Kelley Armstrong is the author of both the Otherworld and Nadia Stratford as well as the YA trilogy The Darkest Powers. She lives in Ontario with her husband and three children. The last book in The Darkest Powers, The Reckoning, comes out next spring. You can visit her online at http://www.KelleyArmstrong.com
To someone who has never read the Darkest Powers, how would you persuade them to read the books in a few sentences?
I’m going to admit, first off, that I’m really bad at persuading anyone to read my books. It feels pushy. If I absolutely have to, I usually say…
“It’s a supernatural thriller about a teenage girl who suddenly starts seeing ghosts, and is taken to a group home, which she quickly discovers is not what it seems. If it sounds like something you might like, you can read the first ten chapters free online.” Then I’d direct them to the excerpt, which is at http://browseinside.harperteen.com/index.aspx?isbn13=9780061450549
Was it any different writing the Darkest Powers versus your other books for adults?
The only real difference is the age of the characters. I cover a lot of narrator ages in my adult series, but teens are a lot different. When I’m writing adult characters, whether they’re 25 or 45, they’re dealing with a similar set of issues (jobs, finances, marriage & children) Teens are at a different place in their lives and the characters need to reflect that. They also have a limited set of tools for dealing with problems. If I have an adult character on the run, they can empty their bank accounts, get fake ID, hop on a plane, rent a hiding place etc. Fifteen-year-olds can’t do that.
Are any of the characters from the Darkest Powers based on real people?
No. I always make sure my characters aren’t based on anyone I know. They have traits in common with myself and others, though. For example, Chloe stutters and so do I, because it’s an experience I can relate realistically.
If you could have any of the powers the residents of Lyle House have, what would you choose?
I would love to be a werewolf because I’d love to experience life in a different form. The secondary characteristics would be cool, too. Those “extras,” though, also make it hard for werewolves to blend, so if I was being very practical, I’d go with spell-casters. Their powers take work to learn, but overall they have fewer drawbacks.
After The Reckoning (Book 3), what future plans do you have for the Darkest Powers or any other YA Novels?
Chloe’s story is currently a trilogy. Now I’m starting a new trilogy set in the same world, with all new characters, about another Edison Group experiment. If readers want me to return to Chloe later, I would.
What was the inspiration for the Darkest Powers?
I’d had a book idea that was inspired by my second adult novel, Stolen. The plot would have been about supernaturals just coming into their powers, though, which in my world happens at puberty, so it wouldn’t work for an adult series. That idea was in the back of my mind as I began getting email from readers I considered a little too young to be reading my other books! After toying with the idea for a couple of years, I finally decided to try writing the book during National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo.)
What’s your favorite part of writing?
There isn’t any part that I dislike, but if I had to pick my favourite, it would be writing the first draft. It’s the creative process of seeing an idea unfold into a story that I like best. Next would be editing—the chance to polish the story. Least favourite would be proofreading, because by that time, I’ve read it so often I know what every line should say and I don’t catch the errors.
When you’re not writing, what else do you enjoy doing?
Cooking, learning new things, hiking, spending time with my family…
Thanks Kelley for taking the time to be interviewed!