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Thursday, November 16, 2017

Interview with C.E. Clayton, author of The Monster Of Selkirk #YA

Hi! Would you tell us a little bit about yourself? 

My name is actually Chelscey, (like Chelsea, but spelt funny) which is why I go by my pen name. Much easier to find me this way, trust me! I am a big nerd; I collect Uncanny X-Men comic books, and fangirl over Doctor Who, Supernatural, Mass Effect and Dragon Age. I am also a pet parent with three rescued fur babies: two big fluffy cats, and one little dog who thinks he is a cat. I was born and raised in Southern California, but I recently transplanted to New Orleans for my husband’s job. I am also a fan of tattoos and dying my hair fun colors.

Do you have anything you would like to say to your readers?

Thank you! As clich√© as it may be, I just want to profusely thank my readers for picking up my stories and finding Tallis and her friends worth following. It’s incredibly humbling, and I am so honored to have you!

Do you write an outline before starting a book or just write?

I tend to be more of a pantser. I write down where the story needs to end, what needs to be accomplished, and the big character traits, and write a brief couple of sentence outline for the next three chapters. After that, I just sit down and let the characters lead me to their destination and then repeat the process until the end. Editing and revising is where I make sure everything actually flows and makes sense. But if I outline too much, I tend to get bored of my writing before I’ve actually begun.

Your life is an action/suspense novel; your stuck on a ship and it’s about to blow. If it was just you, you would jump overboard and get away fast, but there are a few people that were being held captive on the ship too. What do you do? 

I would pull some serious Archer levels of snark and banter as I bumble through a truly epic rescue. The captors will be so confused by my misplaced confidence, that I will momentarily have the upper hand. With bullets flying and bouncing off walls to hit their intended target but miss the captives, I turn out the lights for added confusion, and lead the captives out.  Shrugging off the bullet that somehow managed to hit my foot, I unceremoniously toss the now freed captives off the boat, before falling suit as the explosion from the ship tosses me overboard, making me look like the truly epic super-hero spy that is far too cool to look at the explosions behind them.

I know authors get asked this a lot but do you have any advice that you would give to aspiring writers?

Take your time. Don’t just start submitting your book to agents or publishers the moment YOU think your book is done. Sit on it for like a month or two, then go back and read it. Then give it to people who aren’t your best friends, who are avid readers in your genre, and see what they think before editing or revising your book once again. Research exactly who you think (agent or publisher) is the best fit for your book, don’t just submit your work to everyone, you’ll just get that many more rejections. And don’t discount small or indie presses as an option, given the big publishing houses still only care for books that will be commercial successes because they are just a retelling of The Hunger Games, you may be shooting yourself in the foot by not considering smaller publishing houses as a viable option for publication.

Can we expect more novels from you in 2017/2018?

Absolutely! Book two in “The Monster of Selkirk” series just came out a few weeks ago, and book three is in the final stages of editing, so I’m hoping to get that out early in 2018, if not sooner.

Do you think you may ever go into another genre?

Definitely. I am currently half way through writing a general fiction novel that focuses on forgiveness, family, and mental illness/health. While my fantasy novels include characters dealing with similar issues, the book is never really about those struggles. This new work of fiction will focus solely on those themes, without any fantastic creatures to get in the way.

Is there a genre that you love to read, and would like to write, but just cannot?

Hard science fiction and historical fiction. I love when authors do a ton of research in these subjects so the science feels real, and the historical fiction feels like you could conceivably use it to study for a history exam. But the amount of research required, which probably amounts to multiple college degrees, plus being comfortable with writing something that is just a step or two away from being non-fiction, is just something I cannot reconcile in my mind. I research for all my fantasy novels as well, but I just don’t have the drive to do the kind of research needed before even starting to write books like that like some some of these authors. I applaud them for what they can do, and wish I could follow in their footsteps, but ultimately, I just can’t.

What is your favorite quote, by whom, and why?

“Of all sad words of tongue or pen, the saddest are these: it might have been!” – John Greenleaf Whittier. I’ve loved this quote since high school and its reminder to live your life to its fullest so that you don’t look back and wonder what could have been if you did this or that. It’s a strong reminder to be happy with the choices you’ve made and the person you’ve become without lamenting the “what ifs” in life.

Can you tell us about your main character?

Tallis is a strong, female lead who struggles to feel accepted both in her home town, and within her own skin. She strives to see the good in everyone, sometimes to a fault as certain people constantly betray that, and yet she still yearns for their love. She doesn’t want to be a hero, she just wants to live a life of her choosing, but she doesn’t hesitate to do the right thing, sometimes at great personal cost. She also acts before she thinks sometimes, and is pretty ignorant when it comes to love. She knows all about lust, but she had no good example for romantic love, so she often can’t see what’s right in front of her. Tallis is one of those people who brings people together, which include people who may otherwise never be friends. She’s wonderful, and flawed, and sometimes needs help. Despite the fantasy world she lives in, she is meant to feel like a very real person, maybe even a person you know, or want to be more like. She may be the heroine that feels typical in this genre, but I strove to make her well-rounded. She stumbles and falls, but never in a way that feels trite. She is a girl on the long road to self-discovery, a road that gets blocked when feral elves decide to burn everything she knows.

Random Quickies!

Please answer 3-5

Pepsi or coke?


Favorite kind of chocolate?


Cats or dogs?


Do you own a laptop or desktop computer?


What book are you reading today?

The Time Traveler’s Wife

The Monster Of Selkirk
The Duality of Nature  
Book 1
C.E. Clayton

Genre: YA Fantasy

Print Length: 329 pages

Publisher: DevilDog Press

Publication Date: April 18, 2017


Book Description:

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.

Amazon     BN     Kobo     iTunes     Smashwords     Goodreads

About the Author:

C. E. Clayton was born and raised in Southern California where she worked in the advertising industry for several years on accounts that ranged from fast food, to cars, and video games (her personal favorite). This was before she packed up her life, husband, two displeased cats, and one very confused dog and moved to New Orleans. Now, she is a full time writer (mainly in the fantasy genre), her cats are no longer as displeased, and her dog no longer confused.

More about C.E. Clayton, including her blog, book reviews, and poetry, can be found on her website:



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