A few weeks ago I asked you all to submit questions for the Frequently Asked Questions page on my website. I thought I'd also post them here, since this is where I initially asked for them. I've broken them up into two parts so neither post is too long, and you have the option to either read the questions and my responses or listen to them in video form.
I know you’re a Rick Riordan fan but, which other author(s) inspire you?
Becca Fitzpatrick is another favorite of mine. I loved her Hush, Hush series. The dynamic between Patch and Nora was amazing and well supported by a great plot. I also really enjoyed Black Ice, which is her new thriller. Her writing just draws me in and doesn’t let go.
Kelly, you have written quite a few books. How do you manage your timelines for writing each novel?
I admit that I get a little crazy when it comes to drafting a new book. That book just sort of takes over my life until it’s written. I frequently get ideas for other books while I’m drafting, but I quickly jot those down and get back to the novel I’m currently working on. I’ve learned my characters don’t share me very well. ;)
Do you set certain goals for your word count each day and do you always meet those goals?
I don’t have a standard word count set per day. What I do is look at what I need to accomplish that day. Sometimes I have to help out at my daughter’s school, so I might only have two hours to write that day. I can usually get about 2K written in an hour, so I’ll take the number of hours I have and multiply it by two. I usually meet my goals because I’m kind of hard on my self, but there are times when unforeseen circumstances make me have to adjust my goals a bit.
When do you know a book is finished, polished and ready to submit? Or even, how?
Basically when all I’m doing in a revision is moving words around, it means I’ve reached my limit. At that point I need to pass it on to my agent and get her feedback.
How you decide which bookstores to approach for readings and your pitches?
Unfortunately, I only have one bookstore in my area, so I definitely start there. After that I like to team up with other authors and do joint signings both where I live and where they live.
Are there any tricks you use to make yourself want to write during times when you absolutely do not feel like it?
I actually haven’t found a time when I didn’t want to write. I feel guilty if I don’t write every day, or at least revise. I look at writing as a career and take it very seriously, but at the same time it’s part of who I am. It feels weird for me to take a day off because I feel like I’m missing something I love.
How do you keep your two writing "personas", if you will, separate?
I don’t always. Into the Fire has both of my names on the cover because it was a book that really blended both Kelly Hashway and Ashelyn Drake. Of course I have other books that are purely romance or purely paranormal. I tend to just run with the ideas that come to me. I do have separate social media accounts for each persona though.
Are there times Ashelyn intrudes on your writing as Kelly?
When writing the second book in the Birth of the Phoenix series I got really stuck in a particular place because I knew where Kelly would take the plot and I knew where Ashelyn would take the plot, and those two didn’t mesh. That was tough. So yes, my two personas do butt heads on occasion.