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Monday, February 21, 2011

Ten Tantalizing Questions & Giveaway with Kelly Keaton, author of Darkness Becomes Her!

Today I'd like to extend a warm welcome to Kelly Keaton, author of Darkness Becomes Her. Kelly stopped by to discuss her book which releases this week on February 22nd! She brought along a signed copy to giveaway to one lucky winner too (see details below). Let's get started!

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. She likes pre-Raphaelite art, moonlight on snow, and MMORPGs. She lives in North Carolina with her family, one Great Dane, and two incredibly hairy cats.
Kelly’s alter ego, Kelly Gay, is a 2010 double RITA finalist and a recipient of North Carolina’s Art Council fellowship grant in literature. She writes the Charlie Madigan series for Pocket Books. Official Website | Twitter | Facebook

1.       Darkness Becomes Her is a dark urban fantasy novel set in New Orleans.  Ari, a girl who always has been different finds herself amongst the city’s deadly creatures, all which seem afraid of her. Can you tell us a little more about the book and share with us a favorite line, scene or passage?

 I like to think of the book as this slightly futuristic, edgy, teen clash of the titans in this haunting post apocalyptic-like setting, only everything is twisted and things you thought you knew about Greek mythology are no where near the truth, and Ari is at the center of it all. One of my favorite passages takes place between the little girl, Violet, and Ari in Lafayette Cemetery. (This would be an example of why I love Violet so much!):

       Goose bumps sprouted along my cold thighs and arms. Drizzle had forced a low mist to the ground, a thin gray shroud upon the grass. The sky above was lost in a sea of thick clouds, and the gnarled branches of the oak tree nearby spread out like dark lighting against the sky.

        "She'll be back soon," Violet said. "What are you going to do?"

        I glanced at the tomb where [name ommitted] had appeared. "I don't know."

        "You should kill her."      

2.       What three words would you say best describe Darkness Becomes Her?

Creepy. Lush. Forsaken.

3.       What do you love most about the main characters in your book?

I love that Ari doesn't fit in, that she's on this journey to find her place in the world. I love that she's practical and not overly angsty. She knows how to fight and how to take care of herself. Life has hardened her; she hasn't been brought up like your typical teen. And I like that she plays by her own rules and runs her own life. She's a warrior at heart, a hero. I have a special place in my heart for dark little Violet and the mystery that surrounds her as well as for Sebastian and the other lost kids of the Garden District.

4.       If Darkness Becomes Her was to be made into a movie, do you have certain actors you envision in the lead roles, or do you think unknowns would be best suited to play them?

I've never linked an actress to Ari, and no one pops into my head at the moment. I do think, after seeing Ben Barnes in Dorian Gray, that he really (with some minor alterations) resembles the vision in my mind of Sebastian. *fans self*

5.       If you had to pick a theme song for Ari, which one would you pick and why?

Ari kind of goes through a progression of themes. Bring me to Life by Evanescence is a nod to opening her heart to the possibility of romance and the unfolding of her curse. Untitled by Simple Plan is that initial realization of what she is, that utter defeat and heartbreak (and it's also a nod to her difficult past as well). And then at the very end of the book (don't want to give it away), but the chorus to Fighter by Christina Aquilera is a little thrown-down (the middle finger, if you will) to a certain goddess. :D    
6.       What were you like as a teenager and did you have any books in particular that were your favorites? If your teenage self was to read Darkness Becomes Her, what do you think she’d say?

As a teen, I had a good group of friends and did well in school and sports (played field hockey and some soccer), but I always felt like an observer, an introvert, and I was more comfortable and at ease when I was alone and with thoughts. I daydreamed - a lot. I had horses and loved to just jump on bareback and go off by myself for hours. There's something magical and natural about daydreaming on the back of a horse! And since I couldn't time travel or jump into an alternate reality, I read. I adored Egyptian, Greek, Celtic, and Arthurian mythology and read everything I could get my hands on. Anne Rice's Interview With The Vampire was a huge favorite as a teen. It's what first drew me to New Orleans and started my obssession with the city. I think my teenage self would really respond to DBH. I drew from a lot of dark emotions, as well as my own hopes and fears when I was a teen. This is the kind of book I like to read, that I'd get excited over. All the things I love -- darkness, beauty, edge, romance, a fierce heroine, gods, powers, magic, heartbreak... It's all there. I think the teenage Kelly would like. :-) 

7.       If you could inhabit the life of one literary character and dive into their world for just one day, who would you choose and why?

Oh gosh, this is so hard to pick just one! I think my answer would change every day, but today I pick: Merlin. :D Then, I'd get to work magic, converse with dragons, see Arthur and Camelot and all the knights of the round table. I'd be able to communicate with the Lady of the Lake, the priestesses of Avalon and learn all about the worlds of the fae and the Celtic gods...   

8.       What would you say is the best advice you’ve been given as an author?

To not forget to live in the present. As an author I spend most of my days in other worlds. I'm working on books that don't come out for another year or so and my thoughts are often crammed with not only my fictional worlds, but future things (deadlines releases, etc). It's so easy to get lost in that and have it take up my attention even when I'm done writing. Sometimes I have to remind myself to stop. To enjoy the day I'm actually in. To pull myself out of the imaginary and the future to enjoy the present.
9.       When you have a free day with no responsibilities looming overhead, and your only mission is to enjoy yourself, what do you like to do for fun?

 Well, if I can manage to get thoughts of work out of my head (see above answer, LOL), I like to get outside and into the fresh air. Spend time with my family. Or recharge my creative batteries by reading or watching a movie. And if I'm really needing some 'me' time, I go shopping. I can spend hours at Kohl's!
 10.    Darkness Becomes Her, your debut YA novel releases in February 2011. What can we look forward to from you next? Any new series or other upcoming projects in the works?

I have an adult novel coming out in August (the 3rd in my Charlie Madigan (urban fantasy) series that I write as Kelly Gay), then next February brings the sequel to Darkness Becomes Her. And when I have free time, I work on Violet's story -- that strange little kid has an amazing tale to tell! :-) 

Want more? Be sure to check out Once Upon a Twilight for more tour stop information!

  1. Larissa's Bookish Life - Guest post/Giveaway - February 18th 2011
  2. The Bookish Type - Interview/Giveaway - February 20th 2011
  3. The Book Butterfly - Interview/Giveaway - February 21st 2011
  4. Paper Cut Reviews - Interview/Giveaway - February 22nd 2011 
  5. Fantastic Book Review - Book Summary/Excerpt/Interview/Review/Giveaway - February 21st-24th 2011
  6. Dark Faerie Tales - Interview - February 23rd 2011
  7. Wicked Awesome Books - Interview - February 25th 2011
  8. Lauren's Crammed Bookshelf - Interview - February 25th 2011
  9. Girl about Books - Interview - February 26th 2011
  10. Good Choice Reading - Guest post/Giveaway - February 27th 2011
  11. Once Upon a Twilight - Top Ten/Grand-prize Giveaway - February 28th 2011


1 SIGNED copy of 

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.

Official Rules:
1.You must be 13 year or older to enter.
2. INTERNATIONAL Entrants Welcome!
3. Entries must be received by Midnight EST on March 15th 2011
4.To enter to win, simply fill out the form below. Good luck!  


Niecole said...

Hi there!

Wow, thanks for the great interview... I'm adding this to my TBR list! I love Greek Mythology, and the author mentioned that all we know about it will be challenged? So its a must read for me then :)

Love the blog, Its so fresh and cute

Stop by any time

KimberlySue said...

This looks like a great read!!

Katie said...

I can't wait for this to come out! I'm super excited! great questions. Always nice to learn something about our authors. :)

- Katie

Vivien said...

I'm terribly excited for this novel. I can't wait to see how you incorporated greek mythology. I just love it.

TheGirlOnFire said...

This book has the most interesting title. I can't wait to read it.

latishajean said...

I heard alot about this book and can't wait to read it have it on my wishlist! Great interview I always enjoy yours!

mel u said...

Great interview-I was wondering why per Kelly and others there is so much focus on the paranormal among young adult authors and readers?

Jamie said...

I've seen this book around the book blogosphere and it sounds really interesting! Great interview and thanks for the giveaway as well.

Marg K. said...

I'm really looking forward to reading this because I'm a fan of the author's adult urban fantasy series (love the unique world building, action, and strong female protagonist. Plus, I've heard/read great things about it thus far.

Thanks for the giveaway!

Booklady said...

I've been looking forward to this book release. Kelly - what inspired you to write a young adult novel after working on an adult series?

Juju at Tales of Whimsy.com said...

A progression of themes. I like that! Great post!
(not an entry)

Cass (Words on Paper) said...

"Creepy. Lush. Forsaken. "sounds great! Sounds super dark.

Great questions! Thanks for the interview and the giveaway.


Sarah Lydia said...

Darkness Becomes Her looks amazing. Thanks for the giveaway and interview.:)

Nicole Loves Coacoa said...

I can't wait to read this, sounds amazing and thanks for the giveaway!!!!

Lisa said...

I can't wait to read this book :)

TwilightsDance said...

I loved all the questions!

Twilighter said...

Great Interview and thanks for making the giveaway International.

This books sounds amazing just the type of book I love to read.

Question for Kelly would be were is her favorite place to write?

Claire said...

Ah Kelly you had horses as a teen? *jealous* ;) Only thing I love more than books is horses but sadly having my own is not an option. Great interview! So excited to read DBH!!

Emily a.k.a WilowRaven : ) said...

Great interview girls! Kelly, I love your Charlie Madigan series and can not wait to read Darkness Becomes Her. Thank you! :)

Jill of The O.W.L. said...

Creepy. Lush. Foresaken. OMGosh that alone makes me want to read this book.

I also love the advice she received as an author. I think that's a good thing for all of us to remember.

BooksforCompany said...

l often forget that authors are ahead of us as one of their book is released they are working on another one. Must be hard to stay with the time now as Kelly said!
I would love this book to be made into a film!

Ana Lucia said...

Thank you for the giveaway Kelly and for making it international :)

Natasha said...

Great cover art! Who's your cover designer??

Kristina said...

Do you have an easier time writing YA or adult?

looking forward to reading Darkness Becomes Her!

♥Iffath said...

Fantastic interview! I've only just finished Darkness Becomes Her, totally LOVED it and I really need a sequel! It sucks that we have to wait a whole year! xD

Ricki said...

Is it more fun to write adult or YA?

Pisinat said...

Yay, thank you!! I'm so curious about this book! Thank you for making this giveaway international!

I love the words Kelly chose to describe her book, sooo intriguing ^^

I'm kinda fascinated by the New Orleans... I wish I could go there one day...

minhchieu said...

did you always want to be a writer?

Nicole Zoltack said...

Wow, this book sounds awesome! Can't wait to read it.

donnas said...

Great interview. Thanks for sharing. I really like Kelly's other books and am looking forward to this one too.

Jenny N. said...

Wow I didn't know that Kelly Keaton writes adult books also...will have to look up her adult series.

-petit said...

This book seems to be really good! It's already in my wishlist! And the cover makes me remember of the Caster Chronicles Series cover =o

Jolene Allcock and Family said...

This book sounds amazing and I can't wait to get my hands on it and can't wait to check out what you write under Kelly Gay

Pamk said...

Will this be a series and if so how many books are you contracted for? Sounds like a great story.

what...more books said...

Thanks for the great interview. this is book is on my TBR pile, it sounds very good and i can not wait to get my hands on it.
Thank you

Maidenveil said...

great interview! Now I'm really excited to read this book!

Jessica said...

What made you decide to intertwined Greek mythology into the story?

Which I LOVED by the way because I LOVE Greek myths!

van_pham said...

I love Kelly's Charlie Madigan series, can't wait to read the new YA novel!

Jessy said...

It seems like I've been waiting for this one forever! I can spend hours at Kohls too. They have so many things and such low prices :D

Minas said...

Great interview! I can't wait to read this book. Sounds really good. Thanks for the giveaway!

Kelly Gay said...

Love reading all the comments! Thanks everyone for reading the interview and the nice words about the book.

I'll try to answer some of the Qs, then it's back to Ari's sequel, which is due Friday!

mel u - I think escapism plays a big part in why paranormals are so popular. Lets us take a break from everyday life and sink into something extraordinary.

Booklady - The idea/story and Ari inspired the genre. I just went with it and it turned out to be a good fit for YA.

Twilighter - My recliner in my living room. So comfy!

Natasha - Cara Petrus. She's one of the designer at Simon & Schuster. Does a fabulous job!

Ricki - Hard to answer, lol. Thye're both fun, but for different reasons!

Minhchieu - I think so. I started telling stories when I was 4, lol. It seems to be in my nature and eventually I figured out the best way or medium to tell my stories was through the written word.

Pam K - I'm contracted for two books (1st and 2nd), but would love to write a couple more!

Jessica - I LOVE Greek mythology too! Not sure how it all came together intially. Think it was just me wanting to write something fun and what *I* would love to read about.

Thanks so much Kim for having me on your blog!!! :D

Kelly (Keaton)

D.R. said...

That is an interesting interview!The book also sounds like a good premise. Thanks for the giveaway!

IvaliceAlliance said...

Great interview. The book sounds really good.

ferretvamp14 said...

Awesome interview. I have heard really great things about this book. Can't wait to read it.

linaramz said...

I'm sooo looking forward to reading this! Sounds awesome! Thanks for the great interview and giveaway!

Emilie said...

This book sounds amazing !

Laina said...

I'd love to check out not only this but her UF series, too :)

Sharli said...

I can't wait to read this! I've heard many great things about your urban fantasy series but I've never had the chance to read it.
Thank you for the giveaway!

mbreakfield said...

Great interview! The book looks really good.

Nicci @ Paper Dreams said...

This books keeps sounding better and better! :D Thanks for the great interview, it made me even more psyched!! :D

Hoot said...

Thank you so much for the giveaway. While I was excited to read the book this interview made it more of a MUST READ than ever before.

Tara said...

Does Ari remind you of anyone you know in real life?

Love the interview! I can't wait to read this book!

Alice said...

great interview! this book sound interesting i can't wait to read it :D

thanks for the giveaway

Wildcherry said...

I'm a little behind on my blog reading so I'm trying to catch up. Thanks for the great interview!! Looking forward to reading this book :)

A Rick said...

This book sounds so good and I have read some awesome reviews. I can't wait to read it!

Fi-chan (Bookish-Escape) said...

Great advice there, not a writer but I'm kinda not in the present for now LOL

anyway, thanks for the giveaway!