I met LK Kelly on Twitter many moons ago. We spoke of out writing as we both had picked the same genre, and a very similar female character. Both of us agreed we were fed up with seeing weak willed female characters that needed a strong male character to take care of them. I found it unsurprising really, as LK is a strong woman herself, so I understood her need to write of a woman who can, and does, take care of herself.
From those first few conversations we became friends, very often chatting on Twitter about all sorts of things, but LK is one of the new friends I've made that I would really want to meet one day. She's outgoing, supportive, and just an all-round wonderful lady who is always willing to help, even with some really silly questions of my own from time to time.
LK Kelly lives in Barling, Arkansas, has been very happily married to her husband Wes for 40 years, and has one adult daughter Laura. She graduated from Westark Community College with an Associate of Arts Degree in Music, and a minor English, has travelled extensively around the world, and chose the genre she has because she believes that the supernatural world can begin at any age in life.
Here is what LK Kelly has to say...
Why did you decide you wanted to become a writer?
By accident! No! Really, Sallyann! Oh, like everyone else always says, "I'll write a book someday”, but, let’s face it. None of us ever really mean it. But a friend of mine, Anita Meyer, who is author of several books (you can find them here http://anitameyer1.wix.com/anita-meyer-books ) in her own right.
Asked me if I would edit her book. I said sure. That was in the fall of 2012. I discovered I had a knack for editing, so I started editing occasionally. Then, I decided that I could write just as well as anyone else, so, all I needed was an idea out of the hundreds in my mind!
What was the thing that drove you the most to do so?
There really wasn’t any one thing. When I decide to do something - well, I just do it. But, because I am an only child, and adopted, I wanted to leave something behind that was from me. Something that I could at least say “LK Kelley was here”. It’s my version of carving my name on a wall.
How long have you been writing?
Actually, forever. I loved writing in school, and I could BS my way through any teacher, and since it was usually in the form of essays, term papers, book reports, etc., and that was the extent of my writing. And, I could BS my way through ever teacher – except for one. I had a bad moment in the 7th grade. I had been an A student in spelling and language use for 6 years prior, but in the 7th grade, I met a teacher that I had no idea how to read! Her name was Mrs. Werner, and she was my English Lit teacher. She was, by far, the strangest woman I have ever met – even by today’s standards. She “made up” her own “out-of-this-world stories” and totally “off-the-wall stories” – for diagramming sentences and Literature writing. I still have some of them around somewhere, because I knew if I never kept them, no one would ever have believed it! Showed them to my daughter once, whose mouth dropped wide in shock at what she read. I was not fond of Mrs. Werner in any way at all, but I needed help in some way – especially when I received my very first “F” ever for the first quarter! But, strange things happen for a reason, and this is the strangest! Mrs. Werner was in Continuing Education classes, and she was assigned a several-week long paper on how to help a student who was having trouble. So, when I went to her for help, I we both became guinea pigs to each other! At first, I didn’t get her stories, but as time went on, I finally figured her out and her stories! For the next 6-8 weeks, I skipped study hall, and went to her class. A old-fashioned monstrous tape recorder was set, and we began. The next quarter, I received a C. Progress? Yes, but not enough for me! She, too, was having a bit of trouble in her own class. But, we finally realized we liked each other, so, that allowed us to buckle down to serious studying. By third quarter, she grinned widely as she handed my report card with a B+ on it! I was over the moon on it! And, by fourth quarter (her assignment had been completed), my fourth quarter, and year-end grade was A+! Never again did I receive LESS than an A in my English classes from that point forward, and I learned to “talk around” assignments in such a way, no other teacher ever caught on! I, literally, owe everything I know to Mrs. Werner. I don’t know where she is today, and it’s highly possible she is either still alive, and very old, or she has departed from this world. I wish that I could tell her, and show her, what she did for me, Sallyann!
Why did you pick the genre/s that you have?
It's my fav. I love it simply because you can literally pull anything out of thin air, and use it. Even myth and mythology can be taken, and given a whole new perspective! And that is what I did. It was a blast making up new ways of looking at the entire paranormal, myth, and legends!
Who is your favourite character, and why?
That is a hard one, but it is Kaitlan's (heroine) best friend, Sarah. Everyone of my characters have full-blown backgrounds in my books. I take the reader into their stories as I introduce each one, in turn, and their mates. Unlike the other female characters, however, she is not at all paranormal, but completely human – at least for a while. Kaitlan rescued her from a horrible life of rape from her Father when they were in grade school at the age of 6. Although the others suffered in their own ways – usually within the distant past – Sarah's was a real abuse that we see far too often in today’s world. I needed one character to be human and who had suffered at a young age. Since my readers are human (at least I hope so! ;) ), I wanted a tie-in to bridge the human-paranormal world. And, Sarah’s story did just that in spades.
Do you have any particular quirks when writing?
I talk to myself and actually physically act out each scene in my head before I write, and if needed, will do so aloud. I just get a few eye rolls and shake of a head as my family ignores me! I am a HUGE lover of listening to the commentaries in movies to see how they created the movie or TV series that I do like. After a while, I realized that I could use their biggest trick – Storyboards! However, for me, I create a storyboard in my mind. Pictures and actions are fully formed inside my head right along with dialogue, and in full scenes, before ever committing “pen to paper”, or in this case, computer and keyboard! So, people will see me talking to myself all the time, and most no longer pay attention to me!
What does your family think of your work?
ROFL!! I never told them I was writing a book! I needed something to do. My Father died on December 3, 2002, and coincidentally, also was the same day that he and my Mother adopted and brought me home with them many years earlier. (No. Not going to tell you! ROFL!) Anyway, I had quit my job in 2006, because my Mother couldn’t work or drive any more, and was getting much worse with each passing month and year. Her body was gone, but her mind was as sharp as a tack even at the end of her life. I had to be available at every single second in time “just incase”, and believe me! It was absolutely necessary. She fell numerous times, and had doctor’s appointments that stretched into infinity! No employer would put up with me missing work. I knew it was a matter of time, and I wouldn’t have changed those years with her for any amount of money or pile of gold in this world! She was worth every second. And, yes. I did have my frustration and stress moments, but those no longer mean anything to me compared to the amazing time and love I spent with her. She never knew that I would become a writer. After she passed on November 23, 2009, I had her estate to deal with which took another 2 years of constant – everything! Then, I began to look for a job. For 3 years I tried. The economy was so bad, that no one was hiring, and we even lost 2 of our major industries in our area of Fort Smith, Arkansas. So, I need to do something to keep my mind off my depression of not being able to find employment. That’s when Anita stepped in, and that was the beginning.
As to my daughter and husband? Well, it was the funniest, and most secret thing, I have ever done! I wrote, literally, from morning to late at night. Got off track every time my daughter called, but I didn’t tell her why. My husband just looked at me occasionally, then continued to read the newspaper, or watch TV.
After 2 months, Wes (my husband) looked up from the newspaper, and finally asked me what I was doing. I told him. He said, "I thought so." Then, began to read the paper again!
When I told my daughter, she was shocked, and thought it was really cool! I really wanted to ask her to be my heroine on the bookcover, but hesitated. However, she offered two weeks later! And, her good friend volunteered to be her "mate", Cordone, on the cover as well.
Do you belong to any writing groups? And if so what do you think are the pros and cons?
No. However, there are always pros & cons to any group. They can help, but also could hinder one's creative ability. Trust could be an issue, as well. While I’m sure that is rare, that's always a possibility. But, I really never thought of joining one. No reason, but my creativity comes from observation and knowledge. Not that it might be fun to observe a writing group as well! I see nothing at all wrong with them, but it isn’t for me.
How do you deal with writer’s block?
Ah! The “Blockage”! Honestly, I can say that this is rare. However, when I do experience it, I stop writing immediately, because it’s useless to sit in front of the computer, and hunt in my head for an idea that even I know isn’t coming any faster. So, instead, I will work on another book, watch TV, shop, or clean the house. Works every time for me, because something I am doing, or something I hear, always seems to trigger the next idea. The key is to stop pushing your brain. Like ever other muscle, it gets strained. The more you strain it, the worse it gets. And the worse it gets, the longer it takes to get well, so you can get the next idea. So, I say to take a break at least once or twice a week, before you do get the “Blockage”.
What would you say is the most difficult part of writing?
TIME! Time to write. Like most, now, I have an outside job, so I have to fit it in there somewhere! And, it’s not as easy as it was when I was not employed.
What do you enjoy the most about writing?
Getting use my wild imagination! If my teacher, Mrs. Werner, had strange stories, mine are much worse! I love acting them out, talking them out, and plain love to develop my characters! It’s fun! And, it also shuts those character voices up demanding I do this or that with their characters! Those guys can drive me batty! ROFL!
Where do you find your inspiration?
Everywhere. Anywhere. Everything. Anything. Even out of nowhere! I pay attention to everything around me. Scenery & Backgrounds, listening to how people talk, laugh, or argue. Names, if they are unusual. My own daughter & her friends. My own, personal trips all over Europe & England & the USA! I find basing characters on real people and locations on real places, then tweaking them to place them in the middle of my wild imagination, is the best fun of writing!
Are your characters based on anyone you know?
You bet! Whose doesn't? In my Trilogy, I based 3 of the women on my daughter and 2 of my daughter's friends who got a big kick out of it. The 4th one, was based on one of my best friends who was so cool with letting me do so. I also use her real name, too! Their mates were also based on real life people, but that is where the similarities end.
What do you do in your spare time to relax?
Well, Sallyann, I have to ask you...”What is that?” LOL! I have no idea what that is any more. But, I do read or watch TV - SciFi of course! I also do a lot of different crafts, decorate cakes with icing sculptures, interior decorating, and much more. Love to go to Walt Disney World as well as Colorado to visit our daughter. Never enough time for everything I want to do.
What do you like to read?
Romance, SciFi, paranormal, supernatural, and fiction. I get enough reality as it is, so why read no fiction?
Who is your favourite author?
Love the French spelling of favorite! I use it quite often even if I am an American! Let’s see...that's a toss up between Karen Moning & Quinn Loftis. Their paranormal books are excellent. While Moning is completely adult, she also gives her main character a basis in reality of a tragedy, which begins it all. It is combined with a whole world of the paranormal as well as coming to grips with who she really is. Her boyfriend is an enigma who has lived long before time began. It bridges the gap between human and paranormal. And, her characters are completely off the wall! Loftis writes YA at the time of crossing that threshold between 17 to 18, and each has their own romantic interests of men. One who is 17, one who is well over 100 years old, and the last one around 50! It’s quite fun, and I love the situations they find themselves in before they get to tie their knots, so to speak! She gives full stories for each of the 3 girls in it, as well as one of the girls Mother, which I did not expect, but was a lot of fun to read!
Where are your books available?
They are on Amazon & Barnes and Noble in both paperback, Kindle, & Nook. And, this is the formal announcement that my books are now available on iBooks, and was a complete surprise to me from my publisher! I am thrilled to be on this venue as well!
What are you working on right now?
My new series is the “Anaerris Code”. I expect it to be ready for publication around mid summer to fall. Maybe earlier if I can get my editing finished early enough.
What is your ultimate goal?
One, my goal is to write a great, paranormal story to be read by other women and men to help them get away from their everyday ordinary lives. That’s is my main goal. It’s why I like to read in the first place! Two, I want to write full time! I have so many stories bouncing around in my head, it gets noisy! Until I write, they won't SHUTUP! But, that comes with time.
Do you have a favourite film? And if so what is it?
Oh, goodness. How much space do you have? My list is so long, I’d never get through them all! But, one of them is “The Great Race”, and if you haven’t seen it, you have to do so! Tony Curtis, Natalie Wood, Jack Lemon, and Peter Falk! It is, by far, one of the best, and funniest movies that was ever made! It is a human cartoon, and these four play it to the max! Until this movie, I only guesses at their comedic abilities, but this brings all of them front and center in a movie of hijinks and hilarity that keeps you laughing for over two hours! A lot of my fans recognize Lola, the #Bookplug #pug who is my great PR agent. But, she is also my daughter’s little rescue pug. She was the best thing that ever happened to our family! Her original owner could not keep her where she was going, so she gave her to the “Colorado Rescue Pug”, and Laura found her from there. She’s very small – about ½ the size of a normal pug. What does that have to do with “The Great Race”? It was the first time my daughter (who was about 7 at the time) decided she wanted a pug, because in the movie, there are about 5-6 pugs! She fell in love with the breed right there and then. So, if you haven’t seen the movie, please, I urge you to do so! http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0059243/
Here is where you can find LK Kelly
Again, Sallyann, thank you for letting me participate in your interviews, and it has been a joy and an honor! And, I am everywhere! If you would like to keep up with the latest developments on my books, and my new series, please join me on either my website or my Twitter. These are the places that are notified before any other!
I'd like to take one last moment to thank LK Kelly for being willing to take part in my interviews process, and for answering all my question in depth to let you all get to know her. I hope you'll follow her on Twitter and Facebook, and of course pick up one of wonderful books to add to you summer reading shelves. You will not be disappointed you did.
Once again, thank you LK Kelly.
I am a wife, mother, and grandmother, and I live in Wales in the U.K.
Sallyann Phillips is an IASD member.
Check out their website for a wonderful choice of Indie authors for you to chose from.