I Caught up with the very Lovely Lynda Renham this week, for my very first author interview.
Welcome again to the author interview. I’m really excited to have Casey Kelleher over with me today.
I’ve always loved a good gritty novel. Martina Cole has always been a popular writer with me in the past. Most recently I read Kimberley Chambers and of course I was instantly gripped and then I heard about Casey and of course my excitement of the emergence of another writer in this genre was tangible. So I am thrilled that she agreed to be interviewed for the author interview page.
I cannot imagine how she finds the time to write with her busy lifestyle. I know I can barely cope and I only have one husband and a cat to deal with. So how does Casey do it? After plying her with coffee and cake I soon found out.
Welcome to the blog Casey.
Can you tell us what made you decide to start writing?
My obsession with books started when I was about five years old, when my mum read me ‘The Little Match Girl’ By Hans Christian Anderson. After that I was hooked, a total bookworm. If I wasn’t reading, I was writing. My poor grandparents had some really cringe worthy poetry written for them, a whole book of it if I remember rightly. (I’m actually hoping that it is stays hidden in whatever dark corner I left it in, as it could definitely be used against me for the rest of my life as a form of blackmail!!) My inspiration to write my first novel actually came from my granddad. At the grand old age of almost ninety he bought himself his first laptop with the purpose of writing his life story. Sadly he never got to finish his story. After his passing I decided that instead of just secretly wondering if it was possible for me to write a novel, I was just going to go for it. It was now or never.
And how glad we are that you did.
Tell us a something about your latest novel ‘Heartless’
After being sent away for a murder that she didn’t commit, Sophia O’Hagan finally returns to her hometown of Hackney. She has been robbed of eight years of her life: a life that she could have spent with her beloved Tommy.
Keeping her friends close, and her enemies even closer, it is time for Sophia to settle the score.
‘Heartless’ is my third novel and is due for publication this August. Like all my novels it’s a crime thriller laced with violence and dark characters. I’m still edging my way towards the finishing line with this one, so I can’t give away too much. My characters seem to take on a mind of their own as I write, and more often than not they end up leading me. But I can say my readers won’t be disappointed. Heartless is my favourite book to date.
I look forward to reading it Casey. I asked Casey about self-publishing. Having self-published my first novel before finally finding a small publisher I was interested to know how Casey found the experience of self-publishing and whether she would advise other wannebe writers to take the self-publishing route.
Self-publishing has been one of the most amazing experiences. The most rewarding part of the whole process is the actual journey itself. I have met some truly fantastic people along the way. Not only has the feedback from my readers been phenomenal but I’ve also been lucky enough to receive help and advice from several top authors, some even passing on my original manuscripts to their own agents for submission.
Authors Mandasue Heller and Kimberley Chambers have been amazingly supportive. I was also privileged to have advice from the late Josephine Hart, author of ‘Damage’. She shared her insights about the world of publishing with me, advising me on how much the industry had changed since the sale of e-books had been introduced. And that was when I made the decision to self-publish. I was happy to keep writing whilst I looked for an agent to represent me, but I was desperate to get my debut novel ‘Rotten to the Core’ out into the world and see what reaction it would get.
I would definitely recommend others to brave it and self-publish.
You have recently attained an agent. That must have been very exciting for us. How did you feel? And many congratulations, that must have been a great moment for you.
I worked in the beauty industry for ten years, and started writing my novels when I could find some spare time in the evenings. My books quickly became my main focus, consuming all my time. It was a massive decision for me to finally leave my job especially leaving all the girls that I had worked alongside with for so long, but it was the right thing to do. I submitted my manuscript to The Andrew Lownie Agency and within just a few weeks of leaving my job (and on the eve of my birthday) I was offered representation by my agent David Haviland. There were a lot of Champagne corks popping in my house that week.
Having just acquired my own little working room, I am always interested to hear where other writers like to work.
My posh little office is… my boudoir!! I like to write somewhere warm and comfy, where I can shut myself away and get lost for a few hours without interruption. Usually with just my little dog ‘Sassy’ snuggled up at my feet for company.
You write similar books to Martina Cole and Kimberley Chambers. Where do you get your inspiration when creating your characters?
I have learnt from experience that people in life can often surprise and disappoint you. What people let you see on the outside isn’t always real. Life right now is great and I have a fantastic family whom I love dearly. But there have been a few dodgy characters I have met along my journey and I guess having an over-active imagination helps too.
Pen and paper or computer, which do you prefer when writing?
My hand writing is dreadful, so definitely my laptop. However I do worry that if the internet is really being monitored by ‘the powers that be’ as we are led to believe, then my house is probably being watched by the FBI going on my recent Google searches. The other downfall when using the internet is the temptation of logging on to social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter, before you know it you’ve lost an hour. I’m working on not allowing myself to get so easily distracted.
What is your indulgence when writing? I know mine is chocolate?
While I’m writing its coffee, coffee, and some more Coffee. But I’m trying to be good at moment and cut down by ‘eating clean and training mean’. I’ve just started doing crazy ‘Insanity’ boot-camp workouts. No pain no gain right? And I have to say I do feel so much more motivated to write once I’ve started the day with a workout.
Oh dear, am I the only writer who just goes for a short walk during the day (the shorter the better)
Who do you like to read and what are your favourite books?
I am an avid fan of writers Martina Cole, Mandasue Heller and Kimberley Chambers. They are real inspirations. The biggest compliments that I have ever received from reviewers are comparisons to these three ladies books, Amazing!
Any pets, children? How do they help hinder your writing day?
I have a fiancé of ten years (who cheekily claims that he’s still making his mind up whether I’m the ‘right one’ anytime questions of the big day arise). We have three teenage sons and a little doggy. Life is busy, but my family are my motivation and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Well with such a busy lifestyle Casey thank you for fitting us in between your writing, boot camp writing. It has been fun hearing about your writing experience.
To learn more about Casey Kelleher go to her web page here. You could also read her news at her blog here. I’m sure Casey would love to have you join her on herFacebook page too. You can also follow her on Twitter.