Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Spotlight: Erin Kellison

As promised, we have a special treat for you today. The ever-awesome Erin Kellison has dropped by to share with us!

For those who might not know who she is, Erin Kellison is the author of the dark fantasy romance Shadow, Shadow Touch, and Shadow Kissed series. Stories have always been a central part of Erin's life. She attempted her first book in sixth grade, a dark fantasy adventure, and she still has those early hand-written chapters. She graduated summa cum laude with a degree in English Language and Literature and went on for a masters in Cultural Anthropology, focusing on oral storytelling. When she had children, nothing scared her anymore, so her focus shifted to writing fiction. For excerpts, newsletter, and giveaways, go to www.ErinKellison.com.

Erin, thank you for taking the time to answer some questions. My readers, and my website, appreciate!

GK:  What prompted you to become a writer? Was it voices in your head, a burning desire to tell a story, or just too creative for your own bad self?
EK: Probably all of the above J. Writing has been a passion of mine since I was a kid. I asked for a typewriter for Christmas when I was in fourth grade. I don’t think I got much further than typing the title, but stories have always been part of my life. I always have one going on in my head, and have been known to make them up about strangers I see at stoplights or at adjacent tables in restaurants.  After I had kids I got serious about writing.

GK: What was the first book or piece that you wrote and why? Is it published, being shopped, on the shelf waiting for you to get back to it, or in a heap of ashes at the bottom of the fireplace?
EK: I’ve written a million bits and pieces over the years that are mostly in a trash heap somewhere. I wrote a crime thriller novel with my sister, unpublished. It taught me how to write a novel – it was the first thing I’d ever written that was longer than a few chapters. The first full-length book I wrote myself was also my debut novel, Shadow Bound.

GK: Wow. My first novel that I wrote...was not my debut novel. Or even close to my debut novel...*makes awed face* Moving on! Give us a funny story about writing your latest release. It’s okay if your funny story involves a nervous breakdown as the deadline loomed, btw. I like to relate to my guests.
EK:
I was happily working away on Shadow Hunt, my latest release in my Shadow Touch Novella series, making good progress, feeling the story, hitting my writing stride, when I was suddenly thrust into Hell. One night I got crazy sick and was in some serious pain. I went to the ER, absolutely certain I had food poisoning. I wanted the pain to stop. Drugs, please. I have a habit of self-diagnosing, so I told the doctor what I was sure I had, which she promptly disregarded. I always find disregarding my internet-based diagnoses so frustrating, though my track record is not good (two years ago, my “ulcer” was really appendicitis—thank you, Dr. Cheng, for insisting on those tests). Anyway, I had to have my gall bladder removed, so I was pretty far off on the food poisoning.

GK: OMG! So glad you're okay...and that your doctor doesn't listen to you, LOL. So, what’s your most and least favorite things about being an author?
EK:
My most favorite part is telling a story. When the writing is coming fast and easy and I’m in the zone, there’s nothing better. My least favorite part is (pick one): stressing over deadlines, the moments where I realize I have to delete entire passages that I’ve worked on for days because they just don’t work, etc.

GK: Yeah, that deleting entire passages thing is not my fave, either. Now, for the biggie. What’s one fact about you that someone who didn’t know you well or hasn’t read this blog wouldn’t know? Make it juicy -- my readers expect.
EK: I love to people-watch and eavesdrop on people when I’m out in public.

GK: So, Eavesdropping Author, can we have an excerpt?
EK: Yes, this excerpt is from Shadow Hunt, part three in my Shadow Touch Novella series:

   Marcie rinsed her chef's knife in the kitchen sink of the Segue Institute, and in a flash of overhead light on the long triangle of steel, she caught the brief reflection of an unfamiliar brown-haired man watching her from the doorway. Something about the tilt of his head signaled stealth and menace. She knew and cooked for everyone at Segue, so…
   Intruder.
   Fear thinned her breath, but her heartbeat didn't jolt, thanks to the beta blockers she was taking for her high blood pressure. She kept her hands steady, gripping the wet handle of the blade in her right.
   She forced herself to turn, the knife uplifted. Drops of rapidly cooling water slid down her arm to amp her spook-born goose bumps.
   She glanced around the kitchen—stainless walk-in fridge, island stacked with clean dishes to put away, double-wide dishwasher open to her left. The corners and cubbies of the kitchen were dark, while the air smelled soapy and water fresh.
   There was no one there.
   Which, after so many years of working there, she knew that meant she had to look harder.
   The Segue Institute was the preeminent research organization for all things paranormal and it was housed in a haunted, renovated turn-of-the-century hotel. The place was supposedly loaded with what the scientists there called Shadow, capital S, a scary word for magic. Dark magic.
   What she'd learned from all their research, however, was to trust the skittish hairs on the back of her neck. And right now they were tingling with a message of imminent danger.
   She reached back and tagged the panic button under the counter and primed herself for the wait. Steam rose from the sink to dampen the back of her T-shirt.
   Everyone either had retired for the night or was downstairs on the research level in a supersecret meeting—not so secret if she knew about it. They might as well have had the meeting in the kitchen, because if she lived through this, she would know the details in bits and pieces by the end of tomorrow anyway. And if she died, she'd take the secrets with her.
   She giggled a little hysterically, then went for an old-fashioned, "Who's there?"
   He wasn't a ghost or a wraith. A ghost, like that mean, hollow-eyed girl who haunted Segue, could scare her but couldn't do much else. And a wraith would've killed her already and eaten her soul. The intruder wasn't beautiful like the angels who'd been in and out of Segue this last year. And the fae were trapped in Twilight.
   Which left something new. Goody. She got to be today's ambassador to the paranormal.
   "Just so you know," Marcie said to the kitchen, "I'm using you for a raise."
   Most of the staff were required to do some defensive training; she was required to feed them. But she was proud of her fast and even chopping skills, had her tool of choice in hand—the only knife a chef needs really—and was prepared to use it, even if she had to flail into open air.
   She held her breath to listen for the slightest movement. Felt something cold … there.
   She struck out as an unearthly light shimmered into sight on the other side of the island. A little girl in gold ringlets and a pinafore appeared out of nowhere, ultrareal yet otherworldly. Segue's ghost. Her eyes were hollow, and her expression was contorted with rage. Behind her face lurked another, that of a grown woman, bitter and violent. Darkness was etched around her as if she were punched out of time.
   "This is my place!" the girl shrieked in the direction of the lasagna dishes on the island.
   The ghost's anger blasted through the air like ripples on water, and for a moment, the intruder was revealed. A man, on the thin side. Average height. He'd recoiled at the ghost's appearance, then glanced at Marcie, and she frowned at his black eyes. Oh. You're one of those. He was clutching a black dagger, ready to kill. And he was now standing close enough to strike.


GK: Oooh, love it! So, what's next for you?
EK:
Up next for me is Hotter On The Edge, a sci-fi romance anthology. For excerpts, buy links, and details, visit www.HotterOnTheEdge.com.

GK: Erin, thanks for being here today! And thank you also for your contest, which is open internationally.

Erin will be giving away one e-copy to one lucky commenter, winner's choice of the books at her website, so check out all the prize options and then answer this: What's your favorite thing about shadows?

Contest will run through Wednesday, March 6th. Winner will be announced Thursday, March 7th. Winner will have until Monday, March 11th to respond via email to gini@ginikoch.com with full name, email address, book selected, and requested e-format. If the winner does not reply by the 11th, the Gods of Random will snatch back the prize and demand a new sacrifice.

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31 Comments:

Anonymous Jesse said...

So... is this where you answer? :P
well, my favorite thing about Shadows is that they are malleable, add a little much needed cool on hot days and can't judge. Yeah...
thank you so much for the contest!

February 28, 2013 at 12:00 AM  
Blogger Sharon Stogner said...

they can look like something they are not... a stack of toys can look like a monster. LOVE LOVE LOVE all the Shadow books.
(don't enter me, I own them all )

February 28, 2013 at 3:56 AM  
Blogger Eli Yanti said...

Sounds a great book. Shadows.. I don't have any fave.

February 28, 2013 at 4:12 AM  
Blogger erin said...

Thanks for the fun interview and congrats to Erin on the success of her series :) I like shadows b/c they can pretty much be anything you want... good or bad :)

February 28, 2013 at 6:55 AM  
Blogger Betty Hamilton said...

I don't have a favorite....YET! Would love to win this one. It might just be my favorite!! Best Wishes!!

February 28, 2013 at 10:47 AM  
Blogger Heather said...

As I have not read them yet I will say my favorite thing is the potential to have a new author to become addicted to.

February 28, 2013 at 11:15 AM  
Blogger A Buckeye Girl Reads said...

The best part of shadows is that you never know what is lurking behind them! I haven't read any of the shadow books, but can't wait to-I have heard such great things about them.

February 28, 2013 at 11:20 AM  
Blogger Denise Z said...

Thank you for taking the time and effort to share with us today, it is awesome to meet a fellow eavesdropper or as I term it lurker. Yes love shadows, they are the ultimate eavesdroppers and are mysterious. You never know who is there observing and if you look too close they disappear. Of course we follow along and enjoy all the doings, but if there is something to be said The Shadow will make its presence known. Shadows are mystery with a mission :)
dz59001[at]gmail[dot]com

February 28, 2013 at 11:25 AM  
Blogger Victoria said...

The best part about Shadows is they can cover up what shouldn't be seen.
vsloboda(at)gmail(dot)com

February 28, 2013 at 12:05 PM  
Blogger Bells said...

Oh shadows are scary because sometimes one doesn't know what's making the shadow! Eeeeeeek! Okay yeah when I was a child I was freaked out by shadows at night. I still don't like seeing a shadow on the wall at night. o_O
belliecjkf7@gmail.com

February 28, 2013 at 12:25 PM  
Blogger The Writer Librarian said...

My favorite thing about shadows is they always have a way of changing shape. Nothing is ever permanent--which can be a glorious and terrifying thing. Great interview, and thanks for sharing the excerpt!

February 28, 2013 at 1:56 PM  
Blogger Melissa (Books and Things) said...

Man I need Soul Kissed. Oh and sorry to hear about your gall bladder. I understand that hurts!

What is my fave thing about shadows? Shadowman of course! He is one swoony shadow! :D

February 28, 2013 at 2:03 PM  
Anonymous Jessa Slade said...

Writers shouldn't have access to WebMD :) You could've had bubonic plague!

February 28, 2013 at 6:02 PM  
Anonymous Erin Kellison said...

@Jesse: yes shadows are in high demand in summer here in AZ :) Thanks for the comment!

February 28, 2013 at 6:49 PM  
Anonymous Erin Kellison said...

Hi @Sharon!!! You're the best! *hugs*

February 28, 2013 at 6:52 PM  
Anonymous Erin Kellison said...

@Eli: Thanks for the comment!

February 28, 2013 at 6:52 PM  
Anonymous Erin Kellison said...

@erin: thanks for the comment and for the kind words!

February 28, 2013 at 6:55 PM  
Anonymous Erin Kellison said...

@Betty: Thanks for the comment, best wishes to you too!

February 28, 2013 at 6:56 PM  
Anonymous Erin Kellison said...

@Heather: ooh good one, I like that kind of addiction :)

February 28, 2013 at 6:58 PM  
Anonymous Erin Kellison said...

@Buckeye Girl: Thanks for the kind words and for stopping by!

February 28, 2013 at 7:00 PM  
Anonymous Erin Kellison said...

@Denise: wow, well said, great description! Lurkers Unite! :)

February 28, 2013 at 7:02 PM  
Anonymous Erin Kellison said...

@Victoria: yes, good point :) very handy, those shadows. Thanks for stopping by!

February 28, 2013 at 7:04 PM  
Anonymous Erin Kellison said...

@Bells: ME TOO!!! Totally freaked me out when I was a kid. Ok, sometimes as an adult too :)

February 28, 2013 at 7:07 PM  
Anonymous Erin Kellison said...

@Writer Librarian: Hey Karen! "Glorious and terrifying"...great way to put it :) Hope all is well with you!

February 28, 2013 at 7:11 PM  
Anonymous Erin Kellison said...

Hey @Melissa! Hurts is an understatement - think childbirth. Yeah, not fun.

Love your answer :) Shadowman has a special place in my heart *hugs*

February 28, 2013 at 7:14 PM  
Anonymous Erin Kellison said...

@Jessa: are you kidding? I have WebMD bookmarked. :)

February 28, 2013 at 7:19 PM  
Anonymous Erin Kellison said...

@Gini: Thanks so much for having me! You're awesome. Can't wait to get together!

February 28, 2013 at 7:20 PM  
Blogger Mary Preston said...

Shadows can hide the truth!!

marypres(AT)gmail(DOT)com

March 1, 2013 at 2:26 AM  
Blogger Heather said...

My favorite things about shadows is all the potential of what could be.

March 1, 2013 at 12:36 PM  
Blogger Erin Quinn said...

Big fan of you both. Love the interview! Keep it real or, if that doesn't work, make it fun! :)

March 1, 2013 at 2:45 PM  
Blogger Eva Millien said...

I have not been lucky enough to read any of the Shadow books, but they sound like they would be a very interesting and good book.

March 1, 2013 at 3:10 PM  

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