Ellery A. Kane
Publication date: September 5th 2014
Genres: Dystopian, Young Adult
How do you want to feel today?
In 2041, the choice is yours.
San Francisco is deserted, the Bay Bridge bombed, and the BART subway trains grounded. The Guardians, members of an elite and mysterious government-appointed military police force, are maintaining order at all costs—thanks to emotion-altering drugs like Emovere that suppress fear and anxiety. Lex Knightley, daughter of a prominent forensic psychiatrist, risks entering the devastated city to partner with the Resistance, a group of rebels intent upon exposing the dangers of Emovere. Lex discovers an ally in Quin McAllister, a magnetic Guardian Force recruit with a haunting past that binds them together. As she uncovers the secrets of the Guardian Force and confronts the truth about her family, Lex begins to realize that even those closest to her are not quite who they seem.
Legacy is the first book in the Legacy trilogy but can also be enjoyed as a standalone.
In high school, I started writing short stories just for fun and sharing them with my English class. Like most adolescent writing, they were tortured and dark—very different from my outer persona. But I loved the experience of creating with words the exact feeling, image or moment I intended and watching those words resonate with others. That is powerful. It made me want to be an author. Still, I never seriously considered writing as a career.
Instead, I became a forensic psychologist. For almost seven years, I spent countless hours writing psychological evaluations—analytical, logical stories explaining how a person came to be who they are. I always knew I would write creatively again, but I worried I wouldn’t have the energy or time. Then, in March 2014, that little spark caught fire, and I decided to seize the day. At first, my writing was painfully slow (think one sentence per hour) but then it was faster, and faster, and faster. I found myself waking up early to write, brainstorming at 3 a.m., and quickly filling the pages. In about six weeks, Legacy was born.
2. How long does it take you to write a book from start to finish?
Though Legacy was completed in six weeks, the other books were a little slower. I finished the entire Legacy series (Prophecy, Revelation, and the prequel, AWOL) in about a year and a half.
3. How do you come up with themes for your stories?
My work as a psychologist inspired the Legacy series. I have had the opportunity to work with a wide variety of patients, including violent criminals, sexual offenders, and victims of severe trauma. Through it all, there is one commonality. Everybody has secrets; everybody has a past. Some struggle to get over it; some learn from it; some are changed by it; some are haunted. What do we do with our pasts? And can we overcome them? Those questions fueled the theme behind Legacy. And in general, my day job informs everything I write, especially the characters I create.
4. Do you have a schedule of when you write?
I don’t have a standard writing process or a schedule. Mostly, I squeeze in time to write whenever I can, and I try my best to write every day…even if it’s just one sentence.
5. How are you able to balance other aspects of your life with your writing?
One of your most important jobs as a writer is to take time to live. Without experiencing the world, how will you ever write about it? I’m fortunate to have a day job that allows me the flexibility to write and to work from home on most days. No matter what work obligations I have, I make time for exercise, friends and family, and fun every day. After that, there’s usually at least a few hours left over to write.
6. What elements do you think make a great story line?
I create multi-faceted stories that include action, romance, and humor, and I use short, snappy chapters to keep the pages turning. But, ultimately, I believe it’s the characters people remember. It’s the characters who keep readers coming back and wanting more, so I do my best to develop well-rounded humans, who are, at times, both hero and villain.
7. What was the hardest thing about writing a book?
Before I wrote Legacy, I never realized just how many dystopian novels were out there. With so much competition, it can be hard to stand out from the pack and be considered “original.” And, as a perfectionist, it’s always been a challenge for me to receive critical feedback. I’m still working on developing my thick skin!
8. How many books have you written so far? Do you have a favorite?
So far, I’ve written three full length novels—Legacy, Prophecy, and Revelation—for the Legacy series. And I recently published a prequel novella to the series entitled, AWOL, that just might be my favorite.
9. Do you have a favorite character?
My favorite character in Legacy is Quin McAllister. Even though Lex is the heroine of the story and we see the world through her eyes, Quin and his transformation embody the inspiration of the book: learning to accept your past without allowing it to define you. Plus, he is the perfectly irresistible combination of handsome and mysterious.
10. Where do you write?
I have a desk for all my professional writing, but I don’t do any creative writing there. I have a few creative writing spaces, because sometimes I need a change of scenery. Most of the Legacy series was written, sitting at the bar in my kitchen with a furry companion at my side. But, I also love to write in a local diner.
11. When deciding on how to publish, what directed you to the route you took?
Impatience. I considered seeking a traditional publisher, but I knew it could take a while…and I didn’t want to wait. So, I decided to self-publish.
12. Have you gotten feedback from family about your book(s)? What do they think?
My family has always been incredibly supportive of my writing. They are my biggest fans! Funny, but my dad has never been a reader…and he actually hasn’t read any of my books. That doesn’t stop him from telling anybody and everybody his daughter is an author!
13. What kinds of things do you like to do outside of writing?
A fitness fanatic, I teach boot camp and kickboxing, and I love to see movies the old fashioned way…in the theater with popcorn and Milk Duds. I also love reading…of course!
14. What kinds of advice would you give to someone who wants to start writing?
Observe the world around you- take notice of the things that others overlook; eavesdrop on conversations; read voraciously; write something every day (I wrote in a journal almost every day from fifth grade through college); and the scariest part- share your work with others, accept criticism, and develop a thick skin.
15. What is your favorite book? favorite author? Do you have an author that inspired/inspires you to write?
What a cruel, cruel question! Who could name just one? My most recent favorite is the thriller, You, by Caroline Kepnes. She inhabits the mind of a psychopathic stalker in a way that would make any forensic psychologist proud.
Since I was a little girl reading Nancy Drew mysteries, I have been an avid reader with versatile tastes. I enjoy lyrical and literary writers like Toni Morrison and Joyce Carol Oates, and I am a huge fan of Mary Oliver’s poetry. On the flip side, I revel in an edge-of-your seat page-turner like those by Stephen King, James Patterson and Sue Grafton. And of course, what list would be complete without J.K. Rowling?
16. Do you have any go to people when writing a book that help you with your story lines as well as editing, beta reading and such?
Early on in my writing career—before I even considered that I could write a novel—my most ardent supporter was my mother. She was an English teacher and a writer herself, and she was the first person I ever shared my writing with. As a teenager, my first stories were a little morbid, but she never flinched. She always believed in my potential no matter what I set my mind to, and although she is no longer with me, her belief was instrumental in allowing me to unabashedly pursue all of my goals. Now, I’m fortunate to have a special someone who has read all of my books almost as many times as I have. And, I have developed connections with several young adult bloggers who have been instrumental in getting the word out about the Legacy series.
17. Are you working on anything now?
Now that the Legacy series is complete, I am working on a thriller tentatively titled, Daddy Darkest.
18. Tell us 5 things that make you smile
Animals; weekends; a really hard workout (after it’s over); time with my special someone; Kevin Hart
19. Tell us 5 things that make you sad
Losing people I love; feeling left out; the passage of time; cruelty; missed opportunities
20. If you could travel anywhere in the world to visit a place so you could use it as a background for a book, where would it be?
The Pyramids in Egypt. I’m not sure I would write about it, but it would be amazing to see!
Thanks so much for stopping by today, Ellery. It's been great having you with us!
Forensic psychologist by day, young-adult novelist by night, Ellery Kane has been writing—professionally and creatively—for as long as she can remember. Just like her main character, Lex, Ellery loves to ask why, which is the reason she became a psychologist in the first place. Real life really is stranger than fiction, and Ellery’s writing is often inspired by her day job. Evaluating violent criminals and treating trauma victims, she has gained a unique perspective on the past and its indelible influence on the individual. An avid short story writer as a teenager, Ellery recently began writing for enjoyment again, and the Legacy series was born.
Ellery’s debut novel, Legacy, has received several awards, including winning the Gold Medal in the Independent Publisher Book Awards, young adult, e-book category. Ellery was recently selected as one of ten semifinalists in the MasterClass James Patterson Co-Author Competition.
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