**AUTHOR PEEK** Interview with Toni Kelly
Before we get started talking about your writing, tell us a little about yourself, where you’re from, what you do for a living (if you’re not a fulltime writer) what hobbies you have, etc. Whatever you’d like to share.
First of all, thank you so much Karen for having me on your blog! Hmm, where to start… well, I’m originally from Virginia but about six years ago, my family and I moved out to Arizona. Unfortunately, I’m not a fulltime writer but it’s definitely a dream I hold. I actually work for a large financial institution, another job I truly do enjoy. As far as hobbies go, writing and reading are definitely a couple of them, but other than that I love languages and horses. My current mission is to find more time in my life for hobbies and family. There has to be some kind of balance, right?
1. How did you get started writing?
I have always written stories for as long as I could remember, but I never truly thought I’d write professionally. A fortune teller told my father that I would be an author and I guess the rebel in me refused to write professionally as I didn’t want to do what someone else predicted I would. I guess it’s the whole choosing our own destiny idea that resonates strongly with me.
2. What genre(s) do you write in and why?
Right now I stick to contemporary and paranormal romance. I’m not sure if that will always be the case but I enjoy it now. Contemporary I like because I can relate to it and paranormal. Well… something about the impossibility of the creatures and situations fascinated. Perhaps it was those nights spent watching movies like The Never Ending Story, Willow, Legend and The Princess Bride, that fostered a hunger for the extraordinary.
3. What is your favorite part of writing?
I love rewriting although I can easily get sucked into it. I truly feel that you are creating the story at that time and transporting yourself into the experience. The first draft to me is really just for ideas. It is in the rewrite that I get to know my characters and story more deeply.
4. What is your least favorite part of writing?
The pre-edits. Basically it is tedious clean-up work but it is necessary unless you want a story riddled with grammatical errors and poor sentence structure.
5. Where do you get the ideas for your stories?
Gosh, from everywhere…I’d imagine many writers are the same way, but I can get ideas from dreams, songs, people I see, experiences I have, etc. It becomes sort of a what-if scenario in my head and just builds from there. Kind of like day dreams but on a bigger more detailed scale.
6. What is your typical day like?
I really wish I could say I wake up and write all day and then spend time with my family but that’s not so. A typical day is about an 11 hour work day at my day job. I work at a financial institution and supervise a team of 12 people. After that, I come home and spend as much time with my baby boy (6 mths old) as I can before he falls asleep. Then I get in maybe an hour to two of writing in (if I get to write that night) and then it’s sleep time! Weekends are a bit better for writing but it’s a struggle.
7. What is most difficult for you to write? Characters, conflict or emotions? Why?
Gosh, that’s a hard one and I’d say it depends on the book and the day. It used to be characters and some days there are characters I can’t get into, but more recently that is not an issue. Lately, it seems that the most difficult thing for me is tying it all together so that it makes sense and my plot doesn’t have a bunch of wholes. Since I do so much in the rewrite, I’m always finding things to add and take away which can make it difficult to keep track of at times.
8. Tell us about your next book & when is it being published?
My next book will be a paranormal romance about vampires. It is something I completely did not want to write just due to the amount of them out there but I’m working a twist into it that makes it different from most vampire romances. Besides, I’m also a believer in writing what you have to write and what is in you to write (otherwise your characters just bug you to death).
Links to Toni’s website, blog, books, etc.
All Romance Books: http://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-irishdreams-739227-149.html
My Website: www.authortonikelly.com
Link for Blog Roll: www.justareadersramblings.wordpress.com
BE SURE TO COME BACK to read more about Toni and her new release, IRISH DREAMS, on Wednesday’s Karen’s Killer Book Bench!