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Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Life and Death, baby! Erin Kellison’s Shadow series

First a big thanks to ROOB for inviting me to blog. I’m so happy to be here, and am giving away a set of my books, Shadow Bound and Shadow Fall, to a lucky commenter.
First a question: When a person gives their life for something, it’s often considered the ultimate selfless act. So what happens if someone gives up their… death?

I can remember exactly when I was piecing out the ideas for the first book in my Shadow series, Shadow Bound. I was sitting on my bedroom floor, in pajamas, brainstorming. I had sticky notes. And I think I was talking to myself out loud. A mythology book was open and I recall passing an entry for “banshee”. Something clicked in my head and so I stopped there. The boundary between life and death has always interested me, and so using a banshee as my heroine had all sorts of possibilities.

But I still couldn’t get a handle on her. I needed to know more. I had to know how she came to be, how she was conceived. As a world-building exercise, I wrote what is now the prologue of Shadow Bound. You can read it here
In it, a mortal woman seduces a fae lord of Twilight, the land between the mortal world and the Hereafter. She names him Shadowman, but to other people he’s called the Grim Reaper, aka Death. His duty is to courier souls across his faery realm upon their deaths. Twilight is the place of magic, of nightmare and dreams.

Then I understood that my banshee, Talia O’Brien, has one foot in each world, and therefore has a unique perspective on both sides of the veil. Except Talia doesn’t know what she is; all she knows is that when she screams, the Grim Reaper comes. Shadow is her refuge; she can hide herself in it and blind others with darkness.

When Shadowman trespassed into the mortal world, he inadvertently let a demon, the Death Collector, cross as well. In the mortal realm, The Death Collector offers immortality to anybody who wants it. All a person has to do is give up their death (and their soul) to get it, becoming a wraith.

Enter Adam Thorne, Shadow Bound’s hero. His brother Jacob made this hideous trade. Jacob has become a monster and now has to feed on other human beings to retain any semblance of humanity. At first Adam wanted to save Jacob, but long years of work and misery have made him just want to kill him. But Adam can’t. Jacob is immortal. Adam needs somebody who can call Shadowman to cut Jacob out of the world—he needs Talia. He gets a lot more than he expected. A sleeping beauty and a badass rolled into one. And watch out when she screams. You can read more about Adam and Jacob in a special prequel excerpt here
I sold Shadow Bound out of a contest. When I spoke to my future editor, she told me about a new program for debut authors that the publisher was initiating—Dorchester’s Publisher’s Pledge. I was very honored that Shadow Bound was selected for this program. First, the program includes a letter from my editor in the front matter of my published book. It also includes a money-back guarantee to readers, encouraging them to try a new author. I was thrilled to be included, and utterly blown away when she also made the second book in the series, Shadow Fall, a Publisher’s Pledge title too.

The second book in the series, Shadow Fall, centers on Custo Santovari, a character who was introduced in Shadow Bound. Well, tortured is more like it. And he’s tortured some more in his own story as he tries to save Annabella, a ballerina who has lured a wolf out of Twilight. Annabella is about to make her debut as the principal dancer in Giselle. But as in a dream, the story of her ballet transcends to fairy tale and is enacted both on the stage and in fae Twilight. She is seduced by the magic, and yet must master it.

Here are the back cover blurbs for both books:

Shadow Bound


Some people will do anything to avoid it. Even trade their immortal souls for endless existence.


Secretly, inexorably, they are infiltrating our world, sucking the essence out of unsuspecting victims with their hideous parody of a kiss.


Adam Thorne founded the Segue Institute to study and destroy his monster of a brother, but the key to its success is held in the pale, slender hand of a woman on the run. There is something hauntingly different about Talia O’Brien, her unknowing sensuality, her uncanny way of slipping into Shadow.


This is the place between life and what comes after—a dark forest of fantasy, filled with beauty, peril, mystery. And Talia is about to open the door.

Shadow Fall


Custo Santovari accepted pain, blood, even death, to save his best friend. But a man with all his sins just isn't cut out to be an angel.


One moment he's fleeing Heaven; the next, he's waking up stark naked in Manhattan. In the middle of a war. Called there by a woman who's desperately afraid of the dark.


It gathers around Annabella as she performs, filled with fantastic images of another world, bringing both a golden hero and a nightmare lover.


He pursues her relentlessly, twisting her desires even as she gives herself to the man she loves. Because each of us has a wild side, and Annabella is about to unleash the beast.

Author’s bio:

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.

You can contact Erin though her website, http://www.erinkellison.com/ where you can also sign up to receive her newsletter.

International, begins 7-27 and ends 8-3-2010. Erin Kellison has been extremely generous and will giveaway both SHADOW FALL & SHADOW BOUND to one commenter. Leave a [meaningfull] comment to be entered and a way for us to contact you. 


VampFanGirl said...

Erin! I loved learning more about how this series came to be. SHADOW BOUND was an absolutely stellar read for me and yay, SHADOW FALL is currently making its way to my needy hands (So no need to enter me).

Will there be anymore books in the series after SHADOW FALL??

:) VFG

Erin Kellison said...

@VampFanGirl: Wow, thanks so much! I'm glad you liked it. And yes, I am just wrapping up the third book in the series, to be titled "Shadowman"...can you guess who the main character is? :)

Barbara E. said...

I enjoyed the post and the chance to learn more about your writing and your books. The more I hear about the Shadow series, the more excited I am to read them.


Natascha said...

Hi Erin,

These are definitely novels on my wishlist. I read the blurbs and was immensely intrigued by them ;-)

You said you sold the book out of contest, but did you enter contest with it or was it just an instant liking of your agent that it was sold.

I love the coverart as well, do you know who made the cover art?


Ina said...

Hi Erin!
congrats on the release of Shadow Bound! I saw your book a lot around on the blogosphere and I'm getting more and more curious *g* thanks so much for sharing the background of both books - it was very interesting to read and I will def keep your series in mind :)
wish you all the best, Ina

inale87 at gmx dot at

donnas said...

Great post. I am really looking forward to getting to read your books, they sound great.

Did you get any input on the covers? They are both really striking.

bacchus76 at myself dot com

Lisa R said...

"Dorchester’s Publisher’s Pledge-includes a money-back guarantee to readers"
While I doubt I'd ever use a guarantee like that, it is nice to see that the publishers are backing their new writers not just the tried and true ones.

alterlisa AT yahoo DOT com

Laura Summers said...

I love the visual of you brainstorming for a book in your bedroom in your pjs :)

I haven't come across your books before, but I'm intrigued and have just added them to my wishlist.

I'd like to also second @Natascha 's question about the contest was this one you entered and if so where did you enter?

Thanks :)

laura200 AT gmail.com or @laurasummers on Twitter

throuthehaze said...

I absolutely LOVE the covers of these books. It really draws me in and makes me want to read them :)
throuthehaze at gmail dot com

Destiny said...

I just saw these books the other day and am really interested in reading them. Thank you for the post as well as the contest.


Otterheart1978 at gmail dot com.

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