Please join us in welcoming author Kelly Gay here today to Dark Faerie Tales. Kelly recently celebrated the release of her newest Charlie Madigan novel. Shadows Before the Sun is the fourth novel in the acclaimed urban fantasy series.
I’m just your average bookworm who likes to spend an embarrassing amount of time in make-believe places.
I’ve had many jobs from construction (I can drive a backhoe, tar and shingle a roof, and frame out a house) to waiting on tables, threading film through a projector, managing horse farms, and selling men’s underwear (a talent, I tell you!).
In the writing world, I’m a 2010 double RITA finalist, a three-time RWA Golden Heart finalist, and a recipient of an NC Arts Council Fellowship grant in Literature.
Want to read more from Kelly Gay?
DFT: Could you start things off by telling us a little about Shadows Before the Sun?
Kelly: Shadows is the 4th book in the Charlie Madigan series. It follows Charlie as she attempts to rescue her siren partner Hank from the torturous hands of three wicked sirens known as the Circe.
DFT: Could you tell us about your main characters in your Charlie Madigan Series?
Kelly: Charlie is a 31 year old single mom to a 12 year old daughter, Emma. They live together with Rex, a revenant who once took possession of Charlie’s ex-husband’s body (by invitation, not force), but who has since claimed the body entirely. It makes for an interesting household! Hank is another central character. He’s a siren from Elysia with some skeletons in his closet and a keen interest in Charlie.
DFT: Who is your favorite character in this series and why?
Kelly: I tend to cycle through favorites. Hank was my favorite character to write about in this last book, and I always enjoy writing Charlie and Emma. But I think Rex never cycles out of my ‘favorites’ category. He is so full of contradictions, irreverence, sarcasm, and humor… He has the biggest heart, too.
DFT: Do you have a favorite scene or line in Shadows Before the Sun?
Kelly: I have two. When Charlie wakes in (well, I can’t give it away) and says, “I’ve died and gone to Harry Winston’s”. And the last scene in the book, where we’re in Hank’s point of view as he walks behind Charlie and Rex in the Grove.
DFT: How much research went into creating this series?
Kelly: I’m a mythology and ancient history junkie, so in the initial crafting of the series idea, I didn’t have to delve too far to get what I needed to create the worlds of Elysia and Charbydon, or the beings in them. With each book, I’ve done a nice chunk of research, but I do my research after the fact. Questions come up during the writing process, I make a note, and the research happens after the draft is done. Otherwise I’d get lost in the research and spend far too much time looking at things that aren’t really necessary for the book.
DFT: What is your favorite part about writing this series?
Kelly: Now that I’m a few books into the series, I really enjoy the sense of familiarity I have with my characters. I don’t feel like I’m creating them anymore, but more that they are simply telling me their stories and evolving on their own. They have lives of their own now, they dictate things, and they say and do things that surprise me.
DFT: Do you have a long term plan or goal for this story universe?
Kelly: I’m not a planner, so I don’t think too far ahead. I’m not done with Charlie, and I know the next story I write will be about Charlie and Hank solving the murder in the Grove, which happened in SHADOWS BEFORE THE SUN and the after affects of Hank’s torture, (as that’s something which will take some time to get over and resolve for him). They still have a bumpy road ahead. Other than that, I know I want to write THE DRUID KING, which will be Pen’s story. After that, we shall see…
DFT: You also write YA under the name Kelly Keaton, how does your writing style vary from writing books geared towards adult to books that are geared towards the young?
Kelly: I don’t think my style varies too much. It’s more the characters that are varied. Charlie is 31 yrs old. She knows who she is, and what she wants out of life. Ari, my heroine in the YAs, is just learning who and what she is… They are at very different points in their lives/journeys, so that’s the biggest difference.
DFT: Do you have a particular writing process or ritual?
Kelly: No rituals per se. I prefer writing on my laptop, but can do Alpha Smart or by hand if necessary. My process is basically to have no process at all, LOL. Each book, I’ve written differently than the one before (as far as outlining, planning, writing sequentially, etc..). They tend to come out of me how they want to. For instance, this last one I stewed for several months, letting the story develop in my head, and then I wrote it in two months. Another book, I planned out every chapter. Another, I wrote with no outline for a few chapters and then planned the next few…
DFT: What influences and inspirations (both literary and non-literary) do you draw from while writing?
Kelly: Mythology, ancient history, and religion. I adore artwork. I can’t listen to music while I write because the lyrics distract me and take the place of my inner voice. But art can really inspire me. I love the stuff you can find on Deviant Art, and I love the Pre-Raphaelite artists.
DFT: Which genre do you prefer to read? Do you have any favorite authors or series?
Kelly: I don’t like to read in the genre I write in when I’m writing it. So when I’m writing my UFs, I tend to read a lot of contemporary romance. I’m a huge fan of Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Jennifer Crusie, Kristan Higgins, Jill Shalvis, Lynn Kurland, Janet Chapman… I also love Karen Marie Moning and Sherrilyn Kenyon. I’m a longtime Menyon.
DFT: What can you tell us about any other projects you are working on?
Kelly: I’m currently writing a short story for an anthology, the news of which will be released shortly, I think. After that, it’s full steam ahead on my third YA, and then I’ll delve into more Charlie.
DFT: What creature are you afraid of the most? Why?
Kelly: Snakes. An unholy, hyperventilating, nauseating, irrational fear, which I cannot explain. I was bitten by a water snake when I was little, but even before that happened I was insanely afraid of them.
DFT: What is your favorite faery tale?
Kelly: The Light Princess. It’s a Scottish fairy tale. I’ve also always loved Beauty & the Beast.
DFT: I want to thank you for taking the time to answer these questions.
Kelly: You’re very welcome!
Available July 31, 2012 from Pocket Books/Simon & Schuster
About this Book:
The electrifying sequel to the acclaimed urban fantasies The Better Part of Darkness, The Darkest Edge of Dawn, and The Hour of Dust and Ashes!
After filling out mountains of paperwork, Detective Charlie Madigan sets out for a death-defying trip into heavenly Elysia to rescue her partner Hank and bring the siren home. Of course, she doesn’t expect to leave behind an all out siren revolution or return home to find that jinn crime boss, Grigori Tennin, has begun a massive search for the divine being, Ahkneri. Tennin’s tactics set off a chain reaction that puts Charlie in the crosshairs of the shadowy creature known as Death and awakens Ahkneri from her long sleep. And when Vengeance rises, Atlanta will never be the same.
Click HERE to read an excerpt
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