Can you tell us a little about yourself?
I’m the author of the Shadow series, including Shadow Bound, Shadow Fall, and coming this September from Zebra, Shadowman. I am really excited as well about my June release, an enovella called Shadow Touch (also from Zebra). When I’m not writing, I’m hanging out with my family. I’m also trying to take up photography. So far I’m bad at it, but I have fantasies in which I win prizes.
Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
When I was a kid, I used to tell myself stories in my head. Still do. I don’t remember ever thinking, “I want to be a writer when I grow up,” but I asked for a typewriter for Christmas when I was nine and attempted my first novel in sixth grade. I think it’s just always been there. It took having kids to pursue it seriously.
I have a nice time following you on Twitter. In 140 characters or less, sum Shadow Touch for us.
This is so tough, but here goes:
Ellie’s shadow has its own mind—it can kiss, touch…kill. Cam studies them, but the more he learns, the more he’s seduced. It’s all trouble.
What surprised you the most about the writing/publishing process?
How long it takes! And not just writing the book, which feels fast to me every time. It’s the stretch after I turn it in that seems to take forever. But then, I guess I am eager to see it on the page. And in my family, I am very well known for being impatient.
What were your inspirations for creating this story?
In my Shadow series, Shadow (capital S) is magic, and it is seeping into the world and changing everything. Writing Shadowman, I wondered about every day shadow (lower case s) and what would happen if someone’s shadow was independent from their body. What would the shadow be like? How would the dualized person cope? And there you have my very desperate Ellie Russo and her hedonistic shadow.
Most people will/have probably found this book to leave them aching for the next book, how long did it take you to write it, and did you have any writer’s block along the way?
The novella took me about three weeks to write, and since I had originally conceived it as a full novel, I didn’t have any writer’s block. Actually, I had to cut out elements that I loved. The good news is that I can save those bits for other stories. I already have the wheels turning in my head. A full novel takes me about five months to write. I don’t know that I’ve ever had writer’s block, but every once in a while I have a chapter that doesn’t work. I usually rework and rework until I think I’ve got it. I’ve rarely been stopped cold.
How do you develop your plots and characters? Do you use any set formula?
I don’t have a formula, but my process is relatively the same. I start with a character. I have a basic idea about what I want to do with him or her, but how I get there is a mystery until I finish writing the story. Take Ellie Russo—she’s been in my head for a while, fighting with her shadow. I imagined (for about five seconds) what it would be like if my shadow could take on a life of its own, and I scared myself good. Once the character and situation came alive for me, the story played out in my head. My fingers just had to catch up on my laptop.
I just love the men in books. How did you come up with the character Cam?
I already had Ellie in mind. Cam was a hero in the making. I started with a nice guy—super smart, good looking, generally decent. He has his life planned and has worked hard to achieve his ambitious goals. He should have a good life in front of him. Until he meets Ellie. Ellie messes everything up, challenges him, takes him apart and dares him to go from merely good to great.
If you could pick one actor to portray Cam on the big screen who would it be and why?
Ian Somerhalder. The man has gorgeous eyes. Dreamy eyes. And so does Cam.
What, in your opinion, are the most important elements of good writing?
The most important element, I think, is voice. The technical aspects can always be tightened. The structure can be tweaked. Plot can be reworked. But voice is the hardest to capture and hold. For me, without voice, the story will collapse.
This was a great story set with different worlds. Was there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
For this story, my deadline was challenging. The story itself came fast and easy to my fingers. I had planned for plenty of time, but you know about the best laid plans…. I was writing it mostly in December with all of the holiday hoopla going on. My family and I traveled to my sister’s house for a visit, and when we got back, everyone but me had a mean flu. I’m talking the Martian Death Flu. We needed the scary guys in government anti-contamination suits to quarantine the house. We all lived, though, and I got my story in on time.
What were your feelings when you first saw the cover of your finished book?
Shadow Touch is a novella, but I was very lucky to get a gorgeous cover with fire flowers and the dark trees of my Shadowlands, lit by a burning moon. It’s very resonant of my series as a whole and I love it. When I first saw it, I grinned and thought, Yeah, baby!
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
My goal when writing is to entertain, but if there is a message, maybe it’s simply to accept yourself and find power in who you are. All my characters have to stretch themselves beyond what they thought they were capable of. I think that’s a universal desire that readers can respond to.
Amazon link: http://www.amazon.com/Shadow-Touch-ebook/dp/B004NEW59S/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1301851967&sr=8-5
Barnes & Noble link: http://search.barnesandnoble.com/Shadow-Touch/Erin-Kellison/e/9781420123951/?itm=5&USRI=erin+kellison
My website: http://www.erinkellison.com/
Shadow Touch page on ErinKellison.com: http://www.erinkellison.com/books/shadowTouch.html
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Signed copies of Shadow Bound and Shadow Fall