Guest Author: Kelly Gay

Today, I get to welcome Kelly Gay to Literary Escapism. Kelly is the author of the amazing The Better Part of Darkness and the soon to be released The Darkest Edge of Dawn – both of which everyone everyone should be checking out.

It takes a strong woman to keep the peace in a city of endless night. . . .

Deep beneath Underground, a cunning bid for power and revenge has begun—one that threatens to make Atlanta the new battleground in the ultimate confrontation between good and evil. The powers of hellish Charbydon have the upper hand after plunging the city into primordial night. And under the cover of darkness, a serial killer targets the most powerful Elysians in the city, the angelic Adonai. For Detective Charlie Madigan and her siren partner Hank, tracking deadly predators is all in a day’s work . . . but this case will test the limits of their strength and friendship as it draws them into a deadly world of power plays, ancient myths, explosive secrets, and a race against time that risks all that Charlie holds dear.

Make sure you stick around, we’re giving away a signed copy of either The Better Part of Darkness or The Darkest Edge of Dawn – winner’s choice.

Hold on to your seats, people, because I’ll be taking over as Guest Poster for today. Ah, the power, the control, the— (This is where Jackie laughs at me, and waves her finger over the Delete Button).

Right. Okay. So, I’m Kelly Gay. I write the Charlie Madigan series, the second of which, The Darkest Edge of Dawn, releases August 31st. My series is urban fantasy, and not only do I write it, but I read it. I love the genre. I love the journeys within. And I love when the heroine or hero triumphs. But someone asked me the other day why I like to read books where the endings are always a given, and why read something when you know what the outcome will be?

I did a blog post about this several years ago after I’d heard a comment on this same thing about romance novels: Why read a book when the ending is a given – the two main characters will come together, and live happily ever after.

My answer was an immediate one. I read for the journey. The paths, the ups and downs, the trials and victories… This is genre reading. We all know what we’re getting when we pick up a romance, or a mystery, or a thriller; we just don’t know how we’re going to get to the end. And that’s the point. That’s what ‘genre’ is all about. You know what you’re getting whether it’s a happy ending, a mystery solved, a killer taken off the streets, or a battle won.

Urban fantasy is no different. As readers, we pretty much know at the end, the main character will triumph over an evil or achieve her goal. Sure, there might be other deeper or minor goals left unrealized (therefore carrying on the series), but in some ways we know what we’re getting — the main plot/goal to be attained. And maybe the bad guy does get away. It happens, but the story is usually set-up so that the heroine has achieved some victory that she’s been trying for throughout the story.

And that’s why I love writing — to take the journey with my characters. To figure out all the different ways to get to the end. Series writing is great because there are still dangers, sub plots, relationships yet to be resolved, and the main arc of the storyline carries through.

So there’s my long-winded answer. What about you, what draws you to genre books? Do you read for the journey?


Want to purchase Kelly’s Charlie Madigan novels?

  1. The Better Part of Darkness at Amazon or the Book Depository
  2. The Darkest Edge of Dawn at Amazon or the Book Depository


Thank you Kelly for taking the time to visit Literary Escapism!

Contest Time! Kelly has graciously offered to give away a signed copy of either The Better Part of Darkness or The Darkest Edge of Dawn – winner’s choice.  All you have to do is simply ask Kelly a question. Please indicate which prize you would like to be entered for.

As always, there’s more ways of getting your name in the hat (remember, these aren’t mandatory to enter, just extra entries):

  • +1 for each place you post about today’s contest on your blog, social network, or anywhere you can. Digg it, stumble it, twit it, share it with the world. Wherever you share it, make sure you add a link to it along with your answer.
  • +1 to any review you comment on, however, comments must be meaningful. Just give me the title of the review and I’ll be able to figure it out from there.
  • +1 If you are a follower of Literary Escapism on Facebook and/or Twitter
  • +10 Purchase The Better Part of Darkness or any novel through LE’s Amazon store or the Book Depository sometime during this contest and send a copy of the receipt VIA email for your purchase to: jackie AT literaryescapism DOT com. Each purchase is worth ten entries.

There is one thing I am adding to my contests now…the winner must post a review of the novel someplace. Whether it is on their own blog, Amazon, GoodReads, LibraryThing or wherever, it doesn’t matter. Just help get the word out.

The contest will stay open until September 3rd, at which time I’ll determine the winner with help from the Research Randomizer and the List Randomizer.

I have not been contacting winners, so you will need to check back to see if you’ve won.

About Jackie 3282 Articles
I am a 30-something SAHM with two adorable boys and a supportive husband who is very tolerant of my reading addiction. I love to read and easily go through about a dozen books a month – well I did before I had kids. Now, not so much. After my first son was born, I began to take my hobby of reviewing a little more serious and started Literary Escapism to help with my sanity. I love to discuss the fabulous novels I’ve read and meeting all the wonderful people in the book blogging community has been amazing.


  1. Hi- just stopped by to tell Kelly how much I liked BPOD. I’ve been kind of disappointed lately with some of the really hyped books I’ve read lately, but BPOD was FANTASTIC! Don’t enter me in the contest as I already pre-ordered DEOD!

  2. Hi Kelly,

    Do you plot out your books or does the story evolve as you write?
    I can’t wait to read DEOD.

    facebook follower

  3. Hey Bethany! Thanks so much for the kind words, and ordering DEOD! *happy*

    Hi Sandy. With the first book, I had a lot of the major plot points already figured out, but the second was definitely a learn-as-you-go type of evolution –I was swept along, facing everything right along with Charlie. :-) I’m writing the third now, and it seems to be a mix of plotting a few chapters and then writing a few by the seat of my pants… My process is never quite the same from book to book. Thanks for posting! :-)

  4. There seems to be an upswing lately in urban fantasy set in Atlanta. What led you to choose that setting?

    Oh, and for what it’s worth – my single mother managed to send me to a private high school, and I live about two hours from Atlanta. So, naturally BPOD attracted my attention straightaway, and I’ve been looking forward to the sequel.

  5. I LOVED the first book in the series and can’t wait to read your new one.
    How many books will there be in the series?
    I would love to win a copy of The Darkest Edge of Dawn

    +1 follow on twitter @throuthehaze

  6. Hi, this book sound great and nice interview.

    Do you have plans to write another series in the future?

    I would like to win, The Better Part of Darkness.
    +1 Twitter (@GeckyBoz) and Facebook follower

  7. Whoops, well wasn’t an interview really, I just liked what you had to say a lot about reading for the journey. I also love reading for the journey even though sometimes a great journey doesn’t make up for a horrible ending.

  8. Well put. Some of my friends ask me “why do you read all the same kinds of books…you know how they end” I like them to end w/couple together..the journey is the best part. I really like series because of this…you feel like your part of the journey. I just read “A few demons more by Kim Harrison” and a character dies…so the couple doesn’t have a happy ending. I really didn’t like that :( I had to take a break from the series because I don’t know if I want to continue. So I like your thinking and I plan on reading your books =) Are you going to be doing any signings or have any signed books for sale? I see you plan to keep the series going. I look forward to a great read. Thanks
    +2 twittered about and follow on twitter.

  9. I loved BPOD, and i can’t wait till DEOD :)

    The entire group of characters are awesome, but I’d like to know will we be seeing more of Hank and Rex?

    Would love to enter for DEOD.

    As for your questions: I definitely read for the journey and for the characters. What you wrote before, that you feel like you’re on the journey with your characters. That’s what i love about books, it let’s you submerse yourself into the story, where you feel like you really know the characters that you read about and the world. You have one of the best world-building and characters, that I have read in a long time. And I’m so glad that I’ll be able to step back into the world again when DEOD comes out.

    +1 fb/twitter follower

  10. Rev. Bob: I know, right?! I chose the city because I wanted someplace hot, and somewhere large enough to sustain an incoming population of off-worlders, and a place where they could call their own (their own neighborhood). Underground fit the bill nicely. When I chose Atlanta as my city (this was about 5-6 years ago) no one that I knew of had done an urban fantasy set there. I thought I’d be the first, LOL. By the time I sold, I’d heard of another book that had come out the year before (Ilona Andrews first book) that was set in the same city. I think, though, even if I could have changed the location at that point, I wouldn’t have. Atlanta and Underground have become such a huge part of the series. :-)

    Thruothehaze: I’m hoping for four at least, and I might have some official news very soon about that. ;-)

    Hi Pam, I usually let the story stew in my head for a few months or while I work on other projects, and then I procrastinate *a lot* until I only have 1-3 months to write the book. That kind of spurs me from thinking to doing. ;-)

    Thanks for commenting!

  11. LOL. Thanks, Becky. Yes! I do have plans for another, entirely different series. Kind of chomping at the bit with it, too. But, I’m learning to be patient. I’d like the Charlie books to get more established before I start this next AWESOME series… ;-)

    Hi Tanya. I have one signing planned for October so far (in Raleigh, NC – mroe info is on my website if anyone is in the area), and then I’ll have more coming up in the spring. I’ll update my site as soon as I know more.

    Hey Van! :D Yes, there’s more Hank and Rex! Lots more. Can’t wait to see what you think of their time in DEOD. I’m nervous about it, but I hope readers will be pleased.

  12. Kelly, what is the strangest thing you have ever encountered on one of your journeys?

    meredithfl at gmail dot com
    I follow LE on FB

  13. I like genre books because they’re about things that I know interest me.

    What are you reading now?

    I’d like to win The Darkest Edge of Dawn


  14. I do have a question but, I don’t want to enter the contest. I won a signed copy of BPOD and some other cool books already. I want to give other people a chance to win. My question is: How many books in the series can we expect? I hope more than 3. I am posting DEOD on my blog, twitter and facebook because I know it will be an awesome book like BPOD was. Thanks.

  15. I read for the journey, definitely. I love series, and as long as there is a satisfying conclusion at the end of each book, I’ll keep reading and taking that journey as long as there are books in the series.
    My question is, have you contemplated writing in any other genre besides UF? I read a lot of genres and I’m always happy to follow an fabulous author to whatever else they want to write in.

    I’d love to win The Darkest Edge of Dawn, since I have The Better Part of Darkness.

  16. Kelly, what was your road to publication like? I’m an aspiring writer and every time I get the chance to talk to different authors I always ask this just for a little inspiration for myself and to make myself keep going by hearing all the different stories.

    I would go with The Better Part of Darkness.

  17. Meredith, oh, boy, that’s a loaded question! I’ve had some strange moments. :-) I remember once waking up in the middle of the night realizing my pillows were all gone. Got up. Turned on the light, and found all three of them piled on top of my TV. (Apparently, I went through a short sleep-walking phase, LOL!). And, once when I was turning out the horse early in the morning when it was still dark, I saw a falling star. Only it stopped, paused and shot straight back up into the sky. Have always wondered what I saw exactly…

    Ladytink, I’m reading Fragile Eternity by Melissa Marr. I’m on tight deadlines so I’ve oly been able to read a little bit each night. Oh, and I just finished To Good To Be True by Kristan Higgins, which was awesome.

  18. *waving* Hi Melissa! I’m hoping more than three! I’d love to do several more with Charlie and then maybe one or two stand alones of some other characters — kind of like how Kelley Armstrong does with her Otherworld series. Not sure yet, but there are some characters who just really want their stories told.

    Hi Barbara. I’m so glad to hear this! I have plans to write in other genres, and its good to know people will cross over and follow an author to other endeavors. I’d love to write a few stand alone mainstream contemporary novels, and I really love historical books with paranormal elements… Ah, the possibilities! :-)

  19. Hi Jessica. My road to publication was *long*. I started out writing plays and screenplays. Tried for about ten years to get them sold/produced. During this time, I kept writing the beginnings of novels but could never seem to finish anything. Finally, I decided to finish one — just one. I did. It was horrible, but I proved to myself I could do it. Then, it took six more manuscripts and five years(and all the usual sbumissions/rejections with each one) to finally sell.

  20. I absolutely read for the escape and the journey. Not all books end in a particularly ‘ending’ kind of way that I’ve found. Not the books I read anyway. I love the mystery, the characters, the story, the drama, the humor….

    I’d like to own DARKEST EDGE OF DAWN, please.

    Do you work in quiet or do you have background noise like a soundtrack?

    Absolutely loved BETTER PART OF DARKNESS. Single mom with an amazing circle of family and friends and a tough job and maintains as best she can.

    VWinship at aol dot com

  21. No need to enter me =0)

    Awesome post Kelly!

    I also read for the Journey and that’s the answer I always give when people ask me that same question =)

  22. Hi Vicki. So glad you liked BPOD! :-) I generally work in the quiet. Music distracts me. I find myself paying more attention to the lyrics and that hinders the voice in my head. Oddly enough I can sometimes write with the TV on. Just depends on what’s on, though.

    Minnchica, I do get some input on the covers. It’s different for every author, but mine really wants me to be happy with the cover, and always shows me early versions and asks for my input. My artist was chosen by my editor, but I was super happy with his choice!

    Larissa! Hi! :D Thanks for stopping by. :D

  23. Back again! Kelly, how do you incorporate your subplots? I have a hard time trying to twist those in. I see them while reading other books, but for the life of me I have the hardest time trying to write one in!

    Oh, and I had to go out and get Better Edge of Darkness, it’s in my TBR pile now, so I like to change my request if I win to Darkest Edge of Dawn.

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