Today I am speaking with new author, Kirby Keller. We will follow Kirby's adventures while on her road to publication. My next post with Kirby will be in August when she returns from the RWA conference in New York.
CJ: Hello Kirby and thank you for joining me today. Tell us a little about yourself.
KK: I live in a sweet town in Northern Kentucky and plan to stay here all of my life. I’ve been married to my husband for 16 years and we have 4 beautiful daughters. These girls keep me on my toes, but they are precious, and tend to be an inspiration for me. My husband and I own a couple of businesses in a neighboring town. He sells and services emergency vehicles such as ambulances and fire trucks, and I run a graphic design shop. God has truly blessed my life.
CJ: When did you decide you wanted to try writing?
KK: I’ve always had a great love for reading. I took some creative writing classes in college, and wrote a short story, as well as some poetry in high school and college however, it never progressed any further than that. Until…one of my best friends, who happens to be a published author, took me with her to the RWA writer’s convention in Orlando, Florida, a couple of years ago. While we were there, my friend, Carly Jordynn, would come out of her classes and pass on to me all that she had learned. I felt compelled to begin writing being in that atmosphere among thousands of authors and hearing them speak of their experiences as I mingled with them, handing out Carly’s business cards while she was in class. It was kind of magical being there surrounded by books stacked to the ceiling, wanting to dive into most of them and begin reading. One day at lunchtime, I was sitting with Carly and suddenly a storyline popped into my head. I began shouting, “give me a napkin, quick!” I wrote down character names, plot lines and ideas for relationships immediately. It was as if the characters suddenly came alive in my head and were speaking to me. Now it seems that is how all of my work gets written.
CJ: What genre is the book you are currently writing?
KK: I am currently working on a Young Adult Sci-Fi/Fantasy. I’m resurrecting the classic alien story with a very modern twist.
CJ: Do you have a specific writing routine? If so, what is it?
KK: I’m not the kind of writer that can sit down in front of the computer every morning or every evening and try to crank out a certain number of words per day. As I mentioned before, the characters have to speak to me. They run the show. Sure, I can coax things along, but there have been many times when I have been blocked from writing for quite a while because the characters just aren’t speaking.
CJ: Do you research your plots/characters or do they just spring from your imagination?
KK: All plots and characters come directly from my imagination. It’s a mixed bag of crazy up in my head sometimes, so there is plenty of stuff to pull from.
CJ: Have you joined any writing organizations?
KK: Right now, I am a member of the RWA.
CJ: Will you go the traditional publishing route or the independent route?
KK: I’m not sure which route I will choose when time to look into publishing options. Both have their advantages, I’m sure. I currently have my hands in three different projects right now, so it may be a while before I am ready to consider publishing for one of three pieces.
CJ: Where were you when the ideas for your books came to you?
KK: As I mentioned before, I was in Orlando, Florida with my friend Carly when the idea for my first book came to mind. The book I am currently working on started with a dream. It was so real and very vivid. When I woke up I knew it was meant to be more than a dream. I got up and wrote it all down. The rest came in bits and pieces over several months. That drove me crazy. I’m still working on it. The third piece I may be working on for a very long time. It is a biography of sorts about my Aunt, her little family and her life as a missionary. It is a fascinating story and I can’t wait to see how it all ends.
CJ: Who is your favorite character from your book and why?
KK: I would say my favorite character from the book would have to be Tanner. Watching him evolve into the man he is becoming is an amazing journey. His relationship with Marley verses his relationship with Sarah (Rachel). How he interacts with Chloe, his sister. There’s more to Tanner than just a handsome face and the ability to fix things. He’s complex. I like that.
CJ: Do you have a title for your current work in progress?
KK: I do have a title for my current book, although it has changed three times already. It is titled “Surrender” for now. It may change again before it’s all over with.
CJ: Thank you for speaking with me today, Kirby.
We will talk with Kirby again in August to see where she is in her writing journey