Author Chat With Kelly Creagh (Strange Unearthly Things), Plus Giveaway! ~ US Only!

Today we are very excited to share a special interview with author Kelly Creagh (Strange Unearthly Things)!

Read on to learn more about her, her book, and a giveaway!




Meet the Author: Kelly Creagh

Kelly Creagh is the author of Phantom Heart, the Phantom of the Opera inspired supernatural romance, and the Nevermore trilogy, a contemporary paranormal romance heavily influenced by the life, works, and mysterious death of Edgar Allan Poe. Nevermore (2010), Enshadowed (2012), and Oblivion (2015) were all published in hardcover by Atheneum and still enjoy a strong fandom and readership. Buzzfeed named Nevermore one of 21 Amazing Young Adult Series That Ended in 2015. Nevermore has been published in multiple languages and countries, including Poland, Brazil, Germany, and Hungary. Kelly Creagh is a graduate of Spalding University’s MFA in Writing program. She teaches creative writing workshops for children, teens, and adults, and is a regular guest speaker and lecturer for the Louisville literary community and local libraries and schools. Kelly has also guest-lectured at the SCBWI Midsouth conference and is a current SCBWI member.





About the Book: Strange Unearthly Things

Eighteen-year-old Jane Reye is a psychic artist. She draws what she sees, and what she sees are spirits and the supernatural. Growing up orphaned, she’s now of legal age and can no longer return to the girls’ school she’s called home for most of her life. Lost and alone after the death of her lifelong friend, she receives an invitation to partake in a study at the English manor Fairfax Hall: an investigation of the property that requires her specific area of expertise. Upon arrival, Jane understands this will be no ordinary study when she meets Elias Thornfield, the elusive proprietor of the estate, a boy her age, roguishly handsome, who dons a mysterious eye patch. During the study it becomes clear that something is amiss—something having to do with Elias and the spiritual activity taking place around the manor. Turning to her art to unravel the mystery, Jane is shocked to find that her talents—and her growing affection for Elias—could be the key to saving him from a horrible fate.





~Author Chat~


YABC:  What gave you the inspiration to write this book?

I’ve always been inspired by the great gothic classics, and after my Phantom of the Opera retelling, Phantom Heart, Jane Eyre seemed a natural next pick. I have a deep love for the story, and I feel incredibly lucky to have revisited its themes and characters with my own pen. I was first introduced to Bronte’s haunting novel when I was eighteen—the same age as the title character, Jane. For me, Jane was the biggest draw, and I cared deeply about her. What also resonated—and continues to resonate—is the epic love story between Jane and Mr. Rochester. The obstacles between them seem insurmountable. And yet, true love prevails. The tale is one of a soul-deep connection not between two people, but between two human spirits. There’s something otherworldly to their love, transcendent, indestructible and, yes, unearthly. I wanted to lean into all of that while also amplifying and rewiring my most favorite parts of the original, and that’s how Strange Unearthly Things arose.

YABC: Who is your favorite character in the book?

This is a tough question. I fell in love with my characters while writing—as I so often do. I have tremendous love for Jane. She’s the lens through which we experience the narrative. She’s been through it, too, so there’s a bit of grit in her soul and some teeth to her personality. Her dryness, wryness, and even her abrasiveness endeared her to me. Then there’s Elias. Like Mr. Rochester from Jane Eyre, his past haunts him, and the consequences of his actions nip at his heels and gnaw at his soul. He’s a walking talking vessel for secrets—with an impressive vocabulary. So, Elias is up there in my esteem, too. The most fun, though, was putting these two together. They’re like a match and a flame; together they are my favorite.

YABC: Which came first, the title or the novel?

The titles of my books almost always change as each novel nears completion. This time, though, the title came first and stuck from beginning to end. Though the book transformed massively during the revision and editing phases, the title, taken from a line in Bronte’s Jane Eyre, stuck. Which is fitting. Because even the writing process for this novel was strange and unearthly—as it often is for me.


YABC: What scene in the book are you most proud of, and why?

There’s a particular kissing scene. And I’m proud of it because it’s a little daring. But then, so is Jane.

YABC:  Thinking way back to the beginning, what’s the most important thing you’ve learned as a writer from then to now?

There are two biggies. The first is the importance of community. I have the most amazing critique group, and I owe so much of my continued success to them. I am infinitely lucky to have these extremely talented authors in my corner. Each member of my crit group always brings something invaluable to the projects I undertake. What’s more, they encourage me and believe in me. Writing and publishing a novel is a roller-coaster ride, and with the support of my friends, I’ve been able to tackle the toughest moments with enthusiasm. We celebrate each other’s wins, too, which makes those victories extra sweet. Secondly, through the years, I’ve learned a lot about my process as a writer, and how important it is to honor that process. While the method of how each book is born and evolves might differ, the process of how I excavate that story with success is always the same. And that process? It’s one I love. And finding the joy in your work will always yield the best results.

YABC: What do you like most about the cover of the book?

Only everything. My covers are always gorgeous, and this one is no exception. I love how this cover truly evokes the feel of the story within. There’s the juxtaposition of darkness and light, and a hint of the paranormal elements. Also, I love how Jane’s status as a psychic artist is represented and alluded to in the charcoal artwork. Above all, I love the romance. A cover with a swoony kiss? How did I get so lucky?

YABC:    Which character gave you the most trouble when writing your latest book?

My villain proved to be the trickiest to pin down. I’ve always had a soft spot for villains, and aren’t the best baddies the ones who feel that they are in the right? Strange Unearthly Things has a bad guy for sure. And, for a time, he gave me as much trouble as he gave my characters.

That was, until he told me what he really wanted.

YABC:      What would you say is your superpower?

I am a professional bellydancer and instructor. This truly feels like a superpower, too. There’s so much to learn in the realm of Middle Eastern dance, and it’s a passion that pulls me out of the writer’s chair. The music, the culture, the artistry—I can never learn enough! I’ve also been so lucky to study with many world-renowned dance artists. The dance has enriched my life so much, and to be able to move with practiced skill to Egyptian, Greek, Turkish, and Armenian music has brought me immense joy. As with writing, I’ve so enjoyed being a lifelong student of this artform.

YABC:   What advice do you have for new writers? 

In high school, I had an influential drama instructor who taught me that “acting is reacting.” This has helped me in my writing, because all the characters on the page are like actors on a stage. I’ve also learned that his advice translates to being an author. In other words, writing is rewriting. Now I’m a teacher, too, and I always tell my writing students to learn as much as they can about structure and craft. At the same time, you can’t edit a blank page. As Julia Cameron (The Artist’s Way) says, getting something down is always better than thinking something up. That is advice that has served me well. Work begets work. And the only way out of a draft is straight on till morning. Each time, every time. But no sweat. You’ve got this.




Title: Strange Unearthly Things

Author: Kelly Creagh

Release Date: 08/22/2023

Publisher: Penguin Young Readers; Viking Books for Young Readers

ISBN-13: 9780593116081

Genre: Young Adult Fiction – Paranormal, Romance, Mystery

Age Range: 12+




~ Giveaway Details ~


One (1) winner will receive a hardcover copy of Strange Unearthly Things (Kelly Creagh) ~US Only!


*Click the Rafflecopter link below to enter the giveaway*


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10 thoughts on “Author Chat With Kelly Creagh (Strange Unearthly Things), Plus Giveaway! ~ US Only!”

  1. Do you have any advice for new writers?

  2. This book sounds amazing and I love the cover!

  3. madeleine says:

    I LOVE this cover!!! So excited!!!

  4. annaxu says:

    I love everything about this! It’s already on my tbr list. 😊

  5. madeleine says:

    One of my topmost anticipated reads of 2023!!!

  6. Autumn says:

    I lowkey love that the love interest wears an eyepatch!

  7. Cori says:

    This looks amazing

  8. I’d love to read this, sounds great and the cover is awesome!

  9. The cover catches my eye and the premise sounds intriguing and suspenseful.

  10. SSINGH says:

    I am a sucker for retellings, and this one looks really good!

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