Guest Post & Giveaway: Author Kelley Armstrong Celebrates the Otherworld’s 10th Anniversary

Today at Stiletto Storytime we welcome author Kelley Armstrong who recently released Spell Bound which is the twelfth book in her New York Times best-selling Otherworld series. The Otherworld series itself is also celebrating it’s 10th Anniversary. Today Kelley joins us to talk about how she keeps her writing and multiple series going for such a successful period of time. So without further ado…Welcome Kelley! 

Over and Over Again

When my Otherworld series hit the double-digits, I started getting a few new frequently-asked-questions when I spoke to aspiring authors. For those still working on getting one book published, ten seemed to be the magical number that took the dream from “I could do that” to “how the heck does any writer do that?” Not surprisingly, then, these writers have questions. Lots of them.They ask about continuity—how do you keep it all straight? And they ask about creativity—how do you come up with new plots? Those two are easy. For continuity, I use a series bible and a group of beta readers. For creativity, it’s never been an issue because I’m working in a huge fictional world, with a slew of narrators, each inhabiting their own corner of that world, each corner with its own set of issues and concerns.There is, however, another question, one new writers can be reluctant to ask, at the risk of offending an author. Eventually, though, someone will. After more than ten books, how do you keep from repeating yourself? From over-using words and phrases to overusing plot devices? The short answer is that I don’t. I try, but I when look back over my body of work,I do see all those pet phrases, pet word and pet plot devices.Even this week, editing the last book in the series, one of my editors made me a handy little list of “words I overuse.” As far back as Dime Store Magic, I can remember getting a note from the copyeditor that I “seemed to have a lot of people turning.” Yes, turning. Don’t ask me why. My characters just like to turn. Since that book, I’ve been vigilantly rooting out all unnecessary turns. So what’s on my editor’s current list of “words I overuse”? Spun. Wheeled. Swung. Oh, yes, apparently my characters are still turning…they’ve just doing it with more style.That same editor has pointed out my fondness for alleys. As she rightly notes, there are more alleys in my books than you’d find in any modern city. So I started using service lanes. Yep, take a look at the last fewOtherworld books and notice how often characters run down service lanes between building. Hey, they aren’t alleys!Another overused bit of geography that she’s noted? Abandoned warehouses. I love abandoned warehouse and have embraced that love. Instead of eliminating them, I’ve turned it into a running joke in the Otherworld. Same with kidnapping. My characters get taken captive so often they’ve started keeping track and competing for the dubious honor of “most kidnapped.” And don’t even try to make a drinking game of how many times they’ve been sedated, gassed, knocked out or otherwise rendered unconscious. I swear some of them have been KO’d more times than the worst boxer.I can joke about these overused phrases and devices now, but there was a time, maybe halfway through the series, when they bothered me to the point where I experienced the closest thing I’ve ever had to writer’s block. I kept trying to plot a book where no one gets kidnapped, knocked unconscious, lured into an alley, ambushed in an abandoned warehouse…and it paralyzed me. I eventually came to accept that I am going to repeat myself. It’s inevitable. If I can avoid it, I should. But if I can’t, then I should just have some fun with it and move on. It’s the overarching plot and the characters that count, and that’s where I have to concentrate on avoiding repetition.

Book Giveaway

One lucky reader of Stiletto Storytime will win their very own copy of Spell Bound. Giveaway ends midnight EST September 14, 2011. US/Canada addresses only please. The winner will be chosen by and notified by e-mail address.Good Luck to all and Happy Reading!

To enter simply comment below sharing your favorite long running series or author.

Want extra entries? You can get an extra entry by doing any of the following:

Be/Become a Follower of Stiletto Storytime

Be/Become a Follower Stiletto Storytime on Twitter (Leave Name)

Be/Become a Follower of author Kelley Armstrong on Twitter (Leave Name)



Filed under Adult Books, Author Interviews & Posts, New Books, Paranormal

24 responses to “Guest Post & Giveaway: Author Kelley Armstrong Celebrates the Otherworld’s 10th Anniversary

  1. My favorite long running series would be Harry Potter, can’t deny it 🙂 edysicecreamlover18@gmailDOTcom

  2. twitter follower of sponsor Icecream1891

  3. twitter follower of you Icecream1891

  4. follow you with edysicecreamlover18@gmailDOTcom <-subscribed

  5. Should I do this on 4 seperate comments or all in one?? Hopefully one works… My favorite long-time running series is tough. All of my favorites are series…I absolutely ADORE Kelley’s work. It is the only paranormal series ive NEVER gotten sick of. I didn’t even notice the repitition of warehouses or what not. I also love the Bloody Jack series by L.A. Meyer. SO good!

    Long Time Series (+1)
    I follow Stilletto Storytime on GFC and TWITTER (+2)
    I follow Kelley Armstrong on Twitter (+1)
    (Twitter name= @Andra_Lyn)
    Thanks so much for the chance to win!

    • stilettostorytime

      Thanks Andra! I think there is going to be some repetition in long standing series especially when they deal with the same characters but in the end if the work is well-written and loved…it’s not a problem and like you said readers may not even “notice” or care. One comment works just fine by the way. =)

  6. I have really enjoyed The Morganville Vampire Series and Mercy Thompson. I have been wanting to start the Otherworld series, the Darkest Power series and The Gathering were awesome.
    +1 followy ou on twitter
    +1 follow Kelly on twitter
    +1 I follow SS via email subscription
    Jennifer K Jovus
    kjovus at gmail dot com

  7. I would have to go with Janet Evanovich and her Stephanie Plum series! I love those books!!

  8. I am a GFC follower of SS: Julie Witt

  9. I am a Twitter follower of SS: @jwitt33

  10. I am a Twitter follower of Kelley Armstrong: @jwitt33

  11. Currently, my favourite series is the Black Dagger Brotherhood by J.R. Ward. I also love Harry Potter!

    darlenesbooknook at gmail dot com

    Thanks for the giveaway!

  12. +1 following Stiletto Storytime by email

    darlenesbooknook at gmail dot com

  13. +1 following Stiletto Storytime on Twitter (@DarleneBookNook)

    darlenesbooknook at gmail dot com

  14. +1 following Kelley Armstrong on Twitter (@DarleneBookNook)

    darlenesbooknook at gmail dot com

  15. I am a Harry Potter lover as well


    • stilettostorytime

      Everyone seems to say Harry Potter…which is one of my first ones as well. I remember going to the bookstore at midnight a few times! =)

  16. I follow via e-mail


  17. I follow you via Twitter @quixoticweetzie


  18. I follow Kelley via Twitter @quixoticweetzie


  19. Na S.

    Happy Otherworld’s 10th Anniversary! Kelley Armstrong is a new author to me but I have certainly heard a lot of things about her books -wil need to read them soon. I read a lot of series now but they don’t seem to be as long-standing as when I was growing up. I remember impatitently waiting for the next installment for Sweet Valley, Fear Street, Love Stories and often picked them up all at one. Nancy Drew is a classic series I enjoyed as well. Nowadays, I’m working my way through J.R. Ward’s BDB and The Night Huntress series by Jeaniene Frost. It seems paranormal series have the longest shelf life.

    • stilettostorytime

      Fear Street was one of the first series that came to mind for me too…I loved them when I was a kid. I was a little young to read them but I tore them so fast…my parents just didn’t have the heart to say no!

  20. Na S.

    I am also a GFC follower.

  21. stilettostorytime

    Congratulations to Na. S who has won her very own copy of “Spell Bound”. Thanks to all who entered and as always Happy Reading!

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