Author Interview: Deniz Bevan

• When did you first start writing and when did you finish your first book?

I’ve been writing since the first grade! I finished my first book in fourth grade; a story called The Strange Girl, about how a girl bonded with her classmates at a new school.

• What do you do when you are not writing?

Besides feel guilty?

Actually, not writing isn’t usually the probably; what I feel guilty about is not regularly spending more time editing my finished stories. I always procrastinate on that step…

Otherwise, I read, knit, blog, or play Lego with the kids!

• What literary pilgrimages have you gone on?

I’ve been to various places connected with Tolkien, including Oxford and Warwick, and I’ve been to major literary centres such as New York, London, Dublin, Edinburgh, and Istanbul! Whichever city I find myself in, I’m sure to look up the authors who’ve resided or written there.

• What is the first book that made you cry?

Charlotte’s Web

• What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?

I don’t research before; I research concurrently! I try not to read fiction set in the time period of my story until after I’ve finished all of my own edits. But I read all the non-fiction I can, whether it’s textbooks, books for the general public, journal articles, blog posts, or any other tidbit that comes my way. I keep an ear out for references to my locations and time periods, even when I’m not actively working on a specific story. I just came across a saying from Cornwall, for example, that would have been fun to include in Druid’s Moon: everyone is either up a cliff or down the lane from you!

• How do you select the names of your characters?

Either they come to me right away and feel right, or they involve a long foray into lists of historically and culturally appropriate names, until I find one that’s just right. I had to do a bit of research to find an appropriate title for Frederick in Druid’s Moon, since I didn’t want to use a title related to anyone currently living. His family name, Cunnick, was chosen based on his relationship to one of my other characters, Austin Cunnick. A lot of my characters are related to each other, actually! I’ve shared the family tree on my blog:

• Do you hide any secrets in your books that only a few people will find?

No secrets! But I might hide Easter eggs; usually a reference to Tolkien or Diana Gabaldon’s writing. And my time-travelling character Kedi the Cat ( tends to appear in every book.

• What other authors are you friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer?

I love hanging out at! I’ve been a member for over 15 years now, and it has helped me in countless ways, through advice, exercises, accountability, and, best of all, through the friendships I’ve made with other writers around the world.

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