Describe yourself in five words – Independent, quiet, impatient, happy, committed
What fact about yourself would really surprise people? I had a job once as a church secretary.
How do you work through self-doubts and fear? Drink alcohol.
What scares you the most? Never being able to drive a vehicle again.
What makes you happiest? Finishing a novel.
Why do you write? I get excited when I get a new idea I think would work.
Have you always enjoyed writing? Yes.
What motivates you to write? When I write a chapter or scene, I email it to a couple of retirees that I know from the post office. They love to read and have more free time. After they read something, they email me back, saying how great it was and how involved they are in the plot. It is the biggest motivator, because I feel that I have got to continue the story and see what they think about it.
What writing are you most proud of? .My time travel novel, now in production. It’s the most original idea I have ever gotten.
What are you most proud of in your personal life? My happy marriage.
What books did you love growing up? Mary Higgins Clark mysteries
What do you hope your obituary will say about you? Local Author with the number of novels I had published.
Location and life experiences can really influence writing, tell us where you grew up and where you now live? We moved a few times – Peoria, Illinois but in different areas. My mom and dad were split and they both moved a couple of times, putting us in four or five houses between them. I went from a neighborhood with other kids, riding my bicycle up and down the road to moving out in the country, secluded with no neighbors, and on a highway, so riding my bike was out of the question.
How did you develop your writing? Started with short stories as a teen, just messing around when I was bored, then longer stories as I got into my twenties and finally, a full length novel at the age of 40.
What is hardest – getting published, writing or marketing? Marketing, because it’s hard to be known.
What marketing works for you? Having my books available everywhere, ebook, internet, book stores, libraries etc.
Is your family supportive? Do your friends support you? My friends definitely do. They love reading what I write as I’m writing it. My family tends to just be hush up about it. Maybe they don’t like what I write, because they feel they are part of the characters, or they are surprised by the content of my stories (language, violence, etc).
What else do you do, other than write? I work as a clerk for the U.S. Postal Service and work out regularly at a local health and recreation club.
What other jobs have you had in your life? Mostly office work – Kelly Temporary Services sent me all over Peoria. I also worked as a secretary/receptionist at a church and I was a data entry clerk at Bard Optical in Peoria before starting at the post office over twenty years ago.
If you could study any subject at university what would you pick? Journalism or multi-media.
If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be? Orange County, California
Tell us about your family? My family is mostly split – my parents divorced way back before I remember and I have an older brother and an older sister who are 7-8 years my senior. I have two sweet nieces from my brother and I’ve been married for six years.
How do you write – lap top, pen, paper, in bed, at a desk? lap top or computer, because I am a fast typist. I only write on paper when I am at work and have to jot down ideas or plot points.
How much sleep do you need to be your best? .6-8 hours.
Is there anyone you’d like to acknowledge and thank for their support? Yes! Kathy Orten, Laurie Smith and Tanya Olds – three retirees who have shown me the most support a local author could ever have! From making signs to reading my manuscripts, I would not be where I am today if not for these ladies.
Every writer has their own idea of what a successful career in writing is, what does success in writing look like to you? Being known all over.
It is vital to get exposure and target the right readers for your writing, tell us about your marketing campaign? The right readers are hard to target, because I have many of all ages. I advertise mostly on the internet, because I have tried newspaper ads and book signings and neither have worked. Book trailers, Twitter and Facebook and my own website have been my main marketing, except for what my publishers have done.
Tell us about your new book? Why did you write it? Summer Shack was a book that I basically started just for fun. It’s a throwback to the different types of short stories I wrote as a teen. It’s predecessor, Nightmare At Camp Forrestwood, was also a throwback. I did not expect to publish Summer Shack. It was just going to be for fun, but then as I wrote and had my friends read what I had written, they ended up loving the characters.
When you are not writing, how do you like to relax? With a glass of wine and the shows I DVR (Bates Motel, Dateline and 48 Hours Mystery).
What do you hope people will take away from your writing? How will your words make them feel?
I want my stories to grab them and give them a jolt near the ending.
Thank you Kelli for your exciting answers! It’s a pleasure reading your interview. To all those reading this post, feel free to join our book trailer release event here https://www.facebook.com/events/313025572187912/?ref=3&ref_newsfeed_story_type=regular