Welcome to my weekly Author Spotlight. I’ve asked a bunch of my author friends to answer a set of interview questions, and to share their latest work.
Today, April Kelley – April Kelley is an author of LGBT Romance. Her works include The Journey of Jimini Renn, which was a Rainbow Awards finalist, Whispers of Home, the Saint Lakes series, and over thirty more.
Thanks so much, April, for joining me!
Aprilis giving away a copy of one of her backlist titles with this post – just comment below for a chance to win!
J. Scott Coatsworth: If you could sit down with one other writer, living or dead, who would you choose, and what would you ask them?
April Kelley: I’d want to sit down with Walt Whitman. I’d want to know about his history, just to get to know him better.
JSC: When did you know you wanted to write, and when did you discover that you were good at it?
AK: I wrote my first story at ten years old. The story’s about four children finding a dinosaur in the woods. At the time, I was in love with the movie Stand By Me, so the story is sort of fan fiction before it was even a thing. Before that story, I had made up stories and told them to my siblings. As far as being good at it, writing is a learned skill. I’d like to think that with each book, my writing gets better. I’ll never stop honing my craft, though.
JSC: What pets are currently on your keyboard, and what are their names?
AK: Our cat, Buddy, usually runs across my keyboard. He’s only four months old, so he’s very playful. He’ll sit in my lap when he does quiet down, which isn’t very often. We also have another cat named Dusty. He’s sixteen years old and grouchy. He’s also very annoyed by Buddy most of the time.
JSC: How would you describe your writing style/genre?
AK: I’m a romance writer, first and foremost. The characters in my book are LGBTQ. My stories lean toward the fluffy side, although they also have a nice balance of conflict.
JSC: What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever done in the name of research?
AK: Probably ran through the forest if I had to pick something. Do you know how hard it is to run through a forest? A lot harder than most books portray that I can reassure you. I fell twice and then ended up cutting that scene from the book. Ugh.
JSC: What was your first published work? Tell me a little about it.
AK: My first published work is a novella called “Whispers of Home” (Pickleville #1). It’s about a man named Jaron McAllister, who leaves his home town right after his high school graduation.
Several years later he comes back, with his son in tow. Because he had been bullied in high school, he doesn’t trust some of his old classmates, especially Travis Heath. Travis had been in the group of guys who bullied Jaron the most. He also had a reputation of being a player because he dated every girl in school. When Travis flirts with Jaron in the grocery store, no one is more surprised than Jaron.
JSC: Which of your own characters would you Kill? Fuck? Marry? And why?
AK: I’d probably kill Germ from Germ (Demon Elite #6). I know he can be funny but after a while he’d annoy me, I think. I’d definitely fuck Bennett from Leave it All (Saint Lakes #1). Bennett is a big dragon shifter and I love dragons. I’d marry Virion from Wrong Place, Right Time (Roguefalls #3). He’s got the family vibe big time.
JSC: What’s your writing process?
AK: I generally have a character in my head and that’s what starts an idea forming. Sometimes it’s a setting that pops up first, though. I do some writing exercises that will help draw out the story. From there I flesh out my characters and get to know them. Once I do that I can do a rough outline. Usually the outline changes as I get to know the story more. I have to go back and redo it but the rough outline becomes more detailed at that point. After the outlines finished I usually start at Chapter One in the story. My Chapter three or four I usually have to change the outline again and sometimes I had a scene or chapter, or even just change the story completely.
JSC: Would you visit the future or the past, and why?
AK: I’d visit the future because I don’t like surprises.
JSC: What are you working on now, and when can we expect it?
AK: I’m working on the next novel in the Saint Lakes series. It’s book six and titled “Good Enough”. It will be out in January 2018.
And now for April’s new book: Begin Again:
Ramsey has enough problems without a little vampire ninja biting him without even a hello first.
All Ramsey Somerset wants is for things to remain peaceful. With an impending battle looming over him and the everyday problems of running a clan, his hands are too full for a mate. When he meets Fane, things go from bad to worse. It has taken Ramsey years to gain control of his water monster, but all that goes out the window with Fane. He can’t be Alpha and so instinctive toward Fane at the same time. He has to make a choice, either his clan or his mate.
He wouldn’t be able to ignore the urge to bond for much longer. Ramsey knew that even as he led Fane through the parking lot to get to the diner.
Fane looked around at everything he could see without pulling away from Ramsey’s side. Ramsey wouldn’t let him go, and Fane likely knew it. He didn’t seem to mind Ramsey’s need for physical closeness.
“This should be a gentle introduction to some of the clan.”
“Never been to a restaurant before.” Fane giggled, which meant he was nervous.
Ramsey smiled. “I’m glad our first date is a new experience for you.”
“Sure. We should get to know each other better. Don’t you think?”
“You’ll leave me for your clan.” The way Fane said it, as if it were a foregone conclusion and he had resigned himself to that fact, tightened Ramsey’s stomach.
“I don’t want to. Hell, I don’t even know if I can.” Since Fane was completely honest with every word he spoke, Ramsey decided to be as well.
Fane gave him a wide-eyed look. “That’s because you don’t want to, but you still might in the end.”
Yeah, sometimes Fane was honest to a fault.
“And you have no filter.” Ramsey smiled to take the sting out of his words.
“What do you mean?” The question made it seem as if Fane didn’t do it on purpose. And Ramsey had to admit that, despite the martial arts training that suggested he could kill with one single kick, Fane came off as innocent. So much so that it was part of the reason Ramsey’s water monster was going nuts. Not only was Fane his mate but he was an innocent.
“You say what’s on your mind.”
“Oh. I’m sorry if I hurt your feelings.”
“No, sweet. You never have to censor yourself around me.”
“I can’t anyway.” Fane made a hand gesture, turning his finger around his head.
Ramsey took Fane’s hand in his and stopped them from walking. They stood in the middle of the parking lot surrounded by cars, but Ramsey didn’t care. All he saw was Fane.
He brought Fane’s hand up to his lips, kissing his palm. Ramsey wasn’t sure what possessed him to do that, but Fane rewarded him with a smile.
Ramsey pulled Fane in such a way so they were facing each other, letting go of his hand. He was so much taller than Fane that he had to bend down slightly, so Fane didn’t have to strain his neck looking up at him.
How could someone hold such an open, innocent expression and experience anything corrupt?
April Kelley is an author of LGBT Romance. Her works include The Journey of Jimini Renn, which was a Rainbow Awards finalist, Whispers of Home, the Saint Lakes series, and over thirty more.
Living in Southwest Michigan, April resides with her husband and two kids. She has been an avid reader for several years. Ever since she wrote her first story at the age of ten, the characters in her head still won’t stop telling their stories. If April isn’t reading or writing, she can be found outside playing with the animals or taking a long walk in the woods. If you wish to contact her, email firstname.lastname@example.org. Please visit her website at authoraprilkelley.com