Resistor: An Eerden Novel Ellinor Book 1 by C.E. Clayton Genre: New Adult Cyberpunk Fantasy
Ellinor Rask has wanted one thing for the past eight years: vengeance. But when Ellinor is captured, she finds herself dragged back into the world she walked away from, entangled once more with friends she would rather forget.
As if that weren’t humiliating enough, Ellinor learns first hand that her magic can be stripped away by a piece of bio-tech—and her ex-boss is happy to leash her with the technology in order to get what he wants. If Ellinor behaves, the device will be removed. All she has to do is deliver a package. One containing a creature created from raw magical energy and discarded technology. Simple, right?
But when her goals start getting people murdered, Ellinor has to decide if the year’s planning, her honor, and even her own magic, are worth the lives it’s costing. Dodging ruthless gangsters, she finds herself on the run with a creature of immeasurable magical abilities alongside her one-time friends. Now, Ellinor must relearn to trust the people she once abandoned. She must put her faith in technology, and her life in the hands of independent contractors, all while racing to deliver the package before it gets taken by force, or worse, the creature decides to make an appearance itself.
If you purchase either a physical copy, or pre-order the digital copy, you will receive the three, custom character playing cards once you show proof of purchase! It doesn't matter what country you're in either, I will absolutely send you these beauties by the phenomenal Golden Rose!
But if users purchase signed copies directly from me, they will get the character art of Ellinor in chains by Arz, a bookmark by Dominique Wesson, in addition to the playing cards if purchased during the pre-order window.
C. E. Clayton was born and raised in the greater Los Angeles area. After going the traditional career route and becoming restless, she went back to her first love--writing--and hasn't stopped. She is the author of young adult fantasy series, "The Monster of Selkirk", the creator of the cyberpunk Eerden Novels, 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.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I’ve always considered myself a writer considering that, even as a kid, I actually enjoyed every writing assignment I was given, and even wrote a “book” at about 12. It was about a family of princesses and the youngest princess had a pet dragon named Walter, that’s all I remember about it now… I don’t even know where it is now! But I think the more interesting answer is: when did I first consider myself to be an author? And honestly, I didn’t really consider myself an author, someone who could turn their passion and enjoyment of writing into a type of career, until I held my first book in my hand. “The Monster of Selkirk Book 1: The Duality of Nature” came out in April of 2017, so I haven’t really considered myself a “real” author all that long, even though I technically finished writing my first book in 2014.
Which of your novels can you imagine made into a movie?
I think my latest novel, “Resistor” would be best as a movie just because the cyberpunk aesthetic always looks best on the big screen. Plus, my early readers have compared “Resistor” to like “reading a video game” with its magic, futuristic technology, and it’s colorful people and disturbing looking monsters. But, that being said, I think my “Monster of Selkirk” series would be great for a Netflix series or a TV show kind of like what was done with The Shanara Chronicles as it’s a little slower and I think people can appreciate the coming-of-age story in that series better if it’s in a longer season-like format. I usually end up face-casting (basing the looks of my characters off actors/celebrities) so imagining my characters and my worlds coming to life in a movie becomes even easier!
What can we expect from you in the future?
I’ve moved past my early YA fantasy beginnings and have crafted a whole new fantasy world that I’m really proud of. In terms of strictly world building, this is the most elaborate of my worlds, so I fully intend to stay in this world for a while. So while Ellinor’s books, starting with “Resistor” will be the main series, there will be a lot of standalone or new series with different characters completely separate from this original cast of characters, but staying within the same universe. Leigh Bardugo does this a bit with her Grishaverse books, as does Terry Pratchett with his Discworld series, and Anne McCaffery with her Dragonriders of Pern.
Coincidentally, Dragonriders of Pern is the series that really sparked my love for blending science fiction with stronger fantasy tropes, which had a heavy hand in my Eerden Novels. There aren’t any dragons, but my Eerden novels all combine futuristic technology alongside elemental magic with very defined rules in terms of how the magic works and who can use it, as well as some really amazing creatures that fit best in a fantasy setting. But because of this blend of future tech science fiction and magic based fantasy, I had to get very elaborate with my world building so it would all fit nicely.
So, in terms of what you can expect from me in the future, it’s going to be a lot of books centered in a world where smart technology and magic war for dominance, and where people who can combine the two are considered outlaws. I’m having a lot of fun with it, so I hope I can stay in this world for the foreseeable future.
Do you have any “side stories” about the characters?
I do! I’ve written 3 short stories about my main characters in The Monster of Selkirk (one for Tallis and her best friend Rosslyn, one for Tomas, and one for Donovan) that I send out free to all my newsletter subscribers. I do recommend people at least read the first book before reading the short stories, not for spoilers as the events in the short stories aren’t connected to the first book in anyway, but more of as a way to appreciate the world and the characters a bit more. But if people read them first, that’s totally fine, too! I am also working on a standalone novella for the villain in “Resistor” as a little freebie for everyone. The novella will basically show how this character got to be the person you meet in “Resistor”, so while it may be really fun to read afterwards so you get a better sense of this bad guy, it’s absolutely not necessary, either. I have to say, I really enjoyed writing a novella about a bad guy though, so I think out of all the short stories I’ve written, this is my favorite!
Are your characters based off real people or did they all come entirely from your imagination?
My characters are usually 100% my creation but with some caveats. Sometimes there are friendships or relationships that inspire the core of the character’s personality, but beyond that, I rely on my Positive and negative Character Trait Thesaurus to help me build and craft the characters. Giving them these character traits before I start writing the book itself helps inform how a character would interact with the world or other characters, which makes them more fully rounded. But I do tend to pick actors or celebrities to model their looks on so I can better visualize my character, which helps me further get into their mindset!
Do your characters seem to hijack the story or do you feel like you have the reigns of the story?
My characters totally hijack the story! I may build them out and do some light drafting before going into a story, but how my characters accomplish their goals or get to certain points in the book is firmly in their hands. It makes writing exciting for me, and leads to some unexpected places sometimes, including character deaths!
Have you written any other books that are not published?
I have written 2 contemporary fiction books that are not published. Yet. I tend to write contemporary in between my big fantasy projects as a kind of pallets cleanser as the world building is not nearly so intense. One of the 2 contemporaries is pretty far along, so I could theoretically get that out into the world soon, but it’s such a personal story that I have trouble letting it go, too.
If your book had a candle, what scent would it be?
“Resistor” would totally be a tobacco, whiskey, and coffee scented candle. It takes place in a massive city and centers on less than reputable characters, so I feel this would best represent the location and vibe of the book best.
Fun Facts/Behind the Scenes/Did You Know?'-type tidbits about the author, the book or the writing process of the book.
The dedication Resistor is actually a true story. I dedicated my latest book to the ER doctors and techs who had to scan my brain after a bout of my Bell’s Palsy that didn’t present in the normal way. The scans came back as “unremarkable”. They even circled the word! I found it such a funny way to tell someone they were fine, that I just had to dedicate my book to the people who deemed my brain “unremarkable”.
Do the characters all come to you at the same time or do some of them come to you as you write?
I craft my main characters first, even if it’s just a name and a gender and knowing what role or trope they fill in the story. I need to know what I want from my main cast, what their struggles are, and how they would interact with each other and the world I’ve built. They still get polished as the story progresses, but I do know them all from the start, so all around the same time. Whereas my side characters usually come to me as I write because they are filling some gap, or I need someone to help move my characters along the plot. Sometimes those characters become bigger parts of the story too that I didn’t intend, which is always a nice surprise, too.
What do you think about the current publishing market?
There are a lot of things to consider when looking at the current publishing market, but the most important thing is what you (or the author) wants out of the market. With self-publishing and small press, no longer is the only option querying literary agents and praying that one wants to represent you and your book and then sell it to one of the Big 5 publishing houses. I honestly love that the current publishing market is so diverse now with options for authors.
I’ve published with small press, I’ve queried countless agents, and will be self-publishing this year as well. So I really can only speak to small press and indie publishing, but, based on what I want and how I work, these were the best options for me. It’s unfortunate that the Big 5 are such businesses now, where they only support their biggest authors, often at the detriment to marginalized voices, and it’s sad that they only want to represent books in genres that are already popular. You miss out on so many amazing voices and unique plot lines that way! But the Big 5 still have the largest reach, and getting on Best Seller lists is always easier for authors who go the traditional route then an indie or small press author.
Small press publishing gives you much more freedom, but you still have to share your profits with your publisher and you do have to sign over rights to your story, as well as marketing control to them as well. So you do get a lot more freedom, and they do take on a lot more of the tedious aspects of publishing, but you won’t make as much money as you could, and a lot of the promotion of your book still falls on your shoulders—so if you pay for that yourself instead of your publisher and it does well, you are still sharing your royalties with them. I published my first series this way, and while I really enjoyed not having to worry about the formatting of my book etc., I didn’t like having the burden of marketing being on my shoulders and then still sharing royalties. Which is honestly why I chose to bring my newest book into the world all on my own! It’s been tough, and I’ve learned a lot, and while all the burden is on my shoulders, I do like having complete control over my story, my rights, my cover, and getting my book into readers hands. So, depending on how much responsibility you want, you have options for publishing, and I think that’s great!
Do you prefer to write in silence or with noise? Why?
I can’t write in silence, editing yes, but if I’m just starting my first draft? I need music. I use music as a way to help get me in the mood to write certain scenes, or to help set the overall tone or vibe of a chapter, which eventually morphs into a whole playlist for each of my books. I love making these playlists! Music is a huge passion of mine, so I do have a lot of fun building out my Spotify playlists, but it is honestly a great way to help get me in the right mindset to say, write an action scene if I’m having an off afternoon, or a death scene if I’ve had a great day and need to get into a sadder frame of mind. I know a lot of people can’t focus when they listen to music with words in it, but I haven’t had that problem. Although, I absolutely cannot write if I am listening to an audiobook or podcast! Those I tend to actively listen to more rather than having them be the background noise I need.
Do you write one book at a time or do you have several going at a time?
I tend to only write one book at a time, but I have several projects going at once. So I may be writing the first draft of book 2 while I am revising book 1 and vaguely plotting for book 3. But my characters grow and change too much to write two books at once even if it’s for the same series. And I can’t write two completely different genre books at once as flipping my mindset to those two projects and going back and forth tends to not do justice for either of them.
What made you want to become an author and do you feel it was the right decision?
I’ve always enjoyed writing. I love writing long stories, and never cringed at being assigned essays in school. I’ve always loved making people feel things with my words and the characters I’ve crafted. So when the opportunity came for me to be able to turn my passions into a career, of course I jumped on it! Some days are harder than others, but I’ve never regretted walking away from my corporate job for a moment.
Advice they would give new authors?
There are lots of “How To” books out there on how to get your book out there, or how to craft characters etc. Get those only if you want to, because ultimately, the best advice I can give any new author is to write from your heart, and take your time. If you try to write a story you don’t care about, chances are your readers won’t care for it, either. There’s lots of people who say you have to write to market if you ever want to make money as an author. While there is some truth to that, if you don’t want to write a contemporary romance, or a YA fantasy book with shifters in it just so you can have a book out in a genre that’s really popular, then don’t. Readers will always be able to tell if an author is bored by what they are writing, because they will be bored too, and then they won’t want to read any of your other books—even if they are the ones you are most passionate about!
My second piece of advice is: even if you “finish” that book you love and are super proud of (which you should be, that’s a great accomplishment!) there’s often this feeling of “Ok, I’m done! I gotta hurry up and get this into people’s hands!” and that’s how mistakes happen. You tend to settle for “good enough” rather than something you are 100% in love with, and honestly your book may not even be ready for the masses yet. I take a step back from my books when I finish the “last” revision. I don’t touch or even look at my WIP for at least 2 months before going back and doing another final read through before handing the story over to my editor or getting it ready to publish. The reason for this is: I can see the story with fresh eyes and usually catch so many things I would have missed otherwise because I was just so excited to have this completed book and wanting it to get out there as soon as possible. That was, I think, one of the biggest mistakes I made early in my author career as well, so it tends to be what I tell new authors the most as well.
What is your writing process? For instance do you do an outline first? Do you do the chapters first?
I am what you call a plantser, someone who does a little plotting, but otherwise writes by the seat of her pants. I’ve also heard this method called the headlight method which is something that Jay Kristoff uses when he’s writing as well. Basically, I know where the story ends, what the climax is, I know a few big events that have to happen, and not much else!
That’s what I do first though, after my world and character building is done: I figure out where this story ends, or where this series ends and what big things the characters have to do in order to get toward that goal. I put those bullet points down in a word document as potential chapters, but there’s usually only about 5-8 chapters at a time listed out. The characters tend to drive how long it takes to get to those points within a chapter, or new “issues” for them to solve come up in between. I’ve found if I outline everything in a very detailed manner, not only do I get bored with the book before I’ve even written it, but things change and I’d just have to redo the outline anyway. This gives me freedom to explore tangents and subplots, but still staying a bit structured as well.
I do write in order though. I can’t start anywhere but the beginning of my story and then go chapter by chapter to the end. I know some people like to start in the middle where all the action tends to be and then work out to fill in the gaps of how characters got to that point, but my brain just doesn’t operate that way. But I do like this headlight/plantsing method best for me. It fits my writing style best and helps me always stay excited by what I’m writing.
What are common traps for aspiring writers?
I feel like a lot of aspiring writers get too scared to write sometimes because you read all this “advice” about don’t use dialogue tags, don’t use said, never use adverbs, write what you know, you have to plot your whole book before starting that it can be paralyzing. It’s an easy trap to fall into where you get over inundated with these arbitrary rules where you don’t either start, or finish a project because all these other people have already claimed you’re doing it wrong. Don’t fall into that trap! These “rules” for writing are often just people’s preferences for how they like to write or the books they like to read and shouldn’t dictate how YOU want to write your story. Use the words you want and string them together the way you most love, then worry about the grammar or how it reads to others once you’re done, not before you’re finished with that first rough draft.
Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?
I don’t really write to market, so I guess you can say I try to be more original then delivering something that readers may want because certain genre types or characters are trending. I write the kind of stories I find fun, and if that happens to be trending, then awesome! But it’s not really something I think about when I first start crafting my books.
How long on average does it take you to write a book?
I’m a pretty fast writer so I have been able to write an over 100k word novel in about 5 months. But I can only do that if I know the story ahead of time, I’ve plotted out some major events, outlined a few chapters, built out my characters… Writing is the fast part for me personally, it’s all the work before I start writing the story, and all the editing and revisions I do after I finish that first draft that take the longest. That’s why it takes me about 1-2 years to actually finish writing the book!
Do you believe in writer’s block?
Writers block is real, at least it is for me and how I view it. Writers block can come in many forms with either just not knowing how to move a story along, or feeling uninspired. I’ve experienced both and I’ve learned to interpret what each of those blocks means for me personally, and how to deal with them so that the “block” doesn’t last for more than a day or some.
Usually if I’m blocked because I just don’t know what to write or how to move the scene forward, it’s because, subconsciously, there’s a hole in my story that my brain has latched on to and won’t move off from. When that happens, I go back over my notes, which is basically a bullet outline of some of the major things that need to get accomplished, and then go back anywhere from 2 to 10 chapters of my current work in progress and start “editing”. I say editing, but it’s more of reading and seeing where 1. That plot hole or problem area is that I can fix and then move on from or 2. Get my head back into my characters headspace and the book itself. This can typically happen if I haven’t been writing in a while, or had to take a break from writing for say, a vacation.
When I don’t feel inspired to write though, that’s usually a sign that my creative tank is low. I’ve probably just finished a project, or been working really hard on blog posts or marketing, or the business side of writing and have inadvertently burnt myself out creatively. This always hits me very hard after I’ve finished a project, but am attempting to start the next book. What helps me most with this is allowing myself to either read books I’ve been neglecting or putting off, watching a movie I love, or watching really interesting TV series. Basically, immersing myself in amazing creative content to help inspire me again while also giving my mind a chance to recharge. Sometimes just doing something else creative that isn’t writing related—like coloring books or gardening—is enough to break the inspiration based writers block, as well.
I really love what V.E Schwab said about writing too. Some days are days where you can write 10k words like no ones business, but other days are thinking days, research days, refueling days, and those are just as much a “writing day” as the ones where you put new words on the page.
Follow the tourHEREfor special content and a giveaway!