TW's EC Scullion's Second Novel Evaders

A fortnight ago EC Scullion interviewed her Thriller Women co-founder Penny Batchelor on the launch of Penny's second novel Her new Best Friend. Now it's Penny's turn to question EC to mark the publication of Evaders on 19th August. 

Find out whether EC thinks publishing is sexist, her favourite country to live in during a peripatetic career for the Foreign Office, and what she wish she knew when writing her first book! 

Buy the Evaders paperback from Thriller Women's list at NB: if you buy books through this link we may earn a commission from, whose fees support independent bookshops.

Book cover of Evaders by EC Scullion

PB: Congratulations on the publication of Evaders, the sequal to Intruders. Did you plan the whole trilogy (spoiler alert, there's going to be another!) before you started writing and how long did it take to write Evaders compared to Intruders?

ECS: Thank you ! When I started writing Intruders back in 2016, I hadn’t written anything for a while so really I was just pleased to be writing regularly again. About half way through, I began to realise that the story had the potential to become a series, but at that point I really didn’t know how. It wasn’t until I consulted an editor for a critique of the story, and when I decided to change the ending as a result, that a larger story arc started to take shape in my mind. Intruders took me about eighteen months to write, which was quicker than Evaders, which took me about two and a half years! As a working mum I found the latter exhausting; I barely slept.

PB: Whilst Evaders is the second novel in the trilogy it also works as a standalone novel, meaning you don't have to have read Intruders. Can you tell me how difficult it was to cater for both audiences and how you thought up the plot?

I think it’s a fine balance. You don’t want to go over old ground but with part two of a trilogy you almost have to summarise in parts, what has come before, whilst avoiding an information dump. So I tried to incorporate the relevant details only, drip feeding them steadily into the story. Plot-wise, Intruders was inspired by the year I spent living in Uruguay with my family. We then moved to Panama City for two years, which is the main setting for Evaders. It helps when writing a book two that the story is a continuation, rather than plotting from scratch, but the real-life locations that I wanted to include in the story meant I had to plot around them, for example the section involving Panama’s Pearl Islands. I wanted to write about the Panama I had experienced, without writing a travel guide.

PB:You write in a very televisual way with lots of action and you transport the reader to the places in South America the novel is set in. Is this deliberate and what are the challenges?

ECS: When I was young I wanted to be a screenwriter. I loved films more than books and I wrote quite a few (pretty dreadful) screenplays before I attempted writing a novel. I remember reading that screenplays were just a blue print, and I came to understand that writing a novel gave an author more flexibility than writing for the screen. That said, writing a novel remains for me a very visual experience and I like to be able to watch the story unfold in my head! Hence the reason why locations are so important to me I think. Plus I still love movies and TV series as much as I love books!

PB: You have a huge cast of fascinating characters in Evaders. Which is your favourite and how on earth did you remember who is who and where they're supposed to be when writing the novel?

ECS: I knew that there were going to be several strands in Evaders, and that these strands had to be interlinked. I knew that they had to come together at the end, and that the overall scope of the novel was going to be quite big. So I think for that reason I ended up with quite a few characters, yes! 

I tried to ensure they all had a purpose and to know what each of them looked like visually, down to minor details. For that reason I enjoyed creating the Venezuelan artist Camila in the story, as I can really picture her. I don’t know that I have a favourite overall, but I also really enjoyed expanding on Anton’s character this time round. Anton is one of the bad guys, but I wanted to show that he wasn’t just a machine. So even though he is running around doing all the bad guy stuff, we find out his origins, who he really is, and that that he is in part a victim of circumstance.

PB: You asked me last time on TW what my author goals are for the next year and I'm keen to find out yours too.

ECS: I’m keen to finish the Tom Holt trilogy! I also want to write a standalone novel. I’d like to just spend more time writing; that would be nice. Oh and build a website too. And interview more authors for Thriller Women! There aren’t enough hours in the day!

PB: What have you learned as a two times novelist that you wish you knew when writing your first book?

ECS: I think I would say I’ve learned that tight plotting is very important, as is knowing how to land your ending. Endings can be tricky to get right, and that I shouldn’t be afraid to make changes if I feel like something isn’t quite working. So I have tried to learn remain open-minded, and always strive for something better.

PB: Tom Holt is a brilliant action hero, tough, quick-witted, attractive but ultimately with a moral heart. Who would you want to play him in a film or TV adaptation?

ECS: Thank you! Ooh, I think there could be several contenders haha. Quite a few people have suggested Tom Hiddleston. I thought he was brilliant in the BBC adaptation of The Night Manager so he gets my vote.

PB: Action thrillers with a male protagonist are more commonly written by men. Do you think that readers are surprised when they find out that EC Scullion is female? Do you think the publishing industry can be sexist?

ECS: Someone told me that their wife had read Intruders and thought it had been written by a man, which made me really happy. Looking at the industry, it does seem to me that, for the most part, female authors write psychological thrillers and male authors write action thrillers. Perhaps that’s because women tend to write from a more emotional perspective than men, but not exclusively. 

I recently read TJ Newman’s novel called Falling – a pacey action thriller blockbuster – but I found it interesting because, like me, she’s also used her initials instead of her full name, perhaps because the genre she’s writing in is dominated by male authors, and perhaps her publishers knew that she was going against type.

PB: Give us a quick heads up about the third novel in the trilogy. How's it going writing it?

Honestly, not as quickly as I would like! I have the bare bones of the plot mapped out in my head, now I just need to finish it. I am taking some time away from my day job in 2022, so I am hoping to devote the early part of next year getting book 3 finished. I have some research I still need to do but the action is staying in Latin America. Watch this space...

Quick fire questions:

PB: Favourite country you've lived in?

ECS: It’s a toss-up between Thailand and Panama, both wonderful.

PB: Best book or website on writing advice for novelists?

ECDS: I think it depends on the nature of the advice you’re looking for. I always enjoy Harry Bingham’s Friday email from Jericho Writers; it always contains some good tips.

PB: Novel you're reading at the moment?

ECS: The Other Black Girl by Zakiya Dalila Harris. Excellent so far.

PB: Favourite music for downtime?

ECS: I find music always gets my creative juices flowing. Right now I like Coldplay’s Higher Power. My favourite song is Bird Set Free by Sia.

PB: If you had a magic lamp what would your one wish be?

ECS: I would wish that my children will always be happy, healthy and make good choices.

Thanks EC!

Author photo of EC Scullion

More about Evaders:

A crime has been uncovered. Clare Buchanan has been missing for almost twelve years. 

Former security manager Tom Holt knows that the man responsible for her disappearance goes by the name of Capricorn. On the run in South America, Holt's life is in danger. In London, journalist Nash Akinyemi discovers the story that could make her career; a chance to finally step out of her mother's shadow. 

Talented thief Becca Wylde has worked for Capricorn her whole life; now it's time to break free. Together, Holt, Nash and Becca must risk everything to expose Capricorn's secrets to the world. Yet Capricorn has his own weapon. Anton Merrick has a dark past, and he will stop at nothing to keep them all silent... 

What happened to Clare Buchanan? From the streets of London, to the shores of Chile, to the tropical islands of Panama, the race is on to expose the truth, before the truth gets buried.


Thriller Women is now fortnightly. Coming soon we will be quizzing Tammy Cohen on her latest novel The Wedding Party. Watch this space!

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