The SHANNON MUIR’S INFINITE HOUSE OF BOOKS column on Mondays and Wednesdays is a place at Shannon Muir’s author website showcasing books from a variety of fiction genres, with an emphasis on interviews and guest posts from other authors. One thing Shannon firmly believes in for readers not only to learn about new books available, but about those who craft the tales behind them. As its name implies, SHANNON MUIR’S INFINITE HOUSE OF BOOKS weekly column features writers from all genres of fiction who want their potential audience to get to know them, and their works, better.

Today, we look at the book, THE DUALITY OF NATURE. DISCLAIMER: This content has been provided to SHANNON MUIR’S INFINITE HOUSE OF BOOKS by YA Bound Book Tours. No compensation was received. This information required by the Federal Trade Commission.

About the Book

The Duality of Nature

(The Monster of Selkirk #1) by C.E. Clayton

Genre: YA Fantasy

Release Date: April 2017

DevilDog Press

Summary:

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.

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Interview with the Author

What initially got you interested in writing?

To be honest it was just always something I did and was good at, if my teachers were to be believed. I had this big imagination and was always telling stories to my toys, creating elaborate worlds for my mom’s glass figurines to inhabit, or writing something down. I didn’t truly consider it more than just a thing I liked doing until I got really bored at one of my old jobs and started writing one of the stories in my head. When I told my friends and family what I was doing, most responded with “it’s about time!”

What genres do you prefer to write in?

I love writing in fantasy first and foremost. I love the freedom of the world building and letting my imagination run wild. Sometimes I enjoy going into the horror sub category of fantasy, and on occasion I’ll dabble with contemporary fiction, but it’s not that often.

Are there any authors you prefer to read and why?

I love authors who clearly define their magic systems and worlds, and make complex characters that feel so real, despite their fantasy realms. There are lots of authors who do that well, and I find more as I read more, but currently some of my favorites are Leigh Bardugo, V.E. Scwhab, and Susan Ee.

How did you make the move into being a published author?

I had been writing and rewriting my first book for well over a year before I found a publisher. I had been querying with different literary agents and not getting where I wanted to be, until I looked into a small press publisher. My brother-in-law happened to know one of the authors, and they got me in touch with the publisher. I gave them my submission packet and they liked what they saw and sent me a contract! I keep a bit more of the profits this way, while my publisher provides the cover designers, formatting, and editors for my books. But it took a very long time from when I thought my book was “done” to being published and only somewhat “traditionally”. I’m what’s considered a hybrid author, which is a growing number of authors with the rise of ebooks and self-publishing.

What do you find most rewarding about writing?

Creating characters that touch readers, that people can relate to and find strength in despite the fantasy realm they inhabit. It’s so amazing to have someone read your words and tell you how much your stories mean to them!

What do you find most challenging about writing?

For me personally, the hardest part of writing is battling my impostor syndrome. I feel like people will tell me I’m a fake, that I don’t belong in this field, that I’ve lied to people and have been fooling myself this whole time. It can get kind of crippling at times, but usually I just have to talk these things out with people I love and I can get back to work.

Do you have any tips for writers who find themselves experiencing writer’s block?

The thing that works best for me when I have writer’s block is to go back and re-read/edit the past few chapters that I’ve written. Usually blocks for me come in the form of my subconscious not being happy with something I’ve written, or just not being in the character’s head enough to get the scene flowing. By going back, I can usually find the thing that I’m getting stuck on and fixing it, or get in the right headspace to keep going.

What advice would you give to people that want to enter the field?

If you want to publish, develop a thick skin, and just because you have finished writing a book, that doesn’t mean it’s done. Readers expect a lot from books, and as authors we need to respect that. So take your time, get beta readers, research even the small topics in your story you aren’t an expert on so even those tiny parts feel connected to your larger plotline. Read a ton in the genre you’re writing in so you can learn more about the stories you like, and what you don’t like in books. And be patient. If this is something you really want, it takes a lot of time to be published, or to self-publish a really solid book.

What do you want readers to take away from reading your works?

That no matter what the world, or your family, or even your well-meaning friends tell you what you can do, what your worth is, what you should do, or aspire to, that your life is what you make it, and it can be what you want it to be. That it’s great to be different, it doesn’t make you weird or a monster. Because, as Tallis finds out too, not everyone knows a monster when they see one.

Is there anything else about you that you think readers might find interesting?

I stepped on a baby rattlesnake (on accident) and managed not to get bitten, my mom made the spelling of my name weird in order to name me after her college alma mater—that’s why I use a pen name—and I enjoy dying my hair a variety of fun colors! Ombre blue and rose pink have been my favorites so far.

About the Author

C. E. Clayton was born and raised in the greater Los Angeles area, where she attended the University of Southern California 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, and poetry, can be found on her website. She’d also be thrilled if you followed her on Instagram and liked her bookish and pet photos, and Amazon where you can get updates on her new releases. And there’s always Facebook, if that’s your thing.

For more information, please visit C.E. Clayton either on Instagram, Facebook, or her Website. You can also follow on Goodreads.

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