NOVEMBER 2016 ;e Costco Connection 63
whose title was chosen by his editor and voted
on and approved by fans.
Evans is comfortable with giving his fans
a say. They have made all of his 31 books
best-sellers, with 25 million copies in print
worldwide, including the Michael Vey series
for young adults, which he wrote to encourage young males to read.
“It’s the most complex thing I’ve done,”
said Evans of the Vey series, which he finds to
be emotionally easier to write because he
doesn’t have to say goodbye to the characters.
“You have to be a little crazy to become a
writer. You’re listening to all these characters
talking to each other.”
He is returning to his literary roots with
The Mistletoe Secret. While he was a student at
the University of Utah he dropped out to be a
BY SHANA MCNALLY
RICHARD PAUL Evans
knows a little something
about loneliness. He
recently stayed at an inn
in Midway, Utah, for a
week of intense writing
to finish the latest book
in his Christmas Box
Collection, The Mistletoe
Secret, an experience he
likens to cramming for
tests in college. While he was up late working,
he realized there were lots of lonely people out
there—especially on Facebook at 2 a.m.
Evans had signed up for an online dating
service with his wife’s permission (he canceled it once he received actual requests for
dates) to delve into the book’s main character,
Alex Bartlett, a Daytona Beach, Florida,
native, who’s blown away by both the Utah
snow and the lies people tell on such sites.
“I wanted to explore the theme of loneliness and connection, someone beautifully
honest sharing their feelings of a dishonest
experience,” says The New York Times
best-selling author, who spoke to The Connection
recently from his Salt Lake City home.
The lonely characters in this book are
Aria, a young woman who writes a blog about
heartbreak, and Bartlett, who tries to track
Although Evans is a seasoned author, he
still spends eight months jotting down ideas and
doing research before enduring four months of
writing. This time the process led to writing a
female character from a male perspective,
instead of from a female perspective as he did in
the first two books of the collection.
“I know it’s going to work if I fall in love
with a character like Aria—delightful, smart,
vulnerable,” Evans says of his latest book,
The Mistletoe Secret
explores personal connections
write a Christmas book for his children.
“It’s like painting: I like to do it, but how
many people make a living at it?” Evans
remembers of writing The Christmas Box,
ously reach No. 1 on The New York Times