Thursday, April 21, 2011

Please Make Welcome Guest Author...Kelly McCrady!

Thank you, Faith, for having me here today and hello to all your loyal paranormal followers and fans!
You are so welcome, Kelly! So glad to have you here. Now tell me something unique about yourself, please.
Many years ago I used to spend time at a ceramics studio. One project I created was a series of small tiles, each about an inch square. I carved a Japanese Kanji symbol onto each and wrote the single word represented by the symbol. The words had been chosen from a website showing the symbols for tattoo artists to use and I picked the words with a single symbol that struck my fancy. Later, as I looked over the collection, I realized each word represented something about me—things I do, things I am, and things I have. Some words work in more than one category.
So, how does this play out with your awesome fantasy romance?
When my novel The Empire’s Edge was in its second draft, I placed the tiles on the floor and scrambled them upside-down, then randomly chose half the tiles for my hero and half for the heroine. This is how the split turned out:         
Jeren Vassal
Is: husband, sun, water, blood, sword, moon, pure, strong
Does: live, trust, vow, honor, obey, sing
Has: harmony, peace, forgiveness, truth, honesty, revelation, beauty, honor, trust
Leah Indasely Vassal:
Is: wife, woman, earth, soul, star, storm, heart
Does: share, believe
Has: soul, devotion, virtue, unity, patience, heart, wisdom, happiness, wealth
Since each character has characteristics that are from me, I easily expanded on those within that character, and each character was then different from the other but still like me. Some I really had to work on to get into the character—I did not use “sing” inside my hero literally, for example. I did make sure he had a grounding in the humanities and enjoyed reading books and discussing them with the heroine, which fulfilled the arts quotient of “sing.” This method saved me from attempting to write a character too different from myself and helped to make them three-dimensional.
Secondary characters were allowed to fall where they might, but they too are pieces of me, sometimes in caricature. And of course the antagonistic characters get all my bad traits—making their scenes delicious to write. Maybe that’s why we love to read villains; as readers we bring our own experience, memories, and traits with us to compare with the characters and explore common ground with them. Hopefully my readers will find common ground with me through my characters and enjoy their time in my world.
And there you have it, readers, Kelly is not only a fantastic author, but she knows how to pick what works for her!

As a sci-fi/fantasy fan and author, Kelly believes the best stories contain the human element of romance. Scribbling pieces of stories into spiral notebooks since first grade, she became serious about the craft of writing in 2001. Her dream is to see her work on the library shelf next to Anne McCaffrey's. In her free time, this former zookeeper crochets, knits, quilts and gardens – badly. "I'm better with words than with plants," she says. Kelly lives in Oregon with her husband and daughter. The Empire’s Edge is available through The Wild Rose Press and  Visit her on the web at

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