Kidsmart Book Publishing

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Saturday, June 25, 2011


KidSmart Books invited author Kelly Kizer Whitt to give us some insight into her novel. THE Gathering Storm, which was picked as a Book Of The Month, summer read for June by Book Reviewer Max Nightjar.

KSB: What inspired you to write The Gathering Storm and how long did it take? What's different about your protagonist, Evelyn Ashcroft.?

Kelly: I was inspired to write The Gathering Storm for a variety of reasons. Having been a writer for more  than a decade, I was focused on science and other non fiction topics. Writing a novel gave me a chance to use my imagination and explore my creative side. I had a dream that was basically a scene in the book where Evelyn goes down to the tent afer the Garden Ball, and when I woke up, I continued to think about what might have led up to the scene and what happened after. Pretty soon, I had the basis for my storyline.
      It took approximately nine months for me to write the story, which is a little ironic, because it can start to feel a bit like a pregnancy and having a baby - when you present your work to the world. By the end, its hard for me to believe that these characters who are alive and active in my head don't actually exist. At some point the characters did become real, and I was just the one in charge of writing their story.
     Evelyn, my protagonist, is a relatable character, because she is honest with how she feels. I give logical reasons behind every action she tskes, so that she is not seen as unrealistic or overly frustrating to the reader. She is both innocent and naieve, two characteristics often equated or portrayed as stupid by other authors, but Evelyn manages to be both intelligent and  pure. One of her flaws is she allows the more powerful people around her to direct or control her llife. In the sequel, she begins to become a force in the Ashcroft household - for better or for worse.

KSB:  Are you a Traditionally published author or an Indie?

Kelly:  I self published THE GATHERING STORM because of how much faster l could reach an 
audience. I  had another book published via traditional methods, but it takes a long time to find a publisher and then for the book to be released.

       I finished THE GATHERING STORM a few years ago but hadn't been persistent in finding a publisher or agent. The independent route also allows me to spend less time writing and sending out queries and more time writing - which is what I prefer to do.

KSB:  How many books have you written, and what is your favorite genre?

Kelly:  Besides THE GATHERING STORM, I have collaborated on one other book, traditionally published a second,  and have a third coming out next year. In 2001, I wrote the terrestrial planet section of the book, "The Illustrated Encyclopedia Of The Universe",  published by Harper Collins. In 2007, Trails Books, published my book, Badger Brain Twisters: Wisconsin Trivia, Games and Puzzles, and more. In 2012, my children's book, about weather on other planets will be published by Sylvan Dell.
        I also wrote a yet-to-be-published YA novel titled A Different Sky that combines romance with an end-of-the-world setting. I am still deciding whether I will pursue the traditional route in publishing that book, because young adult books with an apocalyptic theme are very popular right now.
       In the mean time, I am working on a sequel to THE GATHERING STORM, which I hope to have finished by the end of the year, so I can sell it as an ebook as well.

      My favorite fiction genre is YA Romance, because everyone can relate to those powerful feelings of the first time they fell in love.

KSB:  What kind of PR do you use to promote your books?

Kelly:  I'm still learning about the different outlets for getting the word out about my novel. I have networked among friends and family, through social media, and by reaching out to book bloggers. I admit that promotion is not my strong point, because writing is so much more fulfilling to me than marketing, so I have to force myself to do the leg work.

KSB:  I want to thank Kelly Kizer Whitt for giving us insight into her writing life and style,  and for sharing her views on Indie vs traditional publishing. We wish her much success with the THE GATHERING STORM and the sequel.

      A NOTE TO AUTHORS: Children, YA, Middle Grade
 Marketing your book is a Necessary Evil of selling, presenting and exposing your works  to the public. IT IS BASIC Public Relations..  If you need assistance in promoting your book, please contact GreenAnts Consulting and Marketing, Inc, for a consultation.


KidSmart Books is a subsidiary of the KidsmartFdn. Registered TM & Copyright: KidSmart, The Children's Workshop/Craftshop. Illustrations by A. McKain, 2002-2011. GACMINC.. All rights reserved.

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