Name Kelli McDonald-Young (McDonald is my mother’s name)
Age 41 until July
Where are you from Columbus Ohio USA
A little about your self `ie your education Family life etc I am a mother of 6, married my best friend of many years, I am a city girl that lives in the country now. I drink way too much coffee. I don’t like long walks on the beach…lol
Fiona: Tell us your latest news?
School is almost out for the year…I may get to finally sleep in! I have a fairly mundane life…Oh and I’m trying to finish book 2.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I don’t remember a time when I wasn’t writing something. In my younger years, I loved to write newspaper articles. In my dark teenage years, it was a strange form of poetry. I had always thought I would write a book about my tragic life but I got a romance instead!
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I still don’t consider myself a writer. To me a writer does just that all the time with no other complications. They have a life that revolves around their work. I am not this person. My drive is different. I have four teenagers that keep me busy, writing to me is secondary. I wouldn’t dare put myself in the same category as someone that has devoted their lives to their work.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
I read medieval romance in my free time but I wanted to read one just once that wasn’t so happy. Life back then wasn’t to be trifled with. It was hard. I wrote my idea of what it would have been like with an element of supernatural. I love mythology so I combined the two.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?
I don’t really have a style just yet. I am still fairly new at this. I know what I like and that I want to stretch boundaries and invent new taboos.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
Anam Cara is actually Gaelic for soul friend. In my book I have the characters say vows to one another. They are the same vows that my husband and I said to one another. They are ancient vows predating Christianity. Anam cara is what you call each other in the vows.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
No real message for readers but the obvious. Life is too short not to fall in love no matter the circumstance. Bad things that have happened to you do not have to dictate the rest of your life.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic?
Christianity did come to Scotland and they did convert the pagans. Life was brutal in their world. The English wasn’t always nice to the Scots. The Vikings came to the Highlands. Other than these random facts the book is complete fiction.
Fiona: Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
I have started other books that are based on myself or people I know. I have a ‘Spoken Word’ book I’ve been working on and an erotic horror title that is loosely based on a certain time in my twenties.
Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most? a mentor?
I’m not afraid to say that my idol is Poppet. She has done more for me when it comes to my writing and my life than most have in my many years. All her books have influenced me and believe me there are many!! Her writing makes me want to be a better author and person. She is just that important to me!
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
I am reading Poppet’s latest Loving Sadem, Pepper Winter’s Indebted 4, and Marissa Honeycutt’s Enslaved
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
I read more than most. I have recently found Pepper Winters. She writes the taboo and that’s what I love!!!!
Fiona: What are your current projects?
Oh I am about 60% done with book two of this series and I am also working on something much darker.
Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
I would love to say my friends but they too are my family. I think it was more along the lines of the lack of support that motivated me. I think it was my father and his ability to make me feel really small even after his death. He never believed in me and made it apparent that I would never succeed in anything. I guess this is one of the dark places that have the ability to drive me. He was wrong though and I have no problem proving that.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
Maybe later in life when my kids leave the nest but until then I will just dabble in the art…lol
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
I wouldn’t change a thing. Every word is a testament to my own survival at the time. The words or storyline will always be there to remind me of my struggle, my relentlessness to succeed and my friendships that got me through to the end.
Fiona: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
Since I can remember my mind has never stopped. I would write to purge. I have always had a plethora of notebooks to jot down my thoughts. This time it just so happened those thoughts made a book..
Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?
Cúra Anam (Book 2 of Seasons of the Soul series)
“Brighde! What the bloody hell are you doing?” Kelsi said as she walked into the arms room to retrieve her weapons. Across the room, against the chainmail, her sister was in the throes of passion. As Kelsi got closer she noticed the shape under her sister’s skirts.
“Oh Kels, give me a min…ute.”
Kelsi turned in disgust. Her sisters were both too easy for her liking. Most of the men in the castle and the surrounding villages had been with them. Sometimes at the same time. They were wanton even by her standards. Taking more than one lover at a time was more than she could bear. Sex was a game to her younger sisters. One they played quite often.
“Let me know when you are done playing with the armoury guard,” she threw over her shoulder as she shut the door.
Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
At the present I am kind of stuck in this romance bubble until I finish the series. This is hard for me as I don’t think about romance like most. I am not tender or loving so the challenge is just that. There are guidelines to being romantic and mine are more complex. Not that it’s wrong, just extremely different.
Fiona: Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
I have many favourites but I go completely fangirl for Poppet’s books. I break my own rules when it comes to her books!
Trying to put into words what her books do for me is impossible. She speaks directly to my soul! I have gone as far as to tattoo my body with the likes of her words…that is how much her writing means to me.
Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
I haven’t travelled for my book but that doesn’t mean someday I won’t, I just haven’t yet..lol
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
My friend, Poppet, designed all three covers for this series.
Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
The love scene…not because of it being of a physical nature but the emotion that went into it.
Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
The story didn’t teach me anything but finishing it did. I learned that no matter how often I was told I would never finish anything, I did! My goal was not to be published or for others to even read what I wrote. The goal was to just finish it. It took 2 years but I did it. I am just lucky to have the right people in my life and they are the ones that got me here.
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
Nope but please I will take all of your advice!!! *nervous laughter*
Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
I am humbled that anyone would read my book. Thank you so much and I sincerely hope that it brings you joy as it has for me.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
When I was about 3 year old they had books with records attached. My first set was Disney’s Robin Hood with the foxes. To this day I will watch the movie and sing the songs. I also had The Hobbit and it was my go-to book as well. I was reading way before I started school and never stopped.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
People in general make me laugh. I don’t cry often but usually it’s because of a man crying or something animal related…lol
Fiona: Is there one person pass or present you would meet and why?
My mother in law Linda. She died many years ago. I knew my husband and we were friends but I never got to meet his mum. She lived in a different state and died long before we became a couple. I would love to hug her and tell her thank you for bringing him into the world. Her love for him made him the man he is today for me and the kids.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone and why ?
SHE CAME, SHE SAW, SHE CONQUERED! I’ve done it all, twice if I liked it! I have had a very interesting life and it’s not over. I own everything that I do, good or bad. No matter what it is I come out on top. I don’t know how to give up!
Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies ?
I cook…I love to take recipes and make them my own. I also have a knack for video games. There’s nothing like getting to hack and slash legally…lol
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
I am not big on American television so I usually find myself getting into anything from Europe that I can get my hands on. As far as movies, I love Sci-Fi, Indie, and Horror. I love twisty plots and lots of violence.
Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music
I love Japanese cuisine…my colour is black and blue…my music is everything from old school R&B to hardcore punk, depends on my mood!
Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?
I would have loved to have been a forensic profiler. The human mind is very interesting to me. I have a knack for serial killers and what made them that way. Every college paper I have written has been on the subject.
Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it? You can find me at http://www.tirgearrpublishing.com/index.htm