Today I am interviewing Kel O’Connor who’s debut novel Broken Bits hit the bookstores on October 18, 2016. I recently reviewed her book (review here) and I loved the book! Now I am thrilled to have this opportunity to ask her a few questions.
A conversation with Author Kel O’Connor
Now I know that I always start off with the basic “tell us about” question but I do love to lead with that. 😊 I always get a variety of answers and I think it gets the interview off to a fun start. With that said, thank you Kel for this interview and:
Q. Tell us a little about yourself, what do you want us to know about you?
I am a book nut- I love to read them, collect them, I love the way old books smell. In high school, I could read a book a day (I did not have much of a social life back then)! I think books can be magic. Finding the right one at the right time can be life-changing.
Q. What started you on the path to writing for a living?
As far back as I can remember, there has always been a movie happening in my head. If I disagreed with a book or movie, I would rewrite it. Then original ideas took over. But I honestly did not get serious about being published until 2 years ago.
Q. What has your experience been like as a new Indie Author? Any good lessons?
It has been positive so far. I had made some good author connections over social media the last few years- just as a fan. They were great in sharing advice. I was lucky to find a wonderful critique partner who was also writing her first novel. So I would advise people to reach out. The writing community is full of helpful people.
Yes, the writing community as a whole are really helpful in a variety of ways!
Q. Any website or resources that have been helpful to you as a writer?
Oh, so many! Jane Friedman has a great website/newsletter. You can find so many helpful sites by using keyword search on Pinterest and Tumblr. I think having other authors- both new and established- to talk to can help keep you sane and on track.
Jane Friedman also have a great writing advice archive. Interested? click here.
Q. What would you say are the main advantages and disadvantages of self-publishing against being published or the other way around?
I can only speak from self-publishing, but you are in control of everything. This is good and bad! You are your own marketing and media team. You pick the cover, the font, etc. But it is a massive amount of work getting the book produced and then noticed. Contacting reviewers and bloggers like yourself is key.
Q. Let us talk about your recently published book, Broken Bits, what was your inspiration for this book?
Richard Armitage and the character he played in Spooks/MI5. While Mick looks a lot like Lucas North, he is much more nerdy and not quite as accomplished. I wanted the DAG Team to be more human and less “super spies.” Mick meets Kit after he screws up on an op and gets captured.
Q. Your intention is that this book be the first in a series called the DAG Series and I have to say that on checking out your website, I loved that you have bios for each member of the Data Acquisitions Group (DAG). What are your thoughts on writing a book series?
It’s pretty scary right now! I have set quite a high bar for myself. I have always loved series- whether in book form, tv or movies. When you get to reconnect with favorite characters and revisit familiar places, it is just the best. And I look forward to that. Most of the team and their love-interests will be in every book.
Q. Who edited your book and how did you select him/her?
Another author suggested Lauren Plude. She was an acquiring editor with Grand Central Publishing before deciding to freelance. We hit it off immediately and she was who encouraged me to turn the book into a series. Working with her was a wonderful experience! The right editor can inspire your writing.
Q. What are you working on now?
The next book in the series, which features Amy. I need to learn much more about martial arts! Anyone out there want to help me?
Ha ha ha, I wish I could but I am only a martial arts master in my head! I am excited about more on Amy. I liked her as a character.
Q. Describe yourself in 3 words.
Quiet, info-holic, practical (wow- that sounds boring). What about quirky, sarcastic and driven?
I like both sets of answers. I think we all have spilt-personalities from time to time.
Q. What is the most amusing thing that has ever happened to you?
The past 2 years, I have been able to meet 2 of my giant celebrity crushes- Kip Winger and Richard Armitage. I turned into a stuttering, weak-kneed fangirl. My husband and friends still laugh about it. Both experiences were well worth the embarrassment!
Oh, I think we can all relate to fan-girl moments where we laughed at ourselves later. LOL I can show pictures of mine.
Q. What do you normally like to read when not writing?
Romantic suspense, horror and humor.
Q. What do you think makes a good story?
Interesting characters and perhaps a twist or two. I love being surprised!
Q. Are there any nuggets of wisdom you can impart to aspiring writers?
Do not beat yourself up if you cannot write every day. Do what you can. Keep reading. Find people who believe in you and are supportive. If you are introverted, join an online group. Welcome constructive criticism and stay away from people who want you to fail.