I’ll be the first to admit I’m not a great blogger. I don’t do it regularly for one thing. And sometimes I feel like I should be coming up with all these brilliant topics, like I read in other blogs. Some of the bloggers are just … so cool. Yet, I keep at it when I do have something to say. Today I decided to do something different (for me), and that is an author interview! I’ve read these on other blogs- in fact, I was interviewed for some blogs during my blog tour (please see the “Press” tab). I love that it’s a way to connect readers from both authors, and to learn more about someone you might not have known otherwise. Today, I’m featuring the lovely, sassy-pants author Kelly Cain. Some of you might know Kelly is one of my “Penner Besties”, or also explained as we share the same publisher, and got to know each other because of that. She was such a good sport answering all my questions, and an absolute gem, patiently waiting while I took over two weeks longer to post this than I’d expected! Her debut novel Altered was just released recently, and you can read more about it here in the interview, as well as in my book review, where I gave it 4/5 stars. Check out her website here. Also, don’t be surprised if you leave hungry. Kelly posts amazing recipes!
Without further ado, here’s the interview:
- How did you get the idea for the story? The story is based on an engaged women in law school whose fiancé breaks up with her abruptly and she ends up befriending a student who is only 18, which is quite unusual for law school. Once upon a time, I was an engaged women in law school, and while my fiancé and I did end up breaking up, we eventually went on to marry. There was also an exceptional younger student who I was friends with
- How long did it take you to write it? The first run-through took about six weeks. I had a friend reading it and she made a couple of suggestions, so I revised it based on those. Then after another read-through, I found a serious continuity problem and fixed that.
- Why did you chose the publishing route you did? Would you go a different way with other work? I wasn’t quite certain what to do with the manuscript when I finished and actually set it aside for a few months because I’d read from various people online how improbable it is to get published. In the meantime, I wrote another one, and just basically kept reading them back and forth on my Kindle for typos. I’m a huge Outlander fan and belong to a couple of Facebook groups with likeminded people. It was there I saw a post by another fan who said she’d just signed a publishing contract and how easy the process was. I submitted to her publisher and got a deal a couple of weeks later. For that other manuscript, I am going a different route by querying agents.
- How long did the book take to get published once it was written? A little less than two years from the time I finished writing it until it was actually released. Once I signed my deal, it came out about eight months later.
- The best, and worst part of the writing process? The best part of the writing process is getting lost in the story and allowing the characters to tell guide the way. The worst part is revising what I’ve written.
- The best, and worst part of the publishing process? The best part of the publishing process is when the book you’ve written shows up on your doorstep and you crack open that box to see your name on the cover. The worst part is all the self-promotion necessary to put your book out there.
- Something you’d do differently with story or characters in hindsight? My main character, Liv, has received a lot of flak for being too controlling and annoying. I wrote a blog post about this recently coming to the conclusion that she’s perceived that way because her eventual love interest, Nicholas, it too well loved. I suppose in hindsight, I could say that I would soften Liv a bit, but I don’t believe I would. Perhaps I would do a dual POV as someone suggested to me during an early read before I queried it. At that point, I was completely finished and couldn’t imagine doing all that rewriting from Nicholas’s point-of-view.
- Will you write about these characters again? I’m not sure. I believe I would like to visit some of the characters in the story again, but I kind of like where we leave Liv and Nicholas.
- Do you have any completed projects, and if so, what are you planning with them? Yes, I have another manuscript called Scale Steps, which is a contemporary romance. I am currently querying agents with it (I actually just sent it to a second agent a few days ago).
- What are you working on now? I’m currently working on the first book of a series centering on a young woman who makes the decision to join the Army out of high school. It’s set in the mid-80s. I’m also working on a screenplay set in 1936 Mississippi.
- When did you know you wanted to be a writer? About two years ago, a couple months before I started writing Altered. Actually truth be known, I really wasn’t sure I wanted to be a writer until I was about 5000 words into it.
- Do you write full-time? When do you write? What is your routine like? No, I have a full-time day job which is just as well I suppose. I don’t seem to be able to get serious about writing until around twilight. I get comfortable with my laptop, launch Spotify, and have at it until I can’t stay awake any longer.
- Music on or off while writing? Definitely music on. When I wrote Altered, I listened to a playlist created by Sean Parker called Hipster International.
- Favorite writing snack? I don’t do a whole lot of snacking while I’m writing – unless you count red wine or single-malt scotch a snack.
- Favorite book? I don’t have an all-time favorite. There are books I read over and over again like Outlander and The Mortal Instruments/The Infernal Devices series, although there are some books I’ve only read once, but would still count them among my favorites, like Eleanor and Park, Never Let Me Go, and I’ll Give You the Sun.
- Favorite movie? Up until about 10 or so years ago, that answer would have been Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club band. I was completely obsessed with it during junior high school and beyond. I think once I was able to get it on VHS, it lost some of its shine. Just like a favorite book, I’m not sure I could name just one movie. If I’m scrolling through the channels, I always stop on The Matrix, Lord of the Rings, Pride & Prejudice, Belle, Under the Tuscan Sun, and While You Were Sleeping (random, I know).
- Book you’d like to see made into a movie? I really want to see The Infernal Devices series by Cassandra Clare turned into a movie, but I’m a little afraid. Her main character, Will Herondale, is my all-time favorite book boyfriend and the actor needs to fit my idea of him which is improbable. Her The Mortal Instruments series was turned into a movie (not a great one even though The Sheehan was in it) and the lead wasn’t how I imagined him at all. Now it’s a television show and Jace is a little closer to what I pictured, but still too different.
- Favorite genre to read overall? Again, that’s really difficult to narrow down because I really love so many. If I scroll through my Kindle though, I would say it’s speculative fiction, historical fiction, or maybe new adult.
- A book you wish you had written? Kindred by Octavia Butler
- Fill in the blank. If I met the author Rainbow Rowell in real life, I’d probably faint from happiness. As it is, she liked my tweet a few months ago and I nearly lost my mind.
- Author you’d like to collaborate with someday? On what kind of project? Samantha Young. She’s one of the first New Adult authors I read. I believe she lives in Ireland so I’d love to write something with an Irish/American connection with her.
- Romance or Mystery? I prefer writing romance, but I’d rather read a great non-predictable mystery.
- Newspaper or magazine? I suppose magazine, but I never have time to read either unless it’s an article here or there online.
- Ice cream or brownies? I’ll say ice cream since it comes in so many different flavors. There are times when I crave a good brownie though.
- One kind of story/genre/style you’d like to write but haven’t yet? I’d love to write a mystery/thriller with intricate subject-matter detail (like a Kay Scarpetta novel), but I don’t think I’m clever enough to spin a truly surprising tale.
Thanks, Kelly! And thanks for reading everyone. I hope you enjoyed getting to know a new author 🙂