Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Kelli's "You Gotta Read" Interview - Part 1

Hi everyone,
This week I'm sharing Part 1 of my recent interview with You Gotta Read Reviews. The interview/guest blog appeared online at: on Friday, July 8, 2011.

I talked about my books, the writing process, and more. Here's an excerpt:

1. Where do you hail from? What do you love most about your hometown?

I was born in New Jersey, but I was raised in a small town in upstate New York. Voorheesville was very rural and there wasn’t a lot to do, so I became an avid reader at a young age. Our house was on the outskirts of town. We had a creek in the back yard, and my brother and I used to go wandering up into the mountains to explore. Living there helped fuel my imagination and inspired some of my short stories.

2. As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up? How has that childhood dream affected your current career?

Even as a child, I was always reading and writing stories. So I knew that writing/publishing was in my blood. I never really thought about a career, but I knew I could write, edit, and proofread. Most people thought I’d end up being a librarian, but I’m a copywriter by day and writer by night.

3. What do you do for fun?

I enjoy traveling, gardening, reading, going to flea markets, hanging out with my husband, and visiting friends. I also like to explore creepy/haunted places.

4. How has your environment/ upbringing colored your writing?

Growing up in rural NY (in the woods, as I sometimes say) helped me understand small town life, and get a great respect for nature. When I want to tap into the horror side of my imagination, I think about how it was to grow up in an environment where houses were far apart, there were no streetlights, and you could drive into really creepy and desolate areas and not see any people. Most of my short horror fiction takes place in small towns (usually on or around Halloween). Autumn is my favorite season, and Halloween is my favorite holiday!

5. Tell us about your latest book. Do you have anything new in the works and can you tell us a bit about it?

My latest Amber Quill Press romance is called Four Days with Jack. It’s my thirteenth romance, but my first gay romance. This contemporary story takes place at a tropical resort and explores the budding relationship of two best friends. Here’s the full plot summary and link:


When David invited his best friend along on vacation, he never expected them to fall in love…

Spending four days in a tropical paradise with Jack is a dream come true. For years, David lived a lie and denied his attraction to Jack. Now that they’re together in an isolated Caribbean resort, he finally sheds his denial and admits what he really wants—to be Jack’s lover.

Jack is more than willing to introduce David to the life he has always fantasized about. Their sizzling nighttime encounters confirm David’s long-hidden desires. But what will happen when they leave the resort? Will David sacrifice everything to start a new life with Jack? Or will he go back to his old ways and risk losing the best friend he ever had?

The book link is:

In April, Amber Quill Press released my contemporary romance A Perfect Match. Here’s a bit about the book (and the link):


Falling for the wrestler she had been assigned to interview wasn’t part of Danni’s plan, until Vinnie Valentine pinned her heart in a flash.

Disgruntled with her job as the office gopher for a national sports magazine, Danni Stone impersonates a reporter to prove herself to her boss. Her assignment? Spend thirty days on the road with Vinnie Valentine, a sexy professional wrestler.

Life isn’t going well for the Heavyweight Champ. Vinnie is struggling with a manipulative boss, prepping for the most important match of his career, and feuding with his arch-enemy, Thorn. The last thing he needs is a nosy reporter following him around—even if she is hot.

Thrown together in close quarters, Danni can’t help falling for Vinnie. Their mutual attraction grows, and Danni gives in to the lustful feelings she’s repressed for years. As their relationship deepens, she finds herself drawn into Vinnie’s world and becomes a key player in his title bout. But before Danni can tell Vinnie that she isn’t the reporter she claims to be, he discovers her deception. Her lie threatens to destroy everything between them. Is their fragile, newfound love destined to fail, or are they a perfect match?

The book link is:

6. How did you come up with the title for your book(s)?

Titles are tricky! Sometimes I’ll know the title before I start writing the story. That happened with several titles: Four Days with Jack, Beauty & the Bigfoot, Trust with Hearts, Dalton’s Temptation, and Confessions of a Vampire’s Lover. Other times, I won’t know the title until I’m almost ready to send the book out! Usually I’ll have a few ideas for a title, based on the characters, the setting, or theme, and I take a survey of my writing friends and family to see which one they like best.

7. Have you ever used contemporary events or stories “ripped from the headlines” in your work?

So far I haven’t used any contemporary events in my romances. Many of my romances are in the fantasy genre, but I incorporate universal themes into the storylines (love, trust, forgiveness, etc.).

8. How much of your work is real? How much is fantasy?

99% of my romances are fantasy. When I get an idea for a story, I start writing an outline and let the characters tell me what happens as the story progresses. Since I’m writing fiction I can make up whatever I want. There are two exceptions, however. When I wrote Beauty & the Bigfoot, I did research on Bigfoot, so I could incorporate the facts into my story. (A main character is an avid Bigfoot hunter, so he had to know everything about the creature.) In A Perfect Match (my wrestling romance) I called upon my own personal experiences and observations to convey what life is like in the world of professional wrestling.

9. Is there anything you find particularly challenging about writing?

Coming up with ideas for my stories is the fun part of writing. The challenging part is sitting down and doing the work that comes next: the revising, editing, and proofreading of a manuscript. That part of the process isn’t hard, it’s just not creative. You have to turn off the imagination part of your brain and get to work on the technical aspects of writing.

Next week, I'll share part 2. But until then... if you have questions about writing, my books, or have a blog topic you'd like me to address, follow the blog and sign in with a comment!

Happy Reading,


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