Friday, October 18, 2013

Interview + Giveaway with Ketley Allison, author of Dark Souls

Today I have the enormous pleasure of welcoming author Ketley Allison to the blog as part of our Spook-tastic Halloween event! Ketley is here to talk about her recently released YA paranormal romance, Dark Souls, and share with us her favorite Halloween-y reads and spooky stories!

I also have the pleasure of hosting a giveaway of her fantastic book, so be sure to scroll all the way down and enter! :) Trust me, you want it!!!

Hi Ketley! It's a great pleasure to have you stopping by the blog today! Thanks for taking part in our Halloween Event. And a HUGE congratulations on your first release, Dark Souls!

Thank you so much, Evie! I'm so happy to be here. 

How would you describe Dark Souls to those who haven't heard of it yet?

Dark Souls is a story of love, but it's so much more than that. It's also about self-discovery and self-acceptance, with a supernatural twist, of course. I wanted this story to be about paranormal romance, but in an unexpected way. I've added twists, and I've combined character traits in a way that makes the reader unsure of who is good and who is evil, because to me, that's kind of what people are like in real life! In short, it's love, demons, and friendship, all wrapped into a novel :) 

Can you tell us a little bit about the inspiration behind your novel? Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?

This book has been in my head for about 15 years. I know, long time! I've been writing chapters and paragraphs since I was 14, and I finally decided to complete it. I also have a habit of including my friends' and family's traits in my characters to make them more likeable and realistic, so in that way, the book is based on people I know. The best part is watching my friends go through my book and have them say to me, "Is that me? Is it? Is it?" It's been such a great journey. A fun trivia fact: I wrote the dream sequence in Chapter Six when I was 14. I haven't changed a word. 

Can you share a few of your favorite quotes from Dark Souls?

Sure! My absolute favorite is the opening line to the book: "I was never supposed to live." I wanted a line that would set the tone for the whole book, and I hope I've accomplished that. 

Here are a few others:

"I would find a way to save souls while eradicating demons from this world. I’d find a way to save my own soul. I just had to.

Emily Chaucer.

Demon executioner.

Human savior.

I could only hope." 

- Chapter 17

"Framed by steel and stone, with my city lit behind me, I raised my eyes to the sky, golden light coating my vision as I let my body disappear into the bleeding colors of sunset." - Chapter 18

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

I really wanted to drive home the fact that it is rare to have someone be purely good or purely evil. A lot of times, people can be both. Even though my book takes place in a supernatural setting, I wanted my characters to be real, like people you'd run into in real life. To do that, I needed their motives to be realistic. You may want to accomplish something good, but you might have to do something bad to get to it. In that sense, my main characters are very conflicted. 

Halloween is almost upon us. To me that means horror movie nights with popcorn, tricks and (hopefully) stacks of yummy treats, and, perhaps most of all, the chance to scare someone and experience the thrill of being scared myself. What does Halloween mean to you? 

Exactly that! I have so many great memories as a kid, and that is the most important part of Halloween, I think. It's for the kids, and to see their faces when they get to dress up however they want, and then eat a pillowcase full of candy afterwards. What could be better? I may or may not admit to still doing this...

Do you have any real-life spooky stories to share with us? Any supernatural experiences or blood-chilling encounters? 

Good question! Absolutely. This is hard to describe, but when I was a teenager, I used to relax my writing hand (I'm a leftie) and my hand would start moving on its own and form cursive words. One time, when I was taking a test and I didn't know the answer, I relaxed my hand and the answer started to be written. And it was right!! But what happened the most was "NONONONONO" being written non-stop. Um--so I don't do that anymore. Why, you ask? Because it scared the crap out of me! I believe in ghosts, and that was just a lot to handle. 

What are some of your favorite scary stories? Any favorite horror or thriller books/authors? 

I have to go back to my teenage days for this, for SURE. R.L. Stine and Christopher Pike, all the way. I gobbled up those books like nobody's business. I still love them. Who wasn't obsessed with the Fear Street Cheerleaders?? 

What's the scariest / most memorable horror movie you ever saw?

Oh, close one. I love all horror flicks, especially the stupid ones. Probably because the stupid ones aren't scary! No wait, I'm lying. There's one type of genre I will not watch, not matter what, and that is possession, or ghosts. I've never seen Paranormal Activity or the Exorcist, because I already consider them the scariest movies to ever be created. The Blair Witch Project gave me nightmares for weeks! Weeks! I'm a wimp, a huge one. Also, refer to question #6. 

Fill in the blanks:

1) If I was magically transported back in time to the Dark Ages, I'd...hope I had toothpaste in my pocket.

2) I'm a pro at…delaying the inevitable. 

3) I'm addicted to...Coffee. Chocolate. Chocolate coffee. 

4) I'm scared of...GHOSTS!!!!

5) The last book I faked reading own! By my 12th read-through I was just like, "Please be done. Please. Please." I'll admit it. I skimmed.

Last question: I'm super curious and I'm sure your fans are all wondering about it too: are you working on a new book now? If so, when can we expect it? Can you share some juicy details to keep our appetites going?

Oh man, I wish I could but I can't, not without giving away a huge spoiler in Dark Souls! I'm working on Book 2 right now, and I'm really excited about it. My scene is set, my characters are developed, now it's time to go nuts. What I will say is that you are going to see a lot more of Macy in Book 2! As for when it will be out, sooner rather than later I hope. It usually takes me about six months to perfect a book, and I'm two months in at the moment. So fingers crossed!

Goodreads | Amazon | B&N
Dark Souls by Ketley Allison

ebook, First Edition, 280 pages
Published July 19th 2013 by Ketley Allison LLC

19-year-old Emily desperately wants a name for what she is. For what is consuming and torturing her. For what is changing her.
But she’s not crazy like her mother. She’s not.
Emily may not be as crazy as she thinks, because her body is no longer her own. Something is stirring inside her. It is soft, seductive, and tells her what to do to survive. As Emily learns that her world has been infected by demons that consume human souls and fit seamlessly into the bodies they empty, she must also accept that she is one of them. Yet, she is different from the rest, because her darkness didn’t inhabit her, it was awakened. And it doesn’t just want the humans.

WHAT YOU CAN WIN: 1 of 3 e-copies od Dark Souls (your choice of format)
ENDS: October 31st
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