Monday, August 30, 2010

Guest Author: Kelly Gay + Giveaway

Kelly Gay, author of The Darkest Edge of Dawn, has been kind enough to stop by Reading with Tequila to tell us about figuring out what to write.

The Vampire Cyclist

I’m so excited to be here at Reading with Tequila. Big thanks to Jennifer for inviting me to stop by! So I bet you’re wondering why this post is entitled The Vampire Cyclist. I’m sure if I stewed for a bit I could come up with something better, like the Tour De Fang or Biking is for Biters. Ha! But, maybe those aren’t much better... :)

I don’t write about vampires. I write an urban fantasy series about a single mom cop who lives in a world where beings from heaven and hell-like dimensions live among us. My second book in the series, THE DARKEST EDGE OF DAWN, releases tomorrow. I’ve been asked many times by readers why I chose to write this story. I’ve been asked by aspiring writers how I chose this story, and how does one figure out what to write about, anyway? And so begins my post that will, hopefully, answer both readers and writers alike…

I write about things that inspire me, intrigue me, and things I love. And, I'm not talking about the whole “write what you love to read” thing. Because, let’s face it, not everyone is going to be good at writing what they love to read. (Take me, for example, I’m horrible at writing single title contemporary romances, but, man, do I love to read them!) I’m talking more about what’s on the inside, what fuels you, what compels you, what mystifies you, what scares you even. Want to write? Don’t know what to write about? Look on the inside, grab some elements you love or that interest you, and go.


Say you’re an avid cyclist and a massive Lance Armstrong fan. You know (or would like to know) everything there is to know about the sport. Say you’re also a huge Buffy fan and love vampires. And while we’re at it, say you also really enjoy comedies.

Vampires. Cycling. Comedy. *blinks* What? It could work.

You have your ingredients, put them all together, and now you have a cyclist who wants to compete in the Tour De France. Maybe he’s been training his whole life, and right before the tourney, he gets bitten by a vamp. But damned if he’s going to let that stop him. Now, he has to figure out a way to compete and do so with all the limitations involved -- sunlight issues, blood issues, and, hey, maybe Lance is really a vamp – the guy is super human after all! :)

Me, I love fantasy. I love all things mythological. I read books on ancient cultures and history for fun, and I have a thing for biblical myths, Celtic myths, and so on… I also love writing about strong women and how much strength and perseverance they have even when it seems like all is lost. We have this amazing ability to continue on even after the most horrible devastations. And most often this is because we have to; we have family, children, people who are counting on us, so we pick ourselves up and carry on even when we don’t think we can. So, when I chose what to write about it’s often a combination of these things and traits that amaze me.

That’s how my urban fantasy heroine, Charlie Madigan, was born. She came from my love of fantasy, magical beings, mythology, and strong, unstoppable women. Mothers, single mothers, women in the military and law enforcement especially… They are my *cough* vampire cyclists, if you will.

I know, crazy, right? When you’re starting out, it’s a process of finding where your strengths are and then incorporating some of the elements you love into those strengths. You might love comedy, but you might write better drama. It’s a learning process. But you won’t know until you try. You might be amazed at what you come up with, what you learn about yourself, and where you, ultimately, end up.

(And anyone who wants to take my vamp to the Tour De France is welcome. Have fun, don’t forget the sunscreen, and, um, you might want to stay away from Lance. Just sayin.) :)

About the Author

Kelly is just your average bookworm who likes to spend an embarrassing amount of time in make-believe places. She's had many jobs from construction (she can drive a backhoe, tar and shingle a roof, and frame out a house) to waiting on tables, threading film through a projector, managing horse farms, and selling men's underwear (a talent, she claims!). She's is a 2010 double RITA finalist, a 2010 SIBA Long List Book Award finalist, a three-time RWA Golden Heart finalist, and a recipient of an NC Arts Council Fellowship grant in Literature. Kelly lives in North Carolina where she is currently working on the 3rd Charlie Madigan novel. She also pens a new Young Adult series, debuting in Feb. 2011 from Simon Pulse, under the name Kelly Keaton.

About the Book

It takes a strong woman to keep the peace in a city of endless night. . . .

Deep beneath Underground, a cunning bid for power and revenge has begun—one that threatens to make Atlanta the new battleground in the ultimate confrontation between good and evil. The powers of hellish Charbydon have the upper hand after plunging the city into primordial night. And under the cover of darkness, a serial killer targets the most powerful Elysians in the city, the angelic Adonai. For Detective Charlie Madigan and her siren partner Hank, tracking deadly predators is all in a day’s work . . . but this case will test the limits of their strength and friendship as it draws them into a deadly world of power plays, ancient myths, explosive secrets, and a race against time that risks all that Charlie holds dear.

Kelly Gay's website


As an awesome last minute surprise, Kelly contacted me to offer you lucky readers a chance to win a SIGNED copy of The Darkest Edge of Dawn. Even more awesome - she's offering to ship internationally! To enter, leave a comment for Kelly and be sure to include your email address, so I can contact you if you've won.

Entry deadline: Sunday, September 5, 2010 11:59pm EST
Open to all!


  1. What a fabulous post! I can tell that Kelly is passionate about what she does - that's wonderful. And she has lots of advice for aspiring authors!

  2. This is such a beautiful post! I love when you can hear just how much an author loves and invests in what they write. Her advice is also much appreciated :)

  3. Great post! This book sounds great! I love the cover art as well. Count me in! :)


  4. Good to see an active artist enjoying life and their own writings.

  5. that was a very inspiring post....and now i can't get vampire cyclists out of my head! lol

    k_sunshine1977 at yahoo dot com

  6. I loved Kelly's first book, and I'm so excited for the second one! Charlie is an awesome main character. Thanks for the great guest post and giveaway, ladies!


  7. Wonderful post! Kelly, it looks like it's you on the cover of Darkest Edge! The book looks great.

    jh303015 at gmail dot com

  8. Fabulous post. Love the cover to your book. :)

  9. Hi Kelly! :) Thank you for the interesting post! You are a new author to me, but I am going to read soon your series. It sounds amazing!
    Thank you for making this contest international!:D

    Giada M.

    fabgiada (at) gmail (dot) com

  10. I loved Kelly's first book and can't wait for The Darkest Edge of Dawn!

    jennifer (dot) thorburn (at) gmail (dot) com

  11. You are completely right about loving one thing and being better at another. I would love the ability to actually write something other than poetry, but hey, what can I do?

    By the way, I just love the first book, and I NEEDY to read this one RIGHT NOW!!! (I'm excited).

    patronus89013 at yahoo dot com

  12. Wow! I've read some reviews of this novel and I find it very interesting, I can't wait for read this book.

    Thanks for the giveaway

    itzel_library (AT) hotmail (DOT) com

    Take care,


  13. Great giveaway. I would love to read this book. I really can tell how much you enjoy writing. I am looking at writing a book. I love reading books. I enjoy that so much. I thought maybe I would be good at writing a book. Any suggestions on where to begin.

  14. LOL!

    Ms. Gay is so funny! Great post, very inspirational! Maybe I can mix my love for Buffy and my love of eating and write a book? Too bad the title Fat Vampire is already taken.

    And, mark my words, in a few years Tour De Fang will be an international best seller.

    And thanks so much for the giveaway!

    missie at theunreadreader dot com

  15. Thanks for the kind words everyone! I'm glad you like the post -- it was a fun one to write! :D

  16. Super exicited that DEOD is released tomorrow!!


    Thanks for the awesome giveaway :)

  17. I loved the first book - it's so rare to have a mom as a protagonist in UF. Would love to win the second book. Thanks for the giveaway.

    jen at delux dot com

  18. This comment has been removed by the author.

  19. Wow! This is great! I know that strong independent women inspire me. Especially my mum, she's such a strong woman and when ever I see her down, it hits me, so I want to hit the person who hurt her.

    Excited for the giveway *fangirl squeal*


  20. I Love your post the Vampire Cyclist part was so funny.Can't wait to read your book

  21. I haven't read any of Kelly's books that I can remember but what I did enjoy about the interview is her sense of humour.

    That won me over and if she carries it on in her books I shall certainly start looking to get hold of her books.


    Carol T (International)

    buddytho {at} gmail DOT com

  22. WOW this book looks and sounds awesome! I love books with a strong heroine in it.

    thanx for the opportunity!


  23. Great post! I am so looking forward to this one!!

  24. Awesome interview! I'm really looking forward to reading this book.

  25. Great interview - nice post - thanks for hosting - this sounds like a great read! Please enter me - I am a follower.

  26. Wow!! Thanks for all the advice on what to think about if you want to write!!
    Love the cover too!!


    nedsped at

  27. The main thing that I loved about the first book that while Charlie was definitely a kickass woman, she was a mom. And Kelly didn't just drag out her daughter here and there and stow her on the shelf when she was in the way. Charlie was a mom first and a woman/cop second. She can save the world and take care of her daughter all at the same time.

  28. very funny interview. write what you know indeed. thanks for the giveaway!

    meaghan_koci (at) yahoo (dot) com

  29. I love this series! Thanks for the awesome interview!

    spettolij AT gmail DOT com

  30. I would love to win your book, I'm dying to read it!
    Thank you for the giveaway.


  31. Hey that's awesome the way some people, i.e., Kelly, can spin a tale just like that! Me, I'm a reader. Don't think I got a writer bone in me but we'll never know :) Thanks for sharing Kelly!

    Cherry Mischievous
    mischivus101-warrior2 [at] yahoo [dot] com

  32. Thank you for the chance to win The Darkest Edge Of Dawn!

    Re-posted your contest at:


    Cherry Mischievous
    mischivus101-warrior2 [at] yahoo [dot] com

  33. I can't wait to read DEOD. Loved the first book.

    sgiden AT

  34. This books looks great! Thanks for a chance to win.


  35. This book sounds really good. Count me in the giveaway. juliecookies(at)

  36. This book looks great and I have to agree with other people on saying the cover is amazing.

  37. I really like the bookcover. The book is sure to be good.

  38. I finished The Better Part of Darkness last night actually and I loved it! I can't wait to read the sequel!


  39. I would love to win the book.
    Thank you

  40. I'm always looking for new authors to read, sounds good! I'm a follower!

  41. Great post! I really like Buffy, too.

  42. I enjoyed the excerpt and would love to read the book.
    I am a follower on GFC.

    seriousreader at live dot com

  43. Great post...I've never heard anyone say just take things you love and give it a go. It is a great idea. Makes trying to figure out where to start much easier. Thanks for the advice.


  44. This sounds like an awesome book! I enjoyed the interview, too!
    digicat {AT} sbcglobal {DOT} net

  45. This sounds awesome! count me in :)


  46. I've read the plot and it got me hooked! Can't wait to get my hands on The Darkest Edge of Dawn! :) You can reach me at

  47. Great giveaway. I would love to read this book. It sounds great.

  48. Wow this book sounds very good great post, I found another great book I have to read now. Great giveaway thank you very much.

  49. Holy cow! That book looks amazing, both the cover and the description! :D
    Amazing giveway, thanks so much for having it! :D

    Ambur (ambiepie_6(@)

  50. sounds amazing- thanks mrs.mommyyatgmail

  51. this book sounds great cant wait to read it.
    ortizvelasquez at yahoo dot com

  52. I think depth of experience comes through in books; at least I hope so. I'd love to read Kelly's books. Thanks for the chance.

  53. Haha, thanks for the great post Kelly! :-) I haven't read your books yet, but after this little glimpse into your writing, I can't wait! :-D

    Do you remember which book introduced you to urban fantasy? The one which made you fall in love with the genre?

    Thanks so much for not excluding international readers, you're awesome! :-)

    stella.exlibris (at) gmail (dot) com

  54. Sounds like a good book

    s2s2 at comcast dot net

  55. The book sounds like a fun read. Thanks for the chance to win a copy! (krstrpp at hotmail dot com)

  56. This book is on my TBR list!
    Love the cover :)

    Thanks so much for the giveaway!

    chidoryx AT hotmail DOT com

  57. Loved The Better Part of Darkness, always great when either new authors or knew to the genres, come out with such an excellent first book. Definetly looking forward to this book.

  58. sounds like a great book to read, thanks

  59. Wow. Just dropping by to say BIG thanks to everyone for the lovely comments! :-)

    And Stella -- the answer would be Mary Stewart, Marion Zimmer Bradley, Anne Rice, Tolkien and C.S. Lewis... and the list goes on, LOL.

  60. This sounds like a awesome read. Count me in!
    mizztuts AT bellsouth DOT net

  61. She seems to love what she does, and this would be a great book to read, suelee1998 @

  62. Kelly sounds like a fascinating person and the book sounds amazing, thanks for the chance at it!

  63. This book sounds very interesting. I would love to read it.