Interview With … Kelley Grant
Posted by authorcamilson
Today my guest is Kelley Grant. If you are a follower of my blog, I had a spotlight with Kelley a few days ago.
Kelley, thanks for being here today. Please tell us about you.
I grew up in the hills of Ohio’s Amish country and lived in books and my imagination. I majored in English in college and have swerved around on my path to publishing through politics, graphic design and teaching yoga. I love to read stories and to tell stories. The dog and I are owned by five finicky felines who rule us with iron claws.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
Sunshine! I love to be outdoors and even take the laptop out to write. And my five cats waiting for breakfast poke their paws onto my face until I get out of bed and feed them.
If you could hang out with one famous person for one day, who would it be and why?
The Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh. I would like to see what it is like to always be present. He is recovering from a debilitating stroke and is inspiring everyone with his courage, his happiness in the face of disability and his commitment to a practice of love. I want to learn how to persevere and have equanimity in the face of suffering and weakness.
What’s the story behind your latest book?
The Obsidian Temple is the second book in the Desert Rising series. Sulis and her great feline Djinn return, getting swept up in a prophecy and the secrets the desert contains. Her twin Kadar is entangled in the plight of his Forsaken love as the city of Illian erupts in turmoil
Tell us your writing process.
I nail my butt down in my chaise lounge at 11am for either four hours or 1,500 words (whichever comes first) five or more days a week. I start by rereading and editing what I wrote the day before and then continue writing the story. At the end of the book I ignore it a couple weeks, then rewrite.
What tips can you can share with aspiring & upcoming authors to get the word out about their book?
It does not work to let other people monopolize your writing time. There is a myth that if you are a writer you can write any time you want, and you don’t need a set schedule. This isn’t true – your creativity will peak at certain times and that is when you need chain yourself to the laptop. No matter if a friend needs you to run an errand, or someone wants to do lunch – you must be the professional and say no. No one will take you seriously as a writer until you take your writing time seriously.
When did you realize you wanted to be a writer?
In college. I’d always gotten praise for my stories in the lower grades, but I didn’t know anyone who was a writer and never saw it as a profession someone like me could do. In college I realized writers were just people with vivid imaginations and dreams like me.
Tell us about your main character:
Sulis is tempestuous and headstrong – but her confidence can be her downfall. She hates being forced into things and will resist even if it is what she really wants. Kadar, her twin, is much milder but loves strongly and isn’t willing to give up on those he loves.
What are you working on next?
I am working on the concluding novel of the Desert Rising trilogy and rewriting a comedic fantasy novel to send out to publishers.
Do you have any special/extraordinary talents?
I can mesmerize people into relaxing deeply just by moderating my voice and speaking softly.
Who are your favorite authors?
I love Sharon Shinn, Lois McMaster Bujold, Lynn Flewelling, Ilona Andrews, Charles DeLint to name a few of hundreds of authors I read.
What do you like to do with your free time?
Read! Hike outdoors. Practice yoga and meditation.
Tell us about your plans for upcoming books.
The Obsidian Temple is out July 21st in digital, with the paperback to follow in August. The third book in the Desert Rising series releases Spring 2016.
Any final thoughts?
Thanks so much for having me here today!