Monday, June 9, 2014

Making Your Characters Go Dark by Kelly Hashway

When The Monster Within was acquired by Spencer Hill Press, my editor had a suggestion for Ethan, the male lead. She wanted me to make him darker. Sam is already a dark character since she comes back from the dead as a killer—though not by choice. Darkness lurks inside of her. But Ethan was pretty perfect. He loved Sam so much that he found a way to bring her back after she died of cancer at seventeen. My editor wanted to see some darkness in Ethan, too.

At first, I screamed, “No! Ethan is supposed to be the perfect good guy!” I didn’t know how I would make him darker without losing who he is. He’s totally in love with Sam. And that’s when I realized that his love for Sam would be his inspiration for darkness. He loves her so much that he’ll do anything to save her. Even if it’s…you guessed it, dark.

So Ethan went through a major change from when the book was contracted to now, just a few weeks from the release (June 17th). And the best part was that it was actually fun to create this dark side to Ethan’s personality. It gave him more layers and set up some awesome things for the sequel, The Darkness Within (June 2, 2015). Who knew darkness could be so good? ;)

The moment seventeen-year-old Samantha Thompson crawls out of her grave, her second chance at life begins. She died of cancer with her long-time boyfriend, Ethan, by her side—a completely unfair shot at life. But Ethan found a way to bring her back, like he promised he would. Only Sam came back wrong.

She's now a monster that drains others' lives to survive. And after she kills, she’s tortured by visions—glimpses into her victims would-have-been futures had she not killed them. Barely able to live with herself and trying to make things right, Sam ends up a pawn in a vicious game of payback within the local coven of witches.

But when the game reveals what Ethan had to do to save Sam, she must make a choice that will change all their lives forever.

Title: The Monster Within
Author: Kelly Hashway
Publisher: Spencer Hill Press
ISBN:  978-1-937053-85-7
Release Date: 6/17/2014
Formats: Paper, e-book 

Add it on Goodreads.
Pre-order on B&N or Amazon. 

Kelly Hashway grew up reading R.L. Stein’s Fear Street novels and writing stories of her own, so it was no surprise to her family when she majored in English and later obtained a masters degree in English Secondary Education from East Stroudsburg University. After teaching middle school language arts for seven years, Hashway went back to school and focused specifically on writing. She is now the author of three young adult series, one middle grade series, and several picture books. She also writes contemporary romance under the pen name Ashelyn Drake. When she isn’t writing, Hashway works as a freelance editor for small presses as well as for her own list of clients. In her spare time, she enjoys running, traveling, and volunteering with the PTO. Hashway currently resides in Pennsylvania with her husband, daughter, and two pets. Visit her website:


  1. Love this story, and love hearing how an editor's comment can totally change your own perception of your character - in a good way! Can't wait to read your upcoming release!

  2. You did a great job making Ethan darker while keeping him a great male lead. So excited your release date is almost here!