Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Writer's Wednesday: A Chat with Kelli McDonald Young

Today we feature another lovely author, part of the Thorstruck Press family, with beautiful soul stories to share with us all. Please meet Kelli Young!

Kelli McDonald Young is a warrior at heart. Her Scottish heritage shines through in her writing and her every day life. A voracious reader she took the leap as an author, writing what she knows best, penning a series which probes the realm of the heart, hardship, motherhood, trials, and lore. 

Choosing to indulge her love of paganism she remains true to the ethos by writing in threes, releasing a three book series (Seasons of the Soul) featuring the glorious Caledonian highlands. Resilient, resourceful and determined, she embodies the Celtic mindset which is reflected in her characters.

Living in North Carolina, Kelli has been entrenched deep in the heart of the bible belt for many moons. A rebel at heart, she's pushing back through the voice of fiction. She chooses the old road, the one less travelled, the one which traverses the veil lands which straddle two realms, the modern and the ancient, the human and the fey, taking her readers into a territory both profound and enchanting.

Welcome, Kelli!

  1. What sparked your interest in writing? Your proverbial light-bulb moment?
When I was a child, I used to write fake newspaper articles about my future wedding. I had a fascination with words at about the age of 8. I loved using words to feel things. In my teenage years it turned to dark poetry and angry lyrics. By my adult years, I had all but given up on writing, until I started giving independent reviews for music and books. I had many folk tell me that I should write a book, so I did ... lol!

  1. And we are so very glad you did! Which genre are you most comfortable writing in?
Not sure if what I like to write is even a genre. I want to start new ones, like Erotic Horror or Romantic Horror … I want to bend the lines of genre, create taboo if you will!

  1. Would you say you draw most often from your own knowledge base when writing or do you research for fresh material?
I do both actually. I know enough to be dangerous about quite a bit, but research is definitely a big deal with me. I hate when people write about something that is supposed to be factual but they have never looked into the subject matter enough to make it true. But of course I am spoiled with the authors I surround myself with…they are research gurus!!!

  1. Tell us a bit about your work. How, for instance, do you choose your titles?
My work…lol…how do I explain organised chaos? At times I feel like I just fell into this world by accident, but I know that it was meant to be. My writing is erratic as hell, but that is how I operate. My thought process is generally bipolar along with my characters in my head until I get them written up. This is my norm and I’m sure I am not the only one that goes through this. My choice in titles isn’t much different. I go by feeling not intellect when it’s time. Usually it’ll change a few times before the book is done.

  1. We are a strange bunch, us writers, are we not? Would have it no other way! And we love to read excerpts. Share with us your favourite bit of writing from you latest book.
From Anam Cara:

She took a deep breath and exhaled slowly.

The crowd with baited breath moved closer as if she was speaking and they couldn’t hear. The women in the front almost fell to their knees beside her. Ainslee braced herself with flat palms on the dirt floor. Through her pain she rose gingerly to her feet. As she stood she realised that the burning in her chest had gone away. The fire in her eyes spoke a thousand words as she addressed his holiness.

“Who has made you holier than the rest of us? How dare you say that you are more? I pray, I hurt none, and I teach my bairn ways of good. Who are you to say that I am damned? We share the same breath do we not? How dare you pray for my soul? My soul is mine and only mine. As for the father of my boys, that is no business of yours or these people who gather around me. If I am to give my life for my secret I will not stand in the way of your judgement. I am not a witch, a sorceress, or the devil’s consort, but if you must vilify me to scare the young girls into believing your dogma, please do.”

  1. Fantastic! Who do you identify with most in your work? And why?
Well, considering I have only one novel currently published, my lady Ainslee is loosely modelled after me. I took my strengths and weaknesses, threw them in a cauldron, and POOF ... there was Ainslee. I wanted her strong but feminine. I have lived a rough life but persevered in the face of trauma and tragedy. There are many parts of her that I took from previous experiences that forever changed me as a person and a woman. She is strong in a way that I wished I had been at her age.

  1. We know you are a strong woman and writer! If you could choose who would play Ainslee in the movie or series made from your work, who would it be?
I have never thought of my books in terms of the movies or television! I feel nobody is ever happy with the selections that Hollywood makes for film. I’m not sure I could even make that choice for any of my characters. I like Rose Leslie for the part of Ainslee. I loved her in Game of Thrones (Ygritte). She exhibited the strength and vulnerability in an actress I would love to see my character have on the big screen.

  1. Which four words would you use to describe yourself?
Faithful, chaotic, broken, humble

  1. Which four words would you use to describe your work?
Enjoyable, intriguing, deep, spunky

  1. I have to throw this in! That list of favourites we’re all interested in!
Favourite book: Darkroom
Favourite movie: Bronson/ Sid & Nancy
Favourite TV series: Ripper Street
Favourite colour: Blue
Favourite food: chicken wraps
Favourite drink: coffee
Favourite pet: cat…Miss Satanicus AKA Kiki 
Favourite season: Fall/Autumn
Favourite place: My kitchen…it’s where the magic happens!!!

  1. Often personal fame and prominence for your work go together, but frequently authors prefer remaining in the background while hoping their work will assume the limelight. Is this true for you, or don’t you mind a bit of fame?
Personally my goal was to just finish my book, anything after that is just a bonus! I do not mind the fame, but it isn't what I’m looking for. I am a big fangirl to a few authors, but I expect none coming my way. It makes me happy just to know that people enjoy my book…

  1. Tell us about your next book (we love to know what to look forward to!).
Book Two in the Seasons of the Soul series is Cura Anam (Soul Protector). It is the continuation of the boys’ (Niall and Bowie) story. This book will be broken into two different parts. It truly is two completely different stories that will meld into the third book. Niall will learn to be a man with the spirit of the Bear riding hard on his soul. Bowie will learn that not everything you are is a pure and good. I am excited to be writing this one. It is edgy and fierce and a big smack in the face!

  1. Can't wait! What comes next, besides a new book project? A holiday, an event?
Comes next?! Hahaha … I am a mother of 6, with 4 still in school so I spend my time shuttling the minions to and from sporting/school events from August to May! I’d like to go back to work this year, but that may or may not happen.

  1. And finally, if you could choose one person, living or dead, you would like to meet, who would it be and what would you ask of that person?
My Great Grandfather E Howard Norris … I’d ask him not to get into his plane that day.

Our sympathy. How often we wish we could turn back that clock. Kelli, thank you so much for spending time with us. It is a real pleasure having you here!


Writing World has read and reviewed Anam Cara and we loved it!

Find out more about Kelli on her Thorstruck Page and do look out for Cura Anam! We will be reading and reviewing it here :)

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