Name  Kelly Martin

Age 32

Where are you from Tennessee

A little about your self `ie your education Family life ect.: I’m a special education preschool teacher. I have 3 of my own kids (8,6, and 3). I’ve been married for 10 years.

Fiona: Tell us your latest news?

 Hmmm… Well, I just released my 4th book: BIG is Beautiful. It’s doing really well on Amazon rankings. I’ve also just became the publicist for Astraea Press which I love.

Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?

 I started writing about 2 years ago when I wanted to get ‘away’ but didn’t have the money lol. Books are an escape and I love writing, not knowing what will happen and really caring about the characters.

Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?

 When I saw CROSSING THE DEEP on Amazon. That was a very special moment for me. I felt like I’d finally ‘made it’.

Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?

 I wanted to write a book for awhile, but never had. I had a mommy friend tell me about Nanowrimo (National Novel Writing Month). I had just finished reading the Bible in 90 Days and wanted another challenge. That Nano turned into Crossing the Deep.

Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?

 I write linear– sort of like a movie. Also, I tend to throw jokes in there. I think my personality comes out a lot when I write. Maybe not in the characters, but in the tone.

Fiona: How did you come up with the title?

CROSSING THE DEEP came from the creek in the story: Deep Creek.  SAINT SLOAN, came to me in the shower lol. I had no idea what to name that one. THE DECEPTION OF DEVIN MILLER was called ‘TRUST’ for the longest time before I changed it. And BIG is BEAUTIFUL– I had the title before I even had the story. It is the first book where I had the title first.

Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

 It’s okay to be different. You don’t have to be ‘typical’ to be important. And even if you don’t realize it, God is with you.

Fiona: How much of the book is realistic?

 All of my books are basically realistic. The book I have coming out in January called The Afterlife of Lizzie Monroe is probably the least realistic book I have. I mean, it’s realistic, but it’s about a 150 year old ‘zombie’ so– yeah…

Fiona: Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?

Not really. I tried to write a book based on ‘real life’ once and I just knew the person would know it was about them lol. So I don’t do that.

Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most?

Not the books, but Stephenie Meyer from Twilight fame influenced me as a writer. I figured if she could do it with 3 kids, I could too.

Fiona: If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?

Rachel Van Dyken.

Fiona: What book are you reading now?

 Actually, I just finished ‘LUCKY MAN’ the memoir by Michael J. Fox. I’m a big fan. It was a really good book. I’m reading several Astraea Press books right now.

Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?

Heather Gray really has. I think she’s going to be big in a few years. Wendy Knight has too. There are a lot of authors that I’m around that I can’t wait to see where they are in 5 years!

Fiona: What are your current projects?

 I’m ‘between projects’ right now (which is my way of saying I have writer’s block lol). I’m working on a time travel story and a short, but it’s not working at the moment.

Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members

The July 10 Moms group I’m in. They have supported me through it all. And my Astraea Press family after I finally got published. Also, K. Victoria Chase! She has been such a good mentor and friend to me.

Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?

 It would be a huge dream come true if it were. Do I see it happening? Not right now.

Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?

Probably not. I like it.

Fiona: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?

 This is going to sound weird, but I always liked writing fan fiction. I figured it was time to make my own characters.

Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?

The seven worst words ever spoken came out of my mother’s mouth during breakfast. “I signed you up for math tutoring.”

I coughed, nearly choked on my biscuit, and tossed the remaining part on my plate. It took a second for words to form between my full lips, and when they did, it  was a mumbly, “I don’t need math tutoring.”

My mom glared.

I forced the remaining biscuit down and tried this again. “I don’t. My grades aren’t that bad.”

“Sure.” She took a sip of her coffee. “If it’s opposite day.”

It was my turn to glare. My mom, ever the comedian. “Why now? It’s February. Do you know how late it is to have tutoring? I’ll probably fail anyway.”

My mom’s brow rose like the sun over her mug. “Thought your grades weren’t that bad.” Apparently, she woke up on the sarcastic side of the bed this morning.

I sputtered and thought really hard on a comeback. Unfortunately, I didn’t inherit my mom’s wit, nor did my adoptive father’s rub off on me. Knocked down but not defeated, I leaned back in my chair and crossed my arms like the good defiant teen I wasn’t. “I’m not going.”

“Yes. You are.” No question. No break in her voice.

“No. I’m not.”

“Yes. You are.”

“No…” This was going nowhere. “Mom,” I huffed. “When will I ever need geometry?”

She sat back in her chair, matching me with her arms crossed. Only she had a smirk on her face. Mom’s smirk never meant good things were coming to the smirk-ee. “You need it right now. To pass this class so you won’t be a sophomore forever.”

“I like being a sophomore.” I pouted then squinted my eyes at my mom to see if it worked.

Nothing.

“I don’t. I’d like you to, you know, graduate.”

I shrugged and let out a short sigh. “Graduation is overrated.”

“Brittany.” Mom’s tone had changed into the voice she used when enough was enough. If that didn’t work, I expected the overly raised brow followed by the tilted head… then the lethal stare.

“I guess I might want to graduate someday.”

She smiled and her jaw relaxed. “Good to hear.”

I wasn’t finished. “But geometry? Mama, it’s a hard class. I get shapes. Remember in preschool, I got the Star Student Sticker for knowing all eight of my shapes before anyone else?”

My mom’s body twitched, but an eep of a snicker came out anyway. “That was eleven years ago, Britt. One has to move on. Grow. Learn new things.”

“Yeah, right angles. Acute… obtuse…” I knew all about obtuse angles and obese as my doctor liked to tell me. Who cared if I weighed thirty pounds more than normal? Who invented normal? A normal person?

Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

 The time to do it… and getting through writer’s block.

Fiona: Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?

Colleen Coble. She writes Christian books without being OVERLY preachy. That’s how I want to write.

Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?

 Nope. I went to a book convention about a hour from my house once. That about covers my book traveling lol.

Fiona: Who designed the covers?

The wonderful cover lady at Astraea Press did my covers for them. I gave her some suggestions and she ran with it. Laura Heritage did my cover for THE DECEPTION OF DEVIN MILLER and THE AFTERLIFE OF LIZZIE MONROE. I love them both!.

Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?

Getting past the self-doubt. You’d think that once you have some success it would get easier, but it doesn’t. You don’t want to lose the readers you have gained. I have people who have read every one of my books and they know sort of what goes into a ‘Kelly Martin’ book… that’s nerve-wracking to me. I mean, I’m SO grateful to have fans, but I don’t want to let them down. That’s probably where the writer’s block comes from. I’ll write something and then go ‘that’s stupid’ and never go back to it. (this has turned into therapy 😉 )

Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?

I learned I had more issues with being heavy(er) than I thought lol. I learned that in each of my books, I think I’m trying to work out something– which is interesting because I thought I was just writing a story.

Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?

Don’t give up. It’s hard, but it’s worth it. And don’t read bad reviews… and if you do, don’t let them get you down. I’ve had 100s of good reviews and 3 bad ones– I can tell you what each bad one said, but I don’t let them get me down. Everyone has an opinion and it’s not a personal reflection on you 🙂

Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

 Yes, thank you so much! You guys have been so wonderful to me!

Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies.

I don’t have time for any other hobbies lol

Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?

I’m ALL about Netflix! This is probably strange, but I’ve been really into Family Ties (the Michael J. Fox show from the 80s). When I’m stressed, I watch it and laugh. It’s nice to laugh. I also watch Once Upon a Time. I loved the show WHODUNNIT that came on this summer. And my favorite show is the BBCs SHERLOCK!

Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music

Food: Pizza Colors: Purple Music: Christian– mainly because I don’t have to sensor it for my kids lol. I love the messages too, but it’s nice to not have to turn a song down for ‘bad words’.

Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done ?

 Well, I’m a teacher so I have that. I would love to get into publicity like I do for Astraea Press. It’s fun to get to help other authors.

Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? if so what is it? http://www.kellymartinbooks.blogspot.com

Fiona, thank you so much for having me! It’s been fun 🙂