It is with great pleasure that I welcome Erin Kellison here today to talk about Shadow Bound, the first novel in her Shadow series. The book will hit the shelves on June 29, 2010. Shadow Bound is also part of my Debut Urban Fantasy Reading Challenge.
One lucky commenter has a chance to win an autographed copy of Shadow Bound. Details are listed at the end of the post.
by Erin Kellison
Let’s talk Death, shall we? Yes, as in the Grim Reaper.
The question of the day is, if given the choice, how would you conceive of Death? What if Death appeared to humankind as each human perceives him? Would you make Death a monster? A beast? Something like Skeletor from He-Man?
Or maybe you’re the type who leans toward the Death-as-friend thing, like Touched by an Angel?
Death is the first point of view character in my upcoming release, Shadow Bound, and he wasn’t even supposed to be in the book. Now he’s so much a part of it, I can’t imagine the story any other way. Here’s how he came to be: I was doing some work to flesh out my heroine, Talia O’Brien. She’s a banshee and a half-breed, caught between the mortal world and the fae Shadowlands. In order to develop her character, I needed to get to know her parents. Her mom is a human woman, an artist. Her dad? Shadowman, aka Death.
I knew this in my head, but I couldn’t quite visualize how anyone could willingly love Death, much less bear his child. So, as an exercise, I wrote what is now the prologue to Shadow Bound. Not only did his character come to life, but his voice informed much of the world-building in the series. Wild how a character can do that. I certainly wasn’t looking for him. In the scene, he literally comes out of the shadows, kinda how he emerged from my imagination.
He’s got a scythe, and he’s all kinds of powerful. But that goes without saying. The twist is in individual perception, how each human shapes his appearance.
So what would it be? How would you shape Death? Would it be one of the versions above? If you’re like Talia’s mother, you’d end up with a much more… defined package.
Here’s a sneak peek at Shadow Bound:
Darkness lay heavy on his back, and he itched to cast his cloak away. Already she was aware of him. And her painting was proof that her view of Twilight was nigh unobstructed.
What harm could come of it, really? If he could not keep her long in Twilight, perhaps he might steal a moment here. Now.
Rending a thin layer of veil, the last remaining before her crossing, he stepped out of Twilight and into the half shadows of her room. Scents of the mortal world crowded around him, too many to discern individually. Except for her. She filled him with a single breath.
Her gaze darted to him. The brush fell to the floor. Her skin, already pale, washed white. Her eyes blinked like butterfly wings, blue-ringed indigo and fringed with curling black.
“Hush,” he said, reaching out a down-turned hand to calm the sudden shock and surprise that stopped her breath.
Her eyes filled with tears as she took in his presence, her mind working its mortal power to shape his form according to her soul’s deepest conception of what he would be. It did not change his essence; now and forever he would be the Final Courier. The Ultimate Host. Captain of the small boat that would carry her from the mortal world, across the waters of Twilight, and release her on the shore beyond.
But the form he took—that was in her keeping. If mortals only knew the power they wielded, they could reshape the three worlds with a thought. Perhaps one day they would.
What did she see when she looked at him at last? A nightmare concocted of fear, aged beyond reckoning and grotesque? It happened like that quite often. Those whose dread of the dark passage created a terror out of the ether, shaping him with their minds into a being bent on horror.
No. She did not fear time or Death. She did not tremble as he advanced closer to her. As he stepped forward to view her painting.
If you’d like more, my publisher has the full prologue available as a free read on their website here.
Erin Kellison is the author of the Shadow Series, which includes Shadow Bound and Shadow Fall. Stories have always been a central part of Erin Kellison’s life. She attempted her first book in sixth grade, a dark fantasy adventure, and still has those early hand-written chapters. She graduated summa cum laude with a degree in English Language and Literature, and went on for a masters in Cultural Anthropology, focusing on oral storytelling. When she had children, nothing scared her anymore, so her focus shifted to writing fiction. She lives in Arizona with her two beautiful daughters and husband, and she will have a dog (breed undetermined) when her youngest turns five.
One lucky commenter will have a chance to win an autographed copy of Shadow Bound.
To enter, leave a comment below answering the following question:
If given the choice, how would you conceive of Death?
1. +1 entry for answering the question (required).
2. +2 entries for becoming a follower of this blog and Dark Faerie Tales on Twitter.
3. +3 entries for tweeting about this contest, blogging about it, linking via your sidebar etc…(please tell me where!).
4. Giveaway is open to U.S. and Canada residents only.
5. Please include your email address in your comment.
6. Giveaway ends Thursday, July 15th at 11:59 PM EST.
7. The winners will be picked with the help of Random.org.
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