Kristen Kelly to P.S. I Love Books! I recently read and reviewed her debut release Halith earlier this month and I'm thrilled to have her here today.
Kirsten Kelly lives in Miami, Florida where she enjoys kayaking, fishing, and travel. Like her characters, she lives for good friends, good food, and the next adventure.
Welcome Kirsten! I appreciate you taking the time out to visit P.S. I Love Books. Can you tell us a little bit about Halith?
Halith is the story of a girl without her father, and grappling with that loss and her desire to leave the conforms of her gender role in this mostly male-centric society. She wants to become a knight, but she is never certain of whether this is an intrinisic desire, or one she has created solely to try to get close to her father, who she has been told is a hero and king. Many secrets surround her life, yet for many years, she ignores tem in favor of trying to reach this goal and finding her father. It is only untl she is offered an undesired marriage that she leaves home, and little by little we see her life, and all its secrets, begin to unravel.
What was one of your favorite and least favorite things about writing it?
My favorite thing was getting to know Halith. I felt like a friend, tagging along with her while she discover things and learns about this world of Aessyra. I never knew precisely what Halith was going to do until I put pen to paper. Every chapter was an adventure for me---and as a writer, sometimes it was not a pleasant one! How many times did I ask, Why Halith? Why are you doing this?---because she made my plot (or presumed plot) a disaster.
Thus I have to say that my least favorite thing was not always knowing what Halith would do! I would feel lost, and freak out about what I would have to write next. But in the end, it came brilliantly. Oh, and I suppose I also disliked the discipline it required---to write, every morning, whether I wanted to or not---for a year.
Which of the characters did you enjoy working with the most?
Halith of course, and Sparrow. I like the way their relationship is evolving, and again, this was totally unexpected. I assumed Sparrow would be merely a bit character, while I focused more on the relationship of the four girls. The charming thief master has been a wonderful surprise.
If you had the chance to do it all over again would you change anything in Halith?
Hmm. Well, I have gotten some “concern” that the language loosens up in the second half of the book and becomes too familiar—especially the dialogue between the four girls. I knew this before press, and yet I wanted to keep it, for I feel it shows how Halith had matured in a sense---how she had let go of her “High Court” self, and became more real, if you get my meaning.
What do you think of the cover?
I love the cover. I think David Howard Johnson really captured Halith, and expressed her inner turmoil in his work.
If Halith were made into a movie who would be your ideal cast for the main characters?
Wow, a movie---wouldn’t that be nice (snickering).
If you could write a book about absolutely anything with any other author (dead or alive) what would it be about and who would you choose?
I would have to say Nietzsche. The book would have to be about if Zarathustra were to die and go to heaven, what would that be like?!
If you didn’t have a passion for writing books what do you think you’d be doing as a career?
Um, bartender. Um, run a pub? No, seriously, I would probably be involved in medical clinical research.
I’m always looking for books to add to my ginormous TBR (to be read) pile. What books are you currently reading or have read recently? Any good recommendations?
Cleopatra’s Daughter by Michelle Moran. A wonderful read!
What are some of your favorite things to do when given a break from the writing life and other work-related things?
Hanging out a pubs with my friends, renting a sailboat with some un-proficent sailors, kayaking, fishing and other shenanigans like drunken kickball and big wheel racing.
Are you currently working on any projects that we may see from you in the future?
Yes, I’m currently working on the sequel to Halith and a book on Sparrow and his story.
Thank you so much for stopping by Kirsten! Where can readers find out more about you and your work?
http://www.halith.blogspot.com/ or http://www.pcwbooks.com/