So if you’ve been hanging around Twilight Sleep, you might have seen a few posts about my favorite indie author, E.J. Stevens. E.J. is so awesome that she took a bit of time out her super-busy schedule to sit down for an interview with me! And if that wasn’t awesome enough, she also wants to give a gift to a lucky winner! Read on for more info:
Interview with E.J.
So E.J., how old were you when you decided to write your first novel and try to get it published?
E.J.: I’ve been writing and telling spooky stories since childhood, but it wasn’t until my 30’s that I began thinking seriously about writing to get published.
I’m sure you get this a lot but…what gave you the idea to write a story about a girl who SMELLS the dead?
E.J.: There is an old, overgrown cemetery in the woods near my home that became the inspiration for Yuki’s psychic gift of clairalience. One day while walking my dog past this cemetery, I was overwhelmed by the strong fragrance of men’s cologne. Since there was no one else in the woods with me that day, my mind drifted to thoughts of ghosts. The feeling that someone was standing there was so strong it gave me goosebumps, and I thought, “wouldn’t it be creepy to experience this every time you’re around the dead?” It would be especially difficult to go near places like hospitals and graveyards. And then the idea for Yuki struck; it would be absolutely hellish to be dealing with this gift during the most chaotic time in any person’s life–high school. I went home and began writing She Smells the Dead, the first novel in the Spirit Guide series, that very day.
So how was Ivy Granger born?
E.J.: The Ivy Granger series was born in a much different manner than the Spirit Guide series. Instead of being inspired first by a psychic gift and the protagonist’s journey to cope with that gift, the Ivy Granger series was built on the foundations of the fictional city of Harborsmouth. The origins for this urban fantasy city are rooted in my experiences walking the streets of harbor cities, such as Boston, Portland, and Dublin. When the idea for the Ivy Granger series was just a seed germinating in the dark recesses of my writer brain, I built the fictional city of Harborsmouth and began populating it with supernatural creatures. It was later when I sat down to plot and write Shadow Sight, the first novel in the Ivy Granger series, that the characters burst from the streets of Harborsmouth with all of their fears, quirks, and passions.
That’s awesome. Always interesting to hear that it’s not necessarily some methodical process that creates the stories we love. Speaking of which, you’re one of my favorite authors, as we all know. Who would you say is your favorite author?
E.J.: Edgar Allan Poe.
He’s a good one – one of my favorites too! Ok, this question is from my husband. We love food so we were wondering, what is your #1 comfort food?
E.J.: When I’m busy writing, I reach for peanut butter and a spoon. That’s right, I eat it straight from the jar. *head desk* But my fave comfort food is vegan tacos with heaps of avocado and hot sauce.
Nothing wrong with eating it straight from the jar! It tastes better that way, lol. Another thing we love is a good TV show – we don’t watch primetime, but we research good television series and invest in them for lazy time on our weekends off. Are there any TV shows that you just can’t miss or, if they’re not currently airing, you still have to watch?
E.J.: I watch mostly anime and Korean dramas, but I also enjoy watching episodes of Firefly and the Vampire Diaries.
YES! This is why we’re
soulmates good friends. If I remember correctly, we actually bonded over our mutual love of anime, haha. So what is a normal day like for you when you’re not doing anything whatsoever related to writing/books?
E.J.: Now that I write full-time, I only have two or three writing breaks each year. During those breaks, I have a voracious appetite for books, TV, and video games. I am a huge fan of the Elder Scrolls series of games and I’ve spent many vacation days in the fantasy world of Tamriel.
Gamer love! Do you enjoy long walks on the beach? *waggles eyebrows*
E.J.: LOL. Yes, actually, I do. I can often be found walking along the beach or sea cliffs at dawn or dusk.
Ooo, that mysterious figure that haunts the cliffs! *plays creepy mood music* Speaking of which, what types of music do you enjoy listening to? Do you listen to music while writing?
E.J.: I find music too distracting while I’m writing, but I do use music to set a mood while I’m preparing to write. An Ivy Granger series playlist can be found here (scroll down for playlist) at the Ivy Granger website and a Spirit Guide series playlist can be found here at the Spirit Guide website.
What is currently at the top of your bucket list?
E.J.: I would love to see one of my book series made into a movie or TV show.
If your books were to be turned into movies or TV shows, who would you cast for each series’ main characters?
E.J.: I love this question! Here is my dream cast for each series:
Spirit Guide Series
Yuki: Jodelle Ferland
Emma: Gemma Ward
Calvin: Chris Zylka or Chase Crawford
Simon: Ian Somerholder
Gordy: Field Cate
Katie: Georgie Henley
Ivy Granger Series
Ivy Granger: Megan Fox, Odette Annabelle, Erica Cerra, Olivia Wilde, or Taylor Cole
Jinx: Zooey Deschanel
Ceffyl Dŵr: Henry Cavill
Madam Kaye: Helena Bonham Carter
Jenna: Rose Leslie
The Green Lady: Tilda Swinton would be wonderful as The Green Lady
Sir Torn: Johnny Depp
Ivy’s Mother (as a young woman): Mia Wasikowska
Will-o’-the-Wisp: Caleb Landry Jones
Tuatha Dé Danann druid Béchuille: Amanda Seigfried
Melusine: Bryce Dallas Howard
Ooo, I love Helena Bonham Carter as Madam Kaye! Ok, last but not least: the zombie apocalypse is going down in 5 minutes. How will you survive?
E.J.: Noooooooooooooooooo! I am totally zombie-phobic, so I’d probably grab my Kindle (as a distraction from the hideous brain munchers), a shovel (for self-defense, so long as I don’t die of fright), a jar of peanut butter (don’t judge), and a bottle of water (see, I can be practical) and then run for the nearest boat. I’m not good on the water, but I’d rather be seasick than zombie food. Though if this is a cross-species zombie apocalypse, I give up. I draw the line at zombie sharks.
Hah! We hadn’t thought about the cross-species thing but that’s always possible! Don’t worry, the hubs and I will find you and we’ll team up – together we’ll make it through! Thanks so much for taking the time to answer our silly questions – and for offering such an awesome gift to one our readers!
E.J. Stevens is the author of the Spirit Guide young adult series and the bestselling Ivy Granger urban fantasy series. When E.J. isn’t at her writing desk she enjoys dancing along seaside cliffs, singing in graveyards, and sleeping in faerie circles. E.J. currently resides in a magical forest on the coast of Maine where she finds daily inspiration for her writing.
You can learn more about E.J. by visiting her blog From the Shadows: http://www.fromtheshadows.info
Ivy Granger Series / Spirit Guide Series / Goodreads / Amazon / Twitter / Blog
E.J. is giving away an audiobook copy of her new adult urban fantasy book, Shadow Sight! This giveaways is open to US and international entries provided you have the software and/or device necessary to listen to audiobook files. You can enter using the widget below. The contest ends May 31, 2013 at 11:59 CST. The winner will be contacted via email on June 1. Please be sure you’ve read our giveaway policy before entering. Good luck!