Kate Avery Ellison - Adventure in a Frozen Fantasy World
Kate Avery Ellison loves rainy days, masquerade balls, and stories with unexpected and shocking twists. She is the author of more than 30 books, including the bestselling Frost Chronicles, the source material for Frost by Delight Games. She wishes she could live in a world of perpetual October, but for now, she makes her home in Atlanta with her husband, children, and cats. As our Author of the Day, Ellison tells us all about Frost, the book that kick started the Frost Chronicles.
Please give us a short introduction to what Frost is about.
In the frozen world of the Frost, only mysterious blue flowers that bloom in the snow keep the monsters at bay. The air is icy cold. It's easy to get lost. One wrong move and a person could end up dead.
Lia Weaver has always followed the strict rules of the village: Don't talk to outsiders. Don't go into the Frost at night. Don't ask too many questions. Rules keep her orphaned family alive in this harsh and unforgiving world. Her parents didn't follow the rules, and they're dead.
Lia intends to survive.
But when her sister finds a handsome fugitive from the advanced society of "Farthers" beyond the Frost bleeding to death in the forest, Lia does the unthinkable.
She saves the bleeding stranger's life, hides him in the barn, and lies about it to the Elders.
Lia has just broken all the rules.
What inspired you to write this book?
I just had the idea one day. Originally the setting was different, and the fugitive was an angel, but the story morphed into a different, more dystopian direction.
Tell us more about Frost by Delight games
Frost by Delight Games is an adventure app game, meaning players make choices within the story to determine the outcome even while they're "reading" the book. So it's a hybrid of my novel and some writing done by the game developers.
Who is Lia Weaver? What makes her tick?
Lia Weaver is a fierce, tough young woman who is determined to keep her family alive and together despite great hardship. She's devoted and no-nonsense.
What is the society of "Farthers"?
Well, answering that question is a bit of a spoiler, but they are the people who live beyond the Frost.
This is book one in the Frost Chronicles. Can it be read as a standalone? How do the other books tie in with this one?
Frost can be read as a stand-alone, but the series gets really good later on, so I encourage people to read it all. There are twists and reveals to things you didn't even realize were going to be explained!
Besides writing, what other secret skills do you have?
I know sign language, and I know how to milk a horse.
Did you always know you wanted to be a writer? And was there a single, defining moment when you realized that you had reached that goal?
Yes, I wanted to be a writer since I was a child. I sold a short story to a magazine in my early twenties and I think that was the first official published work I was paid for. It was exciting.
The book has some unexpected twists. Did you plan them from the start or did they just "happen" along the way?
I planned a few of them, but most of them happened as I was writing. That was my process when Frost was written. Now (25+ books later), I plot almost everything in advance.
How do you force yourself to finish what you're doing before starting the next project when the new idea is nagging at you?
Oh, I don't! I often write 2-3 books at a time. I have a pretty good understanding of how long a project will take me, and I have a yearly plan for various projects and deadlines for when they need to be finished. Sometimes, an idea is so good that it bumps some of the others back, but usually I can be satisfied with some outlining until I have the opportunity to write it.
Do you have any interesting writing habits, what's your average writing day like?
My average writing day has me letting in the nanny to watch my youngest child, and then I grab breakfast and head upstairs. I sit in a big beanbag chair and write for 3-4 hours. Then I do normal life stuff with my kids and husband--doctor's appointments, school pickups, mealtime, etc, and I'm usually squeezing in some extra writing in the evening after the kids are asleep. I'm typing this sentence with a baby snoozing across my lap right now.
What are you working on right now?
Right now I'm about 3/4ths of the way through writing the 8th book in my epic fantasy series the Kingmakers' War. It has dragons, magic, political intrigue. Kind of a YA Game of Thrones. I literally just released another book, a post-apocalyptic Red Riding Hood retelling called Red Rider (see what I mean about writing more than one book at a time?), but now it's back to the grindstone for Kingmakers' War.
Where can our readers discover more of your work or interact with you?
I'm most active on my Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/kateaveryellison/ but readers can also talk to me on Twitter: https://twitter.com/Katiewriting or check out my blog: https://thesouthernscrawl.blogspot.com/. I've also got a Goodreads profile https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4863270.Kate_Avery_Ellison, an Amazon profile https://www.amazon.com/Kate-Avery-Ellison/e/B005166V8S/ref=sr_ntt_srch_…, and a Bookbub author profile https://www.bookbub.com/profile/kate-avery-ellison.