Interview: Kelly Creagh

NRR: Nevermore was a huge success with readers! Did you feel pressure
in writing the follow up Enshadowed?

I did feel pressure, yes. At the time Nevermore was released,
I was working a lot and trying to balance all the aspects of my life,
including this new and exciting role of being an author! I received a
lot of great feedback on Nevermore and, when I began to write
Enshadowed, I set out with all the hopes and fears that go with wanting
to meet expectations but also do something different. So Enshadowed was
a tough book for me! It’s the second book in a planned trilogy and I had
also never written a sequel. Though there were many things that I knew
needed to happen to further the story, I also wanted to take time to
address some of the loose ends left at the end of Nevermore. The initial
draft of Enshadowed got a pretty substantial rewrite but there are some
very big moments. Though I have always known the ending of this novel,
there was one part of the book toward the end that took me by total
surprise. It might be my favorite moment.

NRR: Are there any aspects to writing in the Young Adult genre that you
find challenging?

Oh yes. Parents. Isobel’s parents are such a large part of her life in
book one, I found it challenging in Enshadowed to keep up that
foundation of a strong relationship and still get Isobel where she
needed to be. I could not discount Isobel’s parents or set them aside in
a convenient way. If for no other reason than that they wouldn’t let me.
This is particularly true for Isobel’s father. But the choices I made in
regards to Isobel’s parents in Enshadowed are helping to make things in
book three quite interesting.

NRR: What do you think the most important thing Isobel has learned
throughout the series so far?

That appearances are misleading, and that there are two sides to
everything. There’s a big theme of duality in Enshadowed. Literal
mirrors and figurative mirrors play a very interesting role.

NRR: What is your guilty pleasure?

Paranormal reality shows. I love them SOOOO. MUCH. My favorites are A
Haunting, Paranormal State, Paranormal Witness, Haunted Collector and
Ghost Hunters. I am so hooked. And I always freak myself out watching
them. Every time.

NRR: What type of atmosphere do you find yourself doing your best
writing in(quiet or background music,morning or night,office or wherever
a laptop can go)?

It might sound weird, but I write best when there are people around me.
So I’m very on the go with my work. Right now I’m sitting in one of my
favorite coffee shops with my noise cancelation headphones on, listening
to moody music. It’s gotten to where they know me well enough here to
predict my drink order. This morning, I even asked my favorite barista a
research question pertaining to book three. On Monday’s, I meet with a
group of area writers and we all chase word count together. So even
though I’m zoned and writing, I like to be in the vicinity of quiet
company. The only time I really lock myself away is during copyedits
which, for me, take an immense amount of time and concentration.

NRR: What are your top three reasons for writing the Nevermore series?

I didn’t set out to write with any specific reason except to tell a
good story. Along the way, though, I think my hope for the Nevermore
trilogy came to include portraying a romance that transcends
stereotyping. Also, sharing what I have learned about the life, work and
legacy of Edgar Allan Poe as well as exploring some darker physiological
elements that are prevalent in Poe’s works and which teens deal with
today, like mortality and the internal conflict of wrong vs. right.

NRR: For those who have not had the chance to read Nevermore series,
can you share the storyline?

Nevermore is the story of a cheerleader who is paired up in her English
class with a goth boy. Together, they must research and prepare a
presentation on a famous literary figure. Varen, the goth boy, insists
on Edgar Allan Poe. Isobel is less enchanted with the decision and,
although she is apprehensive of Varen, she goes along with his plan
because she needs to keep her grades up to stay in cheerleading.
As Varen and Isobel research together, Isobel soon discovers that Poe
died under very mysterious circumstances, disappearing for five days
before being found in a Baltimore gutter, delirious and unable to say
what happened to him. Isobel learns that Poe perished shortly after
being found and that he called out repeatedly for someone no one knew
before passing away.
It soon becomes clear that dark forces were at work in Poe’s demise
and that now, those same dark forces are luring Varen into an alternate
world made of dreams and nightmares, a place where his strange drawings
and stories come to life.
Isobel, who has gradually started to fall for the mysterious and aloof
black-haired, green-eyed goth boy, begins to realize that it is up to
her to save him.

Enshadowed picks up shortly after the end of Nevermore. Isobel has
learned about the Poe Toaster and is now devising a plan to travel to
Baltimore and confront him in the cemetery where Poe is buried.

NRR: What is one thing you would caution readers to reading Enshadowed?

Though re-reading Nevermore might be a good idea, I don’t feel it’s
absolutely necessary. I did my best to recap and add in reminders and
cues from what happened in Nevermore. However, if you want a deeper look
into the literary aspects of Enshadowed, I would highly suggest reading
Poe’s short story The Fall of the House of Usher. Also, if you do go
back and reread Nevermore, keep a close eye on Reynolds whenever he’s on
the page. Events pertaining to his character become very important in
Enshadowed. If you read closely, there are quite a few clues in
Nevermore regarding Mr. Reynolds…

If you haven’t read Nevermore, I would definitely read book one before
venturing into Enshadowed. Enshadowed is a bridge book and was not
written to stand on its own. So, if you haven’t already, be sure to
check out Nevermore first!

NRR: What is next in the works for you?
Currently, I’m hard at work on the third book of the Nevermore trilogy
and having a blast. Everything is coming together and I even think I
know how it ends. After Nevermore, I have a novel I wrote in 2007 that I
want to get back to. It’s very different from Nevermore and, as of yet,
I haven’t seen anything on the shelves similar in concept. So, for right
now, I’m going to be very secretive about that one!

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