Today I have the pleasure of hosting author Eris Kelli. She writes the Piper LeVine Series. I was able to interview her to find out more about her books, writing process, and background. She actually hosted me on her blog the other week. You can check out what I wrote by clicking here. Hope you enjoy my interview with Eris!
1. Tell us a bit about yourself—what’s your background and how did you become a writer?
I come from a large family, I’m the youngest of eight. My parents are both very artistic and I guess it’s in the genes. I’ve always loved a good story and once I started telling my own I became enchanted with the possibilities it opened up. English was always my best subject and I found that if I could write for school, or for a living, it wasn’t work at all but a great time instead.
I have a great love for learning; it’s a thirst I’ll always have. My education in college is all centered in Psychology and English. Both have added to my writing in immeasurable ways. Writing is what I love to do and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
2. What is the genre in which you write?
I don’t like to be nailed down to any one genre and will probably try my hand at them all before I’m done. However, I have stayed pretty well within the Romance genre so far. Piper LeVine, A Gypsy’s Truth is a New Adult Paranormal Romance that I would recommend for teens through adults.
3. What is the book you recently published? What is it all about?
My book is called Piper LeVine A Gypsy’s Truth and is the first in the series. This book is about a young woman who finds out that she has a past that she never could have dreamed of. Piper must face the unimaginable threat that stalks her, and to do that she needs the help of the mysterious and knee-melting Nicholas, who from the start proves untrustworthy. The Gypsies have the answers that could save her from these monsters of myth that seek her. Piper will find her own identity and discover what she’s made of.
4. Have you published or written any other works?
I have a short story coming out in May of this year entitled Lost. It is my contribution to an anthology entitled, Misery Loves Company.
I have finished the second book in the Piper LeVine series, Piper LeVine and the Path of Betrayal, and it is due to come out in June of this year.
I have several more projects in the works, so be on the lookout for those!
5. Name your top three favorite characters you’ve made up and explain why they’re your favorites.
Piper LeVine is my number one favorite right now. She is a strong young woman who has people from two different worlds telling her and expecting her to be what they believe she should be and they aren’t necessarily wrong. What I love about Piper is that she is who she is and won’t change her identity for anyone. This causes a lot of problems for her and she doesn’t do it to be stuck up. Piper knows deep down who she is and from this place she never waivers and you can’t help but love her for it.
The Doctor is from one of my books that I wrote five years ago and he I love because he was the funniest character. The poor guy had a spell on him and it drove him into the worst situations! He was still himself though so he’d be all freaked out, sweaty, and saying, “I don’t know why I’ve come back, but here I am. Let’s have it.” What a good sport!
Alison MacGregor is one of my all time favorites. She is a fiery, passionate young woman who doesn’t take no for an answer and isn’t afraid to lay everything out on the line. She’s got some serious guts combined with an endearing innocence. Alison is fiercely loyal and brave.
6. Do you ever get writer’s block? If so, how do you deal with it?
Yes, I do get writers block and it isn’t pretty, LOL! When I get it, I have to fight my way out of it because not writing isn’t an option for me. I mull over the point where I’m stuck and talk about it incessantly, (my poor sweet husband is so patient) I dream about it, and I discuss it. If I still can’t break through, I research and if I still can’t climb the block, I write anyway. Sometimes I have to go back and rewrite that entry where I was blocked, but it just can’t stop me. I have to write :D.
7. How long did it take to finish your first novel?
My first novel (a major learning experience) took me seven months to write and was entitled Waiting in the Rain. I was so proud to have finally finished one of my novels!
8. What were the challenges you faced when getting your first book published?
How to go about it was the toughest choice. I had to weigh out self-publishing vs. going through a publishing company. I researched and got a lot of advice from author friends of mine. I went with Great Minds Think Aloud Publishing and am happy with my choice.
9. How do you market your work? What avenues have you found that work best for your genre?
Anyway that you can get the word out there about your book is worth doing. The best way is word of mouth. If someone loves your work they are going to tell their friends and their friends will spread the word if they love it too. Do blog tours, hold contests, do signings, and accept invitations to talk about writing.
10. What does your writing process “look” like?
I’m not very traditional in the way I go about writing. I don’t plan out exactly what is going to happen in a neat well thought out outline.
My process looks more like this:
I discover a character and then introduce them in my mind to different situations. When I find I’m intrigued by the possibilities, I begin to write and go with these characters on their adventure. Often times I have bullet points of where I want to end up and I love it when my characters surprise me on how we will arrive!
11. What projects are you currently working on?
I am currently working hard on the third book in the Piper LeVine series. I’ve also got another book coming up to the bat which is almost finished with my own editing process involving the character Alison MacGregor, I mentioned earlier. On top of that, I have a few novels I wrote a couple years ago that I want to polish up and get out there, too. So potentially a lot will be available soon!
12. What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author? What has been the best compliment?
The toughest criticism I’ve gone through as an author had to be the refusal of a criticism. When you get a query letter back in the mail with just a big red, “NO” on it, it’s like you just got spit on.
If you are going to offer a criticism or negative feedback, it’s pointless and rude if it doesn’t give the author anything to work with.
13. What advice can you give to aspiring authors?
If you love it, keep writing! Don’t write because you want to be rich. Write because it enriches your soul. That way it won’t matter if someone likes or dislikes your writing. It will not make or break you. In this way you will surely become a success because if you continue to try your chances to achieve what you want can only go up as you continue to learn, improve, and refine your skills.
14. When can we expect to see another publication of your work?
My short story, Lost, contributed to the anthology Misery Loves Company is due to come out in May of this year. Piper LeVine and the Path of Betrayal will be released in June.
15. Is there anything you’d like to say to your fans and readers?
Thank you so much for your support and loyalty! When I hear from you, nothing warms my heart more or gets my muse more fired up. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
16. What’s a cool (or nerdy) fact about you that you’ll share with us?
I say corny sayings and quotes to myself and others when a situation suits it. “A day without laughter is a day wasted.” Charlie Chaplin. “Never look down on anyone unless you’re helping them up.” Jesse Jackson. I have tons more, LOL!
17. Finally, how can we find you? What are your social media sites and where can we purchase your book(s)?
My books can be found on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Kobo!
You can reach me on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/#!/eris.kelli
Blog 2: http://authoreriskelli.blogspot.com
About the book: Piper LeVine is the daughter of wealthy Senator, Harold and Katrine, or so she thought. When a stranger arrives in the night and throws her identity into question, Piper must uncover the secrets of her true origin.
Treacherous demons from a past she never knew she had are coming for her and only the Gypsies know how to deal with the monsters of myth.
Nicholas proves less than truthful from the get-go, but who can she hold onto amongst a sea of mystic if not hostile strangers? He is dangerous, captivating, and the only one who she knows that will stand against the creatures of the dark that seek her.
In search for the truth Piper will find more than her identity. She will discover her destiny, what she is made of, and the family that determines her fate.
Eris Kelli grew up in the Pacific Northwest as the youngest of eight children. Her writing is fueled by her love of adventure, learning and her drive to explore an idea. She now resides in Midwest America, with her husband, 2 beautiful children, and happy old dog. Currently she is fast at work on the third book in the Piper LeVine Series.