And to close this month’s IceyPick, I bring you Kelly Keaton!
Kelly Keaton: It’s super hard to choose just one, and I think my answer would change every day. I wouldn’t mind being the one who wrote The Chronicles of Narnia. Just being inside of C.S. Lewis’s head for a day would be staggering!
IceyBooks: Were you a write from a very young age?
Kelly Keaton: Yes! I wrote my first story in the 1st grade. It was about a watermelon who could talk and was friends with a young girl. Even when I was a toddler, I’d tell the most incredible tales. I’d get so emotionally invested, that I’d cry when telling the sad parts or angry or happy…
IceyBooks: Now that your YA debut is “out there” is there anything you would like to change, given the opportunity?
Kelly Keaton: I could constantly change things or pick at my work. Most authors are like that, I think. But that being said, I’m happy with the story I told and wouldn’t change how events unfolded or what happened.
IceyBooks: What’s your favorite color? Would you die your hair that color?
Kelly Keaton: I love smoky blue colors and deep, deep reds. I’d definitely dye my hair, but maybe not entirely in those colors – highlights for sure. I’ve had black hair, almost every shade of red and brown… I haven’t experimented with blonde yet, but maybe that’ll be my next hair dying frontier!
IceyBooks: How did you find your agent? How long did it take you?
Kelly Keaton: My agent was referred to me by my critique partner. I’ll have been with her for two years this coming summer. My previous agent.. it took me about three years of submitting and writing book after book to finally write something that peaked interest!
IceyBooks: What’s your advice to young aspiring writers?
Kelly Keaton: Keep writing! Study the books you love. Read. A lot. There are a ton of great writing books out there, but you have to read, have to get a feel for how stories flow and build, how characters are drawn and how they speak and grow as individuals. And write through the crap. It’s OKAY to write sucky sentences and paragraphs. You can go back and fix them. More importantly, you will have something to fix. The biggest thing is to get through your story to a finished draft. I think young writers can get caught up in details — how long a book should be, what font to use, how long chapters are, if you should outline or not outline, and that can really psyche you out and make it difficult to proceed. Just write. Finish a story. Get comfortable with going from a beginning to an end. Visit places like Absolute Write Water Cooler forums to learn about the business and hook up with other writers. And know and accept that rejections will come. Stephen King and J.K Rowling were rejected, too. Hang in there and don’t give up!
IceyBooks: What is the most recent YA novel you read? Did you like it?
Kelly Keaton: Melissa Marr’s Fragile Eternity. Love her writing!
IceyBooks: Thanks for joining us, is there anything else you would like to add?
Kelly Keaton: Thanks for having me, Hafsah, and big warm-and-fuzzy thanks to you and all the readers out there for their comments and support. You guys have made this such a wonderful experience and I’m very grateful to you all for taking the time to read my work.
Those of you who entered Review it, Redesign it, and/or Blurb it,
now’s your chance to Win it!
The first two winners will receive finished copies of Darkness Becomes Her
The third winner will receive Darkness Becomes Her swag.