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Indie Saturday – Author Kate Avery Ellison on “The Curse Girl” @Katiewriting

September 8, 2012 Leave a comment

Today, we have author Kate Avery Ellison featured on the blog’s ‘Indie Saturday‘ for her YA fantasy novel The Curse Girl (a retelling of the classic tale of the Beauty and the Beast.)


Kate Avery Ellison writes:

The Importance of the Right Setting

Setting is a vital element to story. Perhaps we all know the familiar refrain “it was a dark and stormy night,” the old opening line that sets the stage for a Gothic tale of love and loss, or a horror story designed to send chills down the reader’s spine. This opening is renowned for being cliché yes. But the cliché demonstrates an underlying principle—setting furthers theme and tone and boosts the story itself. “It was a dark and stormy night” is probably not going to introduce a romantic comedy. Setting matters. The author carefully chooses the setting for their story, because the setting informs everything else. Tone, characters, even plot.

In the Harry Potter series, the wizard school of Hogwarts is a place of whimsy and magic. Descriptions of talking pictures, nearly-headless ghosts, and doors that must be tickled to open are details that transport the reader on a journey of wonder. I remember reading the first book as a child, and the setting was so vivid and whimsical that I felt every bit as enthralled as if I were Harry myself. In George R.R. Martin’s Game of Thrones, the cold, desolate north where the Starks live mirrors their bravery and rugged determination. In contrast, the warmer, more luxurious capital where the Lannisters live subtly highlights their indulgence and selfishness.

In my dystopian-fantasy series The Frost Chronicles, setting plays a very important role. The story takes place in a frozen world populated by monsters, where inhabitants must band together for their own survival and live in a rigidly-constructed world of rules.

Without the setting, there is no story.

In my young adult fantasy retelling of Beauty and the Beast, The Curse Girl, the main setting takes place in an old, cursed house. Magic whispers in the walls at night. The rooms rearrange themselves at random. Everything is old, dusty, and broken. And Will, the master of the house, is emotionally broken, too. He’s the prisoner of a terrible curse, and he is running out of time to lift this curse before it dooms him forever. And the setting is terrifying—and Bee, the protagonist, is terrified by it.

As the story progresses, the setting changes along with the characters. Of course, I can’t be too specific about how the setting changes—spoilers! To find that out, you’ll have to read the book.

Without the challenges and problems of the cursed house in The Curse Girl, the plot would change completely. Without the harsh Frost, The Frost Chronicles would be a very different story.

Setting is a vital part of every story. So think about it. What is the setting for your favorite novel, and how would the story be different if the setting changed?

I blog about stories and life at http://thesouthernscrawl.blogspot.com. My YA paranormal romance The Curse Girl features a determined young woman and a beastly boy who must work together to break a curse. My short story collection, Once Upon a Beanstalk, is a funny collection of mashed up fairy tales. My newest book, Frost (The Frost Chronicles #1), is a creepy YA fantasy with dystopian elements!

You can also follow me on Twitter!


The Curse Girl by Kate Avery Ellison is available on Amazon in Kindle and Paperback formats. It’s also sold on Barnes & Noble.

You can also check out Kate Avery Ellison’s Amazon Author’s page for more info!

To learn more about Kate, follow Kate on her official website/blog: thesouthernscrawl, Goodreads page: Kate_Avery_Ellison, and Twitter: @Katiewriting. Drop by and say hi to her!

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Do you want to be a featured ‘Indie Saturday’ author too? Go here for more info!

Read an embedded sample of “The Curse Girl” after the jump!

Read more…

‘5 Questions’ with Kate Avery Ellison!

May 31, 2012 Leave a comment

5 Questions

Today I’m thrilled to welcome indie author Kate Avery Ellison to the blog as part of the ‘5 Questions’ with authors series!

If you are an author who would like to participate in the series, fill out the questionnaire here! And if you are a reader who wants to suggest an author for the series, just send me an email!


Frost (The Frost Chronicles)

Describe your book ‘Frost (The Frost Chronicles)‘ in ten words or less

Forbidden romance, monster-infested forests, and a frozen fantasy world.

Where or how did you come up with the idea for your story?

Well, the book idea evolved out of a short story I was writing a few months ago, but it’s safe to say the actual novel is FAR from that original short story. The only think that stayed the same is the main dilemma–what does the main character do when she discovers a wounded and bleeding young man in the forest?

Which of your characters is closest to your heart and why?

In FROST, my secondary character Ivy is one of my favorites. She’s the main character’s younger sister, and she’s a daydreamer just like me.

Do you have a day job? If yes, tell us about it and how did that affect your writing / publishing process?

I used to work in a school, and my job allowed enough downtime that I could daydream about story ideas and make plans for future novels. Now I write full-time, and that is a blessing and a curse. It’s wonderful to have the time I need to write, but sometimes I go into full procrastination mode and get nothing done.

Tell us about an upcoming book or project you’re excited about

I’m working on the sequel to FROST right now. It’s called THORNS, and it continues the story about Lia.

Bonus Question! Fill in the blank: If you like ___, you’ll probably like my book too!

Robin McKinley
Megan Whalen Turner


Thanks again for stopping by, Kate! You can learn more about Kate Avery Ellison at her website/blog thesouthernscrawl.com, and Twitter: @Katiewriting.

Frost (The Frost Chronicles) is available on Amazon in Kindle and Paperback formats. You may also visit Kate’s Amazon author page to check out her other books!

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