You've got to have a dream... if you don't have any big dreams, nothing happens. Ian Rush

Christie Kelley Interview Published on: 19, Apr 2017

Tell us a little bit about your life growing up. How many siblings did you have? What stereotype were you most like in high school (geek, nerd, jock, cheerleader, grunge/emo, etc)?

I come from a large family, 5 brother and 3 sister...yes, that's 8 siblings. So including spouses, nieces, nephews, and great-nieces/nephews, we're about 50 when we can all get together, which unfortunately doesn't happen very often. In high school, I was one of those who didn't have a clique but was friendly with just about anyone.

If you could choose any other profession besides writing, what would it be? It can be anything, as outrageous as 'superhero' or as tame as 'professional dog walker'.

I already have another profession so I'll stick with that one. I'm a business analyst and a former computer programmer. Not very exciting but it can be very interesting.

How much time do you set out to write in a day? Do you try to write all 7 days a week or do you like to take days off?

Being that I need to pay the mortgage, my writing day doesn't start until my day job ends. Most days, I'll get in an hour or two of writing/editing. I find editing a little easier to do on weekdays just because my mind is already in the logical mindset from work. Then on weekends, I'll spend 4-6 hours writing on Saturday and Sunday.

Do you have any strange habits or "rituals" you like to do whenever you write?

I don't really have any strange habits. I prefer writing on the screened porch because I like to have nature around me. The windows in my office are higher so I don't see much from my desk. In the winter, I tend to go out to Starbucks or Panera to get away from the cats who think I'm only there to let them out and right back inside.

Have either of your sons ever expressed any interest in writing or becoming an author?

My oldest definitely has the writer bug. When I was writing my second book, "Every Time We Kiss", I left my manuscript open while I was picking up my youngest from school. When I returned, I found an additional paragraph had been added, describing a dragon interrupting a wedding. Had I known my editor better at the time, I would have left it in for a laugh. Now that my son is grown, he is starting to think about writing. I can't wait to read what he writes.

What is your favourite place to eat and what is your favourite item on their menu?

A local Mexican restaurant that serves Chori Pollo, which is chicken and spicy sausage. Great now, I’m hungry.

When you're not writing or reading, what are some other things you like to do to pass the time?

In the warmer months, I enjoy gardening and working in the yard. I also love going for long walks. I find the walks really let my mind rests so I’m much more productive writing when I get home.

Who is one of your favourite characters that you've written? If you could go on a date with anyone of your characters, who would it be?

Of course, I love all of my characters so only picking one is difficult. I suppose, my favorite character is Somerton from Scandal of the Season. He was very complex and much harder to write than I expected. Because I found him so intriguing, I think he would be the one I would want to go on a date with.

You're on a deserted island you're allowed to have three other people with you. Who do you choose and why, given this criteria:- The first has to be a character from one of your favourite movies Darcy from Pride and Prejudice (either the Colin Firth or Matthew Macfadyen version) Why? Because he’s Darcy, of course. The second, any author or a character from a book you like One of my critique partners and a friend for over 17 years…Kathy Love (who is a fabulous author). I would bring Kathy because she’d keep me laughing, and she’d bring the wine. The third, a character from one of your books.

This may be cheating because the book isn’t out yet, but I’d bring Louisa Drake who's my readers first meet in The Cursed Countess. I’d bring Louisa because as a bluestocking, she’d bring the books. (Louisa’s story doesn’t have a title yet but it will be out in early summer.)

Was there any book that was particularly harder to write than the rest? Why?

Bewitching the Duke was tough only because it was an emotional time for me. I was newly separated. Trying to write romance when I wasn’t feeling it was very difficult.

After you publish a book, are you often satisfied with your work or do you find yourself wishing you'd done more or added or taken something out?

As long as I don’t reread the story, I’m satisfied. If I go back and reread the story, I will always find something I wish I could remove or add.

Do you relate to any one of your characters in any special way? Why?

There’s probably a little part of me in every character I write but I don’t think I relate to one more than the others. They’re like children and are all special to me.

What is your writing process like? Do you have any advice for aspiring writers out in the world?

Wait…I’m supposed to have a process? I’m a classic pantser. I have a general idea for where the story is going but the characters really write the story. I wish I could fully plot a story because I’m sure I’d be a faster writer, but it just doesn’t work for me. My advice for aspiring writers is simple. Sit in the chair and write the story. Don’t expect the first draft to be perfect. Don’t expect the second draft to be perfect. Find a critique partner or group you can trust. It’s very hard for a writer to see a plot hole or notice that you’ve used a word far too much. And “notice” is my current overused word.

What did you do with your first advance?

I wish I could say I went on an extravagant vacation, but I used most of it for advertising. The rest probably went to pay bills.

Do you manage your own book promotions and publicity on social media? How has your experience with AllAuthor been so far and would you recommend this website to other authors?

I do manage my own book promotion. So far, I’m impressed with AllAuthor and would recommend it to other authors. Thank you so much for the interview!

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