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July's FEATURED AUTHOR: Say "Hello!" to Kelly Meding!

July 6, 2011
Well lookee here, it's July already.  Did anyone else feel like they blinked, and June was gone?  o.O   But, it's July, and today we meet July's Featured Author, Kelly Meding!  Kelly's Dreg City series is awesome, and Another Kind of Dead comes out this month.   Say Hello!

drey:  Welcome to drey’s library, Kelly! I love your Dreg City books, and am so excited for the release of Another Kind of Dead this month!

Kelly:  Thanks so much for inviting me! I’m very happy to be here!

drey:  Tell us about yourself in 10 sentences (or thereabouts)...

Kelly:  I don’t know if there’s that much to tell about myself (although I suppose that counts as a first sentence, so only nine to go!).  I’m a self-professed geek who loves all things science fiction, fantasy and horror.  I’m also a coffee junkie, a home-body (although most people who know me don’t believe that I’m generally a shy person), and a cat lover.  I’ve been an avid reader and storyteller since I was very young, but I didn’t get serious about writing until college, where I actually focused on screenplays, rather than prose.   I live fairly close the majority of my family, here on the Eastern Shore.  Since I grew up in a beach resort area, you’ll find me spending my vacations inland, somewhere in the mountains (even better if there’s local white water rafting).  Okay, so it isn’t ten sentences, but those seem like the most interesting things about me right now.

drey:  How long have you know that you were meant to be a writer?

Kelly:  I didn’t really consider myself a writer until college, when I started writing in earnest and considering the idea of making money from it.  But I never thought I was “meant to be” because I was never honestly sure I could do it.   I don’t think it ever felt possible until that phone call when my agent told me we had an offer and I knew I was about to sell my first novel.  At that moment, it was finally real.

drey:  What was your first story about?  What did you do with/to it?

Kelly:  Oh boy.  The first real story I remember writing was when I was in seventh grade.  It was bad.  It was like awful “Sweet Valley High”/Beverly Hills, 90210 fan-fiction, only with original characters.  I thought it was amazing, of course.  So amazing that I gave the notebook I’d handwritten it in to my then-best friend  so she could experience it.  A few weeks later we had a huge (and stupid) fight. She tore it up and flushed it.  Which is all well and good, in hindsight, since it was crap anyway.   *grin*

drey:  I cannot believe SVH fan-fic was flushed!!  o.O 

What’s your writing space?

Kelly:  I have my own office in my apartment, with a decent sized desk and lots of bookshelves.  I use a laptop with an optical mouse.  The wall above my desk is covered with Post-Its and little notes written to myself--story ideas, character ideas, plot points, inspirational sayings, etc...  It’s kind of a collage now.  I also have a coffee mug warmer, so I never have to worry about cold coffee.

drey:  What are the top 10 songs on your iPod/other music player?

Kelly:  Mostly I listen to music on my laptop, through a program called Rhapsody.  But I think my Most Played songs right now are (in no particular order): “Little Lion Man” by Mumford & Sons, “Raise Your Glass” by The Warblers, “Broken” by Seether (with Amy Lee), “Losing Your Memory” by Ryan Star, “It Ends Tonight” by All-American Rejects, “Hate Me” by Blue October, “Seasons of Love” by Jonathan Larson, “Lose Yourself” by Eminem, “Before He Cheats” by Carrie Underwood, and “Ambition” by Doves.  Eclectic, I know.

drey:  Nothing wrong with eclectic at all, you should see my playlists... *grin* 

What inspired Evangeline Stone’s story?

Kelly:  Partly, it was a desire to write a full-on urban fantasy novel. I’d dabbled in novels with supernatural elements in the past, but had only just recently discovered the UF genre, and I wanted to give it a go.  The rest of the inspiration was a scene I’d had stuck in my head for a while, of a woman in Purgatory asked to go back to Earth and “do something” in order to atone for her own sins.  I took the idea of the heroine coming back to life and ran with it, and as the world of Dreg City began to coalesce in my mind, Evy began to grow out of it.  Why did she die?  Why was she brought back?  Why her specifically, and not someone else?  Who did it?  What’s their agenda?

I had so many questions to answer, and a lot of fun figuring them out.  Everything just sort of grew together.

drey:  Smackdown: Evy’s in the ring.  Who’s the opponent, who wins, and why?

Kelly:  Any opponent?  (drey: yup, any opponent)  The really evil side of me would love to see Evy and Wyatt go at it in the ring.  Boxing, maybe, just for some tension release.  Plus Wyatt taught Evy everything she knows, so seeing them fight would be so much fun.  But I think the fight would end in a draw, because they compliment each other so well.   One person’s weakness is countered by the other’s strength.

drey:  What’s your favorite non-writing activity?

Kelly:  Crafts. I don’t do many, but I do have a lot of beads and items for jewelry making, so I like to create earrings.  I also like to put together art projects for my apartment, especially when I’m in the mood to redecorate.  It’s another creative outlet, but it let’s me use a different side of my creativity than writing does.

drey:  What’s up next for you (besides more Evy Stone)?

Kelly:  The fourth Dreg City book comes out January 31, 2012.  (drey: yay!!)  I hope there will be more after that, but sales will tell.  In October, I have a new series coming out with Pocket.  TRANCE is the first in the MetaWars series, which follows a group of original superheroes as they deal with a world that hates and fears them.  The second book in that series releases in 2012.   I have a few other balls in the air with additional projects, but nothing I can report on yet.

drey:  And last (but not least!), the quickie-5:
  1. Twilight or The Hunger Games?
    Hunger Games by a mile (drey: I knew I liked you...)
  2. Fondue dip: Cheese or Chocolate?
  3. Scent: Fruity or Flowery?
  4. Plane, Train, Bus, or Car?
  5. Chocolate mousse or chocolate truffles?
Thank you so much for visiting us this month, Kelly!  I am sooooooooooooo looking forward to Another Kind of Dead, it's not even funny.  I just hope July slows down enough for me to get all my reading in!

Everyone, find Kelly online at her website, her blog, facebook, twitter, and goodreads!

More goodies:  Kelly is giving away a copy of Another Kind of Dead to one of you lucky ducks (US only, please)!!  To enter, fill out the form below, and ask Kelly a question (or more) in the comments!  Do it before 6pm CST July 29th.  Good luck!


Anonymous said...

How did you come up with such an intriguing plot? Do you feel closer to one character over any others? ~Krystal Larson

wheels209 said...

Hey Kelly,
I am becoming a big fan of your work. When Drey put your name on the featured authors list I was so pleased because I knew some details of your first book. I was hoping to be done with your first book by now but sadly no. So many books to read authors to explore. Where does time go. I want to enter the giveaway so badly but I thing it would be unfair if I were to win because I am over a book behind.

Best of luck with your writing. I like your blog.

Kelly Meding/Kelly Meade said...

Krystal - So much of the plot comes from the characters and vice versa, that it's hard to come up with a good answer to "how." Mostly I just let random ideas come and run with whatever seems to work the best.

I don't know that I feel closer to any one character more than the others, but I definitely have my favorites. Evy is a given; I adore getting in her head and seeing how she's grown and matured from book to book. I also have a huge soft spot for Milo Gant (who you'll see more of in book 3).

Steve - It's great to hear from you! I hope you enjoy the book! I totally understand what you mean about being behind. My to be read pile is huge, and it gets bigger faster than I can read. :)

holdenj said...

Kelly, I loved your interview! I'm afraid I haven't read any of your books yet, but now with Drey's exposure, I'm sure this will be remedied quickly.
It sounds like you had such a natural progression but I'm curious. Did you shop other series around first or did the Dreg series hit the mark with an agent or publisher first?
Love your playlist, I think a lot of us readers are pretty eclectic in music tastes as well as genres! At least I know I am.

Bethany C. said...

I really liked the first book in this series; I guess it's time to play catch up with the third and fourth ones rolling out! I was wondering if you get to outright create the titles of the books?

Sara M said...

I can't wait for Trance! It sounds amazing! Plus, it comes out the day before my birthday. :) I was wondering, where did the idea for Trance come from?

Rebel said...

Do you like to write when its quiet or do you listen to music?

Denise Z said...

I am really interested in reading your book. Thank you for sharing today. The question on my mind today is, what did you do to celebrate your first published novel?

Kelly Meding/Kelly Meade said...

holdenj - Three Days to Dead was actually the third book I queried to agents. I had previously queried two others with varying degrees of success, but neither was exactly urban fantasy (similar, but not quite). I think I had a little bit of "right book, right timing" when it came to querying TDTD.

Bethany C - Yep! All of the Dreg City titles are mine, and so far my editor has liked the titles I've given her. Trance was a minor tweak from the original title, which still had the word trance in it (but that change did prompt a complete title change for the second book in that series).

Sara M - The idea for Trance came from a lot of things: my teenage love of comic books, my love of a strong female heroine, and my big magenta notebook full of sketches, character ideas and story lines that I dug out of a box five years ago when I was looking for a new novel idea. I've always been intrigued by the collateral damage caused by superheroes and the battles they wage, and I wanted to see how they might negatively affect the world in which they exist, so that idea really impacted the world-building for that series. There's a lot of public fear and suspicion for the heroes, but there is also that underlying need to believe in a hero and have one that stands for something--it was a fun dichotomy to play with.

Rebel - It depends on my mood, and/or what I'm writing. I can write in silence, with music, with the television, with a fan running. The only noise that really bothers me when I'm writing is when a neighboring apartment's bass is vibrating through my walls (then again, I bet that irritates most people).

Denise Z - Good one! When I first officially accepted the deal with Bantam, my best friend took me out to this awesome place in Ocean City MD called Seacrets. It's a restaurant/bar with three different rooms and live music most nights. We stayed until they closed the place, dancing and celebrating. :)

whitewolfreads said...

How does it feel to have one successful series out and another series on the way?

Thanks for the awesome interview and giveaway!

Kelly Meding/Kelly Meade said...

whitewolfreads - It feels a little nerve-wracking, honestly. Dreg City has been well-accepted, for the most part, so I think the MetaWars series has a higher expectation set to it than a new series from an unknown author. But I really think my readers will enjoy the new series, and I hope its release draws some new eyeballs to the Dreg City books, as well.

drey said...

I know I will definitely check out the MetaWars series. I have a habit of author-stalking to pick up whatever they're writing if I like their books... Sometimes it doesn't work out so well (like with Jim Butcher--LOVED Dresden, didn't quite love Codex Alera).

donnas said...

Do you get any input into your covers?

Meredith said...

What book would you like to reread?

annalisa said...

Enjoyed your interview! Do you have a favorite cover of all the books you have written? Are your covers done by the same artist?

mamabunny13 said...

Thanks for the giveaway!

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