Let’s be honest here. I’m a big fan of the the Merrick boys–so the idea of a story about Hunter, the guy who who is always fighting with them, didn’t initially catch my attention, particularly after Gabriel’s awesome story in Spark. But man, did this third installment in the Elemental series knock my socks off!
There is lots of action (of ALL kinds, hee hee) and lots of unexpected emotion. Spirit by Brigid Kemmerer is fantastic PNR/UF, written with the kind of intensity, energy, thought, and originality that’s so often lacking in in those genres. I’m in total shock over how ballsy this book is in terms of unconventional plot and character development, particular in Hunter’s story arc with the mysterious Kate, a girl who has her own agenda–but still can’t stop herself from getting her heart involved. You’ll find yourself a fan of Hunter’s as soon as you start to get to know him better, and I really hope we get to see more of his story down the road.
We’re so pleased to be kicking off the official blog tour we’re hosting for this book today with a special guest post from the author. Brigid’s sharing fun facts about the series that she’s never revealed before! Lean in closer, friends, because this is pretty juicy stuff. And you may never look at those titles the same way again.
Five Secrets of The Elemental Series
by Brigid Kemmerer
1) Character Names
Hunter’s name wasn’t always Hunter. Originally, his name was Garrett. That wasn’t a problem until I started writing Spark, book two in the series, and (mild spoiler) he became friends with Gabriel Merrick. I would write these scenes with Gabriel and Garrett and the names were just too visually similar, so I knew I had to make a change. I went through a lot of names before settling on Hunter, but now I couldn’t think of him any other way. Other possibilities included Salem, Sam, and Cal.
Hunter’s not the only one to go through a name change, either. Kate Sullivan was originally Emma Blue, but I already had a Becca and a Calla. Silver was originally Winter, and there were several names in between.
Honestly, it’s a miracle I haven’t changed my kids’ names yet.
In Spirit, Kate is a Guide-in-Training, sent with Silver to destroy the Merricks. She and Silver have a very … violent relationship. It wasn’t always that way. In an early draft, Kate and Silver had a very romantic relationship. In fact, in the first chapter, they were in bed together. She was going to be quite promiscuous and too much for Hunter to handle. But as I kept writing, she kept fighting me. She didn’t want to be in bed with Silver. I struggled with her character for a good long while before I realized what the problem was. When I went back and put her and Silver into more of an antagonistic relationship, everything clicked into place.
3) Ambulance Stories
There’s a scene where Hannah (Michael Merrick’s girlfriend) is talking to Hunter on the back porch. Hannah is a firefighter/EMT, and she’s telling Hunter ambulance stories. All the events she shares with Hunter are true rescue stories that I heard from my local fire chief when I was interviewing him for Spark.
4) Dirty Titles
Originally, the title of the first book in the series (Chris and Becca’s book) was Elemental. (Which ended up being the title of Michael’s novella, to make it more confusing.) Book two, about Gabriel’s relationship with fire, was going to be called Incendiary. After a lot of discussion, we decided those titles didn’t quite capture the essence of the series, and we wanted something to tie them all together. My friends, being my friends, kept coming up with dirty titles, which made me laugh, but didn’t really help. (Moist, anyone?) But then my editor, who also edits erotica titles, said, “If these books were erotica, it would be so much easier. The first three books could be Wet, Hot, and Hard.” (We also had numerous giggles every time we referred to “Hunter’s stones.”)
5) Foreshadowing Nick
Now that Breathless is out (and based on the summary, it’s not spoiling anything to say that he’s struggling with an attraction to a boy), I’ve been getting a lot of feedback about his character. Some people have said, “I knew it, I saw it coming.” Some people have said, “Wow, that came out of nowhere!” So the question always is, “Did I plan to make Nick gay?”
Yes. And no.
When I first wrote Storm, I had an inkling about it. It was definitely in the back of my head, and it was always Nick. I wasn’t thinking, “I should make one of these guys gay.” It was always him. I just didn’t know if I could pull it off. But then a friend (who is gay) asked me if I’d consider making Nick a gay character. Even though it was in the back of my head, I was initially resistant to the idea. I was scared, honestly. I wasn’t worried about backlash or anything like that. I didn’t want to do it wrong, you know what I mean? But I had a third novella under contract, and I knew I wanted to write it from Nick’s point of view. I sat down to write, and I put a guy in front of him, wanting to see what would happen. Well, Adam happened, and he’s one of my favorite characters to introduce to the series.
My editor had no idea I was taking Nick’s character in that direction. Turned out, she loved it. (And I got the chance to write two more books for the series. Nick’s book, which I just finished, will be out January 2014. The working title is Secret.)
About the Author
Brigid Kemmerer started writing in high school, and her first real “novel” was about four vampire brothers causing a ruckus in the suburbs. Those four brothers are the same boys living in the pages of The Elemental Series, so Brigid likes to say she’s had four teenage boys taking up space in her head for the last seventeen years!
Thanks to Brigid, Kensington Teen, and Allen and Unwin, we have amazing prizes to give away as part of this blog tour:
— 10 copies of Spirit for each official tour stop
— 2 grand prizes consisting of all three books in the Elementals series
— a special contest where you can vote for Brigid to write a short story about your favorite Elementals guy!
To win the books, all you have to do is leave a thoughtful comment below telling us what you like best about this series, and to fill out the Rafflecopter form. To vote for your favorite guy, just vote with the widget below, and Brigid will post the winning guy’s story on her site!
The best part is, this contest is international, so fans all over the world will have a chance to win. Open to readers aged 18 and older, or 13 and older with parental permission. See complete rules on the entry form. Good luck!
Be sure to visit each of the participating tour stops below, where you’ll find awesome new content daily, as well as more chances to win the books.
Spirit Blog Tour Stops
We also have many other blogs participating with reviews of the book starting on May 27! They’ll be offering a free download of the first chapter of the book.
Always YA at Heart, A Beautiful Madness, Avery’s Book Nook, Book Adoration, Book Jems, Book Labyrinth, Book Overdose, A Book Vacation, Bookaroo-Ju, Bookfever, Booking It With Hayley G, Books Are Magic, Books to Consider, BookYAReview, Citrus Reads, A Daydreamer’s Thoughts, Delirious About Books, Ex-Libris Kate, Fall Into Books, Fic Talk, Get Lost In Fiction, IB Book Blogging, In Bed With Books, Paranormal Indulgence, Pedacinho Literário, ramblings of a booknerd, Shiirleyy’s Bookshelf, Spread My Wings, Step Into Fiction, Tabitha’s Book Blog, The Teen Book Guru, Unforgettable Books, WhatchYAreading, whYAnot Reviews, and Young Readers.
Big thanks to our participating bloggers, as well as to the author, Kensington Teen, and Allen & Unwin for providing the prizes for these contests.