Chat With an Author Giveaways YA Appreciation Month

Supernatural Summer: Chat and Giveaway with Kelley Armstrong

Kelley Armstrong is the hugely successful and bestselling author of the adult Urban Fantasy Women of Otherworld series. Last year, she made her first foray into the world of Young Adult fiction with The Summoning, the first book in her Darkest Powers trilogy. This year, she released the second book in the series, The Awakening – which I absolutely loved. Not only does Ms. Armstrong write fantastic adult-audience novels, but her young adult series is one of the best out there. (In fact, The Awakening is easily on my list of notable reads for 2009!) Needless to say, I was thrilled when she agreed to an interview, and we are happy to have her as our first official guest author for our Young Adult Appreciation Month.

Without further ado, please give it up for Kelley Armstrong!

This interview with Kelley Armstrong is the first in our SUPERNATURAL SUMMER book feature from Harper Teen. This week we will bring you five different books by five different authors, including interviews, articles and giveaways.


The Book Smugglers: First and foremost, thank you for taking the time to chat with us about your writing. As fans of your adult and young adult novels, we are thrilled to have you here on The Book Smugglers for our Young Adult Appreciation Month!

Your Darkest Powers books are set in the same universe as your bestselling adult Urban Fantasy Women of Otherworld series, but are written for a young adult audience. Why did you decide to cross over to the Young Adult genre?

Kelley: It was a couple of things. I had an idea inspired by my second adult novel, Stolen, but it was about supernaturals just coming into their powers, which in my world happens at puberty, which wouldn’t work for an adult series. That idea was in the back of my mind as I began getting an increasing number of emails from readers I considered a little too young to be reading my other books! So I decided to give that YA idea a try.

The Book Smugglers: How does writing in the Young Adult genre differ from writing adult-audience fiction? What difficulties or challenges (if any) are there in writing Chloe’s books in contrast to your Otherworld Urban Fantasy novels?

Kelley: The only real difference is the age of the characters. However, while I cover a lot of narrator ages in my adult series, teens ARE a lot different. There’s the language of course—making the characters sound like teens. But the bigger issue is, well, the issues. When I’m writing adults, whether they’re 25 or 45, they’re dealing with a similar set of issues (jobs, finances, marriage & children) Teens are at a different place in their lives and the characters need to reflect that. They also have a limited set of tools for dealing with problems. If I have an adult character on the run, they can empty their bank accounts, get fake ID, hop on a plane, rent a hiding place etc. Fifteen-year-olds can’t do that.

The Book Smugglers: The Reckoning is the next book in your Darkest Powers trilogy. Can you tell us a bit about what to expect in the next Chloe Saunders story? Do you have any other Young Adult novels in the works?

Kelley: It’s the last installment in the trilogy, which means the story will finally wrap up. I’m contracted for three more YA books after that and I’m currently working on the first in a new trilogy, which takes place in the same universe, with another group of Edison Group test subjects. So I’m doing something similar to what I do in my adult books by changing narrators and main characters, with the possibility of bringing back the original ones later if that’s what readers want.

The Book Smugglers: What are some of your inspirations and influences for writing the Darkest Powers books?

Kelley: Now that gets tougher. Questions like that were so much easier to answer when I first started writing and knew exactly where ideas and inspiration came from. After a while, though, I’m being influenced by so many sources that it’s a fluid and invisible process. Everything goes into the creative pot and if I sit back and think “where did I get that ingredient from?” I honestly have no idea. Sorry!

The Book Smugglers: Are you a reader of Young Adult fiction? What are some of your favorite YA titles?

Kelley: I hadn’t read it in years, but there’s so much great stuff out there now that to overlook it because it’s “YA” would mean I’d miss out on a fast-growing branch of my favorite genre. Some of my recent faves would include Melissa Marr’s Ink Exchange and Kristin Cashore’s Graceling.

The Book Smugglers: Chole has fallen asleep and has inadvertently raised a zombie hoard! Aaaargh! You can save ONE book, ONE movie, and ONE television show. QUICK! Name them:

Kelley: Book: Pride & Prejudice. Movie: The Princess Bride. TV Show: Buffy (on DVD—I wouldn’t have advocated continuing it beyond the last season, but I would want to keep those seasons)

The Book Smugglers: We Book Smugglers are faced with constant threats and criticisms from our significant others concerning the sheer volume of books we purchase and read—hence, we have resorted to ‘smuggling books’ home to escape scrutinizing eyes. Have you ever had to smuggle books?

Kelley: From my husband, no—he’s never complained about the piles of books around the house. From my parents, yes. While they were happy I was reading, sometimes I was reading a little too much for their tastes.

The Book Smugglers: Thank you for your time! It’s been a pleasure.

Kelley: And thank you for interviewing me!

KELLEY’S BIO: I’m married with three kids and live in rural Ontario, Canada. After graduating with a degree in psychology, I switched gears and studied computer programming. Currently, I’m a full-time writer and parent. Could I make this section any more dull? Probably not.

In my ongoing quest to post the worst author photo ever, here is entry #3, as taken by my youngest. I appear to be wearing no makeup, my sweater clashes with my shirt and the ‘nostril-cam’ angle looks like something out of the Blair Witch Project. Have I even run a brush through my hair yet that morning? I think not.

You can read more about Kelley on her website HERE.

Now, for the Giveaway:

We are giving away ONE copy of the first book in the Darkest Powers trilogy, The Summoning! The contest is open to residents of the US and Canada; to enter leave a comment here telling us what your particular dark power of choice is (necromancer, werewolf, witch, vampire, etc). The contest will run until Sunday July 26 at midnight (PST). Good luck!

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  • Angela T.
    July 20, 2009 at 12:12 pm

    Vampire! I like all the other supernatural critters but vampires are my favorite.

  • Breia B.
    July 20, 2009 at 12:20 pm

    Werewolf, definitely my favorite.

  • Michelle
    July 20, 2009 at 12:21 pm

    Great Author! … Great Contest!


  • Kathy
    July 20, 2009 at 12:24 pm

    I’d love to win this book! Um, its hard to say what I’d like my power to be, I’m kind of leaning towards werewolf!

  • Marial
    July 20, 2009 at 12:38 pm

    I would like to be a necromancer. I’d like a cloak of invisibility thrown in too 😆

  • hagelrat
    July 20, 2009 at 12:39 pm

    Ok, don’t enter me because I already bought it but I like to play for fun. I think i’d be inclined to go with werewolf from the options in the series so far. One of the great things about Kelley’s books is that none of the species come without downsides, it’s really balanced.
    Great interview. :mrgreen:

  • CrystalGB
    July 20, 2009 at 12:50 pm

    Werewolf would be my choice. Great interview. The series sounds good.

  • Renee
    July 20, 2009 at 1:11 pm

    Thanks for featuring one of my favorite authors!
    Were all the way. Elena is the best.
    Please don’t enter me, since I already own the audiobook. 🙂

  • alana
    July 20, 2009 at 1:13 pm

    I’d have to go with necromancer.

    I’m not really into all the animal urges and territorial brouhaha werewolves and vampires usual have. Plus I’m pretty much over the idea of “mates for life” and “cold hard bodies.” (Not that I don’t enjoy reading about it. I just wouldn’t want to live it.)

  • Courtney
    July 20, 2009 at 1:25 pm

    I would definatly want to be a vampire. They are the powerful, sexy, supernatural creature!! :[

    I can’t wait to read this series!! Sounds great!!

  • Moth
    July 20, 2009 at 1:25 pm

    Don’t know if this qualifies as a “dark power” per se but I always liked Rogue’s power in X-Men. Be able to steal other people’s abilities with a touch? Totally awesome. Endless possiblities! Of course, the whole not being able to touch other people without killing them is a drawback…

  • Celia
    July 20, 2009 at 1:26 pm

    I have to echo alana…it’s necromancer the whole way. Anything a little out of the paranormal ordinary. Thanks!


  • Elizabeth
    July 20, 2009 at 1:37 pm

    Dare I step outside the lines and say Witch? Although I would love to be any type of character protrayed in one of Kelley’s books I choose Witch because of the realm of possiblities one has. 😉

  • janicu
    July 20, 2009 at 1:49 pm

    Am I strange for liking this alleged “worst photo ever”?

    Anyway, count me in for the book contest, been meaning to start this series. I think I’d like to be a witch.

  • Jen D.
    July 20, 2009 at 1:50 pm

    A few months ago I would have answered vampire without even hesitating. But after reading Patricia Briggs, Kelley Armstrong and Keri Arthur’s series I’m all about the werewolf lifestyle.

    Thanks for the great interview and contest.

    :mrgreen: Jen

  • Samantha
    July 20, 2009 at 1:56 pm

    I’d probably have to say necromancer, just because as a vampire I’d have to rely too much on other people and I happen to like the daytime. I wouldn’t want to be a werewolf mainly because I also wouldn’t really be in control either (are you sensing a pattern?? lol).
    A necromancer seems like it would be pretty cool and scary at the same time (hence the dark power thingy). 😀

    Great interview and thanks for the contest!!

  • Anonymous
    July 20, 2009 at 1:59 pm

    Werewolves are my faves. Great interview. I love the women of the otherworld series. I havent read the Darkest powers series yet.

  • Delitealex
    July 20, 2009 at 2:01 pm

    sorry I posted the comment before I put my name in

  • Tiah
    July 20, 2009 at 2:16 pm

    I would be a kick ass witch. I wouldn’t do human sacrifices (unless the person deserves it 😈 ) but the kind of witch that uses the earth and it elements. That would be awesome.

  • Dan
    July 20, 2009 at 2:29 pm

    How about whatever takes to have an influence on random number generators?

  • danielle
    July 20, 2009 at 2:32 pm

    great interview!

    you guys should review the obernewth (sp?) chronicles. just throwing it out there 🙂

  • Estella
    July 20, 2009 at 3:06 pm

    My favorite is the werewolf.

  • Angie
    July 20, 2009 at 3:08 pm

    It’s so interesting to hear an author discuss crossing over from adult to YA or vice versa. Thanks for the interview! I’m looking forward to this book.

    Tough choice. Gonna have to go with vampire. A classic.

  • Marjorie
    July 20, 2009 at 4:23 pm

    Sounds good, count me in.

  • Wendy
    July 20, 2009 at 5:17 pm

    Hi, Kelley! Great interview. 🙂

    I think being a werewolf would be super cool. All the strength I need, none of the weakness. Well, there is silver and I love silver jewelry but considering I would be turning into a wolf then silver jewelry really isn’t that big of a deal.

  • Jenny N
    July 20, 2009 at 5:58 pm

    Just want to say that it was a great interview and I really enjoyed reading it. I would have to pick vampire.

  • Deltay
    July 20, 2009 at 6:04 pm

    I’ve always had a fasination of sorts with witches, so I”ll have to go with that 😉 Sweet interview!

  • Kimberly B.
    July 20, 2009 at 6:11 pm

    Great interview! I love Kelley’s adult books, and I’m looking forward to reading the YAs, too!
    I would pick witch, mostly because I love Paige’s enthusiasm in learning new spells.

  • Virginia Hendricks
    July 20, 2009 at 7:12 pm

    I love the Otherworld series.

    I’d want to be a witch if I had a choice. Then I could turn people in newts. 😉

  • Mardel
    July 20, 2009 at 7:55 pm

    Hi, I’ve been reading Kelley Armstrong’s books for quite awhile, and love the new YA series. My favorite powers would be the demons in Kelley’s book world. They’re interesting. I especially like the chaos demon.

  • RachaelfromNJ
    July 20, 2009 at 8:57 pm

    I would love to be a witch so I could cast spells on people and wear the nifty hat…and giggle evily..and play with a cauldron. 🙂

    I’ve heard of this series for a while now since it was out in hardcover and have been dying to try it! So many great reviews so I know it’s gonna be great!

  • Penelope L.
    July 21, 2009 at 12:04 am

    I’ve been a fan of Kelly Armstrong’s Women of the Otherworld series, and loved reading this interview! I especially love what she has to say about the differences in writing for adults, vs. young adults.

    My dark power of choice is a Werewolf; I love the animal instincts that are portrayed with Weres, and their ability to live human lives and have human emotions…as long as they don’t get angry. 😉

  • Carmen R
    July 21, 2009 at 3:33 am

    I would want to be a vampire. I already have the allergy to sunlight going on for me so why shouldn’t I get the cool powers lol

  • Rob Charron
    July 21, 2009 at 3:37 am

    Hi 🙂
    Thanks for having one of the best authors on your blog. It was a terrific interview and I really enjoyed hearing the difference between YA and UF.
    For my dark power I’d choose Werewolf. I love how Kelley portrays them in her novels.
    Love from Northern Ontario

  • I Heart Book Gossip
    July 21, 2009 at 4:04 am

    I choose to be a witch. I have all the powers I need.

  • Crystal
    July 21, 2009 at 4:05 am

    Vampire!! I’m totally addicted to Vampires. 😀

  • Raina
    July 21, 2009 at 5:38 am

    Being witchy sounds fun. Count me in for the contest.

  • Beth
    July 21, 2009 at 6:46 am

    This looks fun! Please enter me!

    Hmm, witch I think. Although, vampire would be pretty cool for the lifespan alone.

    BethsBookReviewBlog AT gmail DOT com

  • Book Junkie
    July 21, 2009 at 6:46 am

    Oh, good question, I would say a vampire! They just seem so mysterous and sexy!

  • C.J.
    July 21, 2009 at 7:16 am

    I would have to go with vampire. They are so enticing!

  • Dottie
    July 21, 2009 at 7:45 am

    The Awakening sounds great, as does The Summoning.

    I would be a vampire, sexy immortal mysterious being!

    Thanks for the great giveaway!

    Dottie 🙂

  • Teresa W.
    July 21, 2009 at 8:55 am

    Vampires are my favorites, I’m always looking for new authors and series about them. Your series sounds great also!

  • Kuri
    July 21, 2009 at 12:00 pm

    Witch–as long as I could have access to all those second and third level spells Paige knows. 😉

  • Collette
    July 21, 2009 at 1:36 pm

    I think I’d have to go with witch. (HEY, that’s with a “W”!!!!) Seems the most versatile to me.

  • JennyME
    July 21, 2009 at 2:11 pm

    I’d totally be a witch. 😛

  • Mollie
    July 21, 2009 at 2:13 pm

    I’ve seen the Summoning and have been meaning to read it. I’m a fan of vampires and werewolves…call me old fashioned…(or just cliche…)

  • Jamie
    July 22, 2009 at 8:56 am

    Wow it is a hard toss up between Vampires and Werewolves. I also love big cat shifters Yummm!!!

  • Meg
    July 22, 2009 at 10:04 am

    Werewolf all the way. Had a thing for them since I was 6 (I actualy was one that year for halloween. And, er, the next 3 years)

  • jennygirl
    July 22, 2009 at 11:59 am

    I would have to go with witch. I could create a spell to make myself immortal, young and pretty, so I don’t need to be a vampire.

    Thanks for the contest. I would love to read this book, and will whether I win or not 😛

  • Amanda
    July 22, 2009 at 1:32 pm

    Does it have to be out of the ones you listed? Because I love fairys, and those little guys can certainly be dark. After that… vampires. Dracula is one of my favorites.

  • Jamie
    July 22, 2009 at 5:03 pm

    I’d like my power to be one that gets me free books. 😀 Most likely a witch who could materialize a copy of whatever book I have in mind (cause I wouldn’t want to steal someone else’s book) to where ever I may be.

  • Emily
    July 23, 2009 at 9:54 am

    Enter me please!

  • Gwen
    July 23, 2009 at 7:05 pm

    It would have to be the vampire. The rumors of mind reading, super strength, live forever with very few ways to die…I think I could get over the blood diet.

    Thank you!


  • JJ
    July 23, 2009 at 11:34 pm

    This book definitely looks interesting! Enter me in! 😀

  • Veronica Isabella Franco
    July 24, 2009 at 12:55 am

    Vampire. I just can’t seem to get enough vamps in my life/literature 😆

  • Stacies
    July 24, 2009 at 8:43 am

    I would love to be a vampire!!

  • Josephine Marie
    July 24, 2009 at 4:09 pm

    I’d definitely be a necromancer!!!

  • kelseym
    July 24, 2009 at 11:51 pm

    Hmm I’d have to say vampire!! I love them all equally, but it would call to me more 🙂

  • Raelena
    July 25, 2009 at 3:15 am

    I would be a necromancer!

  • Elisa
    July 25, 2009 at 9:57 am

    This sounds fun! I’m earthy/bohemian, so I’d totally be a Witchy Woman, using my powers only for good (like turning everything into chocolate)! :mrgreen:

  • Belle
    July 25, 2009 at 1:37 pm

    I’d have to say magic and sorcery are my favourites!

  • Sharon K
    July 25, 2009 at 6:45 pm

    I say Witch, though restrained and untrained as a child. Thanks for entering me,
    Sharon K.

  • Belinda m
    July 25, 2009 at 8:15 pm

    I think I would want to be a vampire. I like staying up all night and wish that I could sleep all day

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  • Adele
    July 26, 2009 at 12:08 am

    I’d have to go with witch. Maybe that way I’d be able to keep some of my garden away from the pests. 🙂

  • Kokoro
    July 26, 2009 at 4:24 am

    I’d have to select Witch. Just being able to see, and to a degree touch the magic like that would be wonderful!

  • Thea
    July 26, 2009 at 10:26 am

    Thanks for all the entries, guys! The contest is now finished, and comments are closed.