It’s been a while since I’ve done an author interview on the blog, but I’d love for you all to meet Kelsey Kingsley! She’s funny, adorable, and writes great contemporary romance. She graciously agreed to let me interview her, so we’ll start there, and move on to her new book which releases today!
What’s a typical day like for you?
I babysit my niece and nephew on most days, have riveting conversations with my cat, cook dinner, and write—all while listening to music.
When did you realize you wanted to be a writer?
If I’m being totally honest, it’s never been something I ever really wanted to do. It’s always been more like a compulsion or a need, and honestly, even though I was always writing, I spent most of my early life hating myself for it. It wasn’t until I was in my early to mid-twenties that I learned to accept it for what it was, and I decided to write Holly Freakin’ Hughes.
What made you realize you wanted to write romance?
I’ve always written love stories, even before I understand that’s what I was doing. I wrote fan fiction when I was in elementary school, and the stories always had a romantic aspect to them. Of course there’s the stigma behind romance, especially back then, so I tried to steer away from it and write something more “sophisticated.” Then, a few years ago, I made my peace with it and realized there’s absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to write stories that make other people happy.
What do you consider your greatest accomplishment?
Overcoming the fear of hitting ‘publish’ that first time. The fact that I could do that makes me feel as though I can do anything.
Do you have any collections?
Oh yeah. Nightmare Before Christmas everything, makeup, Funko Pop figures, perfume… To name a few. I’m pretty much a hoarder.
Do you have any hobbies?
Writing will always be considered my number one hobby. But I also read a lot, play video games, hula hoop, watch movies…
Do you have any bad habits?
I bite my nails and I’m pretty much a slob.
Do you have any pet peeves?
Uh, mouth/throat noises. Chewing, swallowing, drinking, coughing, but mostly chewing. Actually, my cat is drinking right now and it’s driving me nuts.
Are there any skills you’d like to learn?
Liquid eyeliner. I’d like to be better at that crap.
Which of your characters would you least want to take a road trip with, and why?
Robbie White. He’s a disgusting human being.
What are some of your writing goals?
Just to remain true to myself, to never bend to appease the masses, and to always put out what I believe to be quality work.
Who are your favorite book boyfriends?
JAMIE FRASER, but he’s really more of a book husband. I love Mark Carmelo from AM Johnson’s Breakaway and Angus Dombnull from Bronwyn Green’s Rewritten (no, really).
What are three of your best writing tips?
- To write first and foremost for myself.
- If the word/scene/whatever feels forced, it will read that way.
- After the first draft, leave it alone for at least a few days. Come back to it with a fresh mind.
What’s your favorite word?
What’s your least favorite word?
What’s your favorite curse word?
Fuck. It’s so fucking versatile.
What sound do you love?
What sound do you hate?
Dog or cat person?
Cats forever, but dogs are cool too.
City or country?
Can I say suburbs?
Morning or night person?
NIGHT. God, I hate mornings.
Get things done early or procrastinate?
I work better under pressure. 😉
Introvert or extrovert?
Introverted as fuck.
What do you like best about writing?
Blurring the lines between myself and the characters. Losing track of time while I lose myself in the words.
What do you like least?
The periods of doubt.
Do you have a day job in addition to writing?
I babysit a couple wee children, but otherwise, no.
If you were a book, which book would you be and why?
Oh damn, that’s a good question. When I really think about it, I’d probably have to go with Lisey’s Story by Stephen King. Strong female lead, struggling with some hard issues. Beautiful love story. Sad words.
What was your favorite childhood book?
The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster. It’s still one of my favorites and I read it periodically.
Daisies and Devin is your most recent release. What can you tell us about it? How did the idea come to you?
In a nutshell, Daisies & Devin is a slow burning friends-to-lovers, rock star romance. Honestly, it’s really more of a journey, spanning over the course of thirteen years, and it travels through some real, tough issues. The idea came to me through a compilation of things, but it mostly stemmed from wanting to pay tribute to the things and people that inspire me and wanting to accurately depict some difficult situations from my own life. I wrote the book for myself, so I know not everybody will resonate with it, but that’s fine. I fucking love it.
What do you like best about your hero?
His loyalty and selflessness.
What do you like best about your heroine?
Her vulnerability and heartache.
What other characters in your story are you especially fond of? Why?
Robbie White. He might actually be my favorite character I’ve ever written before. He’s very different for me—he’s disgusting and a true villain.
If you were to cast your book as a movie, who would you choose to play your characters?
I am drawing a complete blank on this one, lol.
What’s up next for you?
WELL! I have the fourth book in my Kinney Brothers series coming in the next couple of months. I’m working on writing the sequel to Holly Freakin’ Hughes, as well as a spin-off from Daisies & Devin (about one of the side characters, who will remain a secret for now). I’m going to start writing my “big project” for 2019 soon, and that book… I cannot fucking wait.
Want to know more about Kelsey? Of course, you do!
Kelsey Kingsley is a writer of sarcastic, sexy, and sweet romance. She lives in New York with her family and a cat named Ethel. She believes everything can be solved with a donut and there is a song for every situation.
Everybody has a dream,
And mine could take me far.
Just me, and my voice,
A stage, and this guitar.
With patience and some luck,
I could see me, standing there.
But, that was before I met her-
The girl with the purple hair.
Enchanted by her beauty,
By her soul, and then, her eyes.
I saw the broken girl within,
And my dream became her life.
So, I found myself on a journey,
Of tragedy and letting go,
Of happiness and daisies,
Of serenades and Poe.
But no one taught us how to cope,
With life’s unpredictable scheme.
Still, I’m the hero in her story,
And she’s my only dream.
And here’s an excerpt from Daisies and Devin.
I saw purple.
I saw Kylie.
My biggest fan. My reason for everything, and swinging my guitar to my back, I took my last bit of energy and ran to the side of the stage. I reached into my guitar case and pulled out the daisy I had sent Richard to a florist for, and I ran back out to the edge of the stage and knelt.
Two security guards flanked her, arms outstretched to hold back the pressing force of those crazed women, and I smiled as I handed the flower to her.
“I love you!” she shouted, although I barely heard her over the thunder of fans.
Holy shit. I have fans.
“I love you too!” I shouted back, and as they pressed further against her, I made an effort at foolish heroism. I grabbed her hands, hoisting her onto the stage. One of the security guards glared at me, shaking his head, and I grimaced an apology, mouthing a “sorry.” His expression lightened as he waved a hand to send me on my way.
Kylie giggled on my arm. “He probably thinks I’m some groupie you just pulled out of the crowd.”
“Would he be wrong?” I laughed, my smile so wide, it ached.
I stopped moving when we reached the narrow hallway leading to the dressing room, and I picked her up, spinning around like some romantic movie love interest. Her arms held tight to my neck, our lips locked in a fairytale kiss, and I only pulled away when I felt the wet tears on my face.
She was crying, and I was shocked to find that, so was I.
Her palms pressed to my cheeks. “Oh my God, Devin,” she exhaled, her fingers pressing into my skin. “That was fucking incredible. I … oh God …” Her lips thrust against mine.
That kiss said everything that words couldn’t; her pride, her joy, her love. I felt it all, and I gave it back. Letting it flow through me as I held her tight.