Interview with Kelly Moran

Jen: This week we welcome Kelly Moran to Romancing the Book. Kelly, will you please share a short bio with us?
Kelly: Kelly Moran is an author of several published books, recipient of an Editor’s Choice Award for Outstanding Achievement, inducted into the Who’s Who Book of Americans, placed as a Finalist in the 2008 Best Books Award, a Finalist in the 2009 Indie Excellence Book Awards, a respected reviewer for Bookpleasures, a former staff writer for Poetic Monthly Magazine, and a Romance Writers of America member. She also interviews authors on her blog and offers Manuscript Critique Consultations. Though most of her family is in the Carolinas, she resides in Wisconsin with her husband, twin sons, and black lab.

Jen: Tell us about When the Leaves Stop Falling and where it’s available.
Kelly: When the Leaves Stop Falling is a contemporary romance about four friends, who are brought together by fate, and their only chance for happiness is to forgive. It placed as a Finalist in the 2008 Best Books Awards, and the Midwest Book Review said, “A deftly written story!”

BLURB: When Serena Edwards was given a terminal diagnosis, she both recognized and feared that it was time to return home. Probably there waiting for her, and madder than hell, was Jake Warner, the love of her life who never got over her leaving. But on the road home, Serena meets Courtney Morgan, a woman with such a horrific past that Serena knows it was destiny playing a hand in their encounter. As Courtney and Serena’s brother Austin grow close, and bit by bit Courtney comes out of her shell, Serena fights to give in to what her heart wants…Before it is too late.

It can be found at any online retailer, such as: BarnesNoble.com, Amazon.com, Target.com, etc.

Jen: At what age did you discover writing and when were you first published? Tell us your call story.
Kelly: *grin* call story. That sounds dirty. I first knew I wanted to be a writer when given a class assignment in third grade to write a short story. The teacher is still at that school and still has that story posted on her bulletin board. I also loved poetry, which is how I really began taking it more seriously, pouring over Brown and Wilcox and Poe, then writing my own. My first published book, Forty-Second Street, was released in 2001. It was horrible and, thankfully out of print now. I rewrote the story and am seeking an agent for it now. It’s called Summer’s Road- a contemporary romance.

Jen: Describe your writing in three words.
Kelly: huh. (Wait- does that count?) Idealistic. Succinct. Poetic.

Jen: How do you approach your writing? Do you plot or go with the flow?
Kelly: A bit of both. It typically starts with a first or last line, growing into characters that don’t shut up, and from there I draft a general time line for plot and events. Sometimes the characters follow that, sometimes they don’t.

Jen: What is it about the romance genre that appeals to you?
Kelly: Hmm, everything. The anticipation of will they or won’t they. The certainty that there will be a happy ending. That despite all odds, love does exist and can conquer all. That, in what can be such an unpleasant real world, there’s an escape to a place inside a book where it will all be okay. (There is the steamy love scenes too.)

Jen: How do you pick the character’s names?
Kelly: Baby name books. I know, I know. But seriously. The baby name books list the names, origins, and meanings… So I pick the one that best suits my characters personalities.

Jen: Do you become attached to your characters and have a hard time letting them go, or are you happy that their story is told and you can move on?
Kelly: On some level, I have such a hard time letting them go. They are in my head- arguing, talking, and plotting through the writing process- that I feel they are forever a part of me. And very much real. But, in saying that, I am so ecstatic when I’m done and they can go away to print, because there’s thousands more up there wanting to be heard. That makes me sound a bit schizophrenic, doesn’t it? Well, the very definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over, expecting different results. So I guess we authors are crazy.

Jen: Is there a genre that you’d like to write? Is there a genre you’ll probably stay away from and why?
Kelly: I wrote a literature novella that was published in January 2009 called Idle Thursday, told in first person from the viewpoint of a dead housewife. It placed as a Finalist in the 2009 Indie Excellence Book Awards. But I don’t think I’d ever write another in that genre. One time deal. I do also write children’s books. The Tiny Caterpillar and the Great Big Tree is on sale now, and my illustrator and I are working on a couple more. Other than children’s books, I will stick with romance. I know I will never write a historical romance, as I’ll never pull it off. I’ll stick with romantic suspense and contemporary romance.

Jen: Who has inspired you as an author?
Kelly: Loaded question. Inspiration comes from everywhere for me. A song, another book, a newscast, insomnia. What inspires me as an author is writers like Carla Neggers, who wrote her first book with her first child sitting in a bouncy on her desk, and Luanne Rice, who answers her Facebook posts and emails from her fans. Or authors like Lisa Dale, Sherrill Bodine, Larissa Ione, Karen Rose, Susan Crandall, Caridad Pineiro, and Susan Kearney (all of which I have interviewed on my blog) who are willing to talk to their readers and listen to what they say, besides writing spectacular books. That’s inspiring!

Jen: If you could travel back in time for one year, what time and place would you choose? And if you could only take 3 things with you, what would they be?
Kelly: Now you’re making me think too hard. I’d have to say I’d go to the 1830’s in Baltimore, Maryland, to meet Edgar Allen Poe. There was something dark and brilliant about him. I’d probably tell him that he was going to die under mysterious circumstances at age forty. I’d bring toilet paper (for obvious reasons), the book Complete Works of Edgar Allen Poe (published after his death- just to see what he’d say), and my laptop (to document it all.)

Jen: What did you do to celebrate your first book?
Kelly: I slept. Exciting, aren’t I? I, of course, called friends and family and shouted until I was hoarse, but then I went to sleep. I don’t sleep as well when finishing a book, and that was all the celebration I needed.

Jen: What’s the most interesting comment you have received about your books?
Kelly: More than once now I’ve heard people say that my books or stories are inspiring to them. That fascinates and stumps me, as I start out to be entertaining, and wind up inspiring. Go figure. I guess there could be worse things.

Jen: Where can you be found on the web?
Kelly: My site is www.authorkellymoran.com. My blog is authorkellymoran.blogspot.com.

I’m also on Facebook, Myspace, Goodreads, and Twitter.

Jen: Is there anything you’d like to ask our readers?
Kelly: If you read a first time author, whether you liked the book or not, would you buy another release from that author? Just curious. Most people, I find, like to stick to known authors.

Jen: Readers, Kelly is giving away a book package, complete with autographed copies of When the Leaves Stop Falling, Idle Thursday, and The Tiny Caterpillar and the Great Big Tree to one U.S. winner. To enter, first you need to leave a comment or question for Kelly. Then to finish your entry, you need to either leave your email address in your comment or send a message to contests.bookblog@gmail.com. The winner will be chosen on Sunday. June 20.