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TR: Hi Kelly…I appreciate you coming on with me.
KW: Thank you, Thomas…it’s a pleasure to be here.
TR: So, How old were you when you wrote your first piece?
TR: What was it, and in what genre?
KW: I think the genre would best be described as “Indulgent” It was 70 handwritten pages long.
TR: What made you write it?
KW: It was more therapy for myself than anything else. I used it to pretend I had things that I didn’t, and to work through some rough teenage experiences. It was much easier to fix the life of a character on a page than to fix my own.
TR: What have you written since then?
KW: I wrote some poetry, in the same vein of self-therapy. And then, at some point I stopped writing. Writing, to me, was about filling a need. Things in my life changed, some for the better and some for the worse, but changed none the less. I turned to other outlets for my creativity. I became an avid photographer. I learned digital scrap-booking and I began designing and selling scrapbook supplies. But even though I wasn’t writing, I was still reading. And in retrospect I can see that scrap-booking was just another way to tell a story – I was recording my family history.
TR: What was the inspiration for your current book?
KW: A lingering image. I wouldn’t really call it a dream, but more of a mental picture. I saw this girl—blonde, beautiful, and young standing before an enormous stone wall. Behind her, her companions waited, giving her the space to make her choice. There were wagon’s of food and supplies, the dress was medieval and it was snowing. Everything was coated in a sheer, iridescent sheet of ice. Several snowflakes stuck in her pale blonde hair. She looked almost as if she too were coated in ice.
Her face showed the agony in her choice. She both wanted to turn around and go home, to the life she’d known and at the same time, she was answering the call to put aside her own feelings, for the good of her people. She was being sent to marry a prince she’d never met, for the betterment of her land and she knew without any doubt, if she stepped through the stone archway, she’d never return home.
TR: Tell us a little about it, and where it’s available.
KW: The scene above grew into Cornerstone. When I finally sat down to tell Emariya’s story, after ignoring her persistent image in my head for over three years, I had to figure out exactly what her story was. The only other thing I knew was that there was an important man on each side. Her brother at home and the prince waiting for her on the other side. Their own stories are woven very closely with hers and I think the result ended up something very magical. I think it will appear very much to fans of Daenyrs from G R R Martin’s A Song Of Ice And Fire.
Cornerstone should be live on Amazon sometime in the next 24 hours.
TR: Is there a particular place or setting where you get your writing ideas?
KW: My ideas like to assault me while I am trying to sleep. Seriously. If I am trying to sleep instead of write, you can nearly guarantee that a new book idea or a scene or a bit of dialogue will pop into my head.
TR: What made you choose either traditional or independent publishing?
KW: I think I leaned toward self publishing early on. I queried agents and got a few full requests, but honestly, I should have polished my story more first. The story was strong, and very little of it has changed, but my wording needed strengthening. I really didn’t know which I wanted to do, so I decided to query agents, and use the time waiting for them to read my manuscript to research self publishing.
I think I realized that I wanted to self publish when I noticed I was anxious for the response to come back so that I could move forward with self publishing. One of the things I found during my time waiting was a critique group. I put the publishing plans on hold, worked Cornerstone through critiques and made a date with a freelance editor.
That was probably the smartest choice I made. I had a definite date ahead of me, so I felt like I was accomplishing something, and it helped me avoid a perpetual cycle of tweaking, but it also left me enough time to thoroughly have the novel critiqued. Cornerstone is stronger for it.
If I had to pinpoint more reasons that I chose the self publishing route, I’d probably direct you to Kristen Katherine Rusch’s blog. I like being my own boss and some of the things I see regarding traditional contracts scare the crap out of me.
TR: If you had to choose the most important element in an author’s platform, what would it be?
KW: The story. It doesn’t matter how much an author networks, markets, brainstorms or dreams, if they don’t sit down to write their story, they have nothing to show for it. It’s probably helpful if that story is also a good story.
TR: Do you have an idea for your next book?
KW: No. I have ideas for oh…the next five or so? Second Stone is currently in the form of a finished draft. It’s working through critiques now and goes to my editor in January. The third book in the trilogy, tentatively to be titled Broken Stone, is starting to form itself into an outline. I’ll be trying out NaNoWriMo this year and Broken Stone will be my project. I’m also planning a full length(ish) prequel, as well as a prequel novella and a short story or two set in the same world that will enrich the main trilogy. I also have two stand alone novels in mind that I’d like to write. One is a drama and the other is a YA paranormal.
Thanks so much, Kelly, Well, here it is, folks. A little about Kelly, and her new book. Don’t forget to comment if you enjoyed this interview, and please don’t neglect to get your copy of “Cornerstone” today!