September 6th, 2019
I asked Kelsey where she would like to interview:
“The Coal Creek Coffee. One of those indie coffee shops that thrives in a small, college town. The smell of the fresh grounds cycles through the air in tides as person after person orders their morning coffee that they couldn’t even think about functioning without. The new adults who work behind the counter have their job down to a science, impressing even their baby boomer customers. Sure, the weird clothes and odd piercings make easy targets, but no one would even think about calling these millennials “lazy”.
We can’t order our hot chocolate or roast turkey pesto paninis with blue tortilla chips until the best table opens back up. It’s the one to the left of the front door, and it’s the best table because it’s right next to an outlet. Until that table opens up, we set on the green couch on the other side of the room. We wait and watch until the retired gentleman leaves his newspaper on the table and lumbers out of the building. Then we quickly snatch the table up, moving the paper back to the pile the greets customers at the door, near the water cooler.”
Laura Mae: What inspired you to enter the world of writing?
Kelsey Anne Lovelady: So, I had written a few little stories an fan fictions in my life, but I didn’t consider pursing it as a career until the end of Junior Year of High School. I had to write a story for my English Class with some Assigned parameters (genres, characters, general plot, and a location). I only had to write 3-5 pages… my story ended up being 15 pages long and my teachers LOVED it. They suggested that I take the creative writing class and submit the story to my school’s literary magazine. That’s how it all started.
L: How long have you been writing for?
K: The first story I wrote, I wrote when I was 8 (17 years ago). Then I started writing my first book when I was 14 and fan fiction started when I was 16. Like I said, I didn’t start pursuing it as a career until the end of my Junior year when I was about to turn 17. So the answer is either 17 years or 8 years depending on your qualifications.
L: What are you currently working on?
K: My current WIP is my first murder mystery, “CANVAS: A Jaz Dilan Mystery”. It’s an urban, adult mystery about a tattoo artist whose niece is found dead in girlfriend’s bed with a traumatizing tattoo from Jaz’s past. The sight of the tattoo is so jarring that she can’t sleep, and some of her most deadly bad habits start to make a comeback. The only way for her to deal with the mystery healthily is by solving it herself. Right now I’m in the middle of the second draft, and my critique partner is reviewing everything I’ve written in the draft thus far.
L: Are there any books or authors who inspire your work?
K: Tamora Pierce, hands down. Her Song of the Lioness series were the books that turned me from a girl who hated reading into the nerd who read at lunch time. Her strong leading women are the best.
L: What has been the most challenging for you so far?
K: Writing my debut novel, STARFORGED: Orion. Writing that first book is like a trial by fire. You have to learn what writing style specifically works for you, as well as how you best edit and revise. You have to start finding friends in the community to read your work so that you can improve it. At the same time, you have to be careful and do legal research to protect yourself and your work. You have to find cover artists, professional editors, book trailer makers, and you have to find resources to make mock-ups and marketing images. And then you need to figure out the business side of writing; creating budgets, marketing yourself, finding ARCs. You have to do all of this with no real teacher to help. You have to trust that those with more experience in the community will share what they have learned. That’s a lot to learn essentially by yourself.
L: What is your favorite writing trope? Least favorite?
K: This is a tough one. I usually prefer to break tropes, even if they are good ones. Even so the Action Girl trope is my favorite–the strong, leading lady who kicks ass. My least favorite trope is probably Hollywood Pudgy where the “fat” girl is, like, average sized. You know, Victoria Secret’s idea of “Plus Size”.
L: Besides writing, what is it you like to do?
K: When I’m not writing, I’m writing D&D campaigns or watching Critical Role, or drawing D&D characters. Basically, I love D&D.
L: What would you say is your favorite book or series of all time? Why?
K: Tough one, but I’d say the L.O.R.E. Series by David Partelow. First books to ever make me cry.
L: Are there any regrets you have or anything you wish you knew sooner?
K: Oh, yes. I wish I knew how I write best. I wrote my first book completely on the computer. Turns out, I write better long-hand, using pen and paper. It shuts that inner editor up. It could’ve made the process of writing my first book go a lot faster.
L: In a brief statement, have you self-published or traditionally published? What was your experience?
K: My first book, STARFORGED: Orion, was self-published through Kindle Direct Publishing. It was an easy experience, but not as fulfilling as I expected it to be. I intend on using IngramSpark for my next book, primarily because I’d like the hard cover publishing option.
L: What are you currently reading?
K: I’m in between books at the moment. The last book I read was Night Witches by Kathryn Lasky. Obviously, it’s about the women who flew fighter planes for Russian during the Second World War. Like I said, I love reading about bad-ass women, especially if they’re from history or based on women of history.
L: What genre do you read?
K: Sci-Fi/Fantasy are the genres I stick with, though I like most genres with the exception of horror or biographies. I’m just not into gore and the regurgitation of facts.
L: What does a typical day of writing look like for you? Any rituals or ‘must-haves’?
K: A typical day of writing looks like this: I wake up and have breakfast–either fried eggs or honey-wheat toast with whipped cream cheese, as well as granny smith apples or a banana. If it’s cool enough, I will have a cup of English Breakfast Tea with a little sugar-free vanilla crème. After that, I either head to the gym or go for my first walk around my neighborhood. Upon returning, I grab the journal I’m currently working on with my favorite pen. I start writing while I listen to YouTube videos I know well enough for them to just be white noise–Critical Role or Jacksepticeye lets play videos. I write at least 200 words. If I’m doing well, I write a chapter. The next day, I’ll transfer what I wrote in my journal onto my computer, editing as I go along. I just need to get my writing done by lunchtime; I focus better in the morning and it because difficult in the afternoon. When I get a full-time job, this routine will most likely change.
L: Any songs or type of music you need to listen to when you write?
K: I actually don’t listen to music while I write. I find it easier to focus when I just put on YouTube videos I know well.
L: What’s a word or phrase that people say that always irritates you?
K: People have the tendency to use “ironically” incorrectly more than they use it correctly. As a fan of irony, this bothers me.
L: Who is your favorite literary character and why?
K: Oh, this is a tough one. Katniss Everdeen from the Hunger Games is the one that sticks out the most to me in this moment, but the answer will probably change tomorrow. Don’t make me choose my favorite children!
L: Where would you say you get most of your inspiration?
K: Why do you think I love D&D so much? The game itself is a wealth of inspiration! From character creation to battle encounters to magic spells, the world is well thought-out, yet encourages improvisation and thinking outside the box. I think most writers should try playing TTRPGs because it could help, at the very least, with beating Writer’s Block.
L: For aspiring writers out there, what would be the best advice you want them to know?
19. Don’t listen to any unsolicited writing advice you receive from anyone–yes, that includes my advice in my last answer about TTRPGs. What works for one person won’t necessarily work for you, so even if the advice comes from someone who knows what their talking about (which is unlikely), it may not make the writing process easier for you. You have to find your way through trial and error. It takes a long time, but it’s worth it.
Kelsey Anne Lovelady was born in Billings, Montana and grew up in Bozeman. At fifteen her family moved to Shawnee Mission, Kansas. She stayed there from her Junior year of high school up until she graduated from Johnson County Community College with her Associate of Arts Degree in Arts and Science. She is graduating from the University of Wyoming with her B.F.A. in Musical Theatre and her Minor in Writing.
At the age of fourteen, Kelsey was diagnosed with the rare bone marrow disorder, Aplastic Anemia. She went through intense Anti-Thymocyte Globulin (ATG) therapy for the first time when she was fifteen at the Children’s Hospital in Aurora, Colorado. Her second ATG therapy procedure happened when she was nineteen at the Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City. It was there that she met the man that her first book is dedicated to; David Partelow. After being almost instantaneous friends, David gave Kelsey a copy of his first book, Ashener’s Calling. To this day, he is her favorite writer and she owns a physical copy of almost every single book he has written, including the one she contributed to, The Ro’Nihn Tales.
Orion (Starforged) – Clayton Jiggins is way out of his element. All his life, he’s grown up in the poor part of the Capital of the Hunters Galaxy – also known as the Constellation of Orion. Now, after an untimely and rather mysterious family tragedy, he has left the safety of his metropolitan home to find the most dangerous assassin wanted by the Royal Navy; The Blue Lion. Why would he want to meet such a dangerous person? Because he wants the Prince of the Galaxy dead – a treasonous act that could cost him his head if he gets caught.Everything is a lot more complicated than Clayton thinks, however. The fact that the Blue Lion is actually a woman is just the tip of the icebergs of secrets and lies; Pirates hell-bent on revolution. Doctors on the take. A new addictive substance that may be deadlier than people think. Even the Blue Lion might have a more personal reason for helping Clayton out.Welcome to a Steampunk world among the stars where nothing is what it seems, everyone has an agenda, and a hell’s fury cannot even compare to a scorned woman bent on revenge.
Buy it here!
How Are You – “How Are You?” is a contemporary ten minute play that examines the subtext between a women who desires love and a man looking to pass the time.1M, 1F, 1A**The Stage Manager can be played by a male, a female, or other.
Buy it here!