Thursday, March 08, 2007

Author Interview with Kelley Heckart

Good morning, Blog Studio!! Happy Thursday everyone! Before I introduce today’s author guest, I have a brief news flash. Be sure to stop back on Monday, when I’ll be starting a round robin story. I’m looking for you to add to it! Just read what has been posted by others before you and continue the story. It doesn’t have to be a lot…just a few lines, a paragraph or however much you’d like to add. It will be fun to see the twists and turn the story takes. When it’s all completed, I’ll post it on my website giving credit to all the contributors! You don’t have to be an author to participate. Tell your friends about it, too.

**applause** Carol Ann takes a brief bow and walks toward the two chairs in the blog studio.**
And now, without further ado, I’d like to bring out a very special person! She’s an author and previously played bass in a hard rock band. Please put your hands together to welcome…KELLY HECKART!

**applause, applause** Kelley enters the room carrying a copy of her novel, OF WATER AND DRAGONS.

CAROL ANN: Good morning, Kelley. Thank you for coming by today. **Carol Ann takes the book that Kelley hands her and looks at the cover.** Awesome cover. I’d buy the book just for the cover. Tell me, what was your inspiration for OF WATER AND DRAGONS?

KELLEY: This story was originally a short story. At the encouragement of my Creative Writing teacher, I turned it into a novel. I have always been fascinated with ancient history and mythology, especially Celtic mythology so I incorporated that into this story.

CAROL ANN: I was perusing your website and read your autobiography. Very interesting. You’ve had some struggles, but channeled them into positive change. Please share a little of your autobiography, your struggles with arthritis, and how you've come to reach the path your are now on.

KELLEY: It has been a strange trip for me because my original love was music. I played bass in a hard rock band for years and I thought that music would be my calling. Music did and still does play a huge part in my writing. Writing songs and lyrics gave me my first experience in writing and now music inspires me to write. Having a chronic condition changed the way I viewed my life. The reality was I had to slow down a bit. Playing in a rock band and staying out all night at gigs did not help my condition. Writing still gives me a chance to be creative without being too hard on my body.

CAROL ANN: If you were commissioned to write a book about your life, what would the title be? Why?

KELLEY: Strange Trip or Crazy Train. For some of the reasons I mentioned above and I have done a lot of cool and crazy things in my life. I have met some famous people (rock stars) and also some strangely cool people. At book signings, I still get to meet all kinds of people. My life has not been boring, that’s for sure.

CAROL ANN: You also design crosses out of driftwood and sell them on E-Bay. How did you come up with the idea?

KELLEY: This came about because I have always collected shells, driftwood and rocks. I also love the symbol of the cross, which is an ancient symbol. My mother was seriously ill and in the hospital and I made her a cross out of these things to keep by her bed. She recovered and I continued to make them. My designs have evolved over the years.

CAROL ANN: I love them. Here’s a question I ask all authors. What is your definition of the word romance?

KELLEY: Love, adventure, longing and sexual tension. I think all of these elements make up romance.

CAROL ANN: What is your all time favorite movie? What about the movie makes it so special?

KELLEY: This is a difficult question to answer because I have so many favorites. I think I am going to pick Braveheart because this movie combined a lot of elements I like—love, adventure, ancient warfare and fiercely proud warriors and a brave queen.

CAROL ANN: What writing project are you currently working on? Can we expect to see it soon?

KELLEY: I have two books coming out this year in September and November. RavenWolf is the sequel to Of Water and Dragons and White Rose of Avalon is a re-telling of the Arthurian romances set during the fall of Avalon. I also finished book one of a trilogy set in early medieval Scotland. In between all of this, I am working on a prequel to Of Water and Dragons and RavenWolf set in ancient Greece, Britain and Ireland. I am still doing research for this one.

CAROL ANN: When you are feeling down, who can change your mood and make your smile?

KELLEY: My husband. He is my rock and is very supportive. I also have to say my dogs make me smile with their antics.

CAROL ANN: If you could live in any time period, whether in the future or in the past, what would you choose and why?

KELLEY: I write about and am fascinated with the past, but the truth is I don’t think I could have survived living in those harsh conditions. However, I think people adapt to their environment. I think the time period I would have liked would be the Neolithic period before northern invaders arrived. According to archaeology, this was actually a peaceful and superior society.

CAROL ANN: Do you believe the pen is mightier than the sword? Why?

KELLEY: In some ways, I do believe that words have more effect. More people will see the written words. Look at how the media has control over what people think.

CAROL ANN: Kelley, it has been a pleasure having you in the Blog Studio today. Thank you so much for letting us get to know you. You truly are an inspiration.

**Carol Ann turns to the audience** To learn more about Kelley and her books, please visit her website.

Thanks everyone and be sure to stop back on Monday for the round robin story!

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