Saturday, 14 January 2012

Author Interview Kelly Keaton

Today I have Kelly Keaton, author of Darkness Becomes Her and the upcoming sequel A Beautiful Evil. It is such a pleasure to have Kelly here as I am a huge fan of DBH!

Please introduce yourself. 
I'm Kelly. I write Young Adult books. *waves*

What inspired you to become a writer and where did you get the inspiration for Darkness Becomes Her?
I've always been inspired to tell stories. But I was inspired to write fiction as my profession when I was in high school. My English teacher had us turn in 2 pages every Friday of whatever we wanted to write about. At the time, I was reading Anne Rice, Mary Stewart, and Marion Zimmer Bradley and I just thought, "I want to do this, too."  I decided fiction was how I wanted to relay all my crazy ideas, and writing those Friday papers . . . something just clicked, I guess.
The inspiration for DBH came from my personal loves and wanting to combine them. Mythology. New Orleans. Strange beings. It all sort of coalesced into what ended up being DBH.
Have you always wanted to be a writer?
As far back as I can remember, I have always created fictional things in my head. I think I was just born with a creative streak and a big penchant for daydreaming. I didn't know I wanted to express this creativity as a writer per se. When I was growing up, I expressed it in writing, drawing, putting on plays...  But high school is where I really started focusing on the written word and that's where I stayed. (Though I do still draw).

What is your schedule like when you are writing?
I'm not a very structured person. My writing time is from about 9am-3:30pm, because the house is quiet and my kids are in school then. Some of this time is taken up answering emails, and the promo and business side of writing, but I try very hard to parcel those out so that writing takes the majority of that quiet time. Sometimes when I'm under deadline or need to return revisions quickly, I write at night and weekends.

What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?
I guess what surprised me most is how my writing process has changed, and how what works for me is always different for each book. Early on, before I sold, I wrote manuscripts in the same general way. Outlining, mapping character arcs, and so on. Now, I just let the story come however it wants to. If that means writing a few chapters and then outlining a few, that's what I do. If it means writing the ending first, I go with it and let the creativity come out how it wants. This has become my process, and if someone told me that's how it would be years ago, I'm not sure I would've believed them!

Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
Relax. Don't get so caught up in formatting, and perfection, and thinking you have to write a certain way in order to begin your book. Just write. Get words on paper. Get to the end. And then you have something to format, and something to craft into perfection. Everyone's process is different. And it's okay to skip scenes, or put in placeholders if you're not feeling it. Don't sit around and wait to be inspired by the next scene. Write another scene, write the ending, write "they fight" and move on if you're not feeling the fight scene yet. The thing about writing is that you're gonna go back and revise, revise, revise. The point is to have something to revise. 

Have you ever suffered from writers block and, if so, how do you get around it?
Sure, but again, it's all about moving forward. Writers block is a block you simply move around. If I hit a wall and I don't know what to write, what should happen, or I'm not feeling it, I leave a note like: "Figure out later' or "They do x,y,z" (there have been times where I've written, "Blah, blah, blah"). And I move on. See ya, Block! :) Deadlines and contracts make it so that I can't give time staring at that block. You learn to write through the tough spots and return to it later. You'd be amazed at how you can see more clearly once the draft is done, and what now should happen in those 'blah' spots.

How many books have you written to date? Which is your favourite?
I wrote six novel length manuscripts before being published (none of which sold). And I've written six contracted novels to date (Four adults- the 4th to release this summer, and two YAs, the 2nd to release in Feb.).  My favorites so far is THE HOUR OF DUST & ASHES, which is one of my adult urban fantasies that I write as Kelly Gay. And I love A BEAUTIFUL EVIL, the YA sequel that coming out soon. 

If you had a chance to change anything in your books what would you change and why?
I'd change a lot of things. That's the thing about being a writer. There will always be a better word or better sentence or better way to show something. Having the distance of months and years, and then reading my work -- I'd always find something to change.   

What was the hardest part of writing your books?
Managing my time well enough to write them without waiting to the last minute like I always do. Not good.

What was your favourite book of 2011, apart from your own?

Is there anything you would like to say to your readers?
Thank you! I've been so lucky to have met, online and off, so many wonderful readers. The support for the series is enormously appreciated!! *Sends warm fuzzies*

Finally, where can we find out more about you and your books? You can check me out at There you'll find links to FB, Twitter, and info about the books.

And thanks so much for having me Leona! :-)

You can read my review of Darkness becomes her here.

1 comment:

  1. I love your advice for moving around the block. And especially the idea of physically writing down something (I'm stealing "blah blah blah"!). :) Thank you for sharing and congratulations!!

    Adriana Ryan


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