How old were you when you knew you wanted to be a writer?
Wow, I think I really have to think back for this question. Hmm, so let’s see…whether or not I wanted to be a writer–I don’t know if I ever came to that decision until quite recently like as a thing that I was going to do. I would say that I’ve always enjoyed writing since I was a kid, and I believe there was a point when I started working on my first screenplay in junior high that I guess things got serious. I didn’t think about it at the time, but now looking back I’m like, “Whoa, that was pretty hard-core! Writing your first screenplay in junior high. In fact, I think I remembered at a lock-in I was actually finding of quiet place in the YMCA to finish up my scenes. Taking my index cards full of scenes and lining them up on the table trying to figure out you know, act one, act two, act three and how the scenes laid out. And a friend of mine even to this day was at that lock-in and just thought that I was completely insane! (laughs) While everyone was, you know, watching “The Matrix”, I was holed up in a dusty office at the YMCA working on a screenplay. Maybe I didn’t make a decision that yes, I’m going to be a writer, but it was something that I definitely took very seriously apparently at a young age. I’d say probably in my teens.
Who are your favorite authors? (Please limit your answer to five or ten.)
Oh man, there so many! Good thing you gave a limit! (laughs). So I would say the ones at the top of my lists are Toni Morrison. She’s fantastic. I started reading her pretty young. Margaret Atwood has a great voice. I am a Stephen King fan so I do enjoy the many of his books and moving into the paranormal romance genre my favorites are definitely Kresley Cole and Sherrilyn Kenyon as well as urban fantasy written by LA Banks who is no longer with us but thank God that her books are still here because they are fantastic. She really inspired me to not only write in urban fantasy in paranormal romance but also get drawn to the strong heroine and also heroines of color
What are your greatest sources of inspiration?
This with pretty much depend on what I’m writing. Of a big film buff I love movies and was a screenwriting background my narrative and stories tend to have a lot of action and a lot of fun dialogue.
I tend to draw a lot of my inspiration for characters from some people in my life, especially those strong females with an edge. I can say that comes from my mother. She was amazing and was able to do so much with so little. She was able to just make magic. Absolute magic. Like some women when you look at them or you see what they can do you just think that they’re absolute magic and my mother definitely was. In fact, I have a story titled Killing Me Softly in the works that I started just to deal with death and loss. Because I had a lot of sudden death and loss in my life a couple years ago. it was just kind of boom boom boom you know. Suddenly my mother was gone and then suddenly one of my brothers are gone and my pup companion was gone. I wanted to find some kind of creativity through that grieving process. When the character loses her mother, I was just able to spill a lot of that pent-up grief and you know, and just confusion of how someone you love could be here one moment and then gone forever the next. I think even now saying it still baffles me, but writing that in the story and being able to have readers say that they can relate to that kind of feeling of loss really helps.
There also seems to be a lot of inspiration from things that are just going on in the world. Just things you see on the news, the environment as it is today and the way people think. If you’re self-aware, it’s really easy for this to inspire your work or somehow absorb itself into your work. My story, Selenium Night, my first novel in my ShadowShifters series, there’s strong themes around family and how you make your family and oppression. You have these two factions of amazing creatures that, under the surface are pretty much the same. But unfortunately, they just cannot get along and if they really just peeled back the surface to find the truth of why they hate each other, they would realize that it’s all just bull****. That it’s just ridiculous. But in reality, some people don’t see that easily. When you’ve been doing something or believe in something for so long it becomes tradition, and becomes a foundation of your belief. And you know what happens when you attack someone’s beliefs! Whoa nelly!
What genre(s) do you write?
My primary genre that I write in is paranormal romance and I also do urban fantasy. My Urban Fantasy teeters really close into paranormal romance, but I do write both. I have been also drawn to contemporary romance after reading some. I just kind of fell in love with it and what’s funny is because after all my years of reading and adoring romance I think I have only read (up until recently) paranormal romance, urban fantasy, and historical. Maybe even a couple of Westerns. I just never thought to try it out but then recently I’ve ran into some authors who were really amazing at writing modern love stories and I’ve been blown away. So I want to do that too!
Do you have any current or future projects?
Oh my God I have so many projects. I try not to look at my list of books, but I can tell you something that I’m working on right now. So for my Agents of the Bureau series, I have the first book out (Tall, Dark & Deadly). The second book, Nocturnally Yours, is to be come out this year. Each could be read as a series or standalone novel. The first one was well received and the secondary character that was on the lips of every reader after it was done was Leto Petrides, so it’s only right that she gets her own love story.
Do you have an author website?
Yep! It is Kharma Kelley you can learn more about my books there I also have little freebies hidden away and don’t be shy to contact me. I love talking to folks!
Do you have any blogs?
Yes I do have a blog. It’s on my website and there I have tons of flash fiction, recipes, custom phone wallpaper… just go to town! Visit me and go to town 🙂
Where can people find your work? (to purchase or just to read)
My books are carried on all the major online retailers such as Amazon, iTunes, Kobo and Barnes & Noble. There’s my blog too as I mentioned before with lots of excerpts and flash fiction. Usually once a year I’ll create a short story ebook and gift to my email subscribers and readers group. It’s totally exclusive for them for a year. My fans are super special to me. They’re my league of awesomeness.
If you could feature just one title, what would it be?
Ahhh! It would have to be Tall, Dark & Deadly, my first book. It was so much fun to write! And to think, at first I was only going to make it a short story–how wrong I was!
Do you have any pseudonyms?
Yes well, Kharma Kelley is my pseudonym. It’s much more pleasant than my real name, trust me.
Do you have any other hobbies besides writing?
Unfortunately yes I do. I say that because I think sometimes it gets in the way of my writing but you gotta take a break sometime right? But I love to paint, write music, and play guitar. I really don’t like to be bored.
Tell us something interesting about yourself.
I probably wouldn’t say as much as interesting as it is quirky or weird but I have it to then see to Wikipedia the food that I’m actually eating at the time. It doesn’t matter that I probably know 99% about it always that one percent that you’re curious that you probably didn’t know.
I also tend to read magazines from back to front. (Shrugs) Don’t know why.
Is there anything else you would like to share?
Just wanna say thanks so much for inviting me for the interview and I hope that people find my books engaging and fun and continues to help them believe in love because at the end of the story there is peace and there’s some happiness–which we can all use a little bit of every now and then. Wouldn’t you say?