Hello all, are you done with your Christmas shopping? Are you tired of hearing that question? I am too. But I have decided that my top priority is to take moments each day to just rest and enjoy the season. My second priority is to enjoy my family. And, after those things, is the rest. There will be time for the other things. But I won’t remember who got what in 2016 five years from now or how well it was wrapped, but I will remember that I enjoyed my kids. And they will remember that mom was present.
Aside from the ongoing Christmas season challenges, I have the pleasure of hosting another Clean Reads author on my blog today – Eli Celata. Eli has stopped by to answer some of my questions and introduce us to her newest release. So, without further ado, let’s hop right in:
Welcome to my blog, Eli. First, tell us a little about your novel.
“High Summons” is my debut. It’s basically an ode to everything I love about my native city but also about YA literature in general. My main character, Jon Blythe, is a multiracial college kid from Boston who has relocated to Rochester for college. Raised by his mother, he has only one thing from his father – magic. Well, he has the monsters too. The dark and devilish figures that he sees out of the corner of his eyes. The ones who horrify his mother.
When Jon comes across a man setting one of the monsters on fire with his bare hand, he jumps in blindly hoping for the answers he’s been denied. However, the man – Jordan – might be a wizard, but he’s also a demon-hunter, and if Jon wants to keep his magic, he will have to risk everything and track down the rogue magic users set on burning Rochester to the ground.
Interesting. I love science fiction/fantasy though I write Historical Fiction/Romance, which means I read primarily in my genre. But I find the sheer creative genius of your genre so appealing. What was the inspiration for High Summons?
While the original drafts were an ode to my wanderlust, HIGH SUMMONS as it is now written memorializes the best parts of my home city of Rochester. From Rochester’s diversity and embracing of different cultures, there were so many nuances I only recognized once I was off at college. The fantasy came from my love of mythology, theology, and folklore.
Very personal inspiration for this novel. My debut novel was also very personal at it’s core. And it was a book I never expected the world to see really. I never thought I would be a writer until later in life though I have always written as a creative outlet. When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
Both my parents are avid readers, so I was a 3-year-old being read middle grade books at night alongside my siblings. My sister and I would spend hours telling each other stories which grew more and more complex, but it wasn’t until I realized we had a very different desire in the endings that I took to writing.
Fun. One thing that helps get me in the right headspace to write is my writing playlist. What kind of music, if any, do you listen to when you write?
My Twitter is a mass of music tweets. Each time I start a new book, I make a playlist. Currently, my main playlist is for a WIP for my WARLOCK OF ROCHESTER series titled #Gatekeeper. It’s a mix of symphonic metal, classic rock, and Sia. As I also have an unrelated adult dystopian bouncing around, Amber Run’s “I Found” joined the track, but it’ll get its own list soon.
How long does it take you to write a book?
The length of time depends on the type of book and my other responsibilities. Over the summer, I can probably get one done in two months from start and outline to submitting manuscript. Once I’m back at Binghamton working on my PhD, it can slow down to a full ten months.
Wow! Two months is amazingly quick! Even ten months is rather fast considering. Can you tell us something about your newest release that is NOT in the blurb.
Jon’s multiracial. The cast is really diverse with Jon coming from a single parent household in Boston while his friends come from as far as you can get from a city in Puerto Rico to Midwest to well-off Rochester urbanite. That’s the wonderful part about writing a story set in a diverse “college town.” It also adds to the tension when Jon goes from this eclectic and accepting friend group into the demon hunting community which has its own prejudices and ideologies.
Do you have any current projects your working on? Care to share?
Weird dystopian novel involving a secret library and a twist on the classic soldier/pacifist romance – it’s been on my shelf for a while, but I’m caught on the ending. I can’t seem to keep my pacifist from reverting to her old – much more violent and megalomaniac inventor – ways, and that would definitely upend any chance of a Happily Ever After with the romantic humanist corporal.
Thank you so much for joining us today. And I am so eager to hear a little more about High Summons, are you?
Jon Blythe is sick of waiting for his Yoda. After years of hiding his magic, he’s ready to retire from his mortal life, drop out of college, and jump into the world of demon hunters. He just didn’t really expect a bleach blond bookstore clerk with light up toys for weapons. Unfortunately, Jordan is Jon’s only hope. When rogue magic users come to Rochester with a malicious plan, the odd couple strikes out to save the day. Jordan might not be what Jon expected, but between demons and Econ homework, the demons win every time. Wild nights drag Jon further from normal into the world where his father vanished. Maybe he’s becoming an addict. Maybe magic just comes with a price. Either way, he’s hooked.
More About the Author:
Eli Celata was born in Rochester, NY and currently attends Binghamton University as a doctoral student in Biological Anthropology. When she isn’t studying bones or working on interdisciplinary experiments, Eli writes science fiction and fantasy.
Connect with Eli: