Thursday, October 2, 2014

AP Author Spotlight: Elizabeth Belyeu

Elizabeth Belyeu
Describe yourself in three words:
Romantic angst-farmer.
Tell us a little about your latest release:
Secondhand Shadow
It's supposed to be a symbiotic relationship: the Shadow serves and protects the human Lumi, the Lumi feeds and cares for the Shadow. But when Damon’s Lumi died young and severed the bond between them, he declined to go with her like a good little Shadow. Yes, it hurts. Yes, he's cold and hungry all the time. And yes, his own people call him an abomination. But for the first time, Damon's life is his own, and he’s never going back.
Or so he thinks, until he meets Naomi, a pregnant college student… and bonds to her as his new Lumi. Which has never happened to a Shadow before.
Naomi has enough problems on her plate, juggling college and a crappy survival job, preparing for a baby, and getting over her cheating ex-husband. The last thing she needs is a dark, brooding fellow like Damon depending on her physically and emotionally, and hating her for it. But a vigilante among Damon's people has his sights set on Naomi – and they both know Damon is her only chance for survival.
How I got the idea: Shadows came to me as an intersection of the mind-linked Dragons of Pern, my sister's separation-anxiety dog, and the more general, human idea of soulmates. I couldn't get over how cool the idea was -- and how many ways it could go horribly wrong...
What is your earliest memory?
My earliest memory is of riding an elephant at the circus with my sister. All I retain of the event is a sensation of being very high up, and looking at the orange tent fabric overhead. I was two years old.
What would you consider the greatest moment in your life?
Probably the day my agent told me we had an offer for Secondhand Shadow! Being a published novelist has been my dream since second grade. When it finally happened I was just about to turn 29, and feeling very depressed and panicked by my apparent inability to actually do anything with my life. Nothing could have been a greater gift to me than finally selling my first novel.
What’s the hardest thing in in life you’ve done?
Attending my grandmother's funeral during my first year of college. She died in a car accident -- she'd been in excellent health, so no one was prepared. Having to see her in the casket, looking so like and yet unlike herself, was a searing experience, and witnessing my family's grief was terrifying for someone who had not yet accepted that her elders had vulnerabilities. It was the first time in my life that I had to accept that something truly terrible had happened to our family.
What have you learned in life so far?
One life-lesson I'm still struggling to wrap my head around -- though it's definitely getting easier -- is that when something needs doing, *just do it.* Just do the thing. Don't trip over the cereal box in the hallway for a week waiting for someone else to throw it away. Don't let the email sit in your inbox stressing you out. Just do the thing that needs doing.
Everyone’s favourite question: if you could invite five people for dinner, who would it be?
Can they be fictional people? :D Miles Vorkosigan, Harry Dresden, Mercedes Thompson, Elizabeth Bennet, and Temeraire!
Chance for our readers - what else would you like to know about Elizabeth Belyeu?

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