Kelly Gay, an author of urban fantasy books, has answered some questions about herself and her writing.
Why did you pick this genre to write in? Is it the genre you read most from? I don’t really think of genre before I start writing. I write whatever story is in my head at the time, though I naturally lean toward paranormal, fantasy, and strong heroines. Once I had the world and characters in my mind for THE BETTER PART OF DARKNESS, I knew immediately that the story would fit best in urban fantasy. I read a lot of UF, but not when I’m writing rough drafts in the same genre. I like to have a clear head when I write new material, so I’ll switch to paranormal or contemporary romance, straight fantasy, or young adult. I love historical fiction and anything with a paranormal vibe.
I noticed on your website that you have had a plethora of jobs that are in all different areas. Can you list some of those? Do you think any of those jobs gave you ideas or story lines for your writing? Yeah, I’ve had a few odd jobs for sure! I’ve done many different jobs in construction, working for my dad—framing houses, roofing, driving backhoes and dump trucks. I worked at bookstores, movie theaters, in retail, at restaurants… But none were as fun as working with horses. I managed barns, groomed for show riders, and watched over foals at a breeding farm. Oddly enough, none of them really gave me inspiration for stories, but a lot of the jobs allowed me to day dream and stew on story ideas so that I could write later when I got home.
What path did you take to becoming a writer? The long one. J It took over a decade of writing, first screenplays and plays, and then fiction to finally get published. I have piles of scripts and about six or seven novels stacked in my office. My rejection pile might even rival my manuscript pile. My path consisted of writing manuscripts, honing my craft, submitting to agents and editors, pitching at conferences, and entering contests. I had some successes and near-misses, but it wasn't until 2008 that I finally sold to Pocket.
What is your writing schedule like? Do you write full time now or hold a job in addition to your writing career? I have three books contracted (the sequel to THE BETTER PART OF DARKNESS, and then two young adults novels with Simon Pulse that I’m writing as Kelly Keaton), so I work full-time now on the writing. I usually work from 9 AM until 4 PM, writing new material in the mornings and editing in the afternoons, unless I’m under deadline for something, then I’ll focus on what’s needed. The biggest adjustment has been managing my time and being self disciplined.
What has been your experience in the publishing world? Positive/Negative? Definitely positive. I consider myself incredibly lucky to have teamed up with the folks at Pocket. They are talented, down to earth, fun people to work with.
What upcoming projects do you have? The sequel to THE BETTER PART OF DARKNESS is up next. It’s called THE DARKEST EDGE OF DAWN, and releases Aug. 31, 2010. Then, in Spring of 2011, my first young adult book, a dark post-apocalyptic urban fantasy set in New Orleans, will debut under my penname, Kelly Keaton.
If you could meet one author for dinner, who would it be? Herodotus. Ancient history geek, here. I’d be in heaven, sitting down and chatting with the author we call the Father of History.
Do you have fascinating hobbies or guilty pleasures? My guilty pleasure is online role playing games. Massive time sinks, but I love to veg out and go running through some fantastical landscape as a mythological being and battle things. It’s very therapeutic!