Friday, November 16, 2012

Laura A. H. Elliott, Shadow Slayer, plus #giveaway

AUTHOR: Laura A. H. Elliott
PUBLISHER: Elliott, PM Inc.
GIVEAWAY?1 audiobook of 13 ON HALLOWEEN (Shadow Series #1)

Please tell us about yourself? 
I love writing about enchanted road trips, shadow worlds, and alien romance while eating lots of popcorn. I live in a tree house on the central California coast. After twenty-plus years as a freelance graphic designer/animator with clients including E! Entertainment Television and The Los Angeles Times, I crossed over into the world of publishing non-fiction and followed my heart to the world of fiction.
I’m the author of the Shadow Series & the Starjump Series. 13 on Halloween (Shadow Series #1) is about a girl who gets a birthday gift that’s literally out of this world. I love this book because it takes a look at one girl’s quest for popularity, no matter what the cost.  Shadow Slayer (Shadow Series #2), just released.  I’m really excited about this book because Roxie is one year older and finds the agony of fitting in at high school nothing compared to saving the world from the shadow onslaught. Transfer Student (Starjump Series #1) is an intergalactic tale of beauty and the geek. This book is near and dear to me because it explores the greatest mystery in the galaxy––what do boys think about girls? And, vice-versa. Ashley & Rhoe solve this mystery by swapping lives. I’m the author of  a couple stand alone novels too. Winnemucca, a small-town fairy tale is inspired by my life-long love of a little-known town and my equal love of enchanted teenage road trips. I love this book because it’s about Ginny awakening to her own intuition. The Seven Caves & Other Spine-Tingling Short Stories, is a compilation of my most popular ghost stories. Recently, a lost excerpt from Shadow Slayer has been featured in a paranormal romance anthology called Midnight Surrender.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I didn’t consider myself a writer until long after I was published in the non-fiction world. I don’t believe I really felt like a writer until The Los Angeles Times published my essay A visit to Dracula’s castle,0,1386674.story?coll=la-home-center. This was a big moment for me as a writer because I’d been working at the paper for a few years as a senior multimedia designer putting features together for and the powers that be had encouraged my writing. So to see the article up on was a thrill for me.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
I really don’t like to write to a message. I hope that each reader gets what they need or want from my stories. I like to think my stories mean something a little different to everyone. So, I’ll talk about the inspiration behind the story. There were many, of course, and I can’t go into all of them here, but one of the things that inspired me to write Shadow Slayer was my middle school and high school experience as well as that of my daughters. I wanted to write a story about how friendships can change, they don’t have to fall apart.

What books have most influenced your life most?
Well, it’s a varied list and pretty long so I’ll give you my top five. ‘TWAS THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS, it was the only story my mom had time to read aloud to us kids and she always read it to us on Christmas Eve just as Santa was leaving our presents :) WINNIE THE POOH, because it’s really the only story I can recall loving when I was young, I have vivid memories of Mrs. Anderson my second grade teacher reading the story aloud to us in class. THE INDIAN IN THE CUPBOARD by Lynn Reid Banks, not only because it’s a great read aloud book and that it was a book my daughters and I read aloud together, but we went to see the movie after we’d read the book and I saw the light bulbs go off when they realized how books really are better than the movies that are made of them.  JAMES AND THE GIANT PEACH by Roald Dahl. And ONE HUNDRED YEARS OF SOLITUDE by Gabriel García Márquez.

What book are you reading now? What do you like, or not, about it?
OF BLOOD & BONE (The Minaldi Legacy Series) by Courtney Cole. I love it because it’s very dark and because it is a page turner.

Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
I really loved ON THE ISLAND by Tracey Garvis-Graves and I enjoy Abbi Glines, M. Leighton, Tiffany King, C.A. Kunz, Courtney Cole and Michelle Mutto. I also love the exquisite picture books authored and illustrated by Edna Cabcabin Moran.

What are your current projects?
Currently I’m writing MOON KILLERS, book 3 of the Shadow Series. I’m revising the plot of the book this weekend and I’ve already jumped in and written the first 3000 words. I wanted to write the sequel to Transfer Student next, but Moon Killers won’t let go of me.

If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
No. And I can’t say that very often.

Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
I suppose, looking back, it had something to do with writing letters to a grandpa I’d never meet and receiving his replies. It captured my imagination that he could live so very far away and yet, we could correspond and know about each other’s life. It was special because the letters arrived from halfway around the world and landed in our mailbox, it was just for me, even though his letters were written in a language I didn’t understand. The experience of writing these letters was powerful and exciting.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Endings. I’m getting better at them. But my first drafts always have endings that are not fully cooked and I have to work really hard on getting them to work well.

What do you do when you’re not writing/editing or thinking about writing/editing?
I travel a lot with my husband’s work and I really enjoy it. I like meeting new people in new places, especially readers and writers. I love going to book festivals. I also love hiking, swimming, skiing, cooking, baking (especially pies) and hanging out with friends and my girls. I especially love going to the movies. One time I went to a triple feature with my girls and it was a total blast. I love going to the Drive-In too.

Who is your publisher and how did you connect with them?
I chose to publish my own books. It made sense for me. I wanted to try out this brand new exciting world where I could call my own shots.

How can we find you? Website, Facebook, Twitter, blog, etc. - please share your public links.

One paragraph summary of the Shadow Series:

In 13 ON HALLOWEEN (Shadow Series #1), Roxie’s quest for popularity leads her to receive a birthday gift that’s literally out of this world and it astral projects her to Planet Popular, a world where she’s seventeen instantly, all her dreams come true and all isn’t what it seems. In SHADOW SLAYER (Shadow Series #2), Roxie is one year older and discovers Planet Popular is just the beginning––part of a bigger world, the shadow world. She’ll find the agony of fitting in at high school nothing compared to saving the world from the shadow onslaught.

Shadow Slayer Excerpt:

I pull some blush and mascara out of my makeup bag. I’m late, as usual. No one else is in here with me and it’s too quiet, too quiet for opening night. I try extra hard to keep the makeup off my dress, wedging scratchy brown paper towels all along my shoulder strap to protect it.
I glance over at one of the open, empty lockers. My sword hides in locker number 316, a row away from me. I thought about slaying every one of the shadows that had invaded in dress rehearsal but there was no way for me to ride the bus and sneak my sword in to school without a million eyes on me. Without getting noticed by some teacher who’d confiscate it and expel me for bringing a weapon to school. I had so much stuff to take for the play that Mom offered to give me a ride at the crack of dawn this morning. I hid my sword under my dress. Mom was so scattered because of her big meeting she didn’t notice anything and since it was so early no one was in the halls to give me a second look when I hid my sword in my locker. Note to self: early morning is a good time to hide stuff at school.
I stroke one cheek and then the other with blush and remember standing with Drew at the bonfire. The last night we went out as boyfriend and girlfriend. The last night he was human.
On your 13th birthday, you get the call. By your 14th birthday you find out what the call is.
Everyone I know is in the audience tonight. Ally, Mom, Dad, Brian, even Mitch because he came home for my birthday. We’re having our family dinner tomorrow night since tonight the cast party’s at Drew’s house, unless I decapitate him first.
“Roxie five minutes!” Hayden yells into the girl’s locker room. As usual I’m the last one out. I sweep my hair up to the side and try to remember my first line. For some reason it’s the one I always forget.
All hail, great master! grave sir, hail! I come
To answer thy best pleasure…
I open locker 316, grab my sword and just as I step outside of the locker room Wanda runs up to me and starts talking non-stop about her nerves and how they’re getting worse and worse.
“What’s that?” she asks. I stop cold in my tracks at the backstage door.
“There are lots of words for things that don’t exist––the unseen. Like monsters and aliens and dragons and vampires and ghosts,” I say sort of in a trance.
“Yeah, so?” Wanda says, wringing her hands.
“If they don’t exist, why are there words for them? All the stuff I thought was crazy really isn’t crazy at all,” I say, finally getting what Drew was trying to tell me at the bonfire at the estate at homecoming. What the human Drew said before I danced with his shadow. My role in the unseen, the shadow world. Still, I don’t know so many things. Like, what happens to a shadow once I slay it? And where do humans go when their shadows invade? How can I save my human friends?
“Roxie, I caught you! I was so late because Brian’s car got a flat. He fixed it so great, I couldn’t believe it. It’s like he went to bad ass school or something,” Ally says, laughing.
“Ally. Finally!” We hug. I swallow hard. Brian. Fixed. A. Flat. I mean it’s not brain surgery but believe me, if it doesn’t have an LCD screen, my brother Brian doesn’t think it exists. He doesn’t know how to fix a flat. O.M.G. Brian is probably a shadow too.


  1. Everyone loves The Night Before Christmas, don't they?

    Nice excerpt!

    1. Thanks Cheryl:) Yes, especially this time of year. I look forward to digging it out and dusting it off for a little read. Glad you like the Shadow Slayer excerpt!

  2. As a youngster I LOVED Twas The Night Before Christmas (actually, I still love it!) and James and the Giant Peach... fantastic!
    I adore Laura's work... I've read two of her books (Winnemucca and 13 on Halloween) and both completely engulfed me. I've got another on my Kindle that I'll be reading soon!

    1. So happy to hear that you're a fan of Roald Dahl too! Isn't his work magical? Thanks for stopping by Suzy:) Thanks for helping to spread the word about my novels. I'm thrilled with The Ghost of Josiah Grimshaw! A MUST READ!