Hello, everybody, and welcome back to Quote, Unquote!
Today I have the pleasure to be interviewing E. C. Colton, one of my dearest writer friends, who is publishing her novella Shards of Sky. Before we hop right into the interview, though, here’s a little bit about the book:
Will hope prove itself worth fighting for?
Nestled within the mountains of Colorado, life is anything but perfect for two children and their negligent aunt. Yet it becomes even more of a disaster when a mysterious accident leaves Aryon mute and Jenn terrified for their futures. Battling her own sorrow, bitterness, and distant memories, Jenn journeys through the mountains of Colorado in search of their father, who may only be as real as a wisp of mist. The biggest things standing in her way are the miles of seemingly endless forest, her shattered memories, and a mysterious woman trailing her.
As she journeys on, Jenn is forced to confront her past. Has time changed her memories? What will it take to be strong and unhindered by the darkness around her? And does this woman hold the key to her past—her real past?
But no matter where Jenn goes, a shard of sky shines bright overhead as a distant reminder of the hope she’s fighting to hold onto—and the person she could become.
Heart-wrenching and emotionally moving, this story delivers a powerful message of courage and the wonder of hope.
And the author:
E. C. Colton is a Christian, entrepreneur, cat mom, and author of A Change of Heart. She strives to write stories that illustrate deep truths through realistic characters. When she’s not writing, you’ll find her drawing, designing graphics, and scribbling away in a vintage notebook with a cup of tea.
Now, on to the questions!
What inspired you to write Shards of Sky?
Shards of Sky was inspired by a story idea I had of two siblings and an accident that left one of them mute. I felt like a lot of YA fiction nowadays didn’t really explore sibling relationships and family dynamics, so I really wanted this story to capture that. I also loved the idea of using the mountains and forests of Colorado as a setting. Beyond those few pieces, I wasn’t really sure where I was going, but I sat down to write the first chapter and decided to run with the idea. And honestly, I’m so glad I did.
What was one of the hardest or most frustrating parts about writing this book?
I’m not really sure…maybe getting Jenn’s thoughts down clearly? She’s such a complex character, so it was really hard for me to pinpoint how much of her thoughts were too much. I also had to be careful of how I was conveying her, because I wanted her to seem physically weak and honest about how hard life was—but at the same time, be strong in picking herself back up again and again, so readers would root for her.
That said, what was the best part?
Writing the ending. I seriously made myself very emotional over that bit. I didn’t realize it at the time, but I unconsciously echoed the beginning in the book’s ending, but flipped everything on its head. It was probably one of my favorite scenes I’ve ever written.
What helped you the most while you were writing?
Reader support, definitely. While I was writing Shards of Sky, I started sharing snippets to a few readers, and their encouragement (and love of the story) helped me on those days when writing didn’t even feel worth it.
What’s one thing that surprised you about Shards of Sky?
Interesting question. I’d say how much I delved into Jenn’s head, so to speak, and how her journey affected the story. When I first started writing Shards of Sky, I wanted it to be in Aryon’s point of view, especially when he went mute. But over time, I started developing Jenn more, and I realized her personal struggles would influence the storyline so much more than Aryon’s would. So she became the main character.
Who’s your favourite character? How do you relate to them?
Jenn. She’s my favorite character because she’s so real to me, in a way. I can relate to a lot of what she struggles with—dealing with things alone, trying to be strong, and holding onto hope even when it doesn’t seem realistic to do so. I also have a similar relationship with my younger brother as she does.
Now that your book is almost published, how do you feel?
Oh, I honestly don’t know. It’s all still a surreal blur for me. I remember that day I received my first proof copy of Shards of Sky in the mail—and how I was just stunned for a long time afterward. It was strange, though, because apparently after all this work on Shards of Sky, I never imagined it would become a real, physical book.
What next steps do you think you’ll take? Are you planning a sequel?
I actually made a half-serious list of what I was going to do after Shards of Sky was published. First of all, I never want to do this again—at least for a very, very long while. I’d definitely work on marketing, then building my platform, and perhaps start drafting a sci-fi/dystopian novel. And at this point in time, I can safely say I’ve considered a sequel, but I don’t plan on writing it or getting it published, unfortunately. At this point, I don’t feel like a sequel is necessary.
Finally, what advice would you give to an aspiring young author?
Write the story you want to read, one with a message that matters to God and you. Be aware of the areas you need to work on, and be honest with yourself, because that’s the only way you’ll improve and move forward with your writing. And trust me, a lot of writing is hinged on growth—growth as a writer, and growth as a person.
I don’t know about you, but I’m super excited to read Shards of Sky now! It launches on April 18, but if you’re too impatient to wait until then or you want some awesome preorder goodies, you can preorder the ebook here. And if you submit your receipt here, you can get some pretty cool downloadable content! It does expire on the 18th, so you’ve got a little bit of time to grab them before launch day.
Thank you so much for reading, and I hope you enjoyed! If you’d like to catch the rest of the blog tour, you can follow along at the blogs listed below.
April 9–Mia Harden at Windows to Mia (interview)
April 10–Daniel L. Amador at The Right Kind of Writer (review)
April 11–J. S. Clingman at My Little Hole in the Ground (interview)
April 12–Allie Jo Anderson at Allie Jo Anderson (review)
April 13–Althea Truth at Apple Blossoms (interview)
April 15–Allyson Jamison at Shay’s Scribbles (interview)
April 16–Addison Vallier at Story Well (interview)
April 17–Cara from Paper Strider (review)
Until next time,