S. Usher Evans is an author, blogger, and witty banter aficionado. Born in a small, suburban town in northwest Florida, she was seventeen before she realized that not all beach sand is white. From a young age, she has always been a longwinded individual, first verbally (to the chagrin of her ever-loving parents) and then eventually channeled into the many novels that dotted her Windows 98 computer in the early 2000's. After high school, she got the hell outta dodge and went to school near the nation's capital, where she somehow landed jobs at National Geographic, Discovery Channel, and the British Broadcasting Corporation, capping off her educational career with delivering the commencement address to 20,000 of her closest friends. She determined she'd goofed off long enough with that television nonsense and got a "real job" as an IT consultant. Yet she continued to write, developing 20 page standard operating procedures and then coming home to write novels about badass bounty hunters, teenage magic users, and other nonsense. After a severe quarter life crisis at age 27, she decided to finally get a move on and share those novels with the world in hopes that she will never have to write another SOP again.
1. Tell us about your most recent book. Alliances is the sequel to Double Life - both books in a series about a space pirate bounty hunter who has a day job as a scientist. As the bounty hunter Razia, she’s supposed to be scouring the universe for the most wanted pirates, using financial transactions and her considerable wits. Except piracy is a man’s game, and so she’s stuck in her old life as the planet-discovering scientist Lyssa Peate, running from a past that she can’t quite shake.
Double Life is (obviously) about those two lives, and how she comes to realize she can’t hate a part of herself and be happy. Alliances picks up where Double Life left off, introducing a brand new character, Lizbeth Carter. The investigator ropes the bounty hunter/scientist into helping her uncover a massive government conspiracy. They uncover a plot that could potentially upend the entire system of government - and exposes a secret from one of the most painful chapters of Lyssa’s past.
2. Have you always wanted to become an author? I recently went digging in my childhood closet and the answer is a resounding YES. I have a “core” set of novels that I’ve been working on since I was eleven - to include the Razia series. But the interesting thing, for me, is that I put aside writing for eight years after I graduated college, thinking that it was “silly” and “childish.” After a quarter life crisis, I reverted back to the person that I’ve always been - a writer. Now I’m brushing off all of those old novels, and even coming up with brand new ones.
3.Who inspires you? From a creative standpoint, I tend to be inspired by every day stuff. Feelings, people, reactions, all of that somehow gets woven into whatever I’m working on. Movies, as well, inspire me more than books do.
On a personal level, I’m driven (more than inspired) by other indie authors. I see their success and I want to emulate it. I also want to help others become successful.
4. What are some of your favourite books? I know I’m gonna raise a few eyebrows here, but I really don’t read for fun. It’s the same reason why I’ll cook a seven course meal and then eat a bowl of cereal. I love creation, I hate consuming.
That being said, I’ve been reading other indie authors, and I have found a few books that I absolutely adore. Renee Meland’s Extraction List series was un-put-downable (even though I’m not a fan of dystopians), J. Leigh Bralick’s The Madness Project is another phenomenal young adult book that kept me reading late into the night. Regina West’s The Long Way Home was a well-executed romance.
Right now, I’m in the middle of Nina J. Lux’s Bell Eleven and I’m loving it.
5. How do you get past writers block? Writer’s block comes from a place of fear for me, and the sound of other people’s voices in my head. Fear that my book isn’t what people expect, fear that it’s not right, fear of whatever. Once I can quiet those fears (or just put fingers to keyboard), the writer’s block magically goes away too.
6. Are you working on anymore books? Oh yes! *Grin* Razia is a 5 book series, so I’m working on #3 right now (called Conviction). I’ve got a stand-alone fantasy novel called Empath coming out in June (it’s about a girl whose anxieties turn into a fire-breathing dragon). I’ve also got another trilogy that I’m working on - not sure of the genre, but Romeo and Juliet are pilots from warring nations and crash on an island together. So deliciously dark.
About the books
Piracy is a game. How much are you worth?
Since she was a little girl, everyone - from her father to the Great Creator himself - told Lyssa Peate the same thing: she's worthless. But when she becomes the pirate bounty hunter Razia, she can see the price tag on her own head. Employed by one of the four pirate syndicates, she uses bank transactions and her considerable wits to capture rival members. At least, she would be if Razia's boss ever gave her a chance. It's a man’s world, and all she’s allowed to hunt are purse snatchers while she languishes on probation.
To pay the bills, she's stuck in her old life as Lyssa, discovering and analyzing distant planets and selling them for cash. She's doing just enough to stay out of trouble, pretending to be continuing her father's mysterious research while away for long periods of time. Her slimy boss is always asking questions and even assigns one of her younger brothers, Vel, to intern with her. Already struggling to keep the balance between her double lives, she tries everything to rid herself of the kid...
...until the universal police mistake Lyssa’s intern for Razia's hostage.
Lyssa Peate has found a tenuous balance between her double lives - that of the planet-discovering scientist, and the other, the space pirate bounty hunter Razia. No longer on probation, Razia still struggles to be thought of as more than a chocolate-fetching joke. But when the tough and feisty Lizbeth Carter interferes with a bounty, Razia's worried her act is being stolen.
Lizbeth's not interested in taking Razia's thunder, but she is interested in recruiting the caustic bounty hunter to help uncover a massive government insurance fraud. From the desert planet of D-882 to the Universal Bank archives to the capital city on S-864, the trail leads them deeper and deeper into a conspiracy that reaches to the highest levels of the Universal Government - and to one of the most painful chapters in Lyssa's past.
Alliances is the highly anticipated sequel to Double Life.