Aurora: What was your inspiration behind your most recent novel?
Kelsey: It was a combination of Tim Burton’s A Corpse Bride and that very first scene in which Key wakes up in her own grave. I loved the feel of Burton’s film—the characters and the setting—but it wasn’t quite dark enough for me, what with the musical numbers and the playful feel of some scenes. So when I wrote that first scene, which had been in my head for a while, I knew exactly what kind of emotion and imagery I wanted for the reader.
What character do you most relate to and why?
Oooh, great question. I actually sat and thought about the answer for a while. I don’t know if this is allowed, but I don’t see myself or relate to any of the characters in Smoke and Key. This is the first time I can say that. Key is so logical and driven to find answers. Smoke is charming and wild. Ribbon is a mother figure. Journal is consumed by his research and his solitude. None of that is me. Which is such a new and exciting sensation; I feel like I’m growing as a writer!
Why do you feel young adult books are so popular and have such a voice right now?
This is the genre that ignites a love for reading in so many who didn’t know they could enjoy books. It often gives a voice to those who feel misunderstood or alone. It provides a wonderful escape in such a wide variety of sub-genres. Even though I’ve been branching out lately into other genres, I will always come back to young adult, because it feels so much like home.
What’s your favorite young adult author?
There are so many young adult authors on my auto-buy list. I know this is probably cheating, but I can’t give you one. I just can’t. So I will say that whenever I see Sarah Dessen, Holly Black, or Sarah Maas has a new release, the book is in my hands within a week.
Please describe the content of your latest book and what can readers expect from the read.
Smoke and Key is my newest young adult release! Without giving you the synopsis or talking about my inspirations, I’ll leave you with this delicious tidbit, which is something a reviewer just wrote this week: “If The Wizard of Oz and the movie Clue had a love child in the early 1900s and gave birth in a magical graveyard, then this book would be that baby.”
Admit it. You’re intrigued now.
What’s next for you in the book world?
This is always my favorite question. I am actually self-publishing for the first time this year! The novel will be the first in a series. It’s an adult urban fantasy entitled Fortuna Sworn. It’s already on Goodreads, and I’ll soon be putting it up on Amazon for pre-order! Here’s the synopsis:
Fortuna Sworn is the last of her kind.
Her brother disappeared two years ago, leaving her with no family or species to speak of. She hides among humans, spending her days working at a bar and her nights searching for him. The bleak pattern goes on and on… until she catches the eye of a powerful faerie.
He makes no attempt to hide that he desires Fortuna. And in exchange for her, he offers something irresistible. So Fortuna reluctantly leaves her safe existence behind to step back into a world of creatures and power.
It soon becomes clear that she may not have bargained with her heart, but her very life.
Thank you so much for having me on Frolic Media!