Award winning author Isabo Kelly has a gypsy soul, which she’s indulged wholeheartedly over the last sixteen years, living in Las Vegas, Hawaii, Germany, Ireland and New York. There’s no telling were she might end up next (though Italy keeps coming up in conversation). After finishing her Ph.D. in Zoology in Ireland, Isabo buckled down to concentrate on writing. She’s published numerous science fiction, fantasy and paranormal romance novels, short stories and novellas. To learn more about Isabo’s books, visit her at www.isabokelly.com.
1. Can you tell us a bit about your most recent work?
My most recently published story is a short paranormal romance call Mate Run published in the FANG BANGERS anthology from Ravenous Romance. The story is about two were-tiger lovers trying to make their relationship permanent despite the laws of their community and the objection of another male were-tiger. It’s a pretty erotic story, but also very romantic.
I’m also working on a full length novel about the were-tigers and a paranormal romance about a group of monster hunters—they hunt the kind of horror story monsters that humans think only exist in nightmares (not vampires and werewolves, we’re talking really gross things with tentacles and sharp teeth ). My monster hunters have some unique adaptations of their own too. That’s been fun Finally I’m rewriting a science fiction romance that’s the sequel to my novel THE PROMISE OF KIERNA’RHOAN, published with Samhain Publishing.
2. You ran multiple one-day forum workshops during the Muse Online Writer’s Conference. How did you find out about the conference?
Actually, I found out about the Conference through one of my publishers, Crescent Moon Press. They organized the week of sessions and asked their authors to offer up workshops. This is the second year we’ve participated and it’s been great fun and very successful for Crescent Moon Press and its authors and editors.
3. What was running the workshop on the Muse Forum like for you?
Oh it was a lot of fun. I love discussing world-building topics with fellow writers. I end up learning as much as I teach. And sharing ideas and different techniques with other writers is always exciting.
4. You ran a workshop on worldbuilding. What is your favourite aspect of worldbuilding and why?
I think my favorite part of worldbuilding is the initial exploration. After having that spark for a new world, I love being able to travel through this new place in my head, learning how everything works and uncovering all the interesting little quirks and ticks. I do research to fully develop my worlds and that’s
fun too. But the best part is letting my imagination go and coming up with the unique aspects of the world that will bring a story to life.
5. When and how did you decide to become a writer?
I’ve been telling stories my entire life, and I always wrote pretty good fiction even as a kid—not necessarily good craft-wise, but I could spin a good yarn. Unfortunately, high school English convinced me I wasn’t a good enough technician to be a real writer. That didn’t stop me from writing, I still did. But
I didn’t believe I could actually publish anything until my first year in college when a particularly helpful English teacher said just the right things to make me believe in myself. From that point on, I thought of myself as both a writer and a scientist (which was what I actually studied in college—zoology/animal
behavior). A few years later, I learned how to submit short stories to magazines and started collecting my rejection letters.
6. What do you think is the most important thing for new writers to keep in mind?
This is a long road to travel, a marathon rather than a sprint to use the old cliché. To stick with it, I think it’s very important to have fun and to keep reading a lot. The “read a lot” part seems pretty self-evident but I’ve encountered a few discussions lately where the topic of new writers not doing much reading has come up. These newbies claim to be too focused on their writing to have time to read. I can actually understand this. I fall into a bad habit of going for months without reading new fiction because I’m busy
working on a book. But this is really really bad for my writing. So all you new writers out there, READ! Read anything and everything you can get your hands on. It will help. It really will. Plus it adds to the fun.
7. What does your writing process look like, in a nutshell?
In a nutshell? Chaos Never the same twice. The most consistent thing I do is write very organic first drafts that then require a lot of editing to make them work. But the process of each book—beyond the free flowing 1st draft—changes and depends on what I’m working on, what’s going on in my life,
deadlines, family responsibilities, etc… I tend to fit writing in around my life rather than my life around the writing and because of that, I can never seem to keep up any consistency in the process. Oh, but I do tend to get my best ideas in the shower. I’m convinced my muse lives in the bathroom.
8. How do you balance your writing time and your marketing time?
Unfortunately, not very well. I wish I was better at that balance. Over the years, I’ve had to decide what I can and cannot do marketing-wise and just concentrate on doing the few things I can do consistently rather than trying to do everything. If I try to pursue all available marketing paths, I don’t get any writing done. And my writing and marketing time is pretty limited. Ultimately, if I don’t write, I don’t have anything to market so the writing itself has to take precedence.
9. What are you reading right now?
For fiction, I just finished The Iron Duke by Meljean Brook (brilliant fun, I loved this book) and Patricia Brigg’s Hunting Ground (the second Alpha and Omega novel and also brilliant). I’m also reading The Fire in Fiction by Donald Maass (non-fiction craft) and Your Hate Mail Will be Graded by John Scalzi (a collection of posts from his brilliant blog, Whatever). Next up for my fiction reading is Touched by an Alien by Gini Koch.
10. What do readers have to look forward to from you?
Well hopefully a short/novella length fantasy romance (I’m waiting on word), the sequel to THE PROMISE OF KIERNA’RHOAN (when I’ve finished the rewrites), and with luck the were-tigers and monster hunters will find a home. I have an urban fantasy romance with my agent at the moment as
well. (Okay, yes, I have a little of everything going on right now—I wasn’t kidding when I said my process was chaos. )
Thanks for all the great questions, Dianna. This was fun!
Did you enjoy this interview?