A Local Legend Gives Shannon Eckrich a Devil of an Idea

Author Shannon Eckrich stopped by today
for a little Q & A. Welcome, Shannon. Talk about the books you’ve written.
What was the first seed of an idea you had for your books? How did they
I’ve written a total of eight books. Three novels and five
short stories. The three novels are Young Adult paranormal, and the five shorts
are YA fantasy. I guess to keep this short, I’ll talk about Kissing the Devil, my latest novel.
I’ve always been fascinated with myths and legends. You
know, the monsters that go bump in the night. But I’ve always loved the story
of the New Jersey Devil. For those who have never heard of the New Jersey
Devil, I’ll give you a quick summary. The legend goes back to 1735, where Mrs.
Leeds, mother of twelve children, became pregnant with her thirteenth child.
Upon finding out about her thirteenth child, she cursed it by saying, “this
child will be the devil.” At the time she went into labor, the child was said
to be born. As soon as he was born, he sprouted wings and took on the shape of
the devil, killing his entire family. Of course, as legends go, there are
different versions to this story. Some say Mrs. Leeds was cursed by a witch,
and others say she lived in the Pine Barrens Forest of New Jersey caring for
her child. Ghost Hunters, mystery seekers, and even regular people go out to
the Pine Barrens in hopes of catching a glimpse of the devil, who residents
say, still occupies the forest.
Cool story, huh? I thought so. I was so
amazed by it that I decided to use one of the legends as the base of the story
and put in my own twist. What if the New Jersey Devil only transformed into the
devil at night? And, what if an ancestor of one of the residents of Leeds
Point, New Jersey cursed him? But the best part is, what if they happened to
fall in love?  
I love urban legends. In my hometown,
it was the legend of the White Lady. So, switching from the paranormal to the
very normal, how did you celebrate the publication of your first book?
I think I jumped and danced around the room. My daughter
thought I was nuts.
How would you describe your writing
process? Do you outline? Let the muse lead you? Or something else?
I always let my muse lead me. I’ve tried outlining before,
and it just doesn’t work for me.
How has writing this book changed you?
Kissing the Devil has changed me many ways. Well, each
book that I write changes me. I’m meeting fans and forming relationships with
authors, and it’s great! I love meeting new people who share the same interests
as me.
How do your characters influence your
writing? Do you have disagreements with them?
*laughing* If you only knew how much I talk to my
characters. Yes, they influence my writing, and yes, I have disagreements with
them. The sad part is they always get their way. One time they decided to jump
in a car and drive away. I had no idea where they were going.
I know! One time a character knocked on
the door, and I didn’t know who it was until my heroine answered the door. What
is your research process like? Do you enjoy it?
That depends on what I’m researching. Sometimes it’s very
time consuming. But the research for Kissing
the Devil
was fun. I wanted to make sure I followed the legend as much as I
What food or beverages do you turn to
while you are writing? Are you a stress eater on deadline or a “lack of
inspiration” eater when ideas are not flowing?
Normally, I don’t create deadlines for myself. My current
publisher, Crushing Hearts and Black Butterfly Publishing, is an awesome house
to work for. I usually don’t submit to them until my books are near completion.
I do always have a cup of Sprite and some snack foods while
I’m writing.
What do you keep in mind as you write?
An overarching question? A theme? The last line of the book?
Music. Most of the time I listen to music as I write. When I
need to really concentrate on a scene, I shut off the music and let my scene
roll through my mind like a movie. I’m very visual.
Has writing changed how you read books
Sort of. I’m pretty good at picking up on errors, but even
if a book has errors, it doesn’t bother me as long as the story is good.
Is there an aspect of writing that you
favor over others, e.g. dialogue, exposition, description of a scene, setting,
or character, etc.? Is there one that is more difficult for you?
I would say description of a scene. Sometimes I can
visualize everything, but it’s tough to put it into words.
What are you currently working on?
I’m currently working on a sequel to my first novel, Other Side of Forever (Re-releasing this
year), and it [the sequel] will be releasing later this year.
What is the best piece of advice about
writing that you ever got or read? What would tell aspiring writers today?
Read. Read. Read. Read as much as you can.
Do you keep a notebook in your pocket,
briefcase, purse, or on your bedside table to write down ideas that come to you
right away so you don’t forget them? Have any of these ideas developed into a
successful piece?
No, but I really should keep something since a lot of my
ideas come to me while I’m driving down the road.
Me too. My two daughters are brilliant.
Kate bought me a voice recorder that I could have at the ready in my car, and
Kristin bought me Aqua Notes that I can write on in the shower. Thanks so much
for visiting with me today, Shannon. I wish you all best.
About the Author
Shannon Eckrich is a YA paranormal author with Crushing
Hearts and Black Butterfly Publishing. Her novel, Haunting Lia became an Amazon International Bestseller shortly
after its release in October 2013. The first installment of her Elemental Short Series, “Goddess of Fire:
Burn,” quickly followed suit when it was released in June 2014.
Visit Shannon at:
Shannon’s books are available at:
Goddess of Fire Series: Individual books are available, but
I’m releasing a complete collection in May.

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