Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Blog Tour + #Giveaway: The Monster of Selkirk by C.E. Clayton @XpressoTours

The Duality of Nature
C.E. Clayton
(The Monster of Selkirk, #1)
Publication date: April 18th 2017
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

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.


The Heart of the Forest
C.E. Clayton
(The Monster of Selkirk, #2)
Publication date: October 17th 2017
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

Tallis is learning how to deal with loss and violence as she and her friends traverse the forests of Selkirk trying to find the reason behind the elven uprising. Not to mention why they keep hissing her name. But the further into the forests they go, Tallis is finding that the elves’ depravity can still surprise her, and thoroughly test the bonds of friendship, family, and love.

Tallis’s journey eventually leads to answers they’re not prepared for. Now Tallis begins to wonder just who she really is, and if she’s the evil that will end up destroying Selkirk. But she cannot stop to process these revelations, as an unforeseen betrayal lands those she loves at the feet of the very monster responsible for all the hurt, and heartbreak.

Coming face to face with her foe, Tallis discovers all too late she has no idea how to deal with this level of pain, and death. One way or another, the monster’s path ends here, and all Tallis can hope to do is bring those she loves safely out of the heart of the forest.

Interview with C.E. Clayton

As a writer, what would you choose as your mascot/avatar/spirit animal?
I’ve adopted a Great White Shark as my spirit animal, for my life in general but it fits with my writing. Great Whites are these fearsome and misunderstood animals, and yes they can do some major damage, but they also need help and protection and are these massive, mysterious creatures. That really resonates with me, so much so that I have a tattoo of a Great White on my hip! But it also fits with my writing. I love telling stories about people/creatures that, on the surface seem scary and monstrous, but in reality are far more complex then what we give them credit for. Where people may be blamed for being a monster, but are actually these powerful and terribly misunderstood creatures just battling for survival.

How many hours a day do you put into your writing?
As many as I can, but I do have a part-time job and fur-babies to take care of. Being an author is what I do pretty much full time, so even if I’m not actively writing new words, I’m still doing something related to writing, so I still count that as writing time. It takes a lot of time and research to world and character build prior to crafting a new story for me, and sometimes I need to read great books and explore the world around me in order to spark new ideas for current projects. And some days are spent editing/revising. So, I’m “writing” a good 4+ hours most days when you look at it that way.

Do you read your book reviews? If yes, do they affect what you write in the future?
I do read them, though I’ve been told I probably shouldn’t! Perhaps one day I won’t anymore, but as my first book is still only a few years old, a lot of this still feels new for me. The reviews won’t affect my future writing as I am well aware that reviews are people’s opinions and not everyone will like certain elements, while others will love what I’ve done. Where I do take into account what reviews say is if multiple reviews point out the same thing. Then it becomes less of an opinion and more of a tangible issue I can address (maybe) in future books.

Do you leave hidden messages in your books that only a few people will find?
Oh, yes! I am a huge Dragon Age and Mass Effect fan (they are role play video games made by Bioware) so I occasionally use names or references from those games and place them in random places throughout my books and world, often in places that don’t fit the original game characters!

Can you tell us a little bit about the characters in The Duality of Nature?
Sure! I’ll stick to the major players though, as the land of Selkirk is full of colorful characters. Tallis is the main character and she’s never quite fit in with the people in her little town. She struggles with feeling comfortable in her own skin and following her dreams even though her society, and even her family, have carved out another path for her in hopes she’ll have a nice little life living within her humble means. But she loves to read and learning the art of combat too much to sit by and be a pretty bauble.

Then there’s Donovan, Tallis’s older cousin. They treat each other more like siblings; Donovan is honorable and loyal to a fault when it comes to Tallis. He’s a serious young man with a strong desire to protect the innocent and do what’s right, which makes him a great knight! He’s a bit like the classic “strong and silent” type, but he’s also very patient and willing to listen to others; he has all the makings of a great leader.

Rosslyn is Tallis’s best friend and she’s a bit of a rogue. She lives by her own code, doing what makes her feel good, always living in the moment and not looking much beyond the present. Rosslyn is snarky, and fun, and even with her mildly chaotic lifestyle, she’s got a generous heart and is a staunch friend, as long as you can keep up with her wit, and don’t rat her out for cheating at cards!

Then there’s Tomas, an orphan who was raised in the monastery and was groomed his whole life to serve their god. He’s a shy man, not used to being around others outside of his order but one of the most brilliant men you’ll ever meet. He whiles away the lonely nights inventing things and studying, all with the goal of making life better or easier for others. His pure faith and strong moral compass always keep him on the honorable path, which often puts him at odds with Rosslyn, and Donovan has a hard time trusting a man who appears so uncertain about life outside the monastery walls, but at least Tallis appreciates his intellect, and he adores her for it.

Can you tell us a little bit about your next books or what you have planned for the future?
I am working on a new cyberpunk fantasy that I am in the beta reader phase of and I have a contemporary family saga that I am looking for an agent for.

Do you allow yourself a certain number of hours to write or do you write as long as the words come?
I write as long as the words come, so sometimes that’s a lot longer than others. I hate being interrupted when I’m in a writing zone, it’s so hard getting back in the flow of things when that happens!

Do you have a certain number of words or pages you write per day?
I’m a pretty fast writer when I’ve got things planned and I have a destination in mind for my characters. On days like that, I can hit 7k words pretty easily. When I’m not writing something inherently exciting, but vital, it’s a little more of a struggle so those days tend to be about 2k words.

What inspires you to write?
Lots of things! Clever books and stories, mysterious and dark locations I visit, people I encounter… But a lot of times, I’ll be watching or reading something and I’ll just stop and think “well, wouldn’t it be interesting if this happened instead” or “why do X always have to be the bad guys?” And from that little nugget, new stories are born! That’s why I always have something to write on near me at all times!

Would you rather

Read fiction or non-fiction?
Fiction! Unless it’s a true crime novel about serial killers…

Read series or stand-alone?
Series, all day everyday

Read Science fiction or horror?
Love science-fiction, I have to be in the right mood to read horror

Read Stephen King or Dean Koontz
Dean Koontz, I’ve never actually read any of King’s novels…

Read the book or watch the movie?
Read the book first, then watch the movie, of course!

Read an ebook or paperback?
Ebook if I am traveling or reading while eating, otherwise, paperback’s as I have so many good bookmarks I love using

Be trapped alone for one month in a library with no computer or a room with a computer and Wi-Fi only?
If I’m not on a schedule for a project, or if I’m in between projects, then trap me in the library!

Do a cross-country book store tour or blog tour online?
If money were no object? Cross-country book store tour, I love meeting people!

Author Bio:

C. E. Clayton was born and raised in the greater Los Angeles area, where she attended the University of Southern California (Fight On!) for both her Bachelors and Masters, and then worked in the advertising industry for several years on accounts ranging from fast food, to cars, and video games (her personal favorite). After going the traditional career route and becoming restless, she went back to her first love–writing–and hasn’t stopped. She is now the author of “The Monster of Selkirk” series and her horror short stories have appeared in anthologies across the country. When she’s not writing you can find her treating her fur-babies like humans, constantly drinking tea, and trying to convince her husband to go to more concerts. And reading. She does read quite a bit. More about C.E. Clayton, including her blog, book reviews, social media presence, and newsletter, can be found on her website: https://www.ceclayton.com/



Giselle said...

Thanks for being on the tour! :)