Author Spotlight: Interview with Ellery Kane!

I have had the wonderful opportunity of doing an author interview with Ellery Kane, author of the amazing Legacy series.

About Ellery Kane:

Ellery KaneAbout Ellery Kane:

In my real (non-fiction) life, I work as a forensic psychologist in the San Francisco Bay Area. Evaluating violent criminals and treating victims of trauma has afforded me a unique perspective on the past and its indelible influence on the individual sitting in front of me. An avid short story writer in adolescence, I only recently began writing for enjoyment again, and Legacy was born.

Author/Book Links:      Facebook        Twitter        Goodreads        Legacy Website

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Q.  Can you begin by telling us a little about yourself?  Where did you grow up?  What are your hobbies?

A. Though I live in the San Fransisco Bay Area now and have for many years, I am a Texas girl at heart.  I spent my first eighteen years as as an only child on a farm in a small town in Texas.  With all that open space around me and not much in the way of entertainment, my imagination blossomed.

Aside from writing and reading, I love playing sports and being physically active. I also see a lot of movies, seriously, a lot! I enjoy seeing them the old fashioned way—in the theater with popcorn, Milk Duds, and Diet Coke…and holding hands with my special someone.

Q.  What inspired you to want to write?

A.  My “real” job definitely inspired Legacy. As a forensic psychologist, I meet a lot of people–not in the “Hi, how are you?” kind of way–more like, tell me the deepest, darkest things about yourself. Right now, my primary job responsibility is evaluating prison inmates, most of whom have committed murder and are coming up for parole. Through my work, I’ve learned that everybody has secrets; everybody has a past. Some struggle to get over it; some learn from it; some are changed by it; some are haunted. It was that idea, what we do with our pasts, that inspired Legacy.

Q. When did you decide you wanted to be a writer?  How does that fit around your job as a forensic psychologist?

A.  My love for reading and writing began as a child, but I never seriously considered “writing” as a career. It was always just something fun to do. I wrote short stories, shared them with my English class, and entered various writing competitions. When I pursued a career as a forensic psychologist, I stopped writing for fun. Ironically, as a psychologist, most of my job is writing—a very different kind of writing, analytical and logical. So, I suppose, I never really stopped being a writer. But, in the back of my mind, I always knew I’d return to creative writing. Then, last March, I just decided—now is the time.

Q. How long did it take you to write Legacy?  Did you have plans for it to be a trilogy before you started?

A.  When I first started up again—after a ten or so year hiatus–it was painfully slow, and I remember thinking: This is why it takes people years to write a book! But, after a while, something clicked, and I just couldn’t stop writing. I finished Legacy in about six weeks. I never planned for a trilogy, but I felt that the story of Lex and Quin wasn’t finished just yet. About halfway through Prophecy, I realized there was no way to wrap everything up in a sequel…so three it is!

Q.  In your book, Legacy, the main character, Lex, leaves her mother behind on a mission to help the resistance between the Guardian Force.  That takes a lot of bravery.  Do you think you would have done things the same way she had, if you were put in that situation?

A.  That’s a tough question. But, I think many times we underestimate our ability to get through difficult or painful circumstances. Though neither Lex nor her mother wants her to leave, they do what has to be done. In my job as a psychologist, I see this sort of courage every day—people surviving devastating or traumatic experiences simply because they have no choice but to soldier on.

Q.  Where did the idea for the emotion-altering drugs, like Emovere, come from?  It seems quite realistic…do you think that it is something someone might actually develop one day?

A.  I think that what intrigues and draws most readers into a dystopian world is the sense that it is not so different than our own, that a few, strategic events could catapult us into a dark and disturbing place. After all, is our modern world more utopian than dystopian? Some of the most haunting and riveting dystopians—The Hunger Games, Divergent, The Giver—play on our fears as a society that we are one step away from chaos. In creating the world of Legacy, I was again inspired by my job as a psychologist, where I am often face to face with individuals who are eager to change their emotional states. Just as Lex observes—“It seemed that almost everyone was eager to feel or not to feel something”—words that are as true today as ever. For many years, pharmaceutical companies have been cashing in on our desire to quickly and easily alter our emotions, so it wasn’t a stretch to imagine Zenigenic, an up and coming pharmaceutical company, creating a line of emotion-altering medications.

Q.  Which character in Legacy (aside from Lex) did you have the most fun writing?

A.  My favorite character in the series is Quin McAllister. Even though Lex is the heroine of the story and we see the world through her eyes, Quin and his transformation embody the inspiration of the book. learning to accept your past without allowing it to define you. Plus, he is the perfectly irresistible combination of handsome and mysterious.

Q.  While developing the plot, and then actually sitting down and writing the books, did you find yourself writing any unexpected plot twists in the book that you hadn’t originally planned for?

A.  Definitely! I charted the course of the plot at a high level, but when I started writing, there was still a lot I didn’t know. Most of the twists and turns that occurred in the book were unexpected…even for me!

Q.  What was the most difficult part of writing the Legacy series?  Which part was the easiest?

A. This may come as a surprise, but the easiest part was the writing. Everything that comes after the writing—the editing, rewriting, marketing, and selling—is much more challenging.

Q.  What is your favorite part about Legacy?

A.  My favorite part about Legacy is what it represents for me. As a girl, I always dreamed of writing a book, and Legacy is a culmination of that dream.

Q.  Are you currently working on any other books at this time?

A.  Right now, I am working on finishing the final book in the Legacy series, Revelation. I expect that it will be released by late 2015, early 2016

Q.  What book are you reading right now?

A.  I just finished reading one of my new favorites, Anna and the French Kiss, by Stephanie Perkins. The book was all the more special, because I read it on the plane to vacation in Paris, France.

Q.  Have you read any books that have really made an impact on your life?

A.  It’s impossible to pick just one, so I would say that books, in general, have made an impact on my life. Books have the power, the magic to transport us outside our circumstances. And yet, books also have the power to help us persevere through our circumstances by making us feel less alone. As a writer, there is nothing as meaningful as learning that something you’ve written has resonated with or inspired a reader. And as a reader, it is amazing to read something written by a complete stranger and be able to identify with it so completely you might have written it yourself.

Thank you so much for doing this interview with us!  It’s been a wonderful opportunity, and I know I’m definitely looking forward to the final book in the Legacy series!

 

Also, you can check out my review for Legacy, the first book in the Legacy series (as well as an awesome giveaway), here.