Hello, everyone and happy Monday! I sincerely hope you are all doing well! I am delighted to bring you all a Coffee interview with a brand new author! I have only just ‘met’ Kelly, but I am certain I have found a new friend for life! I am posting the review on her book this coming Thursday, but you can enter on THIS post to get a chance to win a paperback copy! So please take a few moments to read and comment!
Kelly: Hi Paula Marie! Thank you so much for having me on your blog. I look forward to chatting with you and your readers today! I’m so glad you are enjoying A Love Restored. Yes, I often feel I should have been born 150 years ago. My husband on the other hand, doesn’t have as much faith in me that I could survive without servants. He teases me and says, “you might like reading about Caroline Ingalls, but you wouldn’t want to live her life.” Maybe, but I’d sure like to give it a try!
Paula Marie: Ha, your husband sounds like mine! He tells me just think about the outhouse, lol!! What are you reading for fun right now?
Kelly: I’ve been reading For Love of Liberty by Julie Lessman. She is one of my all-time favorite historical romance authors. No one writes a kiss like Julie!
Paula Marie: Oh, I love her too! The Daughters of Boston was one of my favorite series! I will need to check this new one out! Have you always known you had the writing bug (and ability)?
Kelly: Truthfully, I never saw it coming. So many writers I’ve talked to have wanted to be a writer since they were a child. Many have drawers full of half-written manuscripts. Me? Not so much. I had always enjoyed writing papers for my college classes, but I NEVER considered writing fiction. I’d been a successful in-home childcare provider for nearly twenty years, but I knew in my heart it was time to move on to something new. My husband and I began praying for God to give me a new direction, a new passion in my life I would undeniably know He’d planted in my heart. On a whim, I began tinkering with story writing and it didn’t take long for my secret hobby to become my God-given passion!
Paula Marie: That is pretty impressive, Kelly! I cannot imagine doing a major life change that way, took a great deal of courage and faith on your part, I am sure! I saw on your website that Little House on The Prairie was one of your favorite shows (mine as well), and I was wondering if you had read the books when you were younger? If not, what was your favorite reading material as a teen?
Kelly: My uncle gave me the complete Little House series, but I only read Little House in the Big Woods and Little House on the Prairie as a child. I didn’t read the entire series until I was in my thirties. As a teenager, I enjoyed reading James Michener, John Jakes and Herman Wouk.
Paula Marie: That’s awesome, I love that you went back to them in your thirties! I enjoyed them as a child, myself, and still catch the show on when I can! With your busy family, when do you find the time to write? Where is your favorite place to write?
Kelly: After a lifetime of being the quintessential night owl, I’ve become a morning person. Gasp! I’m usually up between 4:45 and 5:00 a.m. I’ve been very productive writing at this time as there a few distractions. And quite honestly, I’m not getting up that early to do laundry or clean the bathroom so I tend to stay pretty focused and on task. I don’t have a particular place that I usually write, “have laptop, will travel.” LOL! In the morning, I tend to write at the kitchen table so I don’t disturb hubby who is still sleeping. Later in the morning I might be found in the recliner, the desk in my bedroom, or the back porch if the weather permits.
Paula Marie: I am having just the opposite happening lately with me, was a morning person and now I don’t want to get up til 8am, how odd. What is your favorite activity when not writing?
Kelly: Other than reading? I like to play Euro-style board games with my friends and family, take long walks with my dog, Levi, and venture to various historical landmarks with hubby.
Paula Marie: I will be googling Euro style board games when we are done here, lol! I love to hear how different authors write, some have a clear path of how the book will go, others put their fingers to the keyboard and let the characters run with it, and I know of ones who plot out each chapter with the major events then go back and “fill in” the rest. What would you call your writing style?
Kelly: I’m definitely more of a panster than a plotter, which is surprising to me because I’m a fairly organized, list-making type of gal in every other area of my life. When an idea hits, I write down any thoughts I have which usually don’t amount to much more than the story beginning. I do some character sketches where I let the characters tell me their back story. This process helps me to understand their deepest fears and vulnerabilities as well as their internal and external goals. I often do some basic research on setting then get started, stopping to do more research depending on where the story leads. If I get stuck, I brainstorm ideas with my husband and some great writing friends who live nearby.
Paula Marie: I bet you carry around a notebook or sticky pad, don’t you? I keep a notebook with me at all times for when inspiration hits! What was your inspiration for A Love Restored?
Kelly: A Love Restored is based on my true-life love story with my husband, Mike—all of our ups and downs, including our emotionally devastating break up. Like my full-figured heroine, Ruth Ann, I’ve struggled with weight issues my entire life. That struggle plays an important part in our story. My own journey to self-acceptance, as well as what a loving God will do to grab a stubborn woman’s attention, are pivotal to the story line.
Paula Marie: I struggle with weight issues myself, my doctors cannot understand it either. They tell me I have the “numbers” (blood pressure sugar, cholesterol, etc) of the healthiest 25 year old though! What is one thing about you that your readers would be shocked to know?
Kelly: I haven’t said much about this on social media so here it is for your readers to find out first. They might be shocked to learn that I have lost nearly 100 pounds. I cannot believe I just typed that. In the fall of 2016, I was diagnosed with the complete trifecta of high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes. I cried. Not sure how I’d allowed myself to put on so much weight, I felt completely hopeless. You see, I’d lost weight on many occasions only to gain it back and then some. I’d sort of resigned myself to living life as an extremely overweight person. But God had other plans for me. He has been teaching me a great deal about faith and believing in myself and more importantly, in Him. I still have a ways to go, but I’m confident that the progress I’ve made is permanent. And BTW, the doctors are so happy with me, they’ve already lowered my medications and are talking about taking me off a couple of them! God is so good! Amen!
Paula Marie: Oh my gosh! That is amazing! I am so glad that you were able to do that, and that the medications are already being lowered! Since you are a fan of historical times, can you name one modern convenience you could live perfectly fine without – AND – one you could NOT live without?
Kelly: If I traveled back in time I could easily part company with my hairdryer as I’ve learned to embrace my natural curly hair (it only took 53 years) but I sure would miss our gas furnace that keeps our house toasty warm in winter!
Paula Marie: That is so funny, more we have in common! I am 53 and seriously just learned to embrace my wild curls as well! How can your fans keep in touch with you and your news?
Kelly: Signing up for my newsletter is probably the best way to find out what’s coming down the pike for me and my writing. When readers sign up, they’ll receive a copy of my husband’s sugar cookie recipe that inspired the baking scene in A Love Restored.
Paula Marie: Well, sign me up, I need that recipe! Finally….Coffee? Tea? Cream? Sugar?
Kelly: Hope this doesn’t get me banned from a return trip to Fiction Full of Faith, but I’m totally tea all the time. I don’t like the smell of coffee, let alone the taste. Earl Grey is probably my favorite tea, but I also enjoy Constant Comet, Cinnamon, Mint and well just about any black tea blend. No cream or sugar, just stevia. If I meet a friend at the local coffee shop, my go to drink is chai tea latte with skim milk, hot or iced.
Paula Marie: Ha! I don’t know, Kelly, I may have to think about letting you back…….just kidding! I love tea as well, but could not live without coffee!
Kelley has also GENEROUSLY offered to have a free ~*Giveaway*~ to one of our blog members (USA only) !! Simply comment on this post and let us now what your favorite cookie is to be entered to receive the Paperback PRINT Copy of A Love Restored! Giveaway is open for seven days from today and winner will be notified via email!