Between The Lines with Tarun Shanker and Kelly Zekas

Between The Lines is a sporadic feature on Pop! Goes The Reader in which authors and other industry professionals provide further insight into the writing and publishing process in the form of interviews, guest posts, etc. So, sit back, relax, and enjoy as we read between the lines.

Happy Tuesday – and Happy Valentine’s Day – everyone! There are few things in life that bring me greater joy than seeing other people get (and share) good news so I couldn’t have been more thrilled when I was first approached about hosting today’s very special post. Today, it’s my pleasure to welcome the dynamic writing team of Kelly Zekas and Tarun Shanker to Pop! Goes The Reader. Not only does their forthcoming novel, These Ruthless Deeds (A sequel to their much-beloved These Vicious Masks), release exactly one month from today (You can pre-order a copy here!) but in honour of Valentine’s Day, Kelly and Tarun are also excited to share some BIG NEWS about a new relationship they’ve recently entered in to. Please read on to find out what it is and for an exclusive opportunity to enter to win an eARC of These Ruthless Deeds.


About Tarun Shanker

Tarun Shanker is a mild-mannered assistant by day and a milder-mannered writer by night currently based in Boston. His idea of paradise is a place where kung-fu movies are projected on clouds, David Bowie’s music fills the air, and chai tea flows freely from fountains.

Author Links: WebsiteTwitterTumblrGoodreads


About Kelly Zekas

No one would call Kelly mild-mannered, but she is also an assistant by day. Her love of romance started with reading Harlequin historicals at the possibly too early age of 12. She graduated from NYU Tisch School of the Arts and The Stella Adler Studio with a BFA in Acting and a BS in Sociology. She likes to think these degrees are somewhat helpful to writing.

Author Links: WebsiteTwitterGoodreads


There Was A Proposal, We All Said Yes, and It’s Exactly What You’re Thinking

Have you ever been Notting Hill‘d? It was a first for us. But when Agent Extraordinaire, Laura Zats of Red Sofa Literary, told us that she was just an agent, standing in front of two writers, asking them to be her clients…we were sold.

See, we have been a perfectly happy writing duo for a very, very long time. We started writing together in college and in the past nine or so years, we have gotten very used to working as a little pair. We found the amazing Swoon Reads team and published two books with them. We navigated contracts by doing research and asking a lot of questions. We joined the Sweet 16s debut group, met a bunch of amazing publishing/book people and learned a lot about the industry from others’ stories and experiences.

But after a while, two was not enough. Something was missing. Sometimes, you need a third person with great qualities you just don’t have. Sometimes you need to shake it up.

That’s right: Sometimes you need a love triangle.

We know. We know. You hate love triangles, it’s okay. We get it. I mean we don’t actually get it, because we love them, but we understand you feel differently. However, a good love triangle (in our opinion), is just as much about the MC’s growth as it is about the two love interests. A character is defined by all the decisions they make, whether it be her choice of friends, her choice of killing a villain, or her choice of romantic partner. She doesn’t just give in to the first person to give her sexy eyes. A triangle offers an alternate path and confronts the MC with unexpected questions to grapple with. All in order to learn more about herself, her own priorities, who she is going to become, and which path feels truest to her.

Now this isn’t a traditional love triangle (we aren’t choosing Laura over each other!), but it is about growth. For all of us, it’s about finding perspective, the right person to ask the questions we never thought to ask ourselves. It’s about creating a strong team. It’s about surrounding ourselves with the people who have qualities that complement what we already have. It’s about having a tie-breaker to side with one of us during our arguments.

And we could not be MORE excited to have found Laura (we *think* she’s excited too!). So because it’s Valentine’s Day – and because she already wooed us – Here are some things we love about her, in no particular order.

1. She loves Buffy.

2. This is her pinned tweet.

3. She reps Lily Anderson, who is one of the funniest writers we had the pleasure to get to know this year.

4. She is a fighter.

5. We’ve had ten more book ideas since reading through her rad #MWSL.

6. She makes us giggle every time we talk.

7. Did. We. Mention. She. Loves. Buffy.

We are so happy to have found a teammate in Laura. It makes us Swoon, actually. It makes us want to quote romcoms at you, but we won’t because we are nice like that. Instead, to celebrate, we will do a giveaway of a These Ruthless Deeds eARC!

As an extra, exciting bonus, Kelly and Tarun have been kind enough to offer one lucky reader the opportunity to win an eARC edition of These Ruthless Deeds! This contest is open internationally and the prize will be distributed once the contest has been concluded. Please fill out the Rafflecopter form below to enter!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

So Happy Valentine’s Day, all! May you be celebrating with your team today, whether it’s all one, two, three, four or fifty of you.

Title These Ruthless Deeds (These Vicious Masks #2)
Author Kelly Zekas and Tarun Shanker
Pages 320 Pages
Intended Target Audience Young Adult
Genre & Keywords Historical Fiction, Fantasy
To Be Published March 14th, 2017 by Swoon Reads
Find It On GoodreadsAmazon.comChaptersThe Book Depository

England, 1883. Still recovering from a devastating loss, Evelyn is determined to use her powers to save other gifted people from those who would harm them. But when her rescue of a young telekinetic girl goes terribly wrong, Evelyn finds herself indebted to a secret society devoted to recruiting and protecting people like Evelyn and her friends.

As she follows the Society’s orders, healing the sick and embarking on perilous recruitment missions, Evelyn sees her problems disappear. Her reputation is repaired, her friends are provided for, and her parents are newly wealthy. She reunites with the dashing Mr. Kent and recovers the reclusive Mr. Braddock (who has much less to brood over now that the Society can help him to control his dangerous power). But Evelyn can’t help fearing the Society is more sinister than it appears…

One response to “Between The Lines with Tarun Shanker and Kelly Zekas”

  1. Mary says:

    Congrats! This is awesome news, and I am totally here for this awesome triangle!
    Mary recently posted…Review: Goodbye Days by Jeff ZentnerMy Profile

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