Kelly Hall: I've always been a dabbler with different forms of art and expression including writing poems and short stories. I also admired other writer's stories and wanted to give it a try. So I just decided one day to try and write something that was more than a few pages long and it turned into a novel. After that I was hooked. I've always loved anything spooky and so writing paranormal just seemed natural.
LBBB: How long did it take for you to write your first book?
K.H.: Years. I say years because I started on The Legend of the Light Keeper in 2009, thought I finished it, and then once I realized those characters had more to say, I began writing the other books in the Light Keeper series. Being a series, I tend to get ideas in the middle of a book that make it necessary to go back and rewrite things on the first. I'm still writing on the series. It was the hardest thing to finally publish that first installment. It meant that I could no longer go and add to that story. But I do feel the story is what it needs to be and I'm very excited to be releasing the next book in the series in the summer.
LBBB: How do you come up with ideas for your stories?
K.H.: Sometimes an idea will come to me in a dream or just hit me out of the blue. I usually picture the main character in my head and then ask myself what their story is. Many times characters will just start telling me, and then I know I'm in the zone and I better write it down.
LBBB: What is your writing routine like? Do you have a set schedule or are you flexible?
K.H.: I'd love to say that I schedule it out and just sit down and let the magic happen, but that just isn't the case. I try to write a little every day, and that includes polishing some of my work, so I'm not always creating, but I'm always productive. Even if it's just a little, it adds up. I really love working out scenes in my head and will often focus on one particular part when I'm doing other things like decorating cakes, doing laundry, or taking my morning walk. I work it out in my head and then once I have it, I run to write it down before I forget it.
LBBB: What inspires you to write?
K.H.: I pull inspiration from everything around me. People, places, art, music, nature, colors, sounds. There is a story in everything, you just have to listen to it and write it down.
LBBB: Are any of your stories written from personal experience, or any character traits that mirror yours?
K.H.: I think there are traces of me in most of my characters. I mean, I created them, so I had to have bled into them somehow. I haven't ever deliberately written myself into a book as a character or used a specific personal situation, but I do think that it's impossible to deny that my life's experiences have shaped my creativity in some way.
LBBB: When in a slump, what do you do? If you read or listen to music, what are your go-to books or music?
K.H.: For a writing slump, I try to go back and read what I've written and see if that helps the characters to start talking to me again. If they don't then at least I've done some polishing and made progress. Then I will either try to start something new, or focus on a scene that I want to work on. Taking it little by little helps when the creative flow isn't steady.
LBBB: How do you respond to negative feedback/comments with your work?
K.H.: I think that authors can learn from constructive criticism but I don't think that's a negative thing at all. If it helps an author grow and learn then it's very much a positive, even if it isn't what I necessarily want to hear.
LBBB: What is your writing space like? Do you work anywhere or do you have a special place just for your writing? Messy or clean?
K.H.: I like to sit in my big cushy chair with my favorite quilt, laptop, and some iced tea with lemon. It helps to keep the phone and remote handy and I have a cat that loves to help me now and then by running across my keyboard or brushing against the touch-screen. I will say it can get pretty cluttered around me when I'm in my mode.
LBBB: Do you have a favorite author? Series?
K.H.: I have two that I am very fond of. I love Cassandra Clare and The Mortal Instrument series, and J.R. Ward and The Black Dagger Brotherhood series. If I could, I'd love to spend a day with either of those authors annoying the crap out of them by asking a million questions.
LBBB: Any fur-babies?
K.H.: I have two. I have a very old miniature chihuahua and a new kitty cat who I rescued back in the fall when his mother abandoned him under my house. Both are spoiled rotten.
LBBB: Thanks for stopping by and letting us pick your brain!
When she’s not busy writing, or spending time with her husband and two sons, this self-proclaimed creative junkie dabbles in many different forms of art, including cake decorating and mixed media.
Learn more about Kelly at authorkellyhall.com