Guest Author: Kelly Meding

Kelly MedingLast week, a new novel debut that is simple fabulous and today I get to welcome the author of said novel.  Please welcome Kelly Meding who is celebrating the release of Three Days to Dead.

She’s young, deadly, and hunted—with only three days to solve her own murder…

When Evangeline Stone wakes up naked and bruised on a cold slab at the morgue – in a stranger’s body, with no memory of who she is and how she got there – her troubles are only just beginning. Before that night, she and the other two members of her Triad were star bounty hunters — mercilessly cleansing the city of the murderous creatures living in the shadows, from vampires to shape-shifters to trolls. Then something terrible happened that not only cost all three of them their lives, but also convinced the city’s other Hunters that Evy was a traitor . . . and she can’t even remember what it was.

Now she’s a fugitive, piecing together her memory, trying to deal some serious justice – and discovering that she has only three days to solve her own murder before the reincarnation spell wears off. Because in three days, Evy will die again – but this time, there’s no second chance…

Make sure you stick around, we’re giving away a signed copy of Three Days to Dead.

Anytown, U.S.A.

When I first talked to Jackie about guest blogging here at Literary Escapism, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to write about. I have a scratch pad full of blog ideas, and one of those thoughts gelled with something in Jackie’s review of Three Days to Dead. She said:

“…there is a great subculture of paranormals to explore and I haven’t seen the entire city. That to me is the best part – the chance to explore an area without being told what there is.”

This, in essence, answers a question posed to me on my blog several weeks ago: How did you come to the decision of where to place your story?

I’ve mentioned in a few other places how I came up with the idea for Three Days to Dead, and that it was going to be my “paranormal kitchen sink” novel. I knew I wanted an urban setting, and I wanted this setting to house a plethora of paranormal creatures—vampires, shape-shifters, Fey, trolls, goblins, gargoyles, etc… As I went through the process of creating the world and its inhabitants, I made a conscious choice about its location.

The result: Three Days to Dead is set in an unnamed city, in an unidentified state.

A large number of urban fantasies are set in the major U.S. cities—New York, Los Angeles, Seattle, Atlanta, and Chicago being the most popular. Millions of people live in these cities, including the urban fantasy authors who write about them, and they all have a much more intimate knowledge of them than I do (I can boast living in L.A. for a grand total of four months, and having visited Atlanta for four days). And even with Google Earth at my disposal, I didn’t want to do an injustice to a city I didn’t know or understand.

I was somewhat familiar with Los Angeles and its various neighborhoods—familiar enough to have set a previously unpublished novel there, but that was also a somewhat post-apocalyptic version of L.A., so I had lots of wiggle room. And L.A. was a little too large in scope for what I wanted. I briefly considered using a smaller city I knew, but since I’m a country/beach girl, I haven’t actually lived in the city any longer than those four months in L.A.. I’ve visited plenty of cities: New York, Philadelphia, Wilmington, Baltimore, Annapolis, Harrisburg, Pittsburgh, Charleston, Atlanta, Oklahoma City. I’ve read books on urban development. I could draw a map in a pinch.

So I decided to create a city.

Don’t get me wrong! I didn’t create a city out of laziness and an unwillingness to research my intended location. As I began choosing paranormal creatures and how they fit together, I simply realized that I needed more freedom with landscape than an established city could provide. I needed a good side of town and a bad side of town; I needed an upscale business area and a shoddy warehouse district; I needed two rivers that merged together into one. I also needed this city to be somewhat isolated, which meant mountains and miles of forest on all sides.

I wasn’t sure why I needed all of those things until I really began writing the book in earnest, but I was glad to have them. I added places as I went along and shuffled a few locations. The importance of certain elements made themselves clear and a couple of things went bye-bye.

As I sketched out the city, I drew on elements I remembered from places I’ve visited. The Capitol City Mall was inspired by two large towns I grew up near that had old, abandoned malls put out of business by newer, trendier malls. Mercy’s Lot is, in many ways, the low-income parts of Philadelphia and Wilmington I used to drive past on I-95. There’s a small, community park mentioned in my short story, Pride Before Fall (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4 and Part 5), that was inspired by a Harrisburg community service project I participated in back in many years ago.

During the editing process, I toyed with the idea of naming the city. I just couldn’t think of a good name. And in many ways, it doesn’t need a name. The important thing isn’t what it’s called, but what lives within it. The paranormal creatures that live and hide among the humans in my created city could live and hide in your town. “Dreg City,” as I’ve nicknamed it, could be any city, in any state.

Well, except maybe Albuquerque. My Fey like water, and I don’t think they would be very fond of the dry, desert heat.

Thank you Kelly for stopping by, and seriously people, if you haven’t read Three Days to Dead then you need to hurry and get a copy.  Oh look!  Here’s a chance to do that.

Contest Time! We’re giving away a signed copy of Kelly’s novel Three Days to Dead to a lucky commentator and it’s very easy to enter. All you have to do is answer this one of these simple questions: What part of Dreg City are you looking forward to exploring?

As always, if you want more chances to win, you can 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 (yes LE is now on Twitter as well!). The more places you share it, the more entries you get.

Join the Literary Escapism Facebook page and you’ll get an additional entry. Make sure you leave a comment so I know that’s why you’re joining. If you’re already a fan, let me know and you’ll get an additional entry for that as well.

For 2 additional entries, subscribe to Literary Escapism’s newsletter in the sidebar.

For 3 additional entries, purchase any novel through LE’s Amazon store sometime during this contest and send a copy of the receipt VIA email for your purchase to: myjaxon AT gmail DOT com. Each purchase is worth three entries and it has to be through the LE Link.

I’ll determine the winner with help from the Research Randomizer and the List Randomizer. All entries must be in by midnight on Dec 8th.

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. I would like you explore the entire Dreg city :)

    – Already a fan on Literary Escapism facebook fanpage.
    +2 Literary Escapism’s newsletter Subscriber

    thanks for the contest!

  2. I’ve been hearing lots of buzz about this, but what’s made the biggest impression on me right now is the decision to NOT SPECIFY the setting. Hurrah! Why, you ask? Because I tried that in my MS that’s about to go out on rounds and I keep hearing it makes people feel disoriented. Good for you for sticking to your guns, and I’ll use it as an example.

    I’d go to the art gallery! Apocalyptic art should be very cool.

  3. Like many posters, I would start at the bars, too, but stand/sit near the door for a quick getaway, if necessary!

    +2 I am a subscriber

    Tracey D

  4. Thanks for all the comments, guys! I love that so many of you want to hit the bars, first. Tatalia’s is a recommended Dreg-free bar, so I’d start there. *grin*

  5. It’s all about the shoddy warehouse district. It’s got all the appeal of the bad side of town plus the a bonus creepy factor.

    Thanks for the guest post Kelly and thanks for the giveaway Jackie!


  6. What is it with the nightlife? I know supernaturals are more in tuned with the night, but I would love to check out the parks and/or gardens near and/or around where the Fae/Shapershifters hang out. They have got to have some awesome running grounds.

  7. I am very excited about this book, can’t wait to read it. Dreg City, I love the name, I would start out at the bars, keep my ears and eyes open and see what intel I could gather, the move on to the other parts of the City.


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