Keira Michelle Telford was born and raised in Britain, and moved to British Columbia, Canada in 2006. She now shares a townhouse on the west coast with her husband and 10 guinea pigs, yes 10 guinea pigs. Keira shares her new release Silver: Acheron (A River of Pain) and why she loves to write.
Click on the image to visit Keira's Meet & Greet on VBT Cafe.
Louise: Keira, welcome to my blog! I’m so excited you could join me for a chat. When did you first decide to submit your work to be published? Tell us what or who encouraged you to take this big step.
Keira: Death did. I once heard it said that the death of a parent is a reminder of our own mortality, and it’s true. Though it wasn’t simply the thought that I would one day die that bothered me, it was more the thought that I could die without ever having given Silver a chance to live. I’d taken a few tentative steps down the traditional agent-publisher route before, but hadn’t really had a lot of good experiences. My work isn’t mainstream enough, apparently; there’s not enough money to be made from me.
Louise: Please tell us a little about your new release Silver: Acheron.
Keira: Acheron is the first installment in a 10-book, post-apocalyptic love story series. In this book, we meet Ella ‘Silver’ Cross for the first time—and she’s a prisoner. Banished from her Sentinel District home, she’s relegated to the Fringe District and sentenced to live amongst society’s trash. She’s lucky the Banishment & Enforcement Council didn’t have enough evidence to execute her, but some days she wishes they had. A life sentence means that she’ll never get to see her lover, Alex, again, and that hurts worse than any pain of death.
Dishonorably discharged from the Hunter Division and banished for crimes she did not commit, Silver struggles to come to terms with her new prison-like surroundings: a segregated area of the city called the Fringe District, populated by murderers, thieves and rapists.
Starving, and desperate for money, she reluctantly accepts the Police Division's invitation to enroll in a covert Bounty Hunter program: an initiative devised to infiltrate the criminal underworld of the Fringers, and to force the very worst warrant dodging law-breakers to meet their fate—death.
Unfortunately, Silver doesn't realize that the Police Division is about to up the ante. They need more than little snippets of information and arrests—they need someone to pull the trigger.
They need an executioner.
Louise: Do you plan all your characters out before you start a story or do they develop as you write?
Keira: I don’t plan anything. My characters seem to self-generate in an organic, fluid sort of way. It usually starts with a name, and then the physical features start to appear. I start to see mannerisms and quirks. I get a sense of sexuality: what turns them on and off. If they have a connection to any other characters, they’ll start to draw in together like a magnet. A conversation will spring up, and I’ll begin to understand their place in this world. From there, hopes, desires and conflicts begin to arise. Eventually, I’ll know every inch of them, inside and out. I really don’t do anything on purpose. It just sort of happens.
Louise: That's is a very good description of how your characters speak to you. How much research do you do for your books? Have you found any cool tidbits to share?
Keira: I’m constantly doing research. Science plays a hefty part in my books, so I’m always learning new things. One of the first things I learned—to combat the problem of there being no gasoline after the apocalypse—was that you can generate a gasoline substitute from algae.
Louise: I think the research is really fun to do while writing. What is your writing process? Do you outline, write by the seat of your pants (Pantser) or a combination of both?
Keira: I think it’s a combination. Sometimes I write with no clear direction, just to see what develops. Though, even when I try to plot something out in advance, it often ends up changing as I write. Just as my characters form organically, so do my plotlines. Especially the subplots, which are almost always a surprise to me when they spring up. It feels more authentic that way. If I plot things out too much, it feels almost contrived. I don’t want to make things happen, I want to allow it to unfold.
Louise: Do you write full time? What did you do before you became a writer or still do?
Keira: Some days, I feel as though I have a lot of different jobs, each one vying for my attention. Other days, I feel like I should be collecting an unemployment cheque somewhere. But if the question is to be taken absolutely literally, then the answer is: nothing. I was a writer before I was anything else, despite everything else, whether it ever made me any money or not. If you want to get all poetic about it, I was born a writer—it’s in my bloodline.
Louise: Do you have a ritual when it comes to writing? Example….get coffee, blanket, paper, pen, laptop and a comfy place.
Keira: Rituals? I have OCD; my whole life is a ritual! If I were to elaborate on that here, it would read like a checklist for mental instability.
Louise: Oh, I can attest to having a little OCD myself. Describe a typical writing day for you.
Keira: I arise late morning (emphasis on the ‘late’) and eat something that vaguely resembles breakfast. The general rule of thumb is that if I can’t take it out of the cupboard or the fridge and have it ready for consumption in under thirty seconds, it’s not worth the effort. I eat like a two-year-old. Maybe worse. I’ll begin writing about noon, and can quite happily continue until 3am, depending on how many distractions I encounter during that time. Currently, Xena: Warrior Princess is a distraction. I’m watching it right now. What were we saying earlier about my mental health?
Louise: Please give us a sneak peek at your future books. What’s on the horizon?
Keira: The fourth book in The SILVER Series is due out this summer. It’s called A New Age Dawns, and it’s the longest book in the series so far. It’ll be a return to the present day plotline, after the brief flashback we had into Silver’s childhood in Entropy.
Louise: What is your favorite genre to read and who is your favorite author?
Keira: I don’t read very much contemporary work. I’m a huge fan of Edgar Allan Poe, so I guess my favorite genre would be macabre. Is that a genre? It should be.
Louise: Poe is my first favorite! Shhh...don't tell Stephen King though. LOL Is there anything else you would like to tell the readers we have not touched on?
Keira: There are 21 books in total for the character of Ella ‘Silver’ Cross (in her present incarnation, at least). This current series consists of 10 books. The next series—The Legacy Series—consists of another 10, and then there’s a single standalone book—SILVER: Redux—which slips in at the very end and ties everything together.
Louise: Where can the readers learn more about you and find your books on the web?
Keira: The best place to go to find out more about The SILVER Series is: http://www.ellacross.com There’s also my personal website at: http://www.keiramichelle.com To buy, you’ll need to head on over to Amazon. The books are available from there in paperback and for Kindle. If you don’t have a Kindle, other eBook formats are sold directly from the EllaCross site.
I’ll do an eBook giveaway and one signed paperback to two lucky comenters! :)
Who knew the Police Division had safe houses tucked away all over the Fringe District?
Luka takes more than a little pride in showing off one of his Division’s best kept secrets, and also hopes that something about this experience will perk up her mood.
Punching his key code into a concealed pad behind a disused electrical box, he swipes his wrist across a hidden tag plate and beams a grin back at her over his shoulder.
“Hunters have got their toys, we’ve got ours.”
The entry system seems to like his credentials, and an inconspicuous cellar door clicks and pops on the inside as the locking mechanism swiftly retracts behind it. Lifting the lid on the place, Luka ushers Silver hastily down a steel step ladder into the bunker beneath.
He’s right on her tail, and the door automatically reseals itself behind them—locking them in.
“What is this place?” Silver wonders.
“Nothing, so far as any civilians know. To them, there’s nothing down here but dirt. To us, it’s a covert safe house. It’s not finished yet, mind you.”
He’s not wrong.
The floor is a mixture of concrete and loose wooden planks. The walls are bare drywall, waiting to be painted, and there aren’t any doors. Silver can see three rooms: a kitchen, bathroom and a small living and sleeping area.
“I could totally live here.”
“Not without company.” Luka nods to the CCTV monitoring system, wired in to every room. “It’s not hooked up in here yet, but it soon will be.”
Silver’s still stuck on one tiny detail. “A safe house for what? You’re planning on starting a witness protection program for all of your little snitches?”
Luka shrugs. “Once it’s fully operational, the safe house network should help us keep our assets alive just long enough to get what we need from them.”
Silver, who is unquestionably the Police Division’s best asset, develops furrows in her brow at his nonchalant disregard for the lives of the people they’re buying.
“And how long do you expect that to be, typically? I’m just wondering if I should cancel my gym membership.”
Her sarcasm alerts him to the taste of his own toes, but it’s too late to take it back properly. “You don’t count.”
“No? Why not?”
“You’re not like them.”
Covered in the blood of a man she just slaughtered, Silver would beg to differ.
“After what I did today, I reckon the only things left separating me from them are oral hygiene and clean undies.”
“Come on, Silver, it was self-defense.”
“The first shot, maybe. The second and third were questionable. The one that blew his face off? That one was pure anger.”
The world might end, but love endures.
Keira Michelle Telford