complicate thing slowly and painfully with a series of questions that poke holes in my awesome idea (“what sort of characters would fight and then kiss? What set of events would have to lead them there?”) Then I’ll spend hours to days to weeks trying to come up with answers. It’s rather tedious as the questions mostly lead to dead ends, but when I do get a solution that works, it’s an absolute moment of bliss where I feel like I’ve just aced an exam. Life is amazing, my manuscript is perfect. Until that answer creates more questions and the cycle repeats. It’d probably be less miserable to let the awesome idea simply disappear into the ether but I’m just way too stubborn to let it go. I always have to find a way to make it work because it’s always worth it when it does.
My mind … is very different from Tarun’s. Instead of working on one problem till I solve it, I have a horrible habit of flitting from one great idea to another, often not writing them down and forgetting about them. And when I do have a great idea that doesn’t quite fit, well … there may or may not be a co-author who will find a way to make it fit (sorry Tarun!). I get to then continue dreaming about new ideas.
I also am the one who tends to get a lot of our mess down onto the paper while Tarun continues to fine-tune. I find when I am in a groove, I’m not even really thinking about what I’m writing - just trying to get the basics down on paper, sketching out the scene. We don’t trade off chapters like some co-authors - both of us work on every line - so I never go in thinking something will stay just as it is. I probably end up having less darlings to kill than Tarun, because they aren’t something I spend ages trying to figure out. I am usually happy to let something go if it’s not working.
There is certainly no one way an author’s mind works, as the two of us prove. But we think our strengths and weaknesses balance each other out pretty well.
Tarun and Kelly met in a freshman year writing class at NYU and started writing These Vicious Masks a few years later.
Tarun is a writer living in Los Angeles whose idea of paradise consists of kung-fu movies, David Bowie and chai tea. Since completing his first horrible screenplay in high school, he’s written everything from one-act plays and film criticism to humor pieces and strongly-worded emails. He’s also magnetized, crushed and burned the hard drive where that first screenplay can be found.
Kelly is a writer and actor living in NYC. YA is her absolute favorite thing on earth other than cupcakes and she has spent many hours crying over fictional deaths. She also started reading Harlequin romances at a possibly too early age (12?), and still loves a good paperback romance.
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