I started writing SALT after I began watching Supernatural. At the time I lived in Boston with three roommates. One of them, Josh, told me I should watch Supernatural because I would love it. I remember that I was finishing revisions for FMTD and I thought it could be a good reward—if I liked it—so I said, “sure, yeah, why not?”
And down the rabbit hole I went.
I devoured that show. It was all I did for weeks, and he had been right. My life was missing something in the shape of this:
I don’t remember the exact day, but I was going to have lunch with my friend, Cindy, and I had been watching SPN (for weeks) and I was straightening my hair when BAM—the first line of the book popped into my head. Pretty immediately I knew it was a witch story—and I immediately associated demons with that because of my SPN-athon. A few hours later I had a whole story, and then a first chapter, and now a book.
And it’s all because of Supernatural.
When you’re writing a book, you don’t really always see the similarities or the themes that seep into your work. This was true for SALT. It’s only natural that the things we’re passionate about as writers shape our stories in some way. But after having years to reflect, develop, edit and read SALT—I can definitely see how pieces of Supernatural poured into that story.
The obvious one: salt. In SPN, salt will keep away demons and ghosts. (Salt and burn, baby.) In the show, they use salt in a circle, and on graves before they catch it on fire (forever). In my book they can use the salt on demons and “it hurts like hell.” It’s used a little differently but throughout history salt and magic go together.
Iron is another similarity. In SPN, iron is used on ghosts—the characters can hit ghosts with a fire poker (for example) and they disappear. (Not forever, but for long enough.) In SALT, the iron is used as a trap. It’s one tool that the witches can use against demons to make them weaker.
The real world. SALT and SPN both take place in our world and in our time. In SPN, anyone can be a hunter if they are trained—and part of their job is to keep all this supernatural stuff a secret. In SALT, the witches are born and their job is basically the same—protect Nons (non-magical humans) and keep all this supernatural stuff a secret.
I also think it’s amazing how Sam and Dean really shaped SALT. I was talking to a friend about it recently, and I realized that Sam and Dean are sort of like Penelope and Carter—where Penelope is the Dean character and Carter is most like Sam.
Let’s start with Dean and Penelope…
-will do anything for family
-smiles through the pain/disappointment, etc.
-likes bad jokes
-is fiercely loyal
-acts without thinking
-is driven by emotions
-knows what she wants and will do whatever it takes to get that
-is easily distracted
-Covers up emotions/feelings with other things
-is the unlikely hero (I mean, come on, Dean was Michael’s vessel yo.)
Sam and Carter:
-likes to know the options before taking action
-pays attention to things around him
-Doesn’t always think good/evil is black/white
-will do what he thinks is right
-has to be something he doesn’t necessarily want to be
-has this playfulness that only comes out around people he knows intimately
(That was fun. I love gifs.)
I don’t think everything in SALT is like SPN.
I don’t have a Cas.
I don’t have a Bobby.
I don’t have a cool car that pretty much helped save the world.
But I think SALT has something special.
Maybe because I wrote it, or because of why and when and what it means to me. Maybe because everyone gets to read it now. Or because it makes me laugh. But it’s probably because it was inspired by something I love so much.
About the Book
Author: Danielle Ellison
Release Date: January 7, 2014
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Penelope is a witch, part of a secret society protecting humans from demon attacks. But when she was a child, a demon killed her parents—and stole her magic. Since then, she’s been pretending to be something she’s not, using her sister’s magic to hide her own loss, to prevent being sent away.
When she’s finally given the chance to join the elite demon-hunting force, Penelope thinks that will finally change. With her sister’s help, she can squeeze through the tests and get access to the information she needs to find "her" demon. To take back what was stolen.
Then she meets Carter. He’s cute, smart, and she can borrow his magic, too. He knows her secret—but he also has one of his own.
Suddenly, Penelope’s impossible quest becomes far more complicated. Because Carter’s not telling her everything, and it’s starting to seem like the demons have their own agenda…and they’re far too interested in her.
SALT comes out in August 2013, and then it's sequel. In October 2014, FOLLOW ME THROUGH DARKNESS (book one of the BOUNDLESS Trilogy) comes out. She's got a busy few years!
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