I am pleased to welcome my first guest author, the lovely E.J. Stevens, who is here to discuss her latest paranormal release, She Smells the Dead.
1. What inspired you to begin writing?
I grew up in a family of eccentric storytellers. We would often sit around and tell stories, many times taking turns and picking up where the other left off. As a young child it seemed like a sort of game we played. We were always competing to tell the most frightening or most entertaining tale. Writing became a later extension of my love for storytelling.
2. What was the inspiration behind your characters in She Smells the Dead?
I live beside a small overgrown graveyard and one day while walking my dog I was overwhelmed by a strong, unexpected smell. I then wondered what it would be like to have a psychic connection with spirits of the dead that came in the form of smells, rather than sight or sound. I ended up digging through my messenger bag for pen and paper and hastily scribbled my initial ideas for Yuki and the Spirit Guide series. The two weeks that followed that graveyard walk were a blur of typing and insomnia. I was obsessed with creating these characters, though I often wonder if their creation was a paranormal event itself. ;)
3. Which character did you have the most fun writing in this story?
Oh, that is a nearly impossible question to answer! I fall in love with these characters more and more each time I read them. The Spirit Guide series is character driven and each character has their own distinct voice. The interactions between these characters often has me literally laughing out loud. In many ways Yuki, the main character, is a reflection of myself and so I enjoy writing her, however, Emma is probably my favorite character in She Smells the Dead.
4. What originally drew you to the paranormal genre?
My mom moved here from Wales and brought with her a multitude of captivating myths and Celtic folklore. I was raised on stories of faeries, selkies, goblins, and grindylow and really did believe there were bloodthirsty monsters hiding in the shadows. As I grew older I also learned of my Native American ancestry and read extensively about Native American myths. I was fascinated by the common threads between world myths and legends, though I believe the Welsh myths of my childhood were the most influential to me as an author.
5. Do you have any favorite paranormal-themed films or TV shows?
My favorite TV show is Supernatural. I'm a huge Dean fan! I don't have television though so I'm a bit behind in watching this series. I watch the show as it is released on DVD. I also love watching Moonlight, a series that was inexplicably dropped by the network after the first season, Buffy, Angel, and Being Human.
6. What literary projects can we expect from you in the future?
I am currently working on two projects.
I have two collections of poetry in print and am working on a third. From the Shadows, a haunting collection of dark poetry, released in 2009 and Shadows of Myth and Legend, a collection of paranormal poetry, released in 2010. My current paranormal poetry project Shadows of Faerie is due to release in 2011. For more information about my existing books in print, please visit my Books by E.J. Stevens website. (http://ejstevensbooks.blogspot.com/)
I am also working on Spirit Storm, book two in the Spirit Guide series. Spirit Storm is the sequel to my new release She Smells the Dead and is due to release in early 2011. For more information about the Spirit Guide series, including polls, character profiles and giveaways, visit the official Spirit Guide series website. (http://spiritguideseries.blogspot.com/)
Thank you for inviting me to join you here today!