Finally it is time to share the interview with you all and I really hope it will get some of you adding the book to your wishlist! Or even better, putting it in your shopping basket!
The second book in the Charlie Madigan series, The Darkest Edge of Dawn, is due out later this Summer but if you are interested in getting hold of a copy before it comes out, then make sure you enter this weeks contest!
Amber - Welcome to Amberkatze's Book Blog! It is great to have you here as a guest! Could you start things off by telling us a little about your Charlie Madigan Series?
Kelly - Thanks, Amber. It's great to be here! The Charlie Madigan series is about a single mom law enforcement officer who works in the city of Atlanta. But this is not your ordinary city. Thirteen years earlier scientists discovered two alternate dimensions, Elysia and Charbydon, and quickly realized that the worlds and the beings in them inspired our myths of heaven and hell, angels, demons, gods, and monsters. Unable to visit our world in secret any longer, these beings came out of the closet and have slowly integrated into our society. Underground Atlanta has become one of the largest 'off-world' sectors in the country. And it's Charlie's job to keep tabs on the population and to keep the peace. Helping in this endeavor is her partner Hank, a siren from Elysia.
Amber - How did you come up with the idea for the series? Was it a long process or was it something that just happened?
Kelly - I think I've always wanted to explore the possibilities of real supernatural creatures being the basis for many of our myths. The main idea for the story, however, came with Charlie and wanting to write about a single mom, to put her in a position where she has to make a choice between her work and her city, and protecting those she loves. I kept thinking of the fierce nature of a mother protecting her young, and how cool this would be in an urban fantasy setting/world. It all kind of fell into place after that.
Amber - Are you anything like Charlie? Are any of your characters based on people you know?
Kelly - No question, I'm like Charlie when it comes to my kids. But I'm also like her when it comes to second guessing myself, wondering if I have made the right or the best decisions, and not always leaning on others even though the offers are there. It's hard for me to ask for help, and I often feel like I have to shoulder burdens on my own so no one else I care for has to. Charlie does this, too. I think that's an aspect of her character that makes her very real.
Amber - I know book two is due out in August. What can we expect from The Darkest Edge of Dawn?
Kelly - Yep. Book too is out August 31st. Readers can expect a lot more of Hank! I really fell in love with him in the first book (how could I resist the lure of a frustrated male siren?), some 'hold on to your seat' moments, creepy events, and some romantic encounters. Readers will also be introduced to the Druid King (who I also have fallen in love with. Sorry, Hank!). And we'll see more of Emma and Rex, too.
Amber - How many books have you planned for the series? Are you working on anything else?
Kelly - I have four planned, but would love to do more, especially some stand alone novels that feature characters in Charlie's world. I'm also writing Young Adult under the penname Kelly Keaton. The first book, DARKNESS BECOMES HER, debuts from Simon Pulse in Feb. 2011. It's dark urban fantasy set in a post apocalyptic-like New Orleans that has been abandoned by our government and is now a sanctuary for things of a darker nature...
Amber - What kind of kind of research have you done for for the series so far? Anything interesting or is the research boring?
Kelly - My research mostly takes place on my couch. :-) I do a lot of reading: history, mythology, folklore... I've fired a few weapons as well and am pleased to say I'm a pretty good shot.
Amber - Did you always wanted to be an author? Why did you pick the Paranormal Urban Fantasy genre?
Kelly - I started telling tales when I was three years old. I wrote my first story in the 1st Grade. So, I guess you could say I've always, in some way, wanted to be a storyteller. It wasn't until I was in my teens that I decided I wanted to tell those stories via the written word. The fantasy/genre part of it was always there. I grew up on fairytales. My grandmother and my mother would take me for walks in the woods and point out fairy castles, playgrounds, and hiding spots, so my mind was open to the possibilities of the Unseen from an early age. I couldn't imagine writing without this aspect.
Amber - I am sure that being an author has its ups and downs. What experiences have you had so far?
Kelly - There have been really awesome 'ups' for sure. Seeing my book for the first time on the shelf at B&N . . . wow. I had great moments when I sold, when I held the book for the first time, but when I saw it there -- that really got me. Some of the best moments have been getting to know authors that I've been a fan of for a long time, and then being absolutely amazed when they've turned around and helped a newbie like myself. There are some really gracious people out there! The downside, would be the pressure to please every reader on earth (I know, not going to happen, but still...), trying to time manage myself, and to get to a point where I have a good balance between writing, real-life, and the business side of things like promoting, networking, etc...
Amber - Charlie was always a guys name for me. Why did you pick that name and how do you pick the names for your characters? Do they have any special meanings?
Kelly - Charlie is short for Charlene, which has a nice southern ring to it. And since my heroine is a southern girl, the name stood out. Only problem was that Charlene didn't exactly fit the character or personality of my heroine. But when I looked at nicknames, and Charlie came up, I was like "Yes! That's it!". I knew immediately that was her name, and that she'd always hated being called Charlene from a very early age. ;-)
I don't have a system for choosing names. It's really about the name fitting the personality that I see in my head.
Amber - What are you listening and watching lately? Is there any music or other media that influences your writing?
Kelly - I love Castle, Merlin, Ghost Hunters, Destination Truth, a lot of SyFy stuff obviously! I'm inspired most by art. I love the fantasy creations over at Glitter Graphics, and works by artists such as Luis Royo, Ciruelo Cabral, Jessica Galbreth, Amy Brown, Victoria Frances, and Nene Thomas. Love Pre-Raphaelite painters J.W. Waterhouse and Edmund Leighton. I can't listen to music while I write because I always end up paying attention to the lyrics more than my writing, but I love to listen to music in the planning stages or before I write a scene.
Amber - If you could be any paranormal creature, what would you be and why?
Kelly - I'd want to be a goddess. Then, I'd have the power to do anything. Live forever. Shapeshift. Control the elements. Time travel. Because we all know goddesses can do all these things and more. :D
Amber - Thank you for being a guest! I hope you will come back again!
Kelly - Absolutely! Thanks so much for having me!
Kelly is giving away a copy of her upcoming release, The Darkest Edge of Dawn. It won't be an ARC version but one of the final copies that Kelly will get at the beginning of August. So when she sends the book to the winner (depending on where they live and the speed of the postman/woman...) it should get to them well before the book is actually released at the end of August! Cool :)
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The contest will stay open until Sunday 25th of July 2010 4pm CET and the winner will be picked by a randomizer. Entrants should check back to see if they have won. I do not hunt down winners and will pick new winners for any prizes not claimed within 7 days.