Author Interview with the fabulous Stephanie Keyes

18.12.14

The Last Protector
By Stephanie Keyes
Publisher: Inkspell Publishing | Release Date: December 15, 2014
Ebook only: $0.99

Gabriel Stewart helped his best friend Kellen St. James save the world from The Scourge in the Battle of Dublin. But before that? Gabe was just an ordinary guy who kept having dreams about a little boy with black hair and green eyes—a boy he hadn’t even met yet.
And even weirder? Gabe’s mind kept replaying these images on loop of things he’d never seen. He heard voices in his head when no one was around. And he actually blew off hot Valerie Gibbons to chase after the black-haired kid in the park. What was up with that?
As Gabe searches for the truth, fate continually puts him in Kellen’s path, but will he be able to stop the Children of Danu from stealing Kellen before the battle begins? What will it take for Gabe to become The Last Protector?
*The Last Protector is a companion novella--intended to be read after the other books in the series.

Excerpt
It was an ordinary Thursday, (or at least I thought it was going to be), when things got scary. As usual, I was flirting with Valerie Gibbons by the lockers.
"You coming over after school?" Val toyed with the front of her cheerleading skirt.
I shook my head. "Not today." This weird sense of urgency had thrummed in my veins all day, like a Heavy Metal bass line.
Go to the park, go to the park, go to the park...
Val pouted. "You aren't going to dump me, are you? I really like you, Gabe."
"Nah." I made sure no teachers were watching, and then gave her a quick kiss on the lips. My gut turned to jelly when my mouth brushed against hers.
"Where ya going?"
I wished I could tell her the truth. "Ah, you know. I have to do some stuff with the 'rents this afternoon. I'll call you later, okay?" I pushed down my guilt and smiled, trying to amp up my charm to the super mega-watt Gabe level.
"Maybe." Val sounded grumpy about it, but the corners of her mouth turned up when she spoke the word. "Bye." With a quick turn, she ran in the opposite direction, leaving me alone.
After waiting a few beats, I closed my locker with a click. Shouldering my backpack, I ran out the side door and hopped on to my red 10-speed and started to pedal.
Something pushed me, the same message on loop in my mind: Go to the park, go to the park, go to the park...I tried to ignore it, but I couldn't. Maybe if I followed the voice, as freaky as that sounded, it would stop. The thoughts and dreams would end.
And I wanted them to.

Check out some of the other books in The Star Child series!

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | All Romance | Indie Bound | Waterstones

Hi Stephanie! Can you tell us a little about your latest book? 
My latest release is entitled The Last Protector. It’s a companion novella to The Star Child series and chronicles the life of Gabriel Stewart before he and Kellen St. James head off to Yale. This includes Gabe’s first girlfriend, the first time he saves Kellen, and his time in England.

What inspired you to write it?
One of the common themes I’ve heard from readers over the years is: “I really like Gabe! I wish we could find out more about him.” So this novella is entirely for the fans out there, although I promise you that I had a blast writing it.

How did you come up with the idea for the cover?
It’s all down to Najla Qamber at Najla Qamber designs. She is a master when it comes to covers. I did some searching for a model, but this one wasn’t quite right. With Naj’s wizardy, she not only made him fit the part, but added some incredible tribal art that I love. She’s a true genius. I think this is my favorite cover in the series. ☺

If it was made into a movie, who would you like to play the main characters? 
Oh, wouldn’t that be wonderful! Ha. The actor I have always had in mind for Gabe is Hunter Parrish. So if he’s available that would be incredible! It’s good to have a dream. *smiles*

What is it about this genre that appeals to you so much?
The idea that magic could happen anywhere—where we least expect it. I think that’s what we often lose our lives--day in and day out. We go to work, we do what we have to do, and it is so easy for the magic to slip away. But, what if, our reality could be masking another would, another reality that’s far more exciting.

What made you want to become an author?
I have been making up stories in my head since I was little. I’d always imagine these tremendous adventures I’d go on. Writing anything was my happy place. The funny thing is that I didn’t really thing I wanted to be a writer as a kid. A couple of years ago, I ran into someone I hadn’t seen since I was about seven or eight. And they asked me if I remembered telling them I wanted to be a writer when I grew up. I had no idea. I guess we all end up where we need to be.

How do you come up with character names?
Mostly, they just come to me. For example, Kellen and Calienta—those names were just there. I made up the name Calienta—I don’t speak Spanish so I didn’t know there was a Caliente. *laughs* Beyond that, I search names by meaning. I wanted Gabriel Stewart to be a fighter and Gabriel means “the conqueror” in Gaelic. I’ve also used famous names from Irish, Englance, and Welsh folklore and worked some of these theories into the story. GĂșarda literally means Protector, so that’s how the whole concept of The Protectors came into play.

Name one of your all-time favourite books?
I love The Book of Dreams by OR Melling. I keep touting her name, but she is a phenomenal fantasy writer. I adore her work.

Who, or what, inspires you?
Music is a huge jumping off point for my writing. I can hear one song and it inspires three chapters because it set the mood just right. I constantly have music and playlists going on in the background.

Where is your favourite place to write?
Well, it would be a beach house by the ocean, but I don’t have one of those! So my favorite place is at my desk. I have a great big desk in the basement. When I’m there, I am imagining I’m in my London flat writing away. I also have an auxiliary desk that I work at in my bedroom. One day I may graduate to my own office. Ah, to dream... *smiles*

What is your favourite movie that was based on a book?

Pride and Prejudice Oh my gosh... “Mrs. Darcy, Mrs. Darcy, Mrs. Darcy...” It still gives me chills!

Name two of your favourite authors.
Cassandra Clare and Stephanie Perkins

If you could have a dinner party with any authors from any time in history, who would you choose and why? 
Maeve Binchy because she had wonderful ideas about writing, and JK Rowling, because she inspired me from page one.

Tell us a random fact about yourself.
I have dance parties in my house daily. The kids and the dogs get into it. I have a mean routine to Rhythm Nation. Just saying.

Who would play you in the movie about your life? 
photo credit: G155 via photopin cc
Maybe Natalie Portman or Ashley Greene (pictured).

Tell us an interesting fact about where you live. 
We are really into Ice Hockey in my hometown of Pittsburgh, PA (Let’s Go Pens!). Our team Is the Pittsburgh, Penguins. They are fabulous!

What are your (writing) plans for the future? 
Just keep writing! I am a completed YA that I’m querying agents on now, a YA with a first draft that I’m editing, and another Gabe novella to finish. I’m also writing a Middle-Grade Science Fiction as part of NaNoWriMo and co-writing a New Adult Contemporary with a talented local author, Melissa Englesberg. Bottom-line, as lone as people keep reading, I’ll keep writing. ☺

Tell us one thing that's on your bucket list.
Go to Switzerland and Bavaria. Mr. K and I have always wanted to go.

Favourite myth / fairytale?
Sleeping Beauty—but mostly because she gets to take a nap and I’m really tired ALL the time.

Who/What did you want to be when you were a kid?
Wonder Woman. I even had the costume. No, I don’t have it any more! 

Blog

Stephanie Keyes grew up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and spent years traveling and working as a Corporate Trainer before she made the decision to pen her first novel. As a teen, her family always accused her of having an “overactive imagination.” Now, she’s encouraged to keep her head in the clouds and share her world with readers.
Keyes is the author of the YA Fantasy series, The Star Child, which currently includes The Star Child, After Faerie, The Fallen Stars, and The Star Catcher, all from by Inkspell Publishing. The Fallen Stars was a 2013 semi-finalist in the Kindle Book Awards. The Star Child has topped the Amazon best-seller list several times since its 2012 release. Steph writes YA novels because she’s a hopeless romantic who lives to believe that Magick truly does exist. She is hard at work on a new YA novel.
*Author photos courtesy of Kristina Serafini Photo
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1 comment :

  1. Thank you so much for hosting me! It's always great to visit with you, Suzy. :)

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