The Duality of Nature
(The Monster of Selkirk, #1)
Publication date: April 18th 2017
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Monsters come in many forms, and not everyone knows a monster when they see one. After three hundred years of monstrous, feral elves plaguing the island nation of Selkirk, everyone believes they know what a monster is. Humans have learned to live with their savage neighbors, enacting a Clearing every four years to push the elves back from their borders. The system has worked for centuries, until after one such purge, a babe was found in the forest.
As Tallis grows, she discovers she isn’t like everyone else. There is something a little different that makes people leery in her presence, and she only ever makes a handful of friends.
But when the elves gather their forces and emerge from the forests literally hissing Tallis’s name like a battle mantra, making friends is the least of her troubles. Tallis and her companions find themselves on an unwilling journey to not only clear her name, but to stop the elves from ravaging her homeland.
The Heart of the Forest
(The Monster of Selkirk, #2)
Publication date: October 17th 2017
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Tallis is learning how to deal with loss and violence as she and her friends traverse the forests of Selkirk trying to find the reason behind the elven uprising. Not to mention why they keep hissing her name. But the further into the forests they go, Tallis is finding that the elves’ depravity can still surprise her, and thoroughly test the bonds of friendship, family, and love.
Tallis’s journey eventually leads to answers they’re not prepared for. Now Tallis begins to wonder just who she really is, and if she’s the evil that will end up destroying Selkirk. But she cannot stop to process these revelations, as an unforeseen betrayal lands those she loves at the feet of the very monster responsible for all the hurt, and heartbreak.
Coming face to face with her foe, Tallis discovers all too late she has no idea how to deal with this level of pain, and death. One way or another, the monster’s path ends here, and all Tallis can hope to do is bring those she loves safely out of the heart of the forest.
“How did you find information about the military part of your book vs the prison part of your book while doing your research? What are the biggest differences/similarities you found between these two institutions while doing so?”
This is an interesting question because throughout the book Logan was desperate to avoid prison but at certain points wondered if his life at Wallingford was any different than prison would be. To him, they both removed all his freedom.
As far as researching these institutions, I have a lot of family and friends with a military background, so that part was fairly easy. Granted, they were all enlisted as adults, rather than enrolled at a military boarding school as teens. Still, they were able to give me a good idea of what the customs and courtesies at a school would be, help me with terminology, and fill in some background information for my characters’ families. I also watched movies like Taps and a Few Good Men to get in the right mindset. For the more nuanced details at Wallingford Academy, I used information I found online for a Naval boarding school. They had a very detailed handbook, which helped immensely.
The criminal part was a bit harder since I don’t have any close friends or family who have been accused of a serious crime and/or incarcerated. I do, however, have friends who are lawyers and paralegals and I relied on them throughout the writing process. I also have limited courtroom knowledge from being a foster and adoptive parent, so I was able to draw on those experiences to some degree.
It’s not surprising Logan sometimes felt like Wallingford was prison, since both have detailed routines, standard-issued clothing, limited food choices, strict rules, and a hierarchical system. However, the purpose of this structure differs between Wallingford and prison. In prison, it’s mainly used to remove freedoms as retribution and deterrence. At Wallingford it’s used to help students develop strong time management skills, proper respect for others, a sense of responsibility, and a sense of honor, all of which help them excel in the real world after graduation. For cadets who know and appreciate this, the structure is acceptable and even welcomed, especially with the weekend breaks to be a “normal” teen. For those who don’t, like Logan, every single day can feel like prison. Of course, Wallingford has a way of growing on even the most disillusioned cadet.
C. E. Clayton was born and raised in the greater Los Angeles area, where she attended the University of Southern California (Fight On!) for both her Bachelors and Masters, and then worked in the advertising industry for several years on accounts ranging from fast food, to cars, and video games (her personal favorite). After going the traditional career route and becoming restless, she went back to her first love–writing–and hasn’t stopped. She is now the author of “The Monster of Selkirk” series and her horror short stories have appeared in anthologies across the country. When she’s not writing you can find her treating her fur-babies like humans, constantly drinking tea, and trying to convince her husband to go to more concerts. And reading. She does read quite a bit. More about C.E. Clayton, including her blog, book reviews, social media presence, and newsletter, can be found on her website: https://www.ceclayton.com/
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