Emily Martens and Chelsey Colleen Hankins


Death of Eden is a joint project from authors Chelsey Colleen Hankins and Emily Martens. Chelsey, a Mississippi native, has published multiple short stories including “Kadie” and “Battle Scars” featured in the bestselling Chicken Soup for the Soul series. Emily, hailing from a small Gold Rush town in California, published her first novel, The Shards of Morning, in 2009. It was a finalist for both the International Book Awards and the Indie Excellence Awards. Both graduated from the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, and after working together as stunt performers for a Hollywood sword fighting team, co-writing a comedy webseries, and starting their own business as Public Relations Copywriters, they conjoined their mutual love of sweeping historical dramas and intimate, character-driven stories to create the fictional world of Eden, Mississippi. Unable to resist the song of the South, the writing duo currently resides in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Smashwords Interview

What is your writing process?
Since there are two of us and both of us are classically trained actors (we attended the American Academy of Dramatic Arts), we have developed a very unique method of collaborative writing. When we started working on Death of Eden, we decided to approach writing the way actors might approach a building a performance in rehearsal. From our outlines we both knew where the scene was supposed to go, so we each took a character (or characters, depending) and one of us would write a line, then the other give a line back, responding in character. The scene grew and evolved from there, flowing with the unfolding emotions and organic responses. We worked the same way when it came time to turn script into book, using the lines as the skeleton over which to construct a full, fleshed-out novel. In the past two years, we have written 10 full novels through this process.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
Chelsey: I was raised in the small, but very charming town of Magee, Mississippi. I was surrounded by family throughout my entire childhood. From my sister to my cousins there was never really a dull moment in the Hankins house. My sister and I used to spend hours playing in the woods behind our house. It was there that stories started coming alive in my head, but it wasn’t until my freshman year of high school that I really started to recognize the joy writing brought me.

Emily: I grew up in Weaverville which is a tiny California Gold Rush town way up in the mountains. It has no stoplights and is surrounded by woods with one road in or out. My Dad used to take my brother and me out into the countryside where we would explore a perilous, magical world in our quest for "Greenland" (he is writing a marvelous YA series inspired by these adventures, so be on the lookout). Needless to say there was a lot of time, space and encouragement to develop the imagination.
Read more of this interview.

Where to find Emily Martens and Chelsey Colleen Hankins online

Where to buy in print



Death of Eden: Outlaw
Series: Death of Eden, Book 1. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 112,520. Language: English. Published: April 15, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Historical » USA, Fiction » Romance » Action/adventure
On the eve of the Civil War, Jesse Locke returns home after seven years on the run to a tempest of corrupt justice, temptation and betrayal.

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