Sunday, February 20, 2011

Author Interview: Kelly Keaton (Darkness Becomes Her) & Giveaway

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.

Ari is an impressively tough and strong heroine. Did you draw inspiration from yourself or someone you know to create her? How did you come up with the idea of making her a trained bounty hunter? 

I think I drew inspiration from a lot of strong women I personally know. Not so much in the sense of real-life experiences that mimic Ari’s, but more like emotionally and in character and principles and depth. The bounty hunter idea came as I was writing the first chapter. I’d already seen Ari in my head as this capable teen who knew how to fight and fire a weapon. I had no idea how I was going to explain that when I began, but as I started writing it just kind of came out, flowed, and felt very natural.

After devastating hurricanes, the government essentially abandoned New Orleans and sold it to several wealthy families. A particularly memorable line in the novel about the New 2 said that “America didn’t exist there anymore.” Can you foresee something like this happening in our society? 

In some ways, yes. Mostly in terms of natural disasters that would cause a place to be abandoned for a long period of time, but I’m not so sure the United States would ever sell off its territory.

The novel is an original mishmash of all kinds of mythologies. What inspired your interest in these different legends? Did you have to do a lot of research into mythology – especially Greek mythology – to build this world?

I’m something of a mythology geek, so the research and the knowledge was pretty much firmly embedded in my mind (though I did research. Researching is fun and I’ll take any opportunity to delve into mythology). I started studying ancient Greece and other civilizations when I was eight years old and got a hold of my grandparent’s Time Life Books and Bulfinch’s Mythology. I didn’t have access to a lot of books at that time, and so I devoured those over and over again. That’s where my love of mythology, folklore, legends, etc, began. I draw so much of my inspiration from those tales!

The Greek mythology that we all know, I left mostly alone (except for a few small details that I added). My mythology really comes into play in the couple thousand years between the myths we know and present day. That time period is unaccounted for when it comes to what the gods were up to and how they progressed from one civilization to the next. So I filled it in with I thought might happen. A war. Pantheons divided…

The New Orleans atmosphere is its own character in this story. Why did you decide to set the novel there? How much of the New Orleans lore (such as the story of Alice Cromley) is real-world legend? 

New Orleans is the perfect setting for my story. I love the city and have always wanted to set a story there. I just never felt I had the right story until Ari came along. It had all the right elements that I thought would mesh perfectly with the world I envisioned. Alice Cromley is pure fiction. But she does fit right in, doesn’t she? : )

Does Ari like to read? What are some of her favorite books? 

She wishes she had the time! Ari spent a lot of her time before the start of the book going to school, training with her foster parents, and working part time… But I imagine she'd be a paranormal girl all the way. :)  

Sebastian is an incredibly talented drummer in the novel. Who are some of his musical influences? 

Hmm. I’d definitely say he'd be influenced by Jazz being from New Orleans, but I think he'd also be influenced by a wide range of drummers from punk to heavy metal, the likes of Led Zepplin, Black Sabbath, The Clash, Talking Heads, U2, Sex Pistols, Metallica…

Did you have a playlist you listened to as you wrote this novel? What were some of the key songs? 

Untitled by Simple Plan and Fighter by Christina Aguilera were the two emotional ones that resonated. I listened to a lot of Evanescence, Cold Play, Snow Patrol, One Republic, Linkin Park…

What was the most challenging aspect of writing this novel? 

Probably portraying Ari the way I envisioned her in my head, getting the curse across in a way that didn’t dip too far into horror, and bringing together all the genre elements I love.

What is a random fact readers probably don’t know about you? 

I can’t sleep with the sheets or blankets tucked in. At hotels I have to pull everything out, so my feet are free are not trapped. I also have to tuck a towel or whatever is handy to block any light spilling under the door – I need foot freedom and total darkness! :)

What can you tell us about the upcoming books in the series? Do you have any other projects in the works? 

The sequel to DARKNESS BECOMES HER is already written. I'm in the revision stage right now. It’s slated to come out around this time next year. And then I have my third adult book coming out Aug 30, 2011 that I write as Kelly Gay.

For more about this author, please visit:

The Darkness Becomes Her Blog Tour:
Larissa's Bookish Life - Guest post/Giveaway - February 18th 2011
The Bookish Type - Interview/Giveaway - February 20th 2011
The Book Butterfly - Interview/Giveaway - February 21st 2011
Paper Cut Reviews - Interview/Giveaway - February 22nd 2011 
Fantastic Book Review - Book Summary/Excerpt/Interview/Review/Giveaway - February 21st-24th 2011
Dark Faerie Tales - Interview - February 23rd 2011
Wicked Awesome Books - Interview - February 25th 2011
Lauren's Crammed Bookshelf - Interview - February 25th 2011
Girl about Books - Interview - February 26th 2011
Good Choice Reading - Guest post - February 27th 2011
Once Upon a Twilight - Grand-prize Giveaway - February 28th 2011


Thanks to Kelly, one lucky reader will win a SIGNED copy of Darkness Becomes Her!

To Enter:
  • Leave a comment on this post with your email address and tell us one random fact about yourself (like Kelly did in the interview!)
  • Open Internationally
  • Contest Ends 2/28/11 at 11:59 pm EST

For extra entries:
Please add up your total entries!!!

Good luck!

Thanks to Kelly Keaton and Yara at Once upon a Twilight for organizing this great tour!


CAsanmiguel said...

i have a twin sister

followed kelly on twitter
added kelly on facebook

Vivien said...

I'm a hedgehog pet owner. 2 actually. The first we bought was pregnant and we didn't know.

deadtossedwaves at gmail dot com

Vivien said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Vivien said...

+1 I commented on your review here on your blog

deadtossedwaves at gmail dot com

Anonymous said...

I loved the book and I love this interview! I have a weird fascination with Greek Mythology, and history in general. It's interesting to see the world from another time period.

Random fact: I'm scared of ceiling fans. I think they will fly off and do some damage.

+2 I follow Kelly on twitter and I commented on your review!

Grace said...

I play piano and cello :D


Claire said...

Great interview, and thank you for the giveaway too!

Random fact: My first long haul flight was before I turned two, and have had many more since, plus short haul flights, and yet I am still scared of flying and it always causes panic attacks.

+1 follow Kelly on Twitter
+1 follow Kelly on Facebook


buddyt said...

After having long hair the whole of my life, I went to a Shavathon for Cancer two years ago and had my hair cropped very, very short and I have kept it that way ever since !

Thanks for the giveaway and for opening it to worldwide entries.

Carol T

buddytho {at} gmail DOT com

Mia said...

I have a one-of-a-kind eyebrows. Seriously.

Thanks for the giveaway! I really enjoyed your interview with Kelly, she's such a nice and talented person!

+1 Following Kelly on twitter (@girlaboutbooks)
+1 Added Kelly on FB
+1 left a comment on your review

Total entries: 1 + 3 extra entries = 4 total of entries :)

THANKS again! :)

Precious said...

I'm an only child. But I wish I had an older brother.

Loved the interview! It was so fun to read!

+1 Follow Kelly in twitter (@precious_shusky)
+1 Left a comment on your review

Total: 1 (original entry) + 2 (extra entries) = 3

Thank you!

YA Vampire Books said...

Oh I can't sleep if it itsn't dark enough either!

Random fact: I suck at coming up with random facts! :P (haha does that count?)

+1 follow Kelly on twitter (@brasir)


Pisinat said...

I have to check several times that I close the doors of my car. People usally think I'm weird... They're not totally wrong ^^

+ 1 for commenting on your review

Thank you for this giveaway!

2 entries for me :)


Marrion said...

I have a huge appetite. I can eat in one sitting at least 4 servings of meal! LOL! Kinda embarrassing to say it! :D

Thanks for this wonderful giveaway! :]

+1 Following Kelly @ Twitter @pbooksjournal
+1 Left a comment on your review

Total: 1+2 extra= 3 entries! :]

Thanks again! ^^

Jacqueline Howett said...

Great read. Very informative and thanks for sharing. I can relate to Greek thing, being half Greek myself.

debbie said...

I was once in the middle of a tornado, and I didn't get hurt at all.
1-original entry

Ricki said...

I am completely and honestly tone deaf.
I follow Kelly on Twitter.
Total - 2

Linda Henderson said...

I love lighthouses and collect lighthouse postcards.

+1 Follow Kelly on Twitter as BookOwner

+1 Like Kelly on Facebook as Linda Henderson

3 Total

seriousreader at live dot com

Ana Lucia said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ana Lucia said...

Random fact: I don't eat seafood (anything that comes out of the sea), I can't stand the smell.

Thank you for the giveaway.
1 Follow Kelly on twitter (@luarroyave)

+1 Like Kelly on Facebook as Ana Lucía Arroyave

3 Total


YzhaBella's BookShelf said...

one random, this could be fun!

I am totally addicted to the written word. I can't get enough! "I don't just read a book; I "crawl" right into one. I read, I devour, and I consume every last word until the story is running like a movie through my brain!"

+1 Following Kelly on FaceBook (Kate Leger)

+1 Commented on your Review

Total Entries 3


LindsayWrites said...

I have a heart murmur!

Follow kelly on twitter @lindsaycwrites

Anonymous said...

The smell of Bacon makes me completely nauseous. Always has.

I followed Kelley on twitter (@BaffledBooks).

Great interview! :D

Jasmine (The Reading Housewives) said...

I've had every color hair under the rainbow...All of Roy G Biv!

1 entry


Kristina said...

I can't eat yogurt it makes me gag

+1 twitter follower
+1 FB follower
+1 for leaving a meaningful comment on review


Lauren M said...

Great interview! I'm a total mythology geek too, so I can understand Kelly's passion! :)

A random fact about me? Hmm... I've never tried soda. Ever. (I hate carbonated things!)

+1 I follow Kelly on Twitter
+1 Liked Kelly on Facebook
+1 Commented on your review!


Thais Pampado said...

Random fact: I only eat candy on Saturdays.

+1 Following Kelly on Twitter (@_slycat)

Total entries: 2


Minas said...

A random fact...I LOVE chocolate!

+1 Following Kelly on Twitter (@mt0089)

Thanks for the giveaway!


A Rick said...

Great interview I loved the questions you asked! So want to read the book because it sounds awesome!

Hmm a random fact about me: I have the weirdest circulation, my hands and feet are always freezing!

+1 follow Kelly on Twitter @arick01

Total= 2

Thanks for the great giveaway!

Ina said...

one random fact: without my glasses I'm totally blind -.-

can't wait to read your book :)
wish you all the best, Ina

inale87 at gmx dot at

van_pham said...

Random fact: I rarely drink water (maybe one glass if i'm super thirsty and don't have anything else to drink)because it has a metallic taste to it.

Weird i know! :)

+1 follow kelly on twitter @vanpham88
+1 facebook friend
+1 commented on your review


Mary Ellen said...

Random Fact: I have been extremely lucky throughout my adult life and I am extremely thankful about it.

+1 - Twitter follower (MaryEllenT)

BLHmistress said...

Random Fact- I grew up an Army Brat I lived in Italy and visited Germany.

+1 Follow Kelly-@BookLovershaway
+1 FB-Dawna Newman
+1 Commented on Review

3 total

Lexie said...

I am a technical writer (I write manuals and such).
+1 Twitter follower (@LexieBookBug)
+1 Added Kelly on Facebook (Lexie May Hogan)

alice priday said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
alice priday said...

im afraid of the dark.
i would love to win this book, ive heard nothing but rave reviews for it. thanks for making it international
twitter(bindisgirl) +1
facebook (alice priday) +1

i absolutly loved the review. it makes me want to read the book all the more.

Tanya1224 said...

I love Greek Myth...sounds great! A fact about me is that I'm a book and coffee-holic. I have to lie to my husband about how late I stay up reading...he thinks I read to much ;) you can never read to much. Please enter me in contest =)
+1 follow Kelly on twitter as @Tanya1224

Asenath said...

I have double jointed elbows, so I could never be a cheerleader.

Please enter me :)

arallison at gmail dot com

Marg K. said...

When I'm munching on bite size snack foods (like hard pretzels or chocolates), I have to eat an even number. Some OCD part of me refuses to stop at an odd number. It's weird, I know.

Thanks for the giveaway!

+1 Following Kelly on twitter (@clockworkrevery)


BookGeek said...

This was a great interview! I've been hearing about this book. So far, so good.

Random fact: If I sleep with socks on, it's a guaranteed nightmare night.

Email: speduzzi496(at)gmail(dot)com

+1 for review comment :)

Tez Miller said...

My feet can turn inward on a 90-degree angle.

+1 Follow Kelly on Twitter
+1 Like Kelly on Facebook
TOTAL: 3 entries

TezMillerOz at gmail dot com

Enbrethiliel said...


Thanks for the giveaway! I loved reading about Sebastian's musical influences and agree that a helping of Greek mythology can make anything cooler. =)

Random Fact about Me: I learned to read Latin in uni and got pretty good at it!

+1 Comment on Review


Enbrethiliel said...


I forgot to add them up!

Total Entries: 2

Thanks again, Casey. =)

Book Flame said...

Thanks for the giveaway. Random fact about me- I dislike red roses it's become so typical I always tell my husband he better give me some other type or rose or flower..originality lol

+1 for entering
+1 for following on twitter @bookflamereview
+1 for following on facebook
+1 for leaving comment on review

grand total 4

Book Flame said...

oops email addy is

donnas said...

Random fact - I can not drink milk, eat bananas and sometimes even eggs. They leave a nasty aftertaste in my mouth that makes me sick the rest of the day.

* +1 Following Kelly on Twitter - @donnas1
* +1 Added Kelly on Facebook
* +1 left a comment on review

bacchus76 at myself dot com

Amy said...

I can only sleep at night with a night light on.


Onge said...

I had plastic surgery on my lip when I was 3.
Thanks for the awesome giveaway!

Teddycavy said...

The smell of tuna fish makes me sick.

+1 for adding of facebook
+1 for commenting on review

Deea said...

Hey! I love ancient history, fantasy and mythology too. I'm actually working on my degree in the area. :) This was a very fun, informative interview! I'm so curious to read the book now!;)

Random fact about me: I've painted red poppies on my room's wall.:D

+1 I'm already following Kelly on Twitter (I'm DeeutzAs) and +1 I added her on FB (as Deea B.) =2 entries

Thanks for the opportunity to win a signed copy, yay!


SusanKMann said...

Great interview. I would love to read this book it sounds great. I'm a twitter follower. @susankmann. xx

andreat78 said...

Sounds like a great book.

I'm a Twitter follower @andrealynnt

Random fact: I never let my bare feet "peek" under anything (beds, couches) b/c I'm afraid something will attack them. Weird, huh?

TwilightsDance said...

Great questions, I enjoyed reading them

Diana said...

Thanks for the giveaway! Book sounds amazing!
Random fact: I am from Greece and I am proud when other deals with the history of my country.

artgiote at gmail dot com

loveangel132 said...

I collect dictionarys... yet am a horriable speller...

Thanks for the great give away!


TheyCallMeVarmit said...

Great interview. I haven't read her yet, but now will check her out.

Weird Random Fact: To me, the best job in the world would be to be a "muppeteer" for the Henson Company.

Follwed Kelly on Facebook and Twitter.

heddoncollector @

( believe the total is 4)



the sound of cats crying drives me bonkers and they always do it when I'm trying to sleep!!!!

♥Iffath said...

Fantastic interview! And thanks for the giveaway :)

Um..I'm scared of the dark. I will RUN up the stairs if I'm all alone downstairs when the lights are off or at night.. :/

+1 I'm following Kelly on Twitter
+1 I've added Kelly on Facebook

Total = 4


Jessica said...

I've had 7 surgeries in my life before I was 23. :)


Jaz said...

Random Fact: I love learning about personality disorders.

+1 Facebook


Pamk said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Pamk said...

Randon Fact. I'll be married 25 yrs in may.
+1 Following Kelly on Twitter
+1 Adding Kelly on Facebook
total of 3 entries.

scrtsbpal at yahoo dot com

Mithee (The Deranged Book Lovers) said...

Random fact: I'm currently taking up Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy.

+1 twitter follower: somithee
+1 fb: Mithee

somithee at gmail dot com

Maidenveil said...

count me in! i don't eat cheese.

+1 - following kelly on twitter (@maidenveil)
+1 - and on facebook (Maiden Veil)


Giada M said...

I love to watch Korean Dramas. Thank you for this awesome giveaway!

Total: 1

fabgiada (at) gmail (dot) com

winnie said...

One random fact about myself is that I like to eat the purple skittles last; it's my fave flavour :)

Thanks for the giveaway!


Carina L. Tai said...

Great giveaway and awesome interview :)

Random Fact: I secretly wish I was an epic juggler!

Tura Lura said...

I have spent a total of five years in college and have no degrees to show for it.

Extra entries:
+1 Follow Kelly on Twitter (as @luraj2612)
+1 Adding Kelly on Facebook
+1 Comment on review (Going to do now.)


luraj2612 AT

Aylee said...

Woo! So excited to read this one!

A random fact? Well, I'm gluten intolerant. Sorry that's not terribly interesting!

+1 Following Kelly on Twitter (@AyleeArgh)
+1 Leaving a meaningful comment on my review
Total: 3


TheGirlOnFire said...

Random fact- as a kid I was a huge Winnie the Pooh fan!

+1 left a comment on review.
thegirlonfire27 at gmail dot com

JerseyGirl22 said...

Random fact: I have a brother that's 20 years older than me.
+2 I follow Kelly on Twitter and I added her on Facebook

Kelly Gay said...

Thanks for having me, Casey. These random facts are so interesting! And thanks everyone for reading the interview and the kind words about the book!! :D

Kelly (Keaton)

latishajean said...

Great interview thank you for sharing and I can't wait to read your book sounds so good! Random fact I hate the dark I have to have a nightlight. I also just got into reading about a year ago use to hate reading :)
+1 twitter follower/latishajean
+1 facebook follower/latisha D

Anonymous said...

Hmm random fact: I adore blackberry jam. I get very frustrated when stores don't carry the large jars.

I follow Kelly on Twitter. And my email is

Reviews that include interviews are especially helpful to potential readers. This tactic gives the author a chance to explain the book in his or her words. It also gives the reader some insight into the author, which can make the book more appealing.

samajama27 said...

im obsessed with green olives

Elise said...

I like watching foreign films.
bookishdelightsblog at gmail dot com

Aik said...

I'm a night owl.

# +1 Following Kelly on Twitter @aikchien
# +1 Adding Kelly on Facebook - Aik Chien

aikychien at yahoo dot com

Melissa (My words and pages) said...

Okay, how is it I didn't enter for this yet? I have to have this book! :) thank you for the wonderful interview and great chance to win.

+1 following on Twitter
+1 Comment on review
+1 following on facebook

JellyBear7 said...

I scared of spiders and any sort of insect. I freak out and yell for someone to kill it, haha.

+1 followed Kelly on Twitter (@JellyBear7)
+1 Left a meaningful comment on your review

Dinda said...

I can't sleep in the dark

followed kelly on twitter
added kelly on facebook


FairyWhispers said...

Random Fact= I tried fries dipped into ice-cream before, {i wasn't that bad!} =]

posted comment on review

would love o read this

Jessy said...

I love mustard on my pizza. I'm the only person I know who does this.

+1-Following Kelly on Twitter
+1-Liked Facebook page
+1-commented on review

findjessyhere at gmail dot com

Syki said...

Thanks for this interview and giveaway! Something random about me...? OK I am punctual and I love music. I love singing really loud :D

+1-Following Kelly on Twitter (@Syki)
+1-Liked Facebook page (Petra Sýkorová)
+1-commented on review (Syki)

Brittany said...

Thanks for the giveaway! My random fact is - I have done gymnastics for 8 years.
My email is-

EVA SB said...

I would love to learn how to eat with chop-sticks

+1 I follow Kelly on Twitter @EVA_n_essence[@]gmail[.]com

Natasha Areena said...

I ALWAYS get in trouble in school.

+1 Adding Kelly on Facebook
+1 Original entry

Total= 2


Carla said...

I'm learning how to play the guitar.

+1 Twitter follower (c_cass189)


IdentitySeeker said...

Like Kelly, I also cannot sleep with the blankets tucked in and have to have my feet exposed to give my toes some breathing space. I also cannot understand the female fascination with shoes because I'm not a shoe person and, just yesterday, confessed to a friend that I'd be willing to sell my shoes for books.

+1 Twitter follower:@SweetNSensible
+1 Facebook fan: Sarah Bibi Setar
+1 Commented on your review: Identity Seeker

Bella said...

I hate it when the blankets are tucked in at hotels, it's so annoying...

A Random Fact about me: I'm lactose intolerant, but I love drinking milk, so I won't give it up! (I only just found out :L )

+1 for entering
+1 Follow Kelly on Twitter
+1 Follow Kelly on Facebook
+1 Left a comment on your review on your blog

Total entries = 4

Thanks for the giveaway, and thanks for making it international!! =]

Emilie said...

I'm totally crazy about TV Show ! ^^

+1 I follow Kelly on Twitter : @Emllie

Thanks for this great giveaway and for making it international.

Meredith said...

I'm a total chocoholic.

meredithfl at gmail dot com

+1 Following Kelly on Twitter @tessaa99
+1 Adding Kelly on Facebook

Total = 3

vampireprincess said...

Love knitting

kai (amaterasu) said...

Like Kelly, the room needs to be in total darkness when I sleep too! So I can't sleep without putting something that can cover my eyes (cloth, hanky, a pillow, blanket), usually an eye cover. That's my random fact :)

+1 Following Kelly on Twitter
+1 Adding Kelly on Facebook

amaterasureads AT gmail DOT com

Spav said...

I love playing tennis.

+1 Twitter follower: (@Sparima)
+1 FB follower: Arantza

Total: 3 entries


Ivy said...

I have a thing for checking email every 5 minutes. :\

Follow with @ivyeads
Added on Facebook

2 extra entries

Akasha Hale & Lexus Salvatore said...

I'm a book worm and can't stand the sight of destoryed books. I'm crazy about them, like scary crazy.

+1 Followed Kelly on Twitter ( Akasha_Hale123)


DforDarla's Definite Reads said...

lol - I need total foot freedom too. Unless it's freezing cold then I can wear socks and have the blankets tucked in.

Random fact about me....well I have a twin sister but that's not really random or unknown.

I know my random fact- I love Mac n' Cheese with ketchup.

Thanks for the great interview!


+1 follow kelly on twitter

total - 2

Lucia said...

I have membranoproliferative glomerulonephritis.

+1 Twitter (@Leecheeeee_3LB)
+1 Facebook


Akasha Hale & Lexus Salvatore said...

Lexus 'Salvatore' Delorme
FACT: I have a photo of ian somerhalders nude bottom

+Follow Kelly on Twitter

+Tweeted about this giveaway ;!/salmustreads/status/42407437722058752

+ comment on review

+ Kelly on facebok

= 4

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