Today we have with us Urban Fantasy author Kelly Gay. Kelly has one book out already titled The Better Part of Darkness, and the second book in the series called The Darkest Edge of Dawn will be released today. Kelly, thanks so much for taking time out of your hectic schedule to talk to us. Can you tell us a little bit about your Charlie Madigan series?
Charlie lives in a world where the existence of mythological beings (many of whom inspired our myths of angels and demons, gods and monsters) was proven true over a decade earlier, and since that time, these beings, or off-worlders as they’re called, have integrated into our society. Charlie is a single mom and a law enforcement officer who polices the off-world population in and around Underground Atlanta with her partner, a male siren named Hank. She has a full life – a pre-teen daughter wanting independence, an ex-husband who wants to reconcile, and a job that pushes her to her limits.
What made you decide to write urban fantasy?
I love all things fantasy, but I’m drawn most to the combination of fantasy mingled with modern life. This, to me, is the best of both worlds and urban fantasy really encompasses that aspect. My other writing love is developing new worlds, beings, and traits, and writing about strong women. Urban fantasy is a natural fit for me. Well, anything paranormal is a natural fit.
You probably get this question a lot, but I always enjoy hearing what different authors have to say. What do you think is your favorite part about writing? Your least favorite?
I love creating things no one has before. Taking old myths and turning them into something new. Putting my spin on things and giving life to new beings, new powers, new rules, new worlds… I really feel like an artist during those times when I mold, shape, and create something from a blank canvas. Love it. My least favorite thing is the immobility, sitting for long periods, and having to be self disciplined. I’m my own boss (which is awesome), but some days it’s hard to fight outside distractions. My least favorite thing in the actual writing process is probably the rough draft. I’m so impatient. I just want to get it out of the way so I can go back and start playing with the story and digging deeper into things.
I've heard it takes an average of five years to go from starting to write to getting published. How long did it take you?
If you count from the time I started writing with career intentions, it’d be about fifteen years. I spent ten years writing screenplays, plays, and a ton of unfinished novels. But in 2003, I decided to switch gears from screenwriting, actually finish a book for once, and put all my focus on the fiction world. So five years after this decision, and six manuscripts later, I finally sold.
If we were to take a peek at your bookshelves, who would we find?
*glancing to my left* Let’s see. THE MONSTRUMOLOGUST by Rick Yancey, BENEATH THE SKIN by Adrian Phoenix, BETRAYALS by Lili St. Crow, THE DEAD-TOSSED WAVES by Carrie Ryan, the entire Kate Daniels series by Ilona Andrews, every Kresley Cole, Karen Marie Moning, Sherrilyn Kenyon, and Vicki Pettersson book ever published, and so many more … There are about 200 books on this case next to me, and I have several bookcases around the house, and boxes full of books in the attic. One of these days, I’ll get that dream house with the library, LOL.
In your spare time (if you're lucky enough to have any), what would we catch you doing?
Reading. Unfortunately, I don’t get in as much reading time as I did before I sold. I spend so much time (daily), reading, revising, looking at galleys, copy edits, writing posts, etc., that when I do have free time and want to read, I don’t because my eyes hurt and I need a break. But I like to regenerate by hanging out with my family, and being outside. I love to go to the park, sit by the water, or play in the dirt and grow things, and watch my kids splash around in the kiddie pool. Then, I’m usually good to go for some reading later on in the evening.
Do you have any plans to write more in the series?
I have two more Charlie books planned. I’m in the process right now of writing the third one. I’ve really fallen in love with some of the secondary characters, and would love to write a few books featuring them as well. Particularly, Carreg, the Charbydon noble, and the Druid King, who you’ll meet in Darkest Edge – I see a very intense time ahead for him...
Again, I'd like to thank you for spending some time with us and answering our questions. Annette and I both wish you the best of luck with your books.
Thank you so much! It’s a pleasure to be here, and congrats on creating such a wonderful site!
And now for the announcement! (drumroll, please) Kelly will be giving away an autographed copy of Darkest Edge of Dawn, along with some swag (bookmarks, cover flat, postcard) for one lucky person who comments on this interview. Contest winner will be drawn on Sunday, September 5th and we'll post the winner right here on the site.
You can visit Kelly at her website: http://www.kellygay.net/