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Legacy by Ellery A. Kane
Publication date: September 5th 2014
Genres: Dystopian, Young Adult
How do you want to feel today?
In 2041, the choice is yours.
San Francisco is deserted, the Bay Bridge bombed, and the BART subway trains grounded. The Guardians, members of an elite and mysterious government-appointed military police force, are maintaining order at all costs—thanks to emotion-altering drugs like Emovere that suppress fear and anxiety. Lex Knightley, daughter of a prominent forensic psychiatrist, risks entering the devastated city to partner with the Resistance, a group of rebels intent upon exposing the dangers of Emovere. Lex discovers an ally in Quin McAllister, a magnetic Guardian Force recruit with a haunting past that binds them together. As she uncovers the secrets of the Guardian Force and confronts the truth about her family, Lex begins to realize that even those closest to her are not quite who they seem.
Legacy is the first book in the Legacy trilogy but can also be enjoyed as a standalone.
When did you start writing?
In high school, I started writing short stories just for fun and sharing them with my English class. Like most adolescent writing, they were tortured and dark—very different from my outer persona. But I loved the experience of creating with words the exact feeling, image or moment I intended and watching those words resonate with others. That is powerful. It made me want to be an author. Still, I never seriously considered writing as a career.
Instead, I became a forensic psychologist. For almost seven years, I spent countless hours writing psychological evaluations—analytical, logical stories explaining how a person came to be who they are. I always knew I would write creatively again, but I worried I wouldn’t have the energy or time. Then, in March 2014, that little spark caught fire, and I decided to seize the day. At first, my writing was painfully slow (think one sentence per hour) but then it was faster, and faster, and faster. I found myself waking up early to write, brainstorming at 3 a.m., and quickly filling the pages. In about six weeks, Legacy was born.
What makes you want to write?
My mother’s love for books inspired me to be curious about the countless stories unfolding around me, as every small town has its cast of characters. So began my fascination with people and the complex and singular lives they lead. I quickly learned most stories were not as easily deciphered as Nancy Drew. Some were tragic, others were filled with triumph. Remarkably, every story gave clues to the personality of its author. My curiosity about the behind-closed-doors lives of others is one of the reasons why I became a forensic psychologist, and now my "real" job drives my writing. As a psychologist, I meet many different types of people and ask them to tell me the deepest, darkest things about themselves. I’ve learned real life really is stranger than fiction, but through my writing, I hope to convey the idea that fiction can be just as extraordinary and riveting as real life.
Do you ever get writer's block and what do you do to get over it?
Though writing Legacy was fairly effortless, books two, three, and four were a lot slower, and there were definitely moments where I felt as if I was swimming in quicksand. It’s counterintuitive, but the best way to get over writer’s block is to write. Just do it! Sometimes, I’d work on editing prior chapters in order to get my creative wheels spinning again.
Do you have a special way of going about writing?
I don’t have a standard writing process. Mostly, I squeeze in time to write whenever I can, and I try my best to write every day…even if it’s just one sentence. I have a general idea of where the plot is going, but I don’t do a formal outline. Instead, I jot a few scribbles to remind myself of what’s coming next. Counter to advice, I edit and rewrite a ton as I’m going along. A perfectionist at heart, I find it difficult to move on to a new chapter until I feel pretty good about the one I’m working on. And I always read my work aloud. It helps me identify problems (like using the same word too many times) and find places that sound clunky or lack flow.
Do you have any works in progress?
Now that the Legacy series is complete, I am working on a thriller tentatively titled, Daddy Darkest.
What are your hobbies?
A fitness fanatic, I teach boot camp and kickboxing, and I love to see movies the old fashioned way…in the theater with popcorn and Milk Duds. I also love reading…of course!
Who is your favourite character in Legacy?
My favorite character in Legacy is Quin McAllister. Even though Lex is the heroine of the story and we see the world through her eyes, Quin and his transformation embody the inspiration of the book: learning to accept your past without allowing it to define you. Plus, he is the perfectly irresistible combination of handsome and mysterious. I recently completed AWOL, a prequel novella from Quin’s perspective.
How did you get the idea for Legacy?
My work as a psychologist inspired Legacy. I have had the opportunity to work with a wide variety of patients, including violent criminals, sexual offenders, and victims of severe trauma. Through it all, there is one commonality. Everybody has secrets; everybody has a past. Some struggle to get over it; some learn from it; some are changed by it; some are haunted. What do we do with our pasts? And can we overcome them? Those questions fueled the idea behind Legacy.
What was your favourite part of writing Legacy?
My favorite part of the writing process with any book is the moment when you are totally in the zone—no writer’s block, no second-guessing yourself—just writing, writing, writing! With Legacy specifically, I’d say fulfilling a life’s goal. I always dreamed of writing a book, and sometimes it’s hard to believe that I did it! Legacy and everything that has come after has completely altered the landscape of my life. Now that I’m writing again, I know I never want to stop.
What are you currently reading?
I’ve been reading a lot of young adult and new adult fiction lately. But most recently, I finished the thriller, Luckiest Girl Alive, by Jessica Knoll.
What is your favourite book?
What a cruel, cruel question! Who could name just one? My most recent favorite is the thriller, You, by Caroline Kepnes. She inhabits the mind of a psychopathic stalker in a way that would make any forensic psychologist proud.
Who is your favourite author?
Another tough question, but I’ll go with J.K. Rowling. The Harry Potter series is definitely one of my all-time favorites, and she created some of the most beloved and iconic characters ever written.
What is your favourite film?
I see a lot of movies! Seriously, a lot. I can’t pick an all-time favorite, but this year I enjoyed The Revenant with Leonardo DiCaprio. And it was fun to see him finally win a well-deserved Oscar.
What is your favourite TV show?
I have fairly eclectic tastes. Intellectual Ellery enjoys Homeland, while Guilty Pleasure Ellery cannot get enough of the Bachelor/Bachelorette franchise.
Chocolate or ice cream? Uh, chocolate ice cream?
Paperback or ebook? Paperback.
Dogs or cats? Both, but I have a cat. His name is Shiloh.
Go out or stay in? In.
Summer or winter? Summer.
Forensic psychologist by day, young-adult novelist by night, Ellery Kane has been writing—professionally and creatively—for as long as she can remember. Just like her main character, Lex, Ellery loves to ask why, which is the reason she became a psychologist in the first place. Real life really is stranger than fiction, and Ellery’s writing is often inspired by her day job. Evaluating violent criminals and treating trauma victims, she has gained a unique perspective on the past and its indelible influence on the individual. An avid short story writer as a teenager, Ellery recently began writing for enjoyment again, and the Legacy series was born.
Ellery’s debut novel, Legacy, has received several awards, including winning the Gold Medal in the Independent Publisher Book Awards, young adult, e-book category. Ellery was recently selected as one of ten semifinalists in the MasterClass James Patterson Co-Author Competition.