For What It's Worth

Monday, August 8, 2011

Interview and Giveaway with E.J. Stevens

"Yuki has a secret....She smells the dead." She Smells the Dead & Spirit Storm are at the very tippy top of my TBR pile but in the meantime the Spirit Guide series author E.J. Stevens has agreed to stop by for an interview and is giving away a trading card swag pack to one lucky commenter.

Welcome author E. J. Stevens!

You're the author of two poetry collections (From the Shadows, Shadows of Myth and Legend) and the YA paranormal Spirit Guide series, all with dark themes. What draws you to this particular style of writing? I blame my parents, LOL! I had an unusual childhood steeped in my mother's dark tales from the myth and folklore of the British Isles and the chilling ghost stories that my dad would read from our library. My favorite childhood diversion was to scare friends and family by creating and telling my own spooky stories filled with the magical, and often monstrous, paranormal creatures these tales inspired. In elementary school I began to put pen to paper and discovered an aptitude for writing. I have been composing verse and weaving prose ever since.

Is there a genre other than your own that you would like to give a try writing one day? I plan to write a middle-grade paranormal novel, Yes Annabelle: There Are Such Things as Vampires, and have an idea for a suspense thriller very unlike my dark poetry and young adult paranormal writings. I am so busy at the moment with the Spirit Guide series. We release Legend of Witchtrot Road, Spirit Guide book 3, October 4th and while on tour I will also be working on Brush with Death, Spirit Guide book 4, and a Spirit Guide supplemental, The Calvin and Yuki diaries. It may be late 2012 before I have an opportunity to revisit these other writing projects.

The covers to the Spirit Guide series are gorgeous! Who is the artist? The Spirit Guide book covers are a collaborative effort between myself and B. Sanborn. Sanborn has amazing skill with photo manipulation and a great understanding of the characters.

Do you have a ritual or superstition that you follow when it comes to your writing? I am actually much more superstitious when working on poetry collections, but I have one eccentricity that perpetuates my writing ritual. While writing productively, I fear that I will feel well and be unable to write. Yes, you read that correctly. I worry about feeling well, not unwell.

This quirky superstition stems from the first book of poetry I composed in 2009. I became sick and while in bed with a terrible flu virus, I began writing From the Shadows. Until then, I had written numerous poems and short stories, but never set my mind to completing a writing project. My flu turned to pneumonia and I could barely lift arm or leg. I was too weak to leave my bed. What began as a distraction evolved into a frenzy of writing. When I was no longer ill and could return to my normal, healthy self, I stopped writing.

My fear of wellness began.

Ever since that fateful day in 2009, I dread feeling healthy. I long for gloomy days and a lingering malaise to stimulate the stories I long to tell.

I know. It isn't normal, but then, no one would ever accuse me of normalcy. ;P

Is there a must have snack you need to have nearby while writing? I almost always have a strong mug of coffee or tea and a fresh supply of raw veggies to nibble on.

How about music? Many authors have playlists for their books. I don't usually listen to music while writing, but I do have a playlist of songs that have helped to inspire the Spirit Guide series.

Spirit Guide Playlist:
Not In Love by Crystal Castles feat. Robert Smith
Walking With A Ghost by Tegan and Sara
Howl by Florence + The Machine
Pearl's Dream by Bat For Lashes
To Die For by The Birthday Massacre
Loretta Young Silks by Sneaker Pimps
Duvet by Boa
Twilight Galaxy by Metric (Che Andre remix)
Hysteric by Yeah, Yeah, Yeahs
Bloodbuzz Ohio by The National
Breathe Me by Sia
Wind in the Wires by Patrick Wolf
Butterflies and Hurricanes by Muse
Bring Me To Life by Evanescence
Final Destination by Within Temptation
Teignmouth by Patrick Wolf
We Are Pilots by Shiny Toy Guns
Enjoy the Unknown by And One
The Dream by The Birthday Massacre
Loretta Young Silks by Sneaker Pimps
Headlock by Imogen Heap
Chasing Cars by Snow Patrol
The Perfect Girl by The Cure
Ghost Town by Shiny Toy Guns
The Howling by Within Temptation
Skeleton by The Good Natured
Haunted (when the minutes drag) by Collide (Love and Rockets cover)
Walking in My Shoes by Depeche Mode
Blind by Wolfsheim
Static by Echostream
Numb by Portishead
Thanatos by Soap & Skin
Moon and Moon by Bat For Lashes
All I Need by Within Temptation
Glass by Bat For Lashes
Werewolf by Cat Power
Her Eyes Are Underneath the Ground by Antony and the Johnsons
A Thousand Hours by The Cure

What is the last book you’ve read that you adored and want to tell people to go buy it NOW? Just one? I am a HUGE fan of Maggie Stiefvater, Kim Harrison, and Julie Kagawa, to name a few, but one of my favorite novels of 2011 is Demonglass, the second book in the Hex Hall series, by Rachel Hawkins. Demonglass has a wonderful combination of paranormal mystery, edge-of-your-seat excitement, YA romance, and hilarious dialogue. But the reason Demonglass makes my list of favorites is Sophie. She is such a fabulously fun character. I love strong, quirky, teen characters.

How do you think book review bloggers have changed the landscape of promoting books & authors? I heart book bloggers. Seriously, book bloggers are passionate about reading and sharing their love of books and their opinions are heard worldwide 24-7. I can visit a blog site at any time of day or night, in any time zone, and learn about which books bloggers are enthusiastic about reading. Book blogs are the pulse of the industry.

These reviews are also completely raw and unfiltered. As an author I find that kind of reader feedback invaluable.

Book bloggers have become an amazing resource for authors. Where else can a new author receive an honest review and interact with passionate readers? Book Bloggers even go a step further and host giveaways, blog tours, and other special events.

Book bloggers rock!

Karen: Thanks E.J. I'm off to investigate all that great music. I know quite a few of those bands but there are several I've never heard off. A great time to test out Spotify!
I think I can speak for most book bloggers and say that we think Author's rock!

E.J. Stevens writes poetry and young adult paranormal novels.  E.J. is author of the haunting collection of dark poetry From the Shadows, the chilling collection of paranormal poetry Shadows of Myth and Legend, and the young adult paranormal Spirit Guide Series, including She Smells the DeadSpirit Storm, and Legend of Witchtrot Road.

When E.J. isn't at her writing desk she can be found blogging at From the Shadows, a paranormal book blog, or hanging out on Goodreads or Twitter.

Buy the Books! Amazon

NOW! Look what E.J. is giving one of you lucky commenters!!
Five She Smells the Dead cards, Five Spirit Storm cards, Two Spirit Guide bookmarks (not pictured) and a signed Legend of Witchtrot Road postcard.

Here's a link to view some of the cards better. My background dulls it a bit and I'm just not doing these cards justice! GORGEOUS! and *ahem* Simon??? Yummy! (click each pic to enlarge and you'll see what I mean!)

**Leave a comment and your entered - that's it! Please leave an email to contact you. (use DOT and AT to avoid spammers.) US/Canada Only.
Winner announce Monday August 15th.


  1. great interview and I loved hex hall too.
    aprilmom00 at gmail dot com

  2. @Julie: Thank you! Karen's questions were so much fun to answer.

    Happy Reading. :)

    Paranormal Author E.J. Stevens
    From the Shadows

  3. I just finished the first two books of this series and enjoyed them:) I agree on the covers, they're beautiful and definitely set the right tone for the books! Looking forward to reading more by E.J.:)

  4. @Jenny: Thank you!

    I can't wait to reveal the covers for the next two books in the series. The mock-ups look amazing. :)

    Paranormal Author E.J. Stevens
    From the Shadows

  5. Thanks again!

    deadtossedwaves at gmail dot com

  6. Mary D
    zenrei57 (at) hotmail dot com

    E.J. Stevens is one of my all-time favorite YA authors - so natch I am drooling all over the keyboard to win this sweet giveaway :D

  7. Yay!


  8. I think these books sound awesome! I have them both for my kindle and cannot wait to read them!! I'm almost done with my current series, so these will soon be at the top. Congrats!

    Artesia at comcast dot net

  9. That is an interesting playlist! And I loved Demonglass too! And that was a great answer about book bloggers. Thanks!

  10. I totally heart book bloggers, too, and I absolutely heart this playlist! Awesome, EJ!! Thanks for a great interview and giveaway:)
    jwitt33 at live dot com

  11. I love the covers and I have been wanting to read this book (saw it on Goodreads!!!). Thank you so much! edysicecreamlover18@gmailDOTcom

  12. Missie + Julie: Glad you like my playlist. I listen to an eclectic mix of music, LOL.

    Krystal: Ooooh, are we Goodreads friends? I love Goodreads...I'm a bit of a Goodreads addict. ;P

    Paranormal Author E.J. Stevens
    From the Shadows

  13. This is awesome! Thank you!

    thegirlonfire27 at gmail dot com

  14. The covers of the books first caught my attention..they are awesome! Then, I read about E.J. Stevens, and I am hooked! Keep up with the awesome writing..can't wait to see your future masterpieces!! :)
    kjzjs55 at aol dot com


  15. Just stopped by to say great interview girls. Waving madly at E.J.

  16. thanks for the chance to win an awesome book!

  17. You rock!!

    mirandaskull AT yahoo DOT com