Thank you so much for being here, Collin Kelley
1: What genre do you write?
I write poetry and fiction. My two novels, Conquering Venus and the recently released Remain In Light, are both mystery and suspense – with a poetic twist, of course.
2: How long have you been writing?
I started writing when I was a child. My parents taught me to read and write very early. I always read far above my grade level. I got into poetry in high school, dabbled in fiction, but poetry came first. My first novel was Conquering Venus and I started writing it in the late ‘90s but it wasn’t published until 2009.
3: What do you like the most and least about writing?
I wish I could hire a publicity team to do all the marketing, because it seriously eats into my writing time, but that’s the way of the writing world these days. You have to wear several hats to be an author now. The process of creating, honing and editing – sitting in front of the computer and watching the story progress – has always been my favorite part of writing.
4: What do you for fun and relaxation when not writing?
I’m a voracious reader, so when I’m not writing I’m reading. I also love to travel and watch movies, both of which inspire my writing. Some nights I just vegetate on the couch and listen to music.
5: Which authors do you like to read?
I have so many favorites – Margaret Atwood, Jeanette Winterson, Don DeLillo, Toni Morrison, Alice Walker, John Irving, Anne Sexton, Walt Whitman, Raymond Carver, Ray Bradbury. I could go on and on.
6: What’s the one thing you’d most like people to know about you?
When it comes to writing, I’m a rule breaker. While my novels are mysteries, there’s also healthy doses of magical realism, poetry, and paranormal thrown into the mix. I don’t like to be boxed in by genres.
7: Tell me about your current novel, where I can find it?
Remain In Light is about a Parisian widow, Irène Laureux, whose husband was murdered during the student and worker riots in 1968. She’s been looking for his killer for 30 years and finally catches up with him with the help of American expat writer, Martin Paige. But finding the killer reveals a much larger conspiracy. There’s crooked cops, detectives with questionable motives and stolen identities. The ebook version came out in October from Vanilla Heart Publishing and is available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Smashwords. The print version will be out in January.
8: Do you have any tips for aspiring authors?
Explore all your options. The need for an agent and big-name publisher has gone the way of the dinosaur. Embrace indie presses, self-publishing and get involved with social media to promote your work directly to readers. Many writers don’t want to deal with Facebook, Twitter and blogs, but they are vital to success as a writer.
9: Do you base your characters on real-life people?
Yes, but they are usually composites of several people I know. I usually warn my friends before a book comes out that I’ve barrowed some trait or catchphrase. Everyone’s been flattered – so far.
10: How did you come up with the idea for this book?
The Venus Trilogy was inspired by a trip I took to London and Paris in 1995. It was an amazing experience and I got to meet some very interesting people and immerse myself in the cultures. Paris is usually portrayed as a city of love and romance, but it has a dark underbelly that most tourists never see. I wanted to look beyond the guidebooks and explore the Paris that is just beneath the surface of the postcards. As the character Irène Laureux says, “This city is not always full of light.”
11: What are you currently working on?
I’ve finished a new poetry collection and I’m doing research for a memoir about all my travels in London and the UK. Then I’ll turn my attention to the third book in The Venus Trilogy.
12. Is there anything else you’d like us to know about you?
I’m a sci-fi geek. I love Doctor Who, Star Wars, X-Files, Fringe and anything that has an alternate reality spin to it. One day, I’m going to write a big sci-fi epic.
13. Where can we find you? Website? Blog?
on Facebook at facebook.com/collinkelleywriter
I also encourage readers and authors to join Goodreads. It’s a great place to interact and find new things to read.
Youcan read the first four chapters of Remain in Light for free (no sign up or anything like that required) to get a taste of the novel at: