Monday, November 20, 2017

The Monster Of Selkirk by C.E. Clayton Interview

The Monster Of Selkirk
The Duality of Nature  
Book 1
C.E. Clayton

Genre: YA Fantasy

Print Length: 329 pages

Publisher: DevilDog Press

Publication Date: April 18, 2017


Book Description:

Monsters come in many forms, and not everyone knows a monster when they see one. After three hundred years of monstrous, feral elves plaguing the island nation of Selkirk, everyone believes they know what a monster is. Humans have learned to live with their savage neighbors, enacting a Clearing every four years to push the elves back from their borders. The system has worked for centuries, until after one such purge, a babe was found in the forest.

As Tallis grows, she discovers she isn't like everyone else. There is something a little different that makes people leery in her presence, and she only ever makes a handful of friends.

But when the elves gather their forces and emerge from the forests literally hissing Tallis's name like a battle mantra, making friends is the least of her troubles. Tallis and her companions find themselves on an unwilling journey to not only clear her name, but to stop the elves from ravaging her homeland.

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About the Author:

C. E. Clayton was born and raised in Southern California where she worked in the advertising industry for several years on accounts that ranged from fast food, to cars, and video games (her personal favorite). This was before she packed up her life, husband, two displeased cats, and one very confused dog and moved to New Orleans. Now, she is a full time writer (mainly in the fantasy genre), her cats are no longer as displeased, and her dog no longer confused.

More about C.E. Clayton, including her blog, book reviews, and poetry, can be found on her website:


1.      What literary pilgrimages have you gone on?
Besides the library? Not many. I’d love to travel to Scotland (where Selkirk is loosely based), but that’s not easy to do right now. But I do try and travel as much as I can, going to unique places to help feed my inspiration on everything from geography to clothing and character development.
2.      What is the first book that made you cry?
I’m pretty sure that would be Harry Potter when Sirius died. I remember being so upset by that, I literally threw my book across the room, then spent the next three hours on the phone with my best friend trying to convince ourselves that he wasn’t dead.
3.      Does writing energize or exhaust you?
It depends on the section I’m writing. If I know my characters are leading up to something, but have to get there first so they are prepping or getting ready, that exhausts me because it’s not the “fun” part. Then the sections I am excited about because it’s when all the action happens, or the big reveal happens, that energizes me and I can write for hours without knowing the time is passing! But never fear, I make sure the parts that exhaust me don’t read slowly as part of my editing and revising process.
4.      What is your writing Kryptonite?
Social media for sure. It’s so easy for me to jump on the internet and check my Facebook or Goodreads accounts, and way too easy for me to snatch my phone and check Instagram. Taking bookstagram pictures has become a huge time suck for me!
5.      Did you ever consider writing under a pseudonym?
Occasionally when I think about writing books that aren’t in the fantasy genre. But I already use a pen name because my first name is hard/awkward to spell, so using a pseudonym on top of that feels cumbersome, and like it would make my work unnecessarily hard to find.
6.      What other authors are you friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer?
I have a good handful of friends in the writing community, all of which are indie authors who are marvelous at helping me keep my chin up and not feel so alone. I generally don’t rely on them much for beta reading, as I want genuine readers in my genre to share their opinions on my stories before publishing, but my author friends help remind me why I dedicate my life to this, and help me navigate how to find readers. They are vital in helping me become a well-rounded writer.
7.      Do you want each book to stand on its own, or are you trying to build a body of work with connections between each book?
While I love when books in a series can stand on their own, I also love series where you have to start at the beginning and read the novels sequentially in order to get the whole experience by the time the series ends. That’s what “The Monster of Selkirk” aims to be, as well. Some books are complete adventures on their own, but if you don’t start at the beginning and read the books in order, you’re going to miss so much that it’s just not going to be a fun experience. But that’s also what’s going to make the final book in the series feel all the more awesome, too!
8.      What authors did you dislike at first but grew into?
Neil Gaiman, actually. I’m probably the only person in the world who didn’t love “American Gods” but now, especially after reading “Good Omens” which he wrote with terry Pratchett, I really enjoy his work.
9.      What’s your favorite under-appreciated novel?
“Diary” by Chuck Palahniuk. I know he’s this world famous author, and all his books have tens of thousands of ratings, but he’s most know for “Fight Club”, very few people talk about “Diary”. But I found the mind games, the compulsion, and the disturbing family secrets in that book to be superb, and way better than “Fight Club”!
10.  As a writer, what would you choose as your mascot/avatar/spirit animal?
A great white shark, hands down! I find them to be these awesome creatures, big, and beautiful, strong and terrifying, but also endangered, not well understood, and in need of protection. I identify with those traits so much, that I actually have a tattoo of a great white! Plus, I try to live every week like it’s shark week, so there’s that.
11.  How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?
Well, if we include the rest of “The Monster of Selkirk” series that hasn’t come out yet, I have four unpublished books, and one half-finished book that I am going to finish this month (fingers crossed)!
12.  What did you edit out of this book?
There was a whole section where Tallis’s mother, Lana, shares a story with her about Jon, her father, and how they married. Tallis and her father have a tumultuous relationship at best, so Lana shares the story surrounding their marriage in hopes of showing her daughter that Jon isn’t (or wasn’t always) a bad guy. Ultimately, this whole section got cut because it was unnecessary, neither Tallis nor Jon change. While the tale could be considered sweet, that level of detail and background information became trivial to the story, and when I was cutting all the non-vital words and elements, it was the first thing on the chopping block.
13.  If you didn’t write, what would you do for work?
Probably the same thing I was doing before I dedicated all my time to this profession. I worked in the Advertising/Media industry and was an expert on gamers and console usage for my clients, one of which was a AAA video game publisher and development studio. It allowed me to turn my nerdom into a well-paying career. It was trying, draining, and thankless a lot of the time, but I was really good at it, and it always made for fun cocktail party discussions. Plus, my coworkers there were all amazing, lovely people. I miss them most now that I don’t work with them all the time anymore.
14.  Do you hide any secrets in your books that only a few people will find?
Oh yes! I am a big nerd with a wide range of fandoms I subscribe to. So sometimes names (characters names, country names, and city names) will harken to those various fandoms. But unless you share the same love I do, you may never realize or notice what I’ve done.
15.  What is your favorite childhood book?
“Ella Enchanted”, hands down. I love that book so much that, of all the books in my collection that have come and gone, and all the other Cinderella retellings I have read in the years since, that one is still my absolute favorite!

1 comment:

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