In my Shadow series, Shadow is magic. It comes from Twilight, the realm of the fae, and it’s seeping into the mortal world, bringing with it both a modern renaissance and nightmares of old. I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about Shadow (capital S), so much that I began considering the more mundane form of shadow—the one attached to each of us. I wondered what it would be like if that shadow had a mind of its own.
And so Ellie Russo, the heroine of my enovella, Shadow Touch, was born. Her shadow (lower case s) roams freely, motivated by only the most base instincts and curiosities of the id. Because of her unusual condition, Ellie has lived her life in seclusion, dreading discovery.
Sounds a little out there, doesn’t it? I don’t think so. In fact, I believe it’s completely relatable, which is what I love about Ellie. Have you ever wanted to say or do something that you knew was unacceptable? I thought so. Ellie’s shadow has no reservations or shame. She doesn’t lie and she isn’t polite. None of that even makes sense to her. Ellie’s shadow is the part of all of us that does what she wants. And flesh and blood Ellie has to endure it.
When I conceive a character, usually he or she comes with an inherent conflict that drives the opening scenes of the story. Such is the case with Ellie, who is fed up with her situation, and finally decides to seek help. She simply cannot live that way anymore.
The hero of this story, Dr. Cam Kalamos, studies Shadow (magic) and is therefore at a complete loss when confronted by the elemental form of Ellie. His intellectual curiosity is immediately aroused, but it soon becomes apparent that the shadow is getting stronger, dangerously so. And the dark part of Ellie cannot be controlled or killed. Cam is a good man at the outset, but Ellie’s shadow will challenge him in ways he cannot anticipate.
Again, Cam was imagined with a conflict in mind, an impossible challenge that will make him a different (better) person. Also, the romantic pairing becomes an unusual triangle, as he relates with interest to both Ellie and her shadow. The result is the first installment in a novella series featuring Ellie and Cam, released this month. You can find it at online retailers (Amazon - $.99) and (B&N - $1.49).
To learn more about the Shadow series, check out www.ErinKellison.com.