Today, I am honored to feature an interview with Kelly Keaton, author of the Gods & Monsters Series!
Kelly loves ancient history, fantasy, and mythology. She dreams of one day attaining magical powers, discovering the secret to immortality, ridding her home of pet hair, and being crowned Mardi-Gras queen. As Kelly Gay, she writes the popular adult urban fantasy series, Charlie Madigan, for Pocket Books. While she calls Raleigh, NC, home, she can also be found chatting about books and life on Facebook and Twitter.
Tell us something unique about yourself.
I can’t go to bed if there are any cabinet doors or drawers open in my house.
What inspired you to become a writer?
So many things! Besides being a storyteller from toddler age, I was and still am inspired by mythology, ancient history, and all things fantastical.
What inspired your first published series, Gods & Monsters?
The series is based heavily on Greek mythology, so that’s where the inspiration was born. I was hooked on myths from about the age of 8 or 9, and the Medusa myth has always been a favorite. My other source of motivation came from wanting to write a strong female teen lead who learns to accept herself and her differences.
What was it like to write Ari and her story? What influenced you to integrate Sebastian POV in the final novel?
I love writing Ari. It goes back to that strong female, kick butt type of character. Ari is also conflicted and imperfect. To me, those are the best kinds of characters to write about, the ones with flaws, who make mistakes, and who, hopefully, learn from them. Sebastian’s POV wasn’t planned, but by the third book, he became a character who needed space to tell his side of what was happening to him. I felt it was a stronger, more personal way to impart to the reader his trials and tribulations.
You created such a diverse world in Gods & Monsters. Could you tell us what it was like creating such a melting pot of different mythical beings?
Thank you. It was a lot of fun. 🙂 World building is one of my favorite aspects. The setting and the beings come from my love of New Orleans and the rich tapestry of diversity found there. The beings are plentiful, but I felt this was keeping in tune with the nature of the city itself, and the creation mythos of my fictional world.
You also published another novel, Embers in a Dark Frost. Could you tell us a little about it?
I did. Embers is my first Indie published novel, and it pulls heavily from Irish and Celtic mythology. The book reached the #1 Kindle bestselling spot for historical fantasy, which I’m still tickled about after all these months. The story follows the journey of a half human, half Child of Anu named Deira, who (due to her human blood and red hair—a purely human trait) is a feared and constant reminder of human betrayal and the war that claimed the light from her homeland, Innis Fail. Subsequently, darkness and frost begin to creep across the land, strengthening the Lord of the Underworld, and putting him within reach of ruling the land. To prevent this, an allegiance between Deira’s people and the Fire Breathers is vital. When their champion, Balen, sees Deira, he believes her to be the key to finding the light and stopping the dark frost. But the Underworld and its King calls to her, tempting her to turn her back on a world that never cared… I had a lot of fun writing Balen and his nemesis, Nox, King of the Underworld. And Deira went from a girl who didn’t believe in herself to one who learns she can change the world. Good times. 🙂
If you could date any one of your characters, who would it be and why?
Oh, what a great question! That is sooo hard to answer. I have a special place for all my heroes. I’m not sure I could pick just one. Besides the ones mentioned here, I have those in my Charlie Madigan series (which I write as Kelly Gay). There’s Hank, the sexy siren who holds the power of creation and destruction in his hands. Pendaran (aka, Pen), the Druid King who can shift into a dragon. Leander, of unknown origin but intensely and divinely powerful… you see why this is too difficult to pick one! I love all my guys. Ha.
Do you have any other books in the works? What are your future goals?
My goals are to focus more on the Indie side of things. I found such a passion for the process – of being completely in charge of my product that I want to diversify and see what I can make of myself on my own. I’m writing a spin-off of the Gods & Monsters series, planning the sequel to Embers in a Dark Frost, working on another Charlie Madigan book, as well as a couple secret projects…
What advice would you give an aspiring author?
To keep writing and don’t put all your eggs in one basket. The more you write, the more you learn, and subsequently produce. Content is key. If your goal is to be traditionally published, a large percentage of writers do not sell their first book, so you must be prepared with another manuscript, and another… If you’re Indie publishing, having several books out there increases income and discoverability and so on.
Where is your favorite place to write?
My couch in my office. With feet up on the ottoman, of course! I also like to write on my back deck when the weather is nice.
Which do you prefer: longhand writing or via laptop?
What is your favorite genre to read?
I cycle through genres. Right now I’m stuck on contemporary romance.
Cats or dogs?
Warm weather climates or cold weather climates?
Warm. Though, I do love the snow…
What is the best thing that ever happened to you?
Thank you, Kelly!! In honor of this interview, I’m giving away one paperback copy of Darkness Becomes Her. Open until midnight, March 10th. To enter, complete the Rafflecopter form -> a Rafflecopter giveaway
Darkness Becomes Her (Gods & Monsters #1)
Ari can’t help feeling lost and alone. With teal eyes and freakish silver hair that can’t be changed or destroyed, Ari has always stood out. And after growing up in foster care, she longs for some understanding of where she came from and who she is.
Her search for answers uncovers just one message from her long dead mother: Run. Ari can sense that someone, or something, is getting closer than they should. But it’s impossible to protect herself when she doesn’t know what she’s running from or why she is being pursued.
She knows only one thing: she must return to her birthplace of New 2, the lush rebuilt city of New Orleans. Upon arriving, she discovers that New 2 is very…different. Here, Ari is seemingly normal. But every creature she encounters, no matter how deadly or horrifying, is afraid of her.
Ari won’t stop until she knows why. But some truths are too haunting, too terrifying, to ever be revealed.
A Beautiful Evil (Gods & Monsters #2)
Myth and mayhem inhabit a richly reimagined New Orleans in this sequel to Darkness Becomes Her.After the epic graveyard battle at the end of Darkness Becomes Her, Ari and her friends know what they’re up against: Ari is facing the Medusa curse and is haunted by the image of what she will become. To make matters worse, the heinous goddess Athena has kidnapped young Violet and is threatening to destroy Ari.
Ari, along with the superhot Sebastian, is doing everything she can to learn more about Athena and to get Violet back. But the battle of good and evil is bigger than she realizes, and she’s about to be pulled into a world more horrific than she could ever imagine….
The Wicked Within (Gods & Monsters #3)
Ancient lore leads to present danger in the final book in the dark and sexy paranormal romance trilogy about a descendent of Medusa, set in a richly reimagined New Orleans.
Her fate is not set in stone.
Having temporarily defeated Athena, Ari races to break the gorgon curse that has plagued the women in her family for centuries. Her one lead sends her on a quest for the Hands of Zeus, an ancient relic last seen in the charge of New 2’s ruling elite, the Novem. But if there is one thing that Athena desires as much as revenge, it’s the Hands of Zeus—and Athena always gets what she wants.
Before either can locate the Hands, the statue goes missing, and a trail of blood follows those who once protected the relic’s secrets. Ari knows that her city, her friends, Sebastian—her life—depend upon her finding the statue before Athena. And with rumors an ancient power is on the rise, that may not be her only concern…
Embers in a Dark Frost
The Fire Breathers have come. The Underworld calls. A choice must be made…
With her feared half blood and flame-colored hair, DEIRA D’ANU is a constant reminder of human betrayal and the war that claimed the light from Innis Fail. Now, darkness and frost creep across the land, strengthening the Lord of the Underworld. War is imminent—an allegiance with the Fire Breathers is vital. When their champion, Balen, sees Deira, he believes she is the key to finding the light and stopping the dark frost….
But the Underworld calls to Deira, tempting her to turn her back on a world that never cared and betray the champion willing to sacrifice everything to keep her safe and save his world from darkness.