An Interview with Kate Avery Ellison

Hi! It’s me—Grace.  My author is sleeping in, so she left me in charge.


Today we have Kate Avery Ellison, author of the YA novel, The Curse Girl and the newly released Frost. Here’s a little about it: 

In the icy, monster-plagued world of the Frost, one wrong move and a person could end up dead—and Lia Weaver knows this better than anyone. After monsters kill her parents, she must keep the family farm running despite the freezing cold and threat of monster attacks or risk losing her siblings to reassignment by the village Elders. With dangers on all sides and failure just one wrong step away, she can’t afford to let her emotions lead her astray. So when her sister finds a fugitive bleeding to death in the forest—a young stranger named Gabe—Lia surprises herself and does the unthinkable.

She saves his life.

Giving shelter to the fugitive could get her in trouble. The Elders have always described the advanced society of people beyond the Frost, the “Farthers,” as ruthless and cruel. But Lia is startled to find that Gabe is empathetic and intelligent…and handsome. She might even be falling in love with him.

But time is running out. The monsters from the forest circle the farm at night. The village leader is starting to ask questions. Farther soldiers are searching for Gabe. Lia must locate a secret organization called the Thorns to help Gabe escape to safety, but every move she makes puts her in more danger.

Is compassion—and love—worth the risk?

That sounds pretty incredible to me, Kate, which means your Muse must be doing a great job inspiring you. What’s the next project they’re helping you out on?

Well, let’s see. I just released a new YA fantasy/dystopian, Frost, featuring some a snowy world, monsters, and a forbidden romance. It’s the first book in a series called The Frost Chronicles, and I’m already hard at work on the sequel, Thorns. I’m also working on a novelette/novella that could be described as “a paranormal retelling of Robin Hood.” And of course, I have a zillion other projects on the back burner.

A zillion?  Are you sure? Because that’s a heck of a big number.  And if it’s an exaggeration, then which of your characters are you most like?

Tough question! I am a little bit like Bee from my novel The Curse Girl because we both like to talk things through and find a logical, workable solution to problems. I’m also a little bit like Ivy, a secondary character from my newest novel Frost, because we’re both daydreamers who get into trouble for not paying attention.

What did you say?  Oh, yeah…daydreaming. Been there, done that. When you’re not daydreaming, do you like to read, and, if so, what’s your favorite book of all time?

Another tough question! I don’t think I could narrow it down that far, to be honest, but one of my favorite YA fantasy novels of all time is The King of Attolia by Megan Whalen Turner. The Blue Sword by Robin McKinley is a close second.

Sorry about these tough questions and I haven’t got a clue who came up with them. It definitely wasn’t me—but I wrote this one!  In your opinion what makes a guy character swoony-worthy?

I like smart guys–geeks, nerds, or just plain intellectual types. Nothing turns me on more than a guy with wit and intelligence. Of course I’m also a sucker for dark, wavy hair and a smirking, Han Solo-esque smile.

Can you keep a secret?  I have a thing for a smirker and he’s promised to take me to a concert.   If you could go to a rock concert in Heaven, who would you go see? (*hint* you have to pick someone who is dead)

Taylor Mitchell. She was so young when she died, and her death was so tragic (eaten by coyotes!)… I kinda feel like she needs another chance to perform.

What the—????? I’d never heard of her, but after checking on YouTube all I say is her Guardian Angel must have been in some hot water over that one. And she does have a very nice sound. 🙂   

Okay…confession time. What’s your biggest writing sin?

I refuse to completely give up adverbs, although I try to keep them to a minimum. 🙂

Ha! Love that. And your answer makes me think I already know the answer to the next question–are you more of a rule follower or a rebel? Why?

I’m definitely more of a rule follower. It’s partly the way I was raised, partly my personality. But at the same time, I’m one of those envelope-pushing, out-of-the-box thinkers who likes the challenge the status quo. So I chafe at the rules and petition to change them while following them, I guess you could say.

Especially when it comes to adverbs, I guess. 😉 (Just kidding)

Okay, what — other than your Muse, of course — inspires you?

Odd and unexpected combinations of people or story elements that end up working–like the whole Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter thing. Unexpected or unconventional situations inspire me to see how I can build a story around them.

I’m definitely a fan of unconventional.  Like, did you know I skipped school and went straight to Earth?  Hmmm….but enough about me. I really would like to know about what themes you  write about or what you want readers to take from your books.

I find myself drawn to themes of trust, betrayal, and adversaries-turned-friends (or lovers). I’m sure there are all kinds of deep, psychological reasons why I am fascinated with these subjects. I think one of my strongest “messages” that I want people get from my books is the idea that people can grow and change, jerks can learn compassion, timid shy people can find courage. Don’t ever write someone off forever just because they don’t click with you immediately. They might turn out to be your best friend. I also ALWAYS want to communicate the idea that love is powerful, redeeming, and worth everything you risk for it.

Aww…I really love those themes.  Now, last question. Is there anything you’d like me to mention to your Guardian Angel? I can do it all casual, if you want.

I have a new treadmill desk and sometimes I write while using it. Writing while walking isn’t THAT hard, but I’d love to avoid getting a sprained ankle 🙂

The treadmill desk sounds awesome.  Consider your request passed along.

In addition to the treadmill desk, doesn’t Kate’s new book Frost sound awesome?  You can buy it practically everywhere.


Barnes & Noble:



And, keep up with Kate’s zillion *winks* projects in all these spots:





April 16, 2012. Tags: , , , , , , , , . author interviews.

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