Kelly’s Keepers

Two years late is better than never, right? I finally have a reader group and I’m inviting you to join the fun!

Kelly’s Keepers

Kelly’s Keepers is a private group on Facebook, meaning while the group is visible to the public, the content is not. We can talk about anything in there. Well, almost anything.

What I’d like to talk about is books. Mine, yours, everyone else’s. But I’d also like to get to know my readers better. I enjoy interacting with readers on my personal timeline (and on Twitter), and the replies I get to my newsletters, but have long wanted a dedicated space where we could just hang out and talk about stuff that’s not necessarily related to my being an author.

So, expect gaming talk. Pictures of hiking trails (once they’re open again), only the new recipe successes (we’ll save the failures for Pinterest), and gardening. Or me complaining about having to mow again.

We’ll also have the book talk I mentioned earlier, and I’ll be posting more regular teasers from my WIPs. There will be giveaways, because we all love giveaways. And, right now, Keepers will get access to my new serial, Let’s Connect, a couple of days before newsletter subscribers.

Interested? I’d love to see you there.

8th Annual Mental Health Awareness Month Book Fundraiser

For the month of May, Jenn and I will be donating the proceeds from all sales of the Chaos Station series to the 8th Annual Mental Health Awareness Month Book Fundraiser, benefiting the Keith Milano Memorial Fund at the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

I chose to participate in this fundraiser, in part, for Felix, the character I wrote in the series. I can’t remember if we actually ever stated, plainly, in the books, whether Felix suffered from PTSD. It should have been obvious. As a former POW who’d lost everything–his family, his lover, his home–Felix begins the series in much the same condition as his beloved ship, the Chaos. He’s held together with spit and duct tape. His crew is his new family, the ship his new home. His heart is a blank space. His head? He doesn’t go there and would prefer we didn’t either.

I did go there, over the course of five books. Tugging Felix through adventures that were both harmful and healing. At times, writing him brought me to tears. He was in so much pain and my outline only pointed toward more. In the third book, he broke, and it was kind of awful. Continue reading “8th Annual Mental Health Awareness Month Book Fundraiser”

A Day Ending in Y

I started writing this post with the intention of sharing all the interesting things I’d been doing over the past month. I’ve cooked, read over twenty books, watched lots of TV, several movies, played games, started on my spring gardening routine, extended my walking route through the neighborhood, written some words (about half a novella), finally compiled all the novellas and short stories in a single series into one volume for publishing, queried an agent, written blog posts, updated my website, and started sweeping and mopping weekly instead of leaving it until I can no longer see the floor.

I’ve been tempted to start a chart on how many times I have personally unloaded and reloaded the dishwasher so I can compare my dedication to kitchen maintenance to that of the rest of the family. Ditto laundry duty and bathroom cleanings. I don’t need a chart to know I’m putting in the most hours, there, though. I mean, every time I arrive in the kitchen, both sinks are full. I harbor a monster peeve about the stacking of dishes in both sinks. Why not confine the stacking to one sink so at least the other is useable? Or, you know, why not stack the effing dishwasher?

Let’s add experiencing increasing frustration with family members to the list of things I’ve been doing.

Wait, this isn’t the post I wanted to write. Continue reading “A Day Ending in Y”

Matter Over Mind

My author bio says, “If aliens ever do land on Earth, Kelly will not be prepared…” No truer words, my friends. No truer words. Except, the aliens aren’t here yet and I’m already falling apart.

Honestly, I haven’t spent a lot of time thinking about how I’d cope with something as world-altering and life-changing as Covid-19. The only apocalyptic novel I’ve written features aliens, and the one I’m plotting features aliens because while I will acknowledge that we’re more likely to f*ck up the planet than any visitors, it’s always easier to blame someone else.

This post is not about blame, though. Or even about the virus that is currently infecting hundreds of thousands of people, threatening lives and livelihoods. It’s about my reaction to all of this. I am not okay. Continue reading “Matter Over Mind”

The Long and Winding Road

I’m on the fourth draft of this WIP. What makes the situation unique, for me, is that I haven’t finished the first draft yet.

Usually, when I write a novel, I go all the way to the end before making any significant changes. There have been exceptions. Sometimes I’ll get the feeling the book isn’t working. Not in a small, niggling way, but a big, ‘two plus two does not equal five’ way. The motivation isn’t quite right or the ultimate conflict—the plot climax or the ultimate relationship test—feels forced. At that point, I’ll load what I have onto my tablet, read it, try to pinpoint the moment the book goes off the rails and make some notes to redirect it. This happened with both To See the Sun and Purple Haze. It wasn’t a big deal. In the case of To See the Sun, I had to go back and add a villain, which meant fleshing out an existing character and giving him a larger role in the overall plot. Simply done. Purple Haze was a little more difficult, but once I solved Dillon’s GMC (what did he really want?), I figured out what he needed to, er, sacrifice to get it done.

He and Lang got their happy ever after, okay? That’s all you need to know.

This book… Take a deep breath with me and let it out again. Yeah. This book has been a journey. Continue reading “The Long and Winding Road”