Welcome! I have had the opportunity to play the 20 questions game with Ellen Keener, author of Blood Moon (which by all accounts is a FANTASTIC read - it's next on my "to read" list).
So here we go: The 20 Questions Game with Ellen Keener
1. Do you have a favorite author or book? What about them appeals to you?
a. Oh, this is a tough one. I love Shakespeare. I love Jane Austen. Modern stuff? Katie MacAlister and Bill Bryson. Why? Well, Shakespeare and Austen just knew how to use a word to its full advantage. Katie MacAlister is great fun, and her novels are always full of action, romance, and conflict. Bryson is a travel writer, and I love reading about (and visitinig) new places. I also love his humor.
2. Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
a. This is the part where I wax poetic about the meaning behind my words. Sadly, the only meaning I intentionally put there was that you should never give up on love. Even when you think there’s no chance left. Anything else you get, well, if its bad, I didn’t mean it, if its good, it was totally my idea.
3. Favorite literary character? Why them?
a. Jane Eyre. She wasn’t gorgeous, but she worked hard and she stuck to what she believed in, and while she had a rocky start, she still got what she wanted.
4. What book are you reading now?
a. I’m in the middle of two – Disney After Dark 2 and The Silent Governess. I know, both ends of the spectrum.
5. What genre is your favorite to write?
a. I love paranormal and steampunk. I must admit a leaning towards the steampunk side, just because I’m a techno geek. J
6. What do you think makes a good story?
a. Conflict, romance, and a healthy dose of humor.
7. What are your current Works In Progress?
a. I’m currently writing a steampunk romance using some characters from a Young Adult story I wrote, as well as the first book in a series. That one is a paranormal/urban fantasy about a family of brothers called the Seven Seals. I think it will be great fun. J
8. What is the hardest part of writing?
a. Not being sidetracked. I have a horrible habit of getting in a tangent. Other than that, it is keeping my characters in line. I don’t really outline because even when I go, I’ll be writing, knowing where I’m going, get to the bottom of the page, and realize the characters just did something that changes everything.
9. What’s one guilty pleasure you enjoy?
a. I don’t know if its guilty or not, but I collect fairytale movies. Lilke I own every version of Beauty and the Beast ever made. It’s a little ridiculous actually. J If we’re talking food – Sugar pie. It will rot your teeth, but oh man….yum!
10. What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
a. I have this weird tendency to name all my characters with L names. I don’t know why. I’ve been making a conscience effort to stop. But it still pops up. I also get really nerdy when I’m into a book or just starting a “good part” and will make a tray with china tea cup, sugar, cream, tea strainer, and teapot with cozy to bring back to my “office” with me.
11. If you could live in a book’s fictional universe for a day, which book would you choose?
a. Probably Pride and Prejudice. I want to be courted by a man in tall boots and a cravat!
12. What do you like to do when you're not writing?
a. Well, I teach, so that takes up most of my time. But I also like artsy things – crochet, drawing, quilting. I love movies and travel as well. Cooking. LOVE to cook.
13. Tell us about your current book.
a. Blood Moon has actually been in the works for awhile. I love my hero and heroine, but I must admit my favorite character is Thaddeus. I just want to squeeze him! I’ll give you the blurb, because it sums it all up nicely.
Fugitive shifter, Aria Legreve, is always on the run. With her own life at risk, she helps a badly beaten shifter to his Pack, knowing the danger her meddling entails. Hoping to use her status as an Outcast and be set free, her world changes when she meets head on with no other than her Mate—who is dead.
Alpha Lukas MacLeod has been searching for his wife for the past year, until Aria walks straight into his lair. Fate intervenes and gives them a second chance. Caught up in an intricate web of lies and prophecies in the making for generations, Aria and Lukas must discover a way to balance the darkness in their world, but will their love be strong enough to save their pack and each other?
14. How did you come up with the title?
a. A Blood Moon is an Actual “moon” it’s the Hunter Moon, usually in October, and it is the actual time the book takes place. It was also inspired by “blood on the moon.” If you don’t know what that is, it’s an old omen that means bad things are coming. Did that make sense?
15. What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your book?
a. That my original villain wasn’t right. I tried to make the bad guy from an old story fit into this one. He just didn’t work. So I’ve saved him for other things. J
16. Where and when do you write?
a. I write mostly at night and over the course of weekends. If there’s a thunderstorm, I’m probably with the computer or my notebook. Somehow, they always inspire me. As for where – I write at work before I go home, during lunch hour, at home in my “office/art/junk room,” wherever I can. I recently bought a netbook, so it’s really anywhere I have time.
17. Have you ever suffered from writer's block and if so, how do you overcome it?
a. Every writer, no matter how famous they are has. Mine is usually a case of being tired or procrastinating. Sometimes I just give in. Most of the time, I set up a time and force myself to write something for a specific amount of time. I use the Write or Die program too. It’s great because it pressures you into continuing. Thankfully, I’ve never had a dearth of ideas. Just time or energy.
18. If you could have written one book in history, what book would that be?
a. Hamlet. I LOVE Hamlet.
19. Do you have any suggestions for aspiring writers? If so, what are they?
a. Keep at it. Nothing comes without hard work. This isn’t for someone who wants a quick fix. It takes long hours and patience, but it’s worth it in the end.
20. Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
a. THANK YOU! If you’ve read the book, I hope you liked it, and if you haven’t I hope you will. I love feedback, so please stop by my blog (http://ellenkeener.wordpress.com) and say hi. I get ridiculously excited over blog comments and reviews, and I’m totally addicted to GoodReads. And thank you, Leslie, for the interview!
Thank YOU Ellen, for the awesome interview! I can't wait to read Blood Moon!
-Decadent Publishing's listing for Blood Moon
-Amazon's listing for Blood Moon
-Ellen Keener's Blog