Friday, May 27, 2016

Meet the Newbies - Interview & Giveaways: Shallow Graves by Kali Wallace

Meet the Newbies banner

Meet the Newbies is a blog event created by Rachel @ A Perfection Called Books. It is dedicated to introducing you to the “newbie” published debut authors. In this event, expect to learn more about the authors, their books, and silly fun facts! You can find out more here!
Hello everyone! Kali Wallace, author of Shallow Graves, is on the blog today to talk about her debut novel! Read on to learn more about her debut and enter the giveaways ;)

Shallow Graves by Kali WallaceShallow Graves
by Kali Wallace
January 26, 2016
360 pages
Goodreads Summary:
Breezy remembers leaving the party: the warm, wet grass under her feet, her cheek still stinging from a slap to her face. But when she wakes up, scared and pulling dirt from her mouth, a year has passed and she can’t explain how.

Nor can she explain the man lying at her grave, dead from her touch, or why her heartbeat comes and goes. She doesn’t remember who killed her or why. All she knows is that she’s somehow conscious—and not only that, she’s able to sense who around her is hiding a murderous past.

Haunted by happy memories from her life, Breezy sets out to find answers in the gritty, threatening world to which she now belongs—where killers hide in plain sight, and a sinister cult is hunting for strange creatures like her. What she discovers is at once empowering, redemptive, and dangerous.

Debut author Kali Wallace interweaves folklore and myths from all over the world in this stunning novel about the heartbreaking trauma of a girl’s life cut short and her struggle to reconcile her humanity with the monster she’s become.

Author Most Likely to Tragically Fall into a Volcano
Nickname: Cave Bear
First Day of School: January 26, 2016
Homeroom: Katherine Tegen Books/HarperCollins
Grade: Horror
Extracurricular Activities: President of the Late Pleistocene Megafauna Appreciation Society
Favorite Class: Naptime
Favorite Quote/Motto: "Truth, Justice, Freedom, Reasonably Priced Love, and a Hard­Boiled Egg." ­ motto of the Glorious People's Republic of Treacle Mine Road

1. Where did the idea for Shallow Graves come from?

Most of my ideas come from reading or viewing other stories and wondering, "What if?" and this one is no exception. I love horror stories, scary stories, stories about terrible creatures and things that go bump in the night, but after watching enough of them I started to wonder: What if all those monsters are just people? Just ordinary people with some odd physiological and/or dietary traits, trying to exist in an unwelcoming world the best they can?

I find that a far more interesting question to ask with regard to individuals rather than entire groups, and anyway I am not remotely interested in crafting a clumsy metaphor whereby real-life oppressed groups are represented by genuinely dangerous monsters. (I hate that in stories. I hate it so.) So it was always going to be a story about one girl finding her way through the new and frightening world she has been forced into. Those two core ideas are what everything else was built on. They're not story ideas, really, just unspecific premises, but we all have to start somewhere.

2. Have you always known what the ending of your story will be?

Not even a little bit! There is a rather significant decision the main character has to make toward the end of the novel, and right up until the moment I was writing it I had no idea which choice she would make. I had always known she would end up in a place where she had to make that choice, but I wrote the entire book without knowing which way or would go.

When I finally got there, it didn't seem like such a complicated decision at all, and one option stood out to me as the right one, but it took the entire process of writing the book to figure that out. Then, of course, I had to go back and make sure the support for that choices was threaded all the way through. The trouble with writing without much of a plan is that it means you have to go back in revisions and make it look like you had a plan all along.

This is all very vague without spoilers, but suffice it to say that I had an either/or in mind from the start, but I didn't know the actual ending until the end.

3. Was there a particular scene or moment in the book that was hard for you to write?

There are a few, and they all have the same thing in common: they're fight scenes. I have the hardest time writing fight scenes. Really emotional scenes are difficult for me too, although in a different way, but fight scenes--especially physical fight scenes--stump me every time. I have no idea how to make everybody move how they need to move. I don't know anything about physical fights. I don't get into many of them, as a rule, and my real-life training consists of like three months of karate lessons when I was in fifth grade. It takes me approximately 900x as long to write a fight scene as it does to write any other scene. There are a couple in this book--some outside chases, one in a closed room, etc.--and all of them were way harder to write than their importance and word length deserve.

4. Can you talk about the folklores and myths you weaved into your book without spoilers?

The main one, the idea at the core of the story, is the idea of a revenant, which is a person or spirit that returns from the grave to terrorize and exact revenge on the living. It's an idea that's present in lots of different mythologies around the world--ghosts and vampires and zombies are the obvious examples, but by no means the only ones. I love that people coming back from the dead as monsters represents a fear widespread enough in human history that it pops up on all kinds of stories, all over the world.

I also borrow a handful of specific creatures from various folklores--Irish and pre-Islam Arabian folklores, to name two examples borrowed for prominent characters--and I invent a few supernatural creatures of my own, not drawn on any particular source, because where's the fun in being a writer if you can't invent monsters when you feel like it?

5. What do you hope readers will take away from your story?

At the risk of scaring people away from what they expect to be a spooky fun horror novel, what I would most like readers to take away is that life is that precious, not cheap. I want readers to come away thinking that violence--especially violence against women, perpetuated by men--has a very real cost, no matter how much pop culture and politics trying to obscure it, and that victims should not ever be forgotten or ignored. I want readers to come away knowing that teenage girls and their lives and dreams and choices are important.
Thank you Kali for sharing all of this with us today! I always find myself thinking "What if?" too. And thank you for the beautiful messages you're trying to get out there!
Kali Wallace
About the Author
Kali Wallace studied geology and geophysics before she decided she enjoyed inventing imaginary worlds as much as she liked researching the real one. Her short fiction has appeared in Clarkesworld, F&SF, Asimov's, Lightspeed Magazine, and Her first novel will be published by Katherine Tegen Books in 2016. She lives in southern California.
Website  Authors Goodreads


Event-wide Giveaway: 1 Pre­Order or Finished Copy of Any Debut Novel Featured on Meet the Newbies International (as long as The Book Depository ships to your country).

a Rafflecopter giveaway

In addition to the event-wide giveaway, Kali has very generously offered to give away a copy of her book so enter away!

1. This giveaway is US/Canada and will run until June 17, 2016!
2. The winner will receive a signed hardcover of Shallow Graves.
3. You must be 13+ or have parent's permission to enter this giveaway.
4. BookCatPin, and Kali Wallace will not be held responsible for lost/damaged mail.
5. No giveaway accounts and please don't follow then unfollow.
6. I will check all entries so please be honest or you will be disqualified.
7. The winner must respond to my email within 48 hours or I will have to pick another winner.


  1. This book looks very good. I'm not fan of horror but the story it's very interesting; I don't know if I would give it a try but it a good book to look forward! Thanks for the interview and Keli Wallace I wish you the best luck for you upcoming books!

    Giova @ Corazones Literarios

  2. I still haven't got to read this one yet. I love spooky reads. Fork lore and myths can have some truly terrifying story lines.

  3. Ok so this book sounds so amazing. I love folklore, mysteries and scary things. I have friends that read this and said it's wonderful.

  4. Nice!! Hearing good things about this one and so excited to read it! I love a good "ghost" book! Thanks for the giveaway!

  5. This is a fantastic feature!
    I have been curious about the book and now after reaading the interview even more! Folklore and myths involved and horror but not too scary make it my kinda read!

  6. This book is already on my TBR. It sounds so interesting! I love stories with folklore and myths, and I'm so intrigued about this book! Can't wait to read it! Also I love the cover! Great interview!


Thank you so much for visiting my blog and reading my posts!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...