Author Interview: Darkness Becomes Her by Kelly Keaton

We are very happy to Welcome today author Kelly Keaton to Once Upon a Twilight. Kelly has come to talk about her debut young adult novel, Darkness Becomes Her. Darkness Becomes Her will be available February 22nd 2011 from Simon Pulse. You will want to make sure you pick up this book, I highly recommend it. CLICK HERE to read my review for the book. 


Links to pre-order Darkness Becomes Her: Borders / B & N / Amazon / Book Depository

Welcome Kelly! 

Yara: How did you come up with the concept of writing Darkness Becomes Her?

Kelly: I never really had an "aha" moment on the concept or even a specific genre in mind. It started with some vague notions/old & new ideas - a misfit, a girl with the heart of a warrior, a vision in my head of white hair, a facial moon tattoo, and this beautifully decaying, eerie supernatural world. Certain things just seemed to come together. The only real requirement I gave myself during the rough draft was to write about the things I love (Greek myths, NOLA, spooky stuff...). Oh, but I will say that when I wrote the first scene where Ari learns about her mother -- that was the 'aha' moment I discovered her curse and what myth I was going to explore.     

Yara: When writing Darkness Becomes her who did you enjoy writing the most and why? and who was your least favorite or hardest and why? 

Kelly: I couldn't pick a least favorite because I really did enjoy writing each character. Ari was probably the hardest because I really wanted her to come across as strong, capable, and practical enough to process this new world she's a part of, someone who has this hard outer shell due to her upbringing, yet has a lot of inner vulnerabilities too.

Athena was insanely fun to write. She's been alive so long, has seen the rise and fall of civilizations, and has taken part in most of them, so she's a bizarre mix of past and present. She hasn't existed all this time in a bubble; she interferes in the world and has experienced all of it's advancements, culture, and growth. She's cruel and bitter and slightly off her rocker. Athena doesn't apologize for who she is and what she does, and I really wanted to write her as such, to stay true to her character. She curses, she's shocking, and she's brutal, and she'd never tone it down for anyone, so neither did I. :-) 

And Violet. I adored writing about Violet. I get this smile on my face because I know her past and exactly what she is. :D    

Yara: Is there anything you wish was different about the book? 

Kelly: Hmm. Well, I could always tinker. You know, change a word, construct a sentence differently... But that neurosis aside, I'm really happy with the final book. The perfectionist side of me bemoans the ARCs since they were printed before we even did copy edits, so, you know, there are mistakes and some imbalances here and there, but I also know that's the nature of the business and most readers get that early copies are not The Final Word. But I love the cover, the font, the entire design of the book! Wouldn't change a thing. 

Yara: If you could sum up the message of your book in one sentence, what would it be? 

Kelly: The message is self acceptance; it's okay to be different, to embrace your individuality, and to hang in there because one day (if not already) you'll find where you fit and the people you fit with - the friends who stand by you, accept you, even when they know who you really are are worthy friends indeed.  

Yara: I have always loved Greek mythology and wonder will there be more Gods written in future books? 

Kelly: Certainly! After all, Greek myths are full of gods, monsters, humans with power. You can't have one without the others it seems. And I want to stay true to that. My world is full of creatures, but that's the nature of the mythology I've chosen and with New 2 being a sanctuary and a gathering place . . . well, you're bound to see some interesting visitors at least. :-)      

Yara: Where do you hope to take your writing in the future? 
Kelly: The biggest thing for me as I move forward is to write what I love and get better with every book. That might sound simple, but I have to love what I write. So as long as I maintain that, I say to the Future: BRING IT. And whatever happens, happens.       
Yara: What advice would you give writers just starting out like yourself? 

Kelly: Finish your work! You can't do anything without a finished book -- you can't revise it, you can't polish it, and you sure as heck can't start submitting it. Finishing the story is key. And beyond that, keeping writing. Don't stop at one manuscript. Start another while you're submitting your first one. You never know which manuscript you'll end up selling. Might be the first, might be the sixth. Mine was the sixth.      

Yara: Do you have a favorite book and why? 

Kelly: No, I don't have a favorite; I have many! I can't single out one -- the others would mutiny and I'd find myself tied up, gagged with paper, and poked with the edges of brand new bookmarks, and red marker on my face (most likely in the shape of a mustache, beard, eye patch, and a few reddened teeth). So, I shall name a few in hopes they stay content: The Mists of Avalon, The Black Stallion, Interview with the Vampire, Thais, all my lovely Time Life books, A Wrinkle in Time...      

Yara: How long did it take you to write Darkness Becomes Her? and how much progress do you have with the sequel? 

Kelly: About three months once I actually committed myself. Then, I'd guess another month of revising and polishing it up. I finished the sequel and turned it in to my editor in December. I'm currently in revisions and addressing her notes, which are amazing and really making the book come together (and, no, she didn't even pay me to say that!). Believe it or not, I like getting revisions.    

Yara: What do you like to do when you are not writing? 

Kelly: Read! I never seem to have enough time to read and am woefully behind. I love watching movies and hanging with my family. (I just read this over and thought, "wow, you are really boring!"). All the wild and crazy stuff only happens in my mind. *sigh* ;-)

Darkness Becomes Her
Author: Kelly Keaton
Pages: 288 pgs
Reading Level: YA
Released for: February 22nd 2011

Summary: (from goodreads) Ari can’t help feeling lost and alone. With teal eyes and freakish silver hair that can’t be changed or destroyed, Ari has always stood out. And after growing up in foster care, she longs for some understanding of where she came from and who she is. 

Her search for answers uncovers just one message from her long dead mother: Run. Ari can sense that someone, or something, is getting closer than they should. But it’s impossible to protect herself when she doesn’t know what she’s running from or why she is being pursued. 

She knows only one thing: she must return to her birthplace of New 2, the lush rebuilt city of New Orleans. Upon arriving, she discovers that New 2 is very...different. Here, Ari is seemingly normal. But every creature she encounters, no matter how deadly or horrifying, is afraid of her. 

Ari won’t stop until she knows why. But some truths are too haunting, too terrifying, to ever be revealed.


  1. I've heard so many good things about this book already. It sounds so intriguing. Great interview! It's always wonderful to know what really goes through the author's head when they are writing a book. Thanks!


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