Author Interview: S. H. Everly

Last week, I reviewed the wonderful YA fantasy Iridescent. This week, I have the honor of sharing an interview with the author S. H. Everly! When she isn’t writing or pursuing her MBA she enjoys painting, specifically landscapes and beach scenes, and baking gluten-free desserts. She is actually soon to be a Registered Dietician Nutritionist. Everly lives in Illinois, but she is close to Lake Michigan so she is still able to enjoy the beach. A fun fact about Everly is that she has surfed and snorkeled in Hawaii. To learn more about Everly and her writing, read our full interview below!

Q)  How long have you been writing?

A) I used to write shorter stories as a kid, but I really began writing when I was a junior in college. This was back in 2017 and it’s when the idea for Iridescent began. I didn’t think when I first started writing it that it would one day be a published book—it was all just for fun at that point. And now that I have written Iridescent, I know that it’s something I always want to be able to do if I can. I think I’ll always write. I just love it!

Q) Why do you write?

A) Writing for me is self-expression. Not only can I travel to new places, dive for treasure
at the bottom of the ocean, or surf down a huge wave, writing helps me deal with some
of the things I’ve been through in my own life.

Q) What are your top three favorite books and why?

A) I love The Host by Stephanie Meyer. I don’t usually go for sci-fi, but I loved this
concept. Arguably, I enjoyed The Host more than Twilight. Twilight is good, but I
think this story is really beautiful, and it really captures the important and value in
relationships. (Genre: YA Sci-Fi)

I love The Iron King by Julie Kagawa. This book is actually amazing. I feel like I can
really relate to the main character Meghan a lot, and I think the romance is one of the
better romances I’ve read. (Genre: YA Fantasy)

I love Where the Crawdads Sing. This is a beautiful book about a young girl who has
to survive almost completely on her own. Nature seems to raise her, and it’s a beautiful
story about nature. I loved it. (Genre: Adult, Fiction)

Q) Who is someone that inspires you?

A) I would have to say Bethany Hamilton. Her story has inspired me since I was probably
ten or eleven. What inspires me most about Bethany is how she stands up for her faith
and how it has made such an impact on the way she lives and who she is. She
continues to do what she loves and is passionate about and hasn’t let fear get in the
way of that.

Q) What inspired Iridescent, the first book of the Iridescent Series? 

A) My love for the sea and the ocean was the inspiration for Iridescent. I have always
loved the beach and the sea, and I am fascinated by the different fish and animals that
live in the ocean. It truly is another world there, and there is so much of it we don’t
know about and haven’t seen.

Something unique about my book is that every fish and animal in the book mentioned
are animals that really are found in Santa Cruz and Monterey. That was something that
was important to me while writing the book. I wanted people to be able to learn about
the different fish and animals in the water.

Q) Do you personally spend much time at aquariums and/or the beach? 

A) Yes. I grew up going to the Shedd Aquarium, and I loved it—I loved the belugas,
petting sting rays, and so it was fun to write about a girl who grew up volunteering at
an aquarium.

As a teenager, my friends and I spent a lot of time at the beach—doing bonfires,
swimming, playing beach volleyball. I don’t think people think of Chicago and its
suburbs as a place where people go to the beach, but there are actually miles and miles
of beachfront, and we went there all the time.

I still love to go now to the beach now, and when I can, I love vacationing in Florida.

Q) I love how you blended contemporary and fantasy in your book – how did
you create the character Katrina? 

A) Katrina is someone that I think a lot of people can relate to. She’s experienced grief,
loss, and heartbreak, and I wanted her story, her emotions to feel authentic. But I also
wanted Katrina to be strong, brave, and kind. I think she shows us that throughout
hardship, we can still be strong, be brave, forgive, and do the right thing.

Q) Katrina’s grief in the beginning of Iridescent is something I think many
people can relate to. Did you know beforehand that you wanted your story to
touch on topics of grief and healing, found families, faith, friendship, and
forgiveness, or did these themes emerge as the story was written?

A) When I picked my book up again to write in April of 2020, I knew that I wanted to put
my Christian faith in there. The themes sort of emerged as I was writing, and I
continued to develop them. I read somewhere once that when you read a book, that
it’s an investment in someone’s time, and I couldn’t agree more. I knew that my book
wasn’t going to just be for entertainment purposes. There needed to be themes,
lessons that could be taken away. For me personally, writing this story made me remember how important friendships are and the value that they can be in your life,
and I hope that people have had a similar experience to some of the themes in the

Q)  Can you give readers a preview of what to expect in the next book? Do
you know when it might be available (I NEED to know what happens in

A) Yes! Here are some exciting updates.

Name: So first, the sequel of Iridescent is going to be called “Elle.”

The Book: It’s a dual-perspective book alternating between Katrina and Elle. I am
curious and excited to find out what this is going to be like as I continue to write it, but
so far, it’s exactly where I wanted to go with it, and I am excited about what’s been
written so far.

The story is still mainly about Katrina. She is still the main protagonist of the books, but
Elle plays an important role in the series and especially in the next book.
Timeline: The second book will be out sometime in 2022. However, I have some really
exciting things in development for this year regarding the Iridescent Series, and I’ll be
really excited to share them.

Q) What goals do you have for the Iridescent Series?

A) I want to make sure that the Iridescent Series covers what I want it to. I do not see the end nearing on this series at all. In fact, I feel that Katrina’s journey is just getting
started. I want to make sure that her story is not rushed, and I really want to fully
develop her as a character. I would say as of right now the book series will be between
3-5 books.

Q) Are you willing to tell us about your personal faith journey? 

A) Yes! I love talking about my faith. When I was in college, that is when I my faith
journey really took off. In college, I was blessed with some amazing friendships that I
still have today, however, I was really lonely. My boyfriend and my parents were
hundreds of miles away, and there were times in college where I was living alone. I just
felt kind of lost, in general.

I grew up going to Church, and I grew up with faith, but I became a “born-again
Christian” in college. I learned what it was like to truly create a relationship with Christ,
and I learned the importance of reading the Bible and living out my faith in my life. The
Bible says in Jeremiah that “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD,
plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” Knowing that God
has specific plan for me really helped me when I was in a time where I was feeling lost.

Q) Can you explain how your religion influences your writing?

A) For me, faith is the most important part of my life. And if that is true, then it has to be
in my writing too. I feel that as a Christian, I want to lead others to Christ and his
saving grace. My hope is that my writing will lead others to Christ.

Q) You are an indie published author – can you tell readers about your

A) Being an indie published author is definitely an interesting journey. There is a large
learning curve to learning about how to self-publish as well as learning how to write,
how to have the right grammar, editing, and even putting up my book on Amazon was
a lot to learn. I think as an indie published author, it can be helpful to establish yourself
in some way. Whether that’s creating a blog or an Instagram or even a YouTube
channel. Regardless, I am grateful for what I have learned, the connections I’ve made, and for the process. It has been a lot of fun!

Q) What advice would you offer aspiring authors? 

A) I think we all have a story to tell, and so tell that story. Be encouraged to follow your
dreams and be encouraged that you can do it. I believe that we all have talents,
interests, and hobbies that make each of us unique. Don’t ever let fear get in the way
of fulfilling your dream.

The cover of Iridescent.

Be sure to order your copy of Iridescent today here, and follow S. H. Everly on Instagram and Facebook to keep up with her and her writing!

Published by Kayla E. Green

Kayla E. Green is a school librarian, speculative fiction author, and poet. When she isn’t writing, reading, or going on adventures with her husband, she loves singing loudly and off-key to KLove Radio, snuggling her dogs, and pretending she’s a unicorn. Her award-winning YA fantasy novella, Aivan: The One Truth, and her inspirational poetry collection, Metamorphosis, are now available through book retailers. Kayla also has stories and poems featured in various anthologies. Follow The Unicorn Writer's blog for book reviews, author interviews, writing advice, and more bookish fun!

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