The Crossroads Blog Tour Day 6: Interviews with Stacey Kade and Judith Graves

We kick off Day 6 of the Crossroads Blog Tour with interviews from authors Stacey Kade and Judith Graves (who did an amazing job of organizing this blog tour too).  Don't forget to check out The Crossroads Blog Tour Main Page daily for clues to answer questions and win a prize.

When authors create a world for a series there are rules they need to stick with for consistency, are there things you would change in your book world that you didn’t foresee being an issue initially?

You know, the fun thing about world building is that you need restrictions. You need rules that limit what your characters can and can’t do even if it turns out later that it would be waaaaay more convenient if they could do something that, by the rules of the world, is not possible. So, as long as those rules are logical to the world you’ve created, then you’ve got to stick with them and make them work. And usually, it adds an extra layer of tension to the story when characters are forced to stay within those boundaries. So, no, I don’t think I would change anything now, but if you’d asked me during the writing, when I was struggling to figure out how to make everything fit, I might have had a different answer!

What was the most surprising thing that you discovered about one of your characters that you didn’t see coming?

I was startled when Alona took Will to see her mother in the first book. I never thought she would do that. But she was both angrier and braver than I’d given her credit for.

List your top 3 fictional crushes and why do they make the list? 

Mr. Darcy, Han Solo, and Sam Winchester (through Season 4 of Supernatural). Mr. Darcy because, well, he’s so formal and proper but underneath it all he has a good heart. Han Solo, who doesn’t love a cocky space pirate who can make the Kessel Run in less than 12 parsecs? And Sam, my Sammy, because he’s vulnerable and sad and always tries so hard to do the right thing even when everyone else can see that it’s going to blow up in his face. (She’s a demon, Sam! How did you *think* that relationship was going to turn out?)

Was there a book as a child that you read which inspired you to be a writer and what book was it? Or What were your favorite books to read as a child? 

I don’t think there’s one particular book that inspired me, but I loved all the Nancy Drew/Trixie Belden type stories. In fact, the very first story I tried to write when I was a kid was very much in that same style.

Newest/Upcoming Release: The Ghost and the Goth, Queen of the Dead 


Twitter: @StaceyKade 

What is your most embarrassing/funny/scary Halloween experience or costume? 

While I’m a huge horror buff and I love to decorate for Halloween, etc, I don’t have especially fond memories of the October 31sts of my youth. Several factors have made this so. 1. I’m five years younger than my brother and sister. 2. We grew up in Edmonton, Alberta. Put these tidbits together and this is what you get: -30C weather, and two candy-crazed older siblings who keep sending their youngest sister out in the mind-numbing cold for more sugary treats. The reward was watching them suffer from sugar hangovers while I slowly picked my way through my hidden stash.

When authors create a world for a series there are rules they need to stick with for consistency, are there things you would change in your book world that you didn’t foresee being an issue initially? Um…were you standing over my shoulder, or what? 

Yes, I’ve run into a few brick / plot walls thanks to rules I established in the first book. However, those moments kick my creativity into high gear, they provide challenges my characters wouldn’t have otherwise encountered and ultimately crank up the conflict. All good things. Besides, rules are meant to be broken and turning a character’s world upside down is what good fiction is all about. But you have to provide a solid foundation for the rule breaking to appear logical, even if it’s only a temporary glitch caused by wonky magic. ;)

Since you are also a musician, do you create a playlist for your books? Characters? 

I do! I also write songs from different characters POVs – this process reveals layers, backstory or secrets I didn’t know they had. The lyrics are essentially their innermost feelings, fears and desires. For me it’s kind of a character development exercise, set to music. I quickly record those tunes in ProTools (I’m a bit of a computer geek) and incorporate them in my playlists of “real” tunage. I use something called position music, compositions intended for film use – often the background tunes of book trailers, short films, etc – for when I’m writing battle scenes. The intensity keeps my writing sharp. I also listen to specific songs when trying to evoke a certain mood or emotion. In Second Skin, I listened to Metallica’s, Enter Sandman whenever a certain demon gave Eryn hell.

What books did you love as a child that you continue to see being checked out by children today?

There isn’t one particular title, however my time in school and public libraries assures me that the topics, genres, and authors I gravitated toward in my tweens and teens are still popular. Mythology and mythological creatures, cryptids (although that’s a newer term), ghost stories and hauntings, monsters, unexplained mysteries, horror, paranormal, romance, fairytales and retellings of fairytales, folklore from around the world and all things gothic or macabre.

Newest/Upcoming Release: Under My Skin; Second Skin (2011), Skin of My Teeth (2012)


Twitter: @judithgraves

The Crossroads Tour: Day 13 Stacey Kade

Each day of The Crossroads Tour, a new question will be revealed on The Crossroad Blog Tour main page and each day the answer to that question will be found within one of the 16 different blog posts by Crossroads Tour authors. Your job is to get the question, read the blog posts, and collect all 16 answers by the end of the tour, on Halloween. Go HERE to get today's question and links.

Today's guest for the Crossroads Tour is author Stacey Kade.  Her debut YA novel The Ghost & The Goth was released in June of 2010. 

 What was your favorite paranormal/horror/fantasy story as a child/teen? And why did you like it so much?

The Girl with the Silver Eyes by Willo Davis Roberts.  It was, if I remember correctly, about a girl who gained telekinetic powers because her mother took a medicine with side effects when she was pregnant.
What I recall liking about the story was the girl felt kind of like a freak until she realized there were others like her.

Where did you get the idea for your story? Did you use a real life situation and put a twist on it?

You know, I don’t know where ideas come from. They just sort of show up! And I like it that way—it’s fun to be surprised. That being said, the stories of ghosts and mediums (and popular girls and outcast boys) have been around forever. I just combined the two.

Especially in Y.A., there seems to be a big emphasis on paranormal romance? Do you consider the romance part when you are writing your story or do you consider writing your story and see where the romance fits in?

That’s a good question. I’m guilty of thinking too much about the main story and not enough about the romance. I figured that out in the first draft of the second book (Queen of the Dead, June 2011) and needed to rewrite it! The funny thing is, as a reader, I’m far more interested in the romance angle of the story.  I just have trouble remembering that when I’m the one behind the wheel, so to speak!

What helps you to create characters that people will feel passionate about either in liking them or disliking them?

I try to be honest in reflecting who the characters are. I don’t set out to make them either likeable or unlikeable. I just try to get them on the page as close as I can to how they appear/sound in my head.

What characteristics were critical to you in creating your characters?

I knew Alona was a snob, but I also knew that she had her own world-view in which her perspective made sense (skewed though it may seem to the rest of us). I wanted to make sure that snobbery came across but also her humanity. With Will, I thought it was very important to get across the struggle he has
within himself over this gift he has, which he does not want, and the obligation he feels to use it to help others and the guilt he feels when he doesn’t.

What kind of research did you do for your story and did you run into anything weird while you were doing research?

I’ve been reading about ghosts practically my whole life, so I didn’t have to do a great deal of research on that topic. However, I did research specific haunted locations and also how mediums describe seeing spirits. Nothing weird happened, but I also refuse to visit most haunted places! : )

If you could have a supernatural power or gift what would it be?

Oh, see, this is dangerous. Because I believe in a writing principle we call the price of magic. Which means the ability to do something amazing comes with a cost. If I could have a supernatural power or gift, I’d like to be able to heal people (ala Max on Roswell) but the price of that magic seems like it would probably be pretty high. So, I think I’m pretty happy being non-supernatural!

For information about Stacey Kade and her books, check out her website:

You can find her on Twitter: @staceykade

My review of The Ghost & The Goth will be up later today and there will even be a chance to win a signed copy of Stacey's debut novel.