Series: The Shadow Series, #1
Author: Anna Hub
Page Count: 304
Read It & Reap Date: January 23, 2014
Book Description: "A violent shudder travelled up my spine, each vertebrae snapping together like a zip lock, all my muscles tensed but I couldn’t tear myself away from the image ..."
If your shadow was trying to consume you, how would you run from it?
What if you were afraid of something you could never escape?
Selena Parker’s journey into the unknown begins in her dreams, but the consequences are carried back into her conscious life and she soon realises paranormal forces are at work. Her shadow has become more than just an image, it is a gateway to a sinister new world where mysterious creatures roam and she is confronted by danger that challenges her will to survive.She finds the man whose fate is linked inexplicably to her own but she knows nothing of him and doubts his true nature. Her only option is to place her life in his hands while they search for a way to stop the shadows claiming them forever.
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Q & A with Anna Hub
Q: Tell us a little bit about your main character, Selena.
A: I have this tendency to write characters who are a few years older than myself and by the time the books are finished we’re the same age! So Selena and I are both 27 years old. She’s living a quiet and lonely life when a stranger warns her that her shadow is trying to swallow her. Although she is disturbed by his words she pushes them aside, but not long after she starts to have recurring nightmares.
Every night she dreams she is in a forest being chased by soulless men marked by grey eyes. It’s only when she sees the stranger in this forest that she suspects there could be some credence to his warning. When she seeks him out her world begins to fall apart, she realises the nightmares are real and every night she is being thrown into a parallel universe known as the Shadowlands. This world is nothing like her own and Selena quickly discovers that she has only two choices—learn to adapt or let her life slip away from her.
She starts out being afraid and vulnerable but as the book progresses you begin to see a change in her. She’s thrown constant challenges which all contribute to her strength of character and this is carried forward into the rest of the series. I think she’s easy to relate to and readers seem to rally behind her transformation. She’s just an ordinary person who grows into someone extraordinary.
Q: Who else will your readers meet through the course of your book?
A: The stranger who warns Selena of her shadow’s movement is really the only person she can call on. Everything that is happening to her has already happened to him, Selena wants to trust him and hopes for him to lead her to safety but she doesn’t know exactly whose side he’s on—she knows there is more to him than meets the eye. She develops and awkward alliance with him because neither of them have anyone else to turn to but as the story develops she discovers he has a dark secret.
Q: Beyond the Shadows is the first book out of four in The Shadow Series…is the series complete now, or do you have more planned?
A: The Shadow Series is definitely complete with four books. Originally it was meant to be a trilogy but I couldn’t squeeze everything into the last book. I waited until I’d finished the whole series before doing the final edit on book one, there’s nothing I hate more than reading a series that isn’t finished, so I published them all in one go!
Q: I have to mention your book cover. It is fabulous and a little bit ominous. Who designs the covers for your books and what is that process like for you as an author?
A: Damon Za designed all four covers for me, I have to say he’s pretty amazing to work with. I decided I wasn’t going to meddle too much with the cover design. I know as a writer I would hate to have someone telling me how to write my story and I figure it’s the same for the cover artist. It’s his job and he’s good at it. I gave him a brief book description and let him do the rest on his own. The results speak for themselves, I would definitely use him again!
Q: What do you see as influences on your writing style?
A: In my younger years I read a lot of epic fantasy—horses, swords, magic—by the likes of Isobelle Carmody, Ian Irvine, Terry Goodkind, Sara Douglass. These days I much prefer Urban Fantasy andParanormal but it’s those epic fantasy writers that have influenced my writing style the most.
Q: What is your work schedule like when you're writing?
A: I work two days in a medical practice and the other three days are spent on my books. I start writing at about midday, because I basically can’t function earlier than that! I take regular breaks and stop for dinner then finish up around 9pm. The later it gets the more inspired I become so I do like to work until midnight whenever I can. To be honest I used to do a lot more of that before I started dating my boyfriend.
Q: What do you do to unwind and relax?
A: I find the life of a writer is pretty relaxing in general, I have an amazing balance in my life, I socialise a fair bit, get plenty of rest and work hard at hours of my own choosing but I’m also into yoga and meditation so that keeps me nice and zen.
Q: What book are you reading now?
A: At the moment I’m reading The kingdom which is book two of The Graveyard Queen Series. The author, Amanda Stevens, has a knack for evocative language. The series is about a cemetery restorer who sees ghosts, it’s creepy and surprisingly educational—there’s actually a lot about graveyards I didn’t know!
About the Author: When I was a child I wanted to be an author, it seemed like a perfectly attainable dream to me then, but of course I grew up and realised that writing was not the best way to make a future for myself. So I discarded the idea and decided to do something normal.
When I studied nursing I thought I'd found a place for myself, but within six months of working in that field I knew I needed more. So in July 2007 I bought myself a lap top and started writing in my spare time. It took me two years to complete my first book and by the time it was finished I felt as though I'd learnt enough to pursue the dream.
My love for writing has grown rapidly since then and now I know that it's something I can't live without. It's a place where there is no limit, no exact destination and my mind is free to exist in many worlds.
It's a beautiful sanctuary.
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