Author Interview: KM Kelly

The Bookshelf Café Interview – KM Kelly

Are there any books or authors that inspired you to become a writer?

My greatest inspiration was my father, who sadly passed away before I was ever published, so he never knew that I had followed in his footsteps. Like me he had two books published along with numerous short stories, and he also wrote poetry. I wish I could have shared my writing journey with him.

Have you ever considered writing under a pseudonym, and why or why not?

Not really a pseudonym but I do write under two different versions of my name. I write both Science Fiction and thrillers. The science fiction is published under Kate Kelly, and the thrillers under KM Kelly. But this doesn’t only reflect the difference in genres. I’m a hybrid author. I have a traditional book deal for my thriller, The Sleepers. However I’m planning to self publish my Science Fiction. I recently got my rights back for Red Rock, my YA Cli-Fi which was traditionally published ten years ago and I’ve used its re-release to make my first foray into the world of self publishing.

Have you ever travelled as research for your book?

All the time. I don’t like writing about places I haven’t been – with the exception of the moon or outer space – but for places here on Earth I like to visit them so I can capture those small telling details, the smells and the sounds. Writing research is as good an excuse for travel as any! And whenever I visit somewhere new I’m always thinking about how I can incorporate it into a story one day.

How do you process and deal with negative book reviews?

I try not to let them bother me. I write flawed characters and, like with people in the real world, some are going to relate to them and others may well dislike them. A negative review is only one person’s opinion. If I want to make myself feel a bit better about them I look at all the one star reviews for one of my favourite authors, just to remind myself how subjective they are.

Have pets ever gotten in the way of your writing?

Yes, and they’re doing it now! I have two cats and whenever I sit down to write my keyboard suddenly happens to be in the exact spot where they want to sit. They are quite put out when I push them off!

Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?

Ideas are all around us. We just have to learn to look. They can be in the strangest places – a snippit of conversation overheard on a bus, a weird artefact in a museum, a quirky story on the news. Once you start to notice them you can’t stop.

How do you use social media as an author?

I’m particularly bad a social media. Some people are really good at using it as a marketing tool, but I’ve yet to work out what works best for me. At the moment I’m trying to focus on Instagram where you can find me as @KM_Kelly_Author.

What advice would you give to a writer working on their first book?

Write the book you want to read. Don’t try to follow trends. Listen to criticism but learn to only act on what works for you. Read books on the craft of writing. Attend workshops, they’re lots of fun. Meet other writers who are the same stage in their writing journey as you. But above all write. The more you write the better you become.

What books have you read more than once in your life?

Every so often I come across a book that I enjoy so much that I’m compelled to revisit it and experience it all over again. The most recent book I read for a second time was The Second Sleep by Robert Harris. I’ve always been a big fan of his work but this book is a bit of a departure from his usual historical writing, being set in the future.

What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

I’m a very outdoorsy type of person and I’m never happier than when I’m out exploring the woods and the hills. I do a lot of walking, and watersports, and I’m a keen runner as well. But one particular interest I have is genealogy. I’ve become fascinated with my great grandfather who was a sailor from Antigua and I’ve been following his adventures across the world. I can see a research trip to Antigua happening soon!

Author Bio and Links

KM Kelly was born in Scotland but grew up running wild in the woods and fields of East Devon. 

Her YA novel. Red Rock, was published in 2013 and she is now in the process of reissuing it, so dipping her toe into the world of self-publishing. She also writes thrillers, one of her favourite genres, and believes she has found her niche. The Sleepers is published by Bloodhound Books.

She lives in Dorset with her family and when she is not writing can be found exploring the remoter stretches of the Southwest Coast Path. 

Website/Blog: The Scribbling Sea Serpent

Twitter: @gabbrogirl

Instagram @KM_Kelly_Author

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