Inkitt Author Spotlight – Riss Concetta

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The Real Evie Chase Author Talks Publishing on Inkitt

With her degree in biology, you may be surprised to learn Riss Concetta is an accomplished creative writer. In fact, Riss wrote her first novel when she was just fifteen years old. The book reached millions of readers online and would later become the GALATEA hit The Real Evie Chase. Riss lives in Massachusetts where she’s still publishing stories on Inkitt.

The Real Evie Chase follows seventeen-year-old Evie, a famous popstar, as she struggles with the anxiety and pressures of stardom. After returning to her small hometown, Evie must face old foes, new friends—and the boy she left behind.

For this Inkitt Author Spotlight, we caught up with Riss to talk about what it’s like to publish stories on Inkitt, how she writes best, and what her plans are for the future.

The Real Evie Chase earned you a publishing contract with GALATEA. How did it feel when you got that call?

The Real Evie Chase [originally titled Adam and Evie]was a book I started when I was only a teenager, so to hear there was interest in publishing it was surreal. The call came just as I was about to graduate from college—so nearly seven years since I began the story—and I’d never thought I’d do anything with it, especially because writing took a major back seat for me while I was getting my degree. I ended up getting bit by the writing bug again after that.

When did you first hear about Inkitt, and what made you want to publish your stories here?

I heard about Inkitt back in 2017 when they approached me to try out the site. I looked into it and loved the simple, easy to use interface, so I uploaded The Real Evie Chase here.

And we’re so glad you did! Where did the idea for The Real Evie Chase come from?

The Real Evie Chase began as two story ideas I couldn’t think of enough plot for on their own. One of them was a best-friends-to-lovers/unrequited-love story, and the other was a famous-girl-who-returns-to-old-hometown-and-reconnects-with-former-best-friend type of book. So I combined the two ideas. Thus, The Real Evie Chase was born!

When you were writing the story, did you have an ending in mind, or did it surprise you?

If it weren’t for the fact The Real Evie Chase had gotten so many readers wanting an ending, I would’ve never finished it and likely given up. So I’m eternally grateful to everyone who read that book as I wrote it and gave me a chance.

We learn a lot as writers with each book we complete. What did you learn from fans and critics of The Real Evie Chase, or from your own experience, that helped with writing the next book?

I honestly feel like the editing process that I had to go through for The Real Evie Chase to grow from the initial draft I’d written as a teenager absolutely changed my life as a writer.

The editor that Inkitt had hired for me was brutally honest, along with their positivity and encouragement. I learned so much from that experience in terms of how to craft a story, how to develop characters, how to set up a scene, make things more dynamic, tropes I should avoid. I take it with me everywhere now, into whatever I write.

That’s great! What is your writing routine like now?

Now that I’m really trying to take my “writing time” more seriously, I’ve been attempting to establish a more solid routine. Writing or working on my books for at least two hours a day is my goal. It doesn’t have to be consecutively, but at least putting in the time.

Have you ever experienced writer’s block? If so, how do you start writing again?

I find there’s different degrees and types of it for me. There’s ones where it’s simply I can’t get myself settled enough to sit and focus, like a burnout but not. Then there’s ones where I know what I want to write but can’t make up the words to do so. And then there’s those ones where I just don’t know where to go with the story in terms of ideas.

That’s when I’ll put on music with words, listen to an audiobook, or watch a movie/TV show while I’m jotting down notes or sporadically working through scenes. At least making some progress, and then not being hard on myself afterwards. 

What else do you enjoy doing aside from writing? Can you tell us three non-writing-related things about yourself?

The fact I also write is usually the interesting fact I use, so this is tough. So maybe that I work within the science field, which is very different from writing. I used to be able to draw pretty well, and I’d love to fine tune my skills again to draw my characters. And I’ve completed three half-marathons, two of them in the same weekend as a 5K and 10K (Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend).

Are you publishing any new stories on Inkitt?

At the beginning of 2021, I began writing a new adult fantasy book on Inkitt called The Alpha and the Warrior. I started a completely new account to begin it [Morkei on Inkitt] since so much of what that book is was new to me, and I was terrified to post it. Since then, it’s grown in a way I’d never expected and that still doesn’t feel real to me.

The Alpha and the Warrior is the first book I’ve written in this new “adult” chapter of my life, and the only book I’ve ever finished besides The Real Evie Chase. Both stories are very special to me.

They’re very special to us, too!

For those who have read The Real Evie Chase, here is a sneak peak of Book Two in the Evie Chase series, Adam and Evie:

I found the first aid kit and left the bathroom. Sitting on the bed beside him, I opened it up. An array of bandages and creams tumbled out onto the mattress. I took the gauze, still silent. Grabbing Adam’s shoulders, I rotated his body so I could see his wound.

“Oh, come on, Ev. The least you could do is talk to me,” he said, feigning dramatics. “I’m injured.”

I narrowed my eyes at the back of his head. “What do you want me to say?”

Adam shrugged. “Anything?”

I gripped him again, fully prepared to yell at him for being a reckless dumbass, but when I turned him so we were face-to-face, I lost my train of thought.

Just as I had when I first saw him at the gas station a few months ago—when I was Brittany—I felt every day, every hour, every second that me and Adam had spent apart. There was this hollowness—this bitterness—deep in my heart.

The two of us had changed so much in three years, and not only in our physical appearances. Our paths—the ones I’d always pictured winding together—split apart. We’d grown away from each other. But somehow, sitting there, staring at him—the boy I’d had by my side nearly my entire life—I was overcome by the unexplainable sense of inevitability that always seemed to loom over us before everything went awry. That sense of it being just the two of us against the world. It felt like the detours we’d taken weren’t permanent. Like all of this separateness was a test to see if we could find our way back.

But as quick as that feeling came, it vanished.

I put him back in his original position. “You’re an idiot.”

He snickered. “Well, I got you to talk to me, I guess.”

I rolled my eyes and started sorting the cream and ointment.

Follow Riss Concetta on Inkitt for updates and new stories.

The Real Evie Chase is available to read on the GALATEA APP.

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