Rachel E Kellycomes from New Bern, NC. She is a professional writer who also takes care of her four kids. Kelly has been writing professionally for 4 years. She writes primarily fiction, but also enjoys creative nonfiction. Her latest work is Colorworld.
Colorworldis the first book in a series. This novel follows Wen, a girl with the ability to sense the emotions of those she touches. Desperate for some extra cash, she ends up participating in an energy therapy trial that yields disastrous consequences. Wen must get to the bottom of her condition, so she turns to the help of an organization claiming to be able to help her. There she is caught in the alluring advances of Gabe Dumas and quickly learns that there may be no one she can trust.
When asked if her characters come out of her own personality, Kelly says, “Of course. There is a piece of me in each of my characters. When it comes down to it, we can only write authentically what we know authentically. Wen is a character that represents some of my traits, traits I wish I had, and traits I have admired in others. She has a deep desire to live authentically, only no one has ever shown her how to do that.”
Kelly was originally inspired to write Colorworld by a dream. “I was intrigued/compelled to write about it. Although I had no idea where the story was going, I just wrote one chapter at a time, amazed that the story took shape without any real effort on my part. However, every book written in the series so far has been through MAJOR rewrites. I think the rewrites are where the stories take on necessary nuances rather than just plots.”
Kelly finds some issues challenging in writing. “Technicalities are probably the most difficult. For instance, my main character has Type 1 Diabetes. It took a lot of research to learn how that condition would affect her daily life. It wasn't just medical research. It was reading blogs written by people with the same condition to be sure I wrote it accurately. I find it extremely hard to write about things I have zero experience with.”
Madeleine L'Engle is the author that influences Kelly the most. “I read all her books when I was a kid and she blew my mind with the concepts she used to explain the universe, faith, and the complexity of experience. She took simple, underappreciated scientific facts and exposed their extraordinary nature. I long to write stories that do that same thing for others.”
Amazingly, Kelly “didn't grow up aspiring to be a writer. I was all but forced to take a creative writing class in college and I scraped by with a C. It wasn't until years later that I discovered how much I loved it and learned that I was actually good at it. I still shake my head at myself at the memory of that college class. I absolutely despised it.
“Now, I cannot live without writing.”
Kelly gives this advice to aspiring writers. “Appreciate every circumstance of life. Live it. No matter what it is, how sad or happy or boring. You have to be able to SEE things in a way that other people don't or can't. Whenever I experience something, good or bad, I marinate in it. I feel it, trying to describe it in my head if not in my journal. I have to eke out every bit of the moments I experience because I find those moments useful when I write. They help me write from my heart, my only true place of experience. I wish that I'd been doing that much sooner in life--perhaps I would have appreciated writing much earlier on. :-)”
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