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The Qwillery

A blog about books and other things speculative

Authors After Dark Author Spotlight Interview - Kelly Meding

Please welcome Kelly Meding to The Qwillery as part of the Authors After Dark Author Spotlight Interviews.

Authors After Dark Author Spotlight Interview - Kelly Meding

TQ:  What inspired you to become a writer?

Kelly:  No single thing inspired me to become a writer. I think it was a combination of different things that came together in my mind, including support and positive feedback from a variety of teachers. I've been playing with stories since I was in junior high, but never with the intention of making it into a career. I even went to college with plans to work in film or television in some capacity, and it was during a Screenwriting class that I had a professional screenwriter say to me "You could do this for a living."

Obviously I didn't go on to become a screenwriter, but that was the push I needed to pursue writing more seriously. At the time, I was an avid fanfiction writer and email-based RPGer, with no strong desires to write original fiction. So I took an old screenplay I'd written and rewrote it as a novel—and a new career path was born. A few years later I discovered this growing sub-genre called Urban Fantasy, and the Buffy fan in me just squealed with delight at having found something that appealed to all sides of my writer's mind. I've been at it ever since.

TQ:  What is the most challenging thing for you about writing?

Kelly:  I think the most challenging thing about writing is keeping the momentum going, once that initial burst of "OMG, best idea ever!" has worn off and I'm getting into the nitty gritty of the novel. And doesn't really have anything to do with plotting or getting stuck on the story. It's keeping myself mentally motivated, and not allowing myself to fall into the trap of "wait, this is crap, I should stop before I embarrass myself." It's keeping confidence in my characters and my plot and moving forward, instead of allowing doubt to stop me from finishing.

TQ:  What writing achievement are you most proud of?

Kelly:  I'm proud of just making it this far! Of signing with a good agent, of having sold novels to two major houses, and of having a wonderful group of fans. But one of the things that really stands out was the first time a reader recognized me in public—at my day job! I work in retail, and the customer I was ringing up had read my books and recognized me from the picture on the back cover. It was funny and surreal and kind of awesome. I'm not a well-known author, even locally, so it was pretty cool to be recognized by a total stranger.

TQ:  What one thing should everyone know about your writing?

Kelly:  I am from the Joss Whedon school of "make them cry, then make them laugh." I don't shy away from difficult subjects or violence (because my characters live in dark, violent worlds). But I do try to counter the darkness with shots of humor and sarcasm, because no one wants to read a book that's too bleak and depressing (at least I don't). So if you're looking for fluffy bunnies and sparkles, don't read my books. Bunnies will only sparkle if they're about to explode.

TQ:  Please tell us about your latest and upcoming works.

Kelly:  The fourth book in my Dreg City series, Wrong Side of Dead, released January 31 from Bantam. It finds Evy and friends rebuilding their lives after the devastation of the previous book, as well as accepting help from some new allies. Book two in my MetaWars series, Changeling, releases June 26 from Pocket, and it continues the adventures of the last surviving group of superheroes in the world. Looking farther forward, two more books in the MetaWars series will release digitally in 2013, and I'll have an original universe story in an anthology due to release Summer 2013 (more details on that will be announced in the near future).

TQ:  Thank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

Kelly:  Thank you so much for inviting me!

About MetaWars

MetaWars 2
Pocket, June 26, 2012
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 384 pages

Authors After Dark Author Spotlight Interview - Kelly Meding

After barely escaping a madman’s attempt to annihilate all MetaHumans, Kelly Meding’s supernatural crime fighters have banded together to take back the streets of war-ravaged Los Angeles.

Dahlia “Ember” Perkins still feels like an outsider among her new Meta friends, despite everything she’s been through since coming into her miraculous ability to absorb heat and extinguish fires. But when the police need help investigating human skins discarded like slipcovers on the street, the Metas’ youngest team member quickly finds her place. Evidence points to a murderer the likes of which they have never encountered but who inexplicably seems to be gunning for Dahlia—and who may be neither human nor Meta. After a bullet meant for her nearly kills one of her teammates, Dahlia uncovers a connection to the crimes buried deep in her past. As the danger escalates and her personal life falls apart, Dahlia soon learns there’s no such thing as a “normal” relationship when you’re a superhero. . . .

MetaWars 1
Pocket, October 25, 2011
Mass Market Paperback and ebook, 432 pages

Authors After Dark Author Spotlight Interview - Kelly Meding
Kelly Meding’s war-ravaged Los Angeles is ground zero for the ultimate Meta human showdown in this sexy, action-packed new series.

Fifteen years ago, Teresa “Trance” West was a skilled telepath and a proud member of the Ranger Corps. But ever since the Rangers were inexplicably rendered powerless at the climax of the devastating Meta War, she’s bounced from one dead-end job to another. Now her powers have reappeared just as mysteriously as they vanished— only they’re completely transformed and more potent than ever. And they’re threatening to destroy her.

Trance heads to Los Angeles to track down the surviving Rangers and discover who restored her powers—and why—but a phantom enemy is determined to kill them before they can reassemble. As they dodge his deadly attacks and come to terms with their new role as heroes, Trance and the rest of the team set out to annihilate the sinister madman . . . only to discover their own powers are his greatest weapons.

About Dreg City

Three Days to Dead
Dreg City 1
Bantam, November 24, 2009
Mass Market Paperback and ebook, 416 pages

Authors After Dark Author Spotlight Interview - Kelly Meding
They’ll never see her coming. . . .

When Evangeline Stone wakes up naked and bruised on a cold slab at the morgue—in a stranger’s body, with no memory of who she is and how she got there—her troubles are only just beginning. Before that night she and the two other members of her Triad were the city’s star bounty hunters, mercilessly cleansing the city of the murderous creatures living in the shadows, from vampires to shape-shifters to trolls. Then something terrible happened that not only cost all three of them their lives but also convinced the city’s other Hunters that Evy was a traitor—and she can’t even remember what it was.

Now she’s a fugitive, piecing together her memory, trying to deal some serious justice—and discovering that she has only three days to solve her own murder before the reincarnation spell wears off. Because in three days Evy will die again—but this time there’s no second chance. . . .

As Lie the Dead
Dreg City 2
Bantam, July 27, 2010
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 432 pages

Authors After Dark Author Spotlight Interview - Kelly Meding
Evangeline Stone, a rogue bounty hunter, never asked for a world divided between darkness and light . . .

. . . or the power to die and live again in someone else’s borrowed body. After a murder plot meant to take her out leaves an entire race of shapeshifters nearly extinct, Evy is gnawed by guilt. So when one of the few survivors of the slaughter enlists her aid, she feels duty-bound to help—even though protecting a frail, pregnant shifter is the last thing Evy needs, especially with the world going to hell around her.

Amid weres, Halfies, gremlins, vamps—and increasingly outgunned humans—a war for supremacy is brewing. With shifters demanding justice, her superiors desperate to control her, and an assassin on her trail, Evy discovers a horrifying conspiracy. And she may be the only person in the world who can stop it—unless, of course, her own side gets her first.

Another Kind of Dead
Dreg City 3
Bantam, August 02, 2011
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 384 pages

Authors After Dark Author Spotlight Interview - Kelly Meding
She can heal her own wounds. She can nail a monster to a wall. But there’s one danger Evangeline Stone never saw coming.

Been there. Done that. Evy Stone is a former Dreg Bounty Hunter who died and came back to life with some extraordinary powers. Now all but five people in the world think she is dead again, this time for good—immolated in a factory fire set specifically for her. Evy and Wyatt, her partner/lover/friend, can no longer trust their former allies, or even the highest echelons of the Triads—the army of fighters holding back from an unsuspecting public a tide of quarreling, otherworldly creatures—they can trust only each other. Because when the Triads raided a macabre, monster-filled lab of science experiments and hauled away the remnants, they failed to capture their creator: a brilliant, vampire-obsessed scientist with a wealth of powerful, anti-Dreg weaponry to trade for what he desires most of all—Evy Stone: alive and well, and the key to his ultimate experiment in mad science.

Wrong Side of Dead
Dreg City 4
Bantam, January 31, 2012
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 368 pages

Authors After Dark Author Spotlight Interview - Kelly Meding
Monster hunter Evangeline Stone woke up on the wrong side of dead this morning—and now there’s hell to pay.

Barely recovered from her extended torture at the hands of mad scientist Walter Thackery, Evy can use a break. What she gets instead is a war, as the battered Triads that keep Dreg City safe find themselves under attack by half-Blood vampires who have somehow retained their reason, making them twice as lethal. Worse, the Halfies are joined by a breed of were-creature long believed extinct—back and more dangerous than ever. Meanwhile, Evy’s attempts at reconciliation with the man she loves take a hit after Wyatt is viciously assaulted—an attack traced to Thackery, who has not given up his quest to exterminate all vampires . . . even if he has to destroy Dreg City to do it. With Wyatt’s time running out, another threat emerges from the shadows and a staggering betrayal shatters the fragile alliance between the Triads, vampires, and shapeshifters, turning Evy’s world upside down forever.

About Kelly

Authors After Dark Author Spotlight Interview - Kelly Meding
      Born and raised in Southern Delaware, Kelly Meding survived five years in the hustle and bustle of Northern Virginia, only to retreat back to the peace and sanity of the Eastern Shore. An avid reader and film buff, she discovered Freddy Krueger at a very young age, and has since had a lifelong obsession with horror, science fiction, and fantasy, on which she blames her interest in vampires, psychic powers,superheroes, and all things paranormal.

      Three Days to Dead is the first book in her Dreg City urban fantasy series that follows Evy Stone, a paranormal hunter who is resurrected into the body of a stranger and has only three days to solve her own murder and stop a war between the city's goblins and vampires. The next three books in the series, As Lie the Dead, Another Kind of Dead, and Wrong Side of Dead, are also available from Bantam.

      Kelly's MetaWars series from Pocket Books tells the story of the grown-up children of the world's slaughtered superheroes who receive their superpowers back after a mysterious fifteen-year absence, and who now face not only a fearful public, but also a vengeful villain who wants all of them dead. Trance is available now with book two, Changeling, coming June 26, 2012. Books three and four will be available digitally in 2013.

      You can find Kelly on Twitter and Facebook, as well as her website:

Interview with Dani Harper and Giveaway - December 28, 2011

Please welcome Dani Harper to The Qwillery as part of the 2011 Debut Author Challenge Interviews. Dani's debut novel, Changeling Moon (Changeling 1), was published in May 2011 by Kensington Brava. Changeling Dream (Changeling 2) was published in June and Changeling Dawn (Changeling 3) was published yesterday, December 27, 2011.

TQ:  What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?

Dani:  I talk to myself. A lot. And I often don’t realize I’m doing it. I don’t know how interesting it is – my husband thinks it’s amusing, and strangers just give me odd looks.

Also, I must have peace, quiet, no distractions and nothing on my household to-do list in order to write. Bahahahahahahaha - snort! Okay, I just THINK I need that, as I’m struggling to get focused. Once I’m in the zone, however, Martians could land in the front yard and I wouldn’t notice a thing.

TQ:  Who are some of your favorite writers? Who do you feel has influenced your writing?

Dani:  I’m a big fan of JR Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood and Jeaniene Frost’s Night Huntress series. Kevin Hearne writes the amazing Iron Druid Chronicles and I love Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files. Patricia Briggs’ shapeshifter stories rock and I will stop everything to read Karen Chance.

Of all writers, I probably admire Stephen King the most. King’s ability to get inside his characters’ heads – and take you with him – is simply stunning. By the end of the story, you’re half certain everything happened to YOU.

TQ:  Tell us about your Changeling series? Are your shifters a new breed?

Dani:  My main characters are werewolves, but don’t call them that. They prefer the term Changelings, and they live right here among us. Your boss could be a Changeling. So could the gal that does your pedicure. The coach of your company baseball team or even the cop that gives you a ticket for not wearing your seatbelt again could have furry tendencies. Your BFF could run on four feet at night and you wouldn’t know. Changelings hide in plain sight and live very human lives most of the time.

Love, however, complicates their lives wildly.

My Changeling series revolves around the Macleod family of shapeshifters. Each book focuses on one of the siblings - four brothers and two sisters. However, characters from earlier books are never gone completely and pop up to support (or annoy) members of the family and the Pack.

TQ:  What inspired you to write the Changeling series?

Dani:  As far as I’ve been able to figure out, my new Changeling series was probably inspired by REAL wolves! One bright sunny morning when I lived on my little farm in northern Canada, I was stunned to see a pack of wolves – about 7 or 8 – lope leisurely across the yard not far from the house. They were amazingly beautiful creatures, but what struck me most was the feeling I had that they were happy together. It remains one of the most incredible experiences of my life.

However, I really didn’t sit down and plan the Changeling series. I started writing a story one day and the entire Macleod family turned up in my head. What a noisy, demanding bunch they were too! And then they all turned into wolves. I told them not to, but my characters never listen.

TQ:  What sort of research did you do for the Changeling series?

Dani:  I’m always, always, always doing research as I write. I’m a closet geek to start with because I love science and history, and my newspaper background makes me a fanatic for details and facts. What I write about Changelings may be fiction, but I want every word I write about real wolves to be absolutely true.

TQ:  Are you a plotter or a pantser?

Dani:  Both. I start as a plotter, then the characters run off in a completely different direction and I’m left to try and catch up. No matter how much I try to plan, my characters have their own notions of how the story is supposed to go. We argue a lot.

TQ:  In the first 2 books, Changeling Moon and Changeling Dream, who was the easiest character to write and why? Hardest and why?

Dani:  Birkie Peterson is probably my favorite character to write, in the sense that she steps right up and says what’s on her mind, and it’s always just the right thing. I love that about her.

The hardest character to write? Any of them when they’re not talking to me!!! Sometimes I have a scene I need to get done and the characters are conspicuously absent. I don’t know where they go or what they’re doing – hang gliding, playing video games, scarfing down fries at Mickey D’s or what. All I know is that I can threaten, coax, yell, cry and beg but until my characters are good and ready to talk, I get nothing. That’s usually when I go write a blog or an article instead, sort of a writing-while-I’m-waiting-to-write kind of thing.

TQ:  Describe Changeling Dawn (Changeling 3) in 140 characters or less.

Dani:  Never judge a man by his species. Love, danger and archeology combine as human Josh and werewolf Kenzie work to rescue a shapeshifter child.

TQ:  Without giving anything away, what is your favorite scene in Changeling Dawn?

Dani:  I have a lot of favorite scenes in that book – like when the hero, Josh Talarkoteen, blackmails Kenzie Macleod into a date. And later in the book, when Birkie Peterson finally takes off the gloves, it’s a heckuva surprise and very satisfying.

TQ:  Which character in the series has surprised you the most?

Dani:  I get LOTS of surprises from my characters – they always have their own ideas about where the story should go. There are things in Changeling Moon that still surprise me, and I may never recover from one of the revelations in Changeling Dream.

The character who consistently surprises me is Culley Macleod. I never know what he’s going to do or say, and I never, ever, know when he’s going to show up. Or not. He’s like a wild card – or a bad penny.

TQ:  Thank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

About the Changeling series

Changeling Dawn
Changeling 3
Kensington Brave (December 27, 2011)
Trade Paperback, 368 pages

Interview with Dani Harper and Giveaway - December 28, 2011

Shadow and moonlight merge beneath her bare feet, the forest floor blurring as she flees the dogs and torches. Werewolf, monster—those are the names given her kind by the humans who hate them.


Kenzie Macleod has spent her whole life hiding what she is, and she’s not about to open up to any man, even one as powerfully attractive as wildlife expert Josh Talarkoteen. But legend says that a Changeling cannot escape the call of her true mate, even in the wilderness of backcountry Alaska.


An isolated archeological site, a terrified Changeling cub, a shadowy research facility—as Kenzie and Josh face the ultimate betrayal, his obsidian eyes promise untold pleasure and hint at dark secrets of his own…

Changeling Dream
Changeling 2
Kensington Brave (June 28, 2011)
Trade Paperback, 368 pages

Interview with Dani Harper and Giveaway - December 28, 2011
In times of stress Jillian Descharme has always found calm in her dream of a great white wolf with haunting blue eyes. But she is startled when the visions return and this time seem so real. Late at night he comes to her, speaks to her, touches her. It’s almost as if he’s alive…

Thirty years ago James Macleod lost his wife and unborn child to a killer bent on destroying the Changelings. Though he longed for death, his animal instinct fought for survival and James has been a wolf ever since. Yet now a woman has reawakened the man in him, taming wild instincts but arousing still wilder needs. With his ancient enemy hunting the legendary white wolf, James must fight for new life, new hope, new love.

Changeling Moon
Changeling 1
Kensington Brave (May 31, 2011)
Trade Paperback, 368 pages

Interview with Dani Harper and Giveaway - December 28, 2011
He roams the moonlit wilderness, his every sense and instinct on high alert. Changeling wolf Connor Macleod and his Pack have never feared anything—until the night human Zoey Tyler barely escapes a rogue werewolf's vicious attack.

As the full moon approaches, Zoey has no idea of the changes that are coming, and only Connor can show her what she is, and help her master the wildness inside. With her initiation into the Pack just days away and a terrifying predator on the loose, the tentative bonds of trust and tenderness are their only weapons against a force red in tooth, claw. . .and ultimate evil.

About Dani

Interview with Dani Harper and Giveaway - December 28, 2011
Dani Harper is a newspaper editor turned paranormal author. There isn’t anything she likes better than exploring the supernatural — unless it’s writing sizzling and suspenseful romance. Of course, all of her stories have at least one foot in the netherworld.

A Canadian who spent many years in northern Alberta, Dani now lives on an island in Alaska! She and her husband operate a commercial fishing boat and her stories are written on land or at sea, with the help of her executive secretary, Fiona the Pug.

Dani currently has a hot new shapeshifter series from Kensington Brava. CHANGELING MOON and CHANGELING DREAM are available now in trade paperback and ebook. Her latest novel, CHANGELING DAWN, was just released yesterday, December 27th.

Dani's Links:


The Giveaway


What:  One commenter will win a signed copy of Dani’s new release, Changeling Dawn, plus a Dani Harper tote bag from Dani!  US and Canadian Mailing Addresses Only.

How:  Leave a comment answering the following question posed by Dani:

Who is your favorite shapeshifter character from a book, movie or TV series? 

Please remember - if you don't answer the question your entry will not be counted.

You may receive additional entries by:

1)   Being a Follower of The Qwillery.

2)   Mentioning the giveaway on Facebook and/or Twitter. Even if you mention the giveaway on both, you will get only one additional entry. You get only one additional entry even if you mention the giveaway on Facebook and/or Twitter multiple times.

3)   Mentioning the giveaway on your on blog or website. It must be your own blog or website; not a website that belongs to someone else or a site where giveaways, contests, etc. are posted.

There are a total of 4 entries you may receive: Comment (1 entry), Follower (+1 entry), Facebook and/or Twitter (+ 1 entry), and personal blog/website mention (+1 entry). This is subject to change again in the future for future giveaways.

Please leave links for Facebook, Twitter, or blog/website mentions. In addition please leave a way to contact you.

Who and When:  The contest is open to all humans on the planet earth with a US or Canadian mailing address. Contest ends at 11:59pm US Eastern Time on Sunday, January 15, 2011. Void where prohibited by law. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 years old or older to enter.

*Giveaway rules are subject to change.*
Interview with Dani Harper - August 20, 2013Authors After Dark Author Spotlight Interview - Kelly MedingInterview with Dani Harper and Giveaway - December 28, 2011

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