Author Spotlight – EK Blair
Book Crush is thrilled to feature one of our favorite authors from 2013. EK Blair published 3 books in 2013 and blew us away with each one. We have developed a bit of a Book Crush and got a chance to sit down with the author to get a behind the books look. Be sure to enter the ebook giveaway
Book Crush Interview
BC: What were your biggest challenges in bringing this series (Fading, Freeing, and Falling) to life?
EK: I felt that writing the series came very natural to me. So, in all honesty, the hardest part was getting my name out there to get people to notice my book. To me, that was the ‘bringing to life.’ Until people read the books, it only lived within me.
BC: What is the hardest thing about writing?
EK: Choosing my words and phrases carefully to evoke the most emotion. I will read and re-read my book probably 20 times, the whole time I am switching words around to draw out the most I can from the writing.
BC: What does your writing process look like?
EK: I’m not quite sure that I have a process. I never plotted out Fading when I sat down to write that book. I literally winged it. I allowed the characters to lead me through the story. Each day when I would sit down to write, I had no clue what the scene was going to be, I simply wrote!
BC: Do you ever get writer’s block?
EK: Not generally. I will get stuck here and there but I will call my assistant and talk it out and generally within 10 minutes or so, I will be good to go!
BC: What do you do when you’re not writing?
EK: I’m spending time with my girlfriends, and having fun. I am game for pretty much anything! I love lying in bed and watching movies with my husband, playing with my kids, and creating mini projects with them. I enjoy traveling and exploring new things. I’ll try almost anything once!
BC: What inspires you?
EK: Music. Plain and simple. I listen to it and love the emotions it can evoke. My mind is always spinning when I listen to music.
BC: Is there a certain type of scene that’s harder for you to write than others? Love? Action? Racy?
EK: Writing happy scenes are really hard for me. When people are getting along and having fun is always something I dread when I’m writing.
BC: Of all three books, what was the hardest chapter or part to write and why?
EK: Oh God! There were so many that were so freakin’ hard to write. Hands down, Falling was the hardest book to write emotionally. But the hardest chapter was actually in Fading. Having to write the rape scene was awful. I was terrified to ‘go there.’ Go to the place that most books just skim over and down play. I knew I had to be honest with that scene, but it wasn’t. It was sad, frustrating, disgusting, and humiliating. I cried…a lot.
BC: If you gave one of your characters an opportunity to speak for themselves, what would they say?
EK: Candace- “Many of you think I’m weak and pass judgment on the way I chose to handle the situation. But you’re not me. I gave you my story. My story. You might not like my choices, but it was all I knew to do at the time to hang on to the small thread of hope I had. The hope that I could move past what Jack did to me. Sometimes pretending is just easier. Sometimes you have to drown to see what’s worth living for.”
BC: If your books were made into a movie ~ which actor/actress do you see playing:
EK: Candace- Lucy Hale; Kimber- Britney Snow; Jase- Trevor Wright; Ryan- Ian Somerhalder
Mark- Not an actor (that I know of) but Lance Bass has always had the look and goofy personality that I see in Mark.
BC: Do you read your reviews? Do you respond to them good or bad? Do you have any advice on how to deal with the bad? What are your thoughts overall on reviews good or bad?
EK: I do read my reviews. I read the good and bad. I need to know what people like and don’t like. I know that my books aren’t for everyone and I am going to get bad reviews, but there are times that a review will point out a flaw in my writing that I wasn’t aware of, and for that, I appreciate their honesty. And, yes, I do take the time to pick reviews to respond to! It’s fun for me to do that and to see the reactions I get!
BC: What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author? What has been the best compliment?
EK: Toughest- people telling me to not publish FREEING because it’s a book that depicts the life of a homosexual. In case you don’t know me well enough by now, I pave my own path. I follow in no one’s steps.
Best- each and every heart-wrenching email I get from women who have had to endure the wretched act of rape. Unfortunately, I get a TON of them. I cry with them for their pain, and I cry with them when they tell me they found hope in my story. I cry because someone drew strength from my words. It’s bittersweet.
BC: What books have influenced your life most?
EK: Freeing. Mark and Jase taught me so much about accepting who we are. Embrasing the life we were given and finding the strength to say, “This is me, and I’m okay with it.” Yes, I took a risk when I wrote and published that book, but I never once doubted it or questioned what I was doing. Their story hit the depths of my heart and to see MEN buying that book is amazing. I have received quite a few emails from gay men saying, “Finally, a book for me.”
BC: If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor and why?
EK: I speak to Aleatha Romig and Raine Miller often about advice for this crazy business we are in. Both of them have always been so gracious with advice to help guide me in the right direction. When something good happens with my books, I always seems to find a little note from them, congratulating me.
BC: Name an entity that you feel supported you outside of your family.
EK: My assistant, Gina. No doubt. She gave me everything I asked out of her and then some. She’s been on this journey with me from the very beginning.
BC: Do you read much and if so, who are your favorite authors?
EK: I don’t read a whole lot, but I love Leah Raeder, Ilsa Bick, Raine Miller, and Lisa Gardner
BC: What do you think makes a good story?
EK: Heart. I wanna feel and connect. I don’t come across too many authors that are able to convey those emotions for me. And, for me, I love poetic and lyrical writing.
BC: When choosing a book to read, what do you look for? What grabs you?
EK: I don’t generally read synopses, so I tend to judge a book by the cover and first 10 pages. You gotta grab me from the get-go and never let me go. I’m typically drawn to dark, moody, sexy reads. I love tragedy and heartbreak, but it has to be done honestly and realistically for my liking.
BC: Favorite motivational quote?
EK: Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. –Matthew 6:34
BC: Favorite book and why?
EK: Unteachable by Leah Raeder. Goodness, where do I start with that? Her writing is exquisite. Her characters are authentic. The story was taboo but threaded with honesty and love. The story was…God, it was moving, sad, funny, beautiful, wrong, right, and everything that lies in between. For me, what Raeder did, that is what you have to produce to impress me.
BC: Favorite quote?
EK: “Open your mind before you open your mouth.” ― Subroto Bagchi
BC: As a writer, what is your biggest fear?
EK: I might be going against the grain here, but this is me, being honest. My fear is that I will fail. That people won’t buy my book, like my book, care about my book. Yes, I love my stories, and no one can take that away from me. I will forever have them to read, my own personal perfections. I write stories for me, so I love them to pieces; I just pray that the readers will as well.
BC: What are 4 things you never leave home without?
EK: 1. Cell phone; 2. Purse; That’s it!!! I’m fairly simple! Phone and money!
BC: Laptop or desktop for writing?
BC: Where and when do you prefer to do your writing?
EK: Mornings and nights as I am tucked in to my over-sized, plush chair and ottoman!
BC: Who is your secret author “crush” ?
EK: No secret—Raine Miller. She gave me Ethan Blackstone and I love her for that!
BC: What’s your favorite love story (movie or book)?
EK: Best love story? Easy! ‘Romeo & Juliet.’ Beautiful, tragic, emotional, dramatic. That story has everything you could ever want in a romance, well, that is if you can do without the happily ever after!
BC: If you were to write a book about yourself, what would you name it?
BC: What’s the one thing you can’t live without?
EK: My beautiful husband and the two precious babies he gave me. I would die without them.
BC: Favorite song(s)?
EK: Now that is an ever-changing thing for me. I love The xx, Lorde, and Lana Del Rey.
BC: What do you hope a reader will take away from your writing?
EK: I hope when people read my books they feel like they’re making new friends that will lie within them for a moment past the last page. That they were able to form an attachment to the story and to the people within. I want to move my readers, really move them.
BC: Do you have anything specific you’d like to say to your readers?
EK: I love you guys! I swear I have the best fans out there. You all keep a smile on my face. I read each and every PM, Tweet, and Email that you send me. Thank you for opening your hearts and minds to my books. I hope I can continue to create stories that you find passion in. I can’t even begin to tell you how much you have changed my life and what you have given me! It’s because of you that you made a dream of mine come true. You give me light and motivate me with your kind words. I’m excited to continue this adventure with you all by my side!
BC: Do you have anything specific you’d like to say to the bloggers?
EK: **Looking out to all the bloggers that have supported me and my books**
“I can’t say enough to you. No words could truly express my gratitude for what you have done for me and for my stories. Without you, how would the reader find me? Without you, who would promote me? Without you, I would struggle. From the very beginning when nobody knew me, when you didn’t even know me, you picked up my first book and said, “Yeah, I’ll read this, review it, and promote it.’ I had nothing backing my name. I had no validation. All I had was a book and a blogger willing to take a chance on me. THANK YOU for taking that chance. THANK YOU for believing in me and sticking by my side with every book I put out there. THANK YOU for helping me find my own personal success. THANK YOU for helping me reach a dream. Your passion for books and your commitment of your time is not something that I overlook. The time to give to read, write reviews, create blog postings, and everything in between is something that there aren’t enough ‘thank you’s’ for, but it’s all I got, so THANK YOU!”
EK Blair by Aleatha Romig
Super shout out to USA Today bestselling author EK Blair! I remember meeting her for the first time at Book Bash in Orlando. She came up to my table and introduced herself. We had blog tours running at the same time, and everywhere I looked I saw Fading. Well, I had to take a look.
I love her writing, so real and raw. As a matter of fact, it was a little too real for the mother in me. I despised the way the parents treated the main characters. It bothered me to the point of losing sleep. When writing can make you think about it, when you’re trying not to think about it, that’s 5 Star!
Since that first meeting, EK and I have become friends. I’m so excited to be able to share some of my experiences with her, as she has with me.
I believe that Fading, Freeing, and Falling are only the beginning of her VERY successful career. All I know is that whatever my friend writes next, I will be reading!
EK Blair by Raine Miller
I met EK Blair for the first time at a fan breakfast in Las Vegas this past summer. She waited on the side for me to have a moment before coming up to meet me. She was so sweet and genuine about her interest in writing and my experiences. She had just written Fading and was eager to understand this crazy business of being an author. One of the first things she said to me was, “I am not a writer. I just had a story in my head that I started writing and had to finish.”
I patted her on the shoulder and said, “That’s a writer, my darling, get used to it because it’s your new job.”
She now has an agent and two more successful books under her belt in under a year. I’d say that my prediction has more than been validated. And I couldn’t be happier to see her success. She deserves every bit of it. I wish her many sales and great fulfillment on her writing journey.
Can a guilty conscience keep wounds from healing?
Fine arts major, Candace Parker, grew up with a mother who thinks image is everything, and her daughter’s perfection will never be good enough. About to graduate college and pursue her dreams of becoming a professional ballerina, Candace decides it’s time to let go and have a little fun. But fun is short-lived when a brutal attack leaves her completely shattered.
The memories that consume and torment Candace are starting to destroy her when she meets Ryan Campbell, a successful bar owner. He feels instantly connected and tries to show her that hope is worth fighting for. But is Ryan harboring his own demons? As walls slowly begin to chip away, the secrets that are held within start to become painful burdens.
At what point do secrets become lies?
(17+) This book contains mature subject matter that is not suitable for those under the age of 17.
Read our reviews of Fading Caryn’s Review and Kara’s Review
Fading by E.K. Blair book trailer
from Novel Idea Inc.
FREEING: a companion novel to the USA Today bestseller, Fading.
Knowing who you are and accepting who you are come at different prices.
Jase Kinrick grew up in your typical, all-American household. But after the death of his sister, his parents shut down, forcing him to deal with everything life throws his way alone. Terrified of the person he’s discovering himself to be, Jase has his way with every willing girl to try and rid himself of what he fears he is—gay.
Escaping California and moving to Seattle to attend the University of Washington, Jase frees himself to the reality that he likes men. Never staying with any guy long enough to get to know them, he doesn’t realize that he’s still hiding from who he is until he meets Mark. Scared of having real feelings for another guy stirs up the questions and fears he’s fought hard to bury.
To strip away the barriers to the heart of what is real, and to be okay with what lies underneath, will be Jase’s moment of truth. But he’ll need Mark to lead him there.
**THIS IS A FULL-LENGTH COMPANION NOVEL TO FADING**
Read our reviews of Freeing Caryn’s Review and Kara’s Review
Sometimes it takes someone else to show us what we are truly capable of becoming.
Suffering from years of violent abuse, Ryan Campbell has learned how to keep people from getting too close. But when you shut yourself off, people get hurt along the way. Never caring much about others, Ryan creates a world in which he doesn’t have to feel.
When Ryan meets Candace Parker, all of his walls slowly begin to crumble. Not sure of the truth of who she is, he feels his mind is playing tricks on him. Unable to force out the thoughts that consume him, Ryan is haunted by visions that torment him every time he looks at her. He finds himself swallowed by guilt and blame, but he’s unwilling to turn his back on the one person that could possibly save him.
You’ve heard Candace’s story in Fading, now hear Ryan’s.
Read our reviews of Falling Here
Falling by E.K. Blair book trailer from Novel Idea Inc.
USA Today bestselling author and International Amazon bestselling author, E.K. Blair takes her readers on an emotional roller coaster with her FADING series. A former first grade teacher with an imagination that runs wild. Daydreaming and zoning out is how she was often found in high school. Blair tends to drift towards everything dark and moody. Give her a character and she will take pleasure in breaking them down, digging into their core to find what lies underneath.
Aside from writing, E.K. Blair finds pleasure in music, drinking her Starbucks in peace, and spending time with her friends. She’s a thinker, an artist, a wife, a mom, and everything in between.
Giveaway – One winner will receive ebook copies of Fading, Freeing and Falling by EK Blair