Interview With New Author, Kelly Edwards

I got to “sit down” and talk with Kelly Edwards, author of Scorcher, and ask her what it’s like to have a book out, how and why she chose the route she did, and a lot of other things that have absolutely nothing to do with writing at all. She was a fantastic sport and great fun to talk to.

You can get Scorcher in physical copy or ebook.

Nerdmobile: So, Kelly, tell everybody what the book and series are about.

Kelly: Scorcher explores the concept that supervillains are people too.
They’re not always megalomaniacs with dreams of world domination.
Sometimes they’re just people doing whatever they must to get by.
Aidan Grey is a college student with goals for the future, a drive to
succeed, and little time for romance. She’s also a woman with a
secret. At eleven, she was orphaned due to the accidental use of her
pyrokinetic abilities. She was taken in by the secret criminal
organization known as Iris and trained to use her abilities for the
organization’s profit. Marty Knox is a police detective who loves his
family, tries to genuinely make a difference in the world and falls
hard for Aidan. He shows up just as Aidan is starting to question her
loyalties to Iris and she’s surprised to find that she can’t resist
him, even if it would be dangerous to get involved with someone on the
right side of the law. What Aidan doesn’t realize is that Marty has a
secret of his own, one that would endanger both their lives if
discovered by Iris.

The series itself expands on this topic as Aidan struggles with
figuring out where her loyalties lie and fights for the freedom to
make that choice for herself, as opposed to allowing the organization
that’s owned her for half her life to continue to make all of her
decisions.

Nerdmobile: You are a brand spanking new author, but that doesn’t mean you just now picked up writing. How long have you been at it?

Kelly: I’ve been telling stories since I was a kid. I used to write plays to perform for my parents. In middle school and high school, that morphed
into poetry and short stories. And I must say, thank goodness the
internet wasn’t really a thing back then. Or else there might be some
of that middle school poetry coming back to haunt me.

Nerdmobile: What drove you to the method of publishing you used?

Kelly: I’m a control freak. Seriously though, I really liked the idea
of getting my book out there on my terms and spending time building my
audience instead of spending time trying to sell my novel to
publishers. I also enjoy some of the other things that have come with
marketing, from working closely with my cover artist to designing my
own website and running my own promotions on Facebook and Twitter.

Nerdmobile: Will you continue with self publish, or are you hoping to be picked up by a publishing house?

Kelly: At this point, I’m really enjoying the self-publishing process
but I wouldn’t say no if the right offer came along. Right now, I
think that my books fall into a niche market as they are unabashedly
genre fiction. While genre fiction can and does sell to traditional
publishing houses, it is a tougher sell.

Nerdmobile: In your opinion, what is the difference between the two?

Kelly: The biggest difference between the two is the degree of control
an author has over the finished book. With a traditional publishing
house most authors have very little, if any, say in what the cover or
layout look like. They are also under deadlines from the publishing
house instead of self-imposed deadlines. Of course, with a traditional
publishing house there is a chance for wider distribution so if that’s
what you’re interested in, there are many times when it’s worthwhile
to give up some of your creative control so you have the chance to get
your story out there to a wider audience.

Nerdmobile: Is writing your first love?

Kelly: Actually, my first love was a boy named Jimmy who was the He-Man to my She-Ra. Sadly, no one told us that they were brother and sister. But
after Jimmy, telling stories was my first long-lasting love.

Nerdmobile: Would you marry writing?

Kelly: No, I’ve already got a wonderful husband. Writing is just the sexy,
alluring mistress that I lavish with gifts and spend most of my free
time with. (Sorry, honey!)

Nerdmobile: If you and writing had babies, … oh wait. That would be your
book. What was your inspiration for this particular story?

Kelly: This story, like most of my stories, started with the characters.
Aidan came to me first. I really liked the idea of a character who has
reasons for being a villain and who might not be looking for
redemption at the start of the story but isn’t fully evil either. The
story evolved naturally from there. I had help from a dear friend,
Paul Leone, in developing Marty as someone who is both the anithesis
of what Aidan is but is similar enough to forget a strange sort of
connection.

Nerdmobile: So you’re a character driven writer, have you ever attempted to write a story that focuses not on the people but on the situation?

Kelly: I’m working on a story now where I came up with a basic sketch of
an idea first and then started filling in the characters. I would say
that the plot or situation tends to feed and inform the characters and
vice versa.

Nerdmobile: Do you fall in love with your characters?

Kelly: All the time. It’s getting rather full in my heart because every
character I’ve ever written has carved out a spot. If I don’t write
with them for awhile, I will start to miss certain characters. I also
frequently feel guilty if I’m not writing often enough to get their
stories out.

Nerdmobile: Writers read, that’s a given. Who is your favorite author?

Kelly: I have a confession. I am a book slut. My favorite author changes on a semi-regular basis and I’ve never committed to just one favorite.
Authors I’m loving quite a lot currently are Seanan Mcguire, Jim
Butcher, and Jim C Hines. Susan Ee is also my new favorite up and
comer to watch.

Nerdmobile: So there’s not one author that you’ve read since you were younger that still holds up for you today?

Kelly: Lois Lowry and J.R.R. Tolkien both stand out, though it’s been
awhile since I’ve reread either author. Unfortunately, my reading time
is very limited now so I usually try to seek out books that I haven’t
read yet and don’t have as much time as I would like for reading the
old favorites.

Nerdmobile: What is your favorite book of all time? How many times have you read it?

Kelly: See above, re: book slut. The Harry Potter books are my go-to comfort books for when I just want to read something familiar. I’ve lost count
of how many times I’ve read those. I’ve also lost count of how many
times I’ve read the Dresden Files.

Nerdmobile: Do you have other nerdly pursuits?

Kelly: Aside from the standards: reading comics and sci-fi and fantasy books, watching sci-fi and fantasy TV shows and debating them online, I’m
also really into making superhero costumes and of course, wearing them
to conventions and charity events.

Nerdmobile: What was the first comic you read?

Kelly: While I have loved superheroes for most of my life, I’m actually
relatively new to reading actual comics. I started reading them about
7 or 8 years ago. The very first comic I read was the trade of Batman:
Year One.

Nerdmobile: Who is your favorite superhero? Why?

Kelly: There are a lot of superheroes that I absolutely adore, but I
would have to say that Black Canary (II, ie Dinah Laurel Lance) is my
all-time favorite. I could write an essay or two on why I love her but
I’ll try to spare you all the reading. I love her because her
backstory includes a mother-daughter relationship that is complicated
and not cut-and-dry. Dinah took up her mother’s mantle against Dinah
Sr’s wishes, and so you have both an act of rebellion and following in
her mother’s footsteps in one. In the best comics where Dinah is
featured, this informs her character beautifully. Dinah is also a
character who has a great power (her sonic cry, which can knock people
out, shatter just about anything, etc) but chooses to rely on the
abilities that’s she’s gone out and learned as opposed to simply
relying on the fact that she has a superpower. She was also
essentially ‘fridged’ in that she lost her superpower in a heinous,
violent way and yet instead of ceasing to be a hero, she continued on
and became even stronger for working through that loss and finding
ways to thrive without her superpower. And for all my good intentions,
I’ve still written you a novelette so I’ll leave it at that.

Nerdmobile: What is your must watch show currently?

Kelly: Once Upon a Time is currently my must-watch show. I’m a sucker
for fairytales and especially when they’re told in an interesting way.

Nerdmobile: Do you have a show that you go back to a lot? Rewatch again and again?

Kelly: Buffy and Firefly are two of them. I adore Joss Whedon because he
is always pushing the limits of the genres he works within and he
writes some of the most well-rounded female characters around. Even
today, that’s still something that’s harder to find than well-rounded
male characters.

Nerdmobile: Batman or Superman?

Kelly: I love them both, but for me it will always be Superman. Why? Because he is unabashedly a square. He has his morals and he sticks by them,
in spite of the fact that he has the powers of a god and could simply
pummel people until they had no choice but to see things his way.

Nerdmobile: If you were able to choose a superpower, what would it be? Why?

Kelly: Is the ability to run on no sleep considered a superpower? If so, I
would definitely choose that because there are not enough hours in the
day. Otherwise, I would choose teleportation because I’m impatient and
hate waiting to get places.

Thanks to Kelly for taking the time out of her schedule to chat! I wish her luck in her future ventures and hope she enjoyed the interview as much as I did. I’m still curious as to her favorite villain, but maybe that’s a closely guarded secret for a reason.

Maybe she’s her own favorite villain…

DUN DUN DUN!

House (Not the show. DEAR GOD, NOT THE SHOW)

This is not a writeup about the show House, where a snarky doctor pops Vicodin and solves medical mysteries. If that’s what you’re looking for, turn back now. This has nothing to do with that show, and never will. There are no similarities, except for maybe that some of the actors are male.

There are lots of movies out there about haunted houses and people getting trapped in them. Or people spending the night in one and then getting trapped in them. Or people going to a house because they’re lost/car’s broken/think it’s a nice hotel and then get trapped in it. It’s a familiar story, and it can be said that it’s a little played out. But then, you could really say that about every movie out there, couldn’t you? All stories have already been told, it’s the way in which they’re done that we should be looking at.

And by god.

I think I originally began to watch this because I thought it would be crap, and maybe it would help me fall asleep. Michael Madsen was obviously another pull. He’s okay in my book. But it’s very likely that I didn’t really have much hope, though I swear to you now that I recall no such thoughts happening.

Mostly because this movie just blew all such thoughts right out of my pretty little brain. Then said brain was splattered against the wall.

This is, apparently, also a book. Which I’m going to have to seek out. Because wow. If this is what I get from the movie, I can only imagine what I’ll get from the book (*knock wood* please, don’t jinx me, please don’t let me be wrong, please don’t let it be horrible since I opened my damned fool mouth).

This doesn’t just get you through plain old every day fear, either. This really fucks with you all over the place. It’s like it had a party in your brain with Motley Crew and Guns ‘N’ Roses and didn’t tell you. It also didn’t tell you that it invited some heroin junkies and gave you some acid in your sandwich. Every single angle, this thing is coming at you. I loved it.

I think that more horror should be all encompassing, instead of just focusing on the physical horror or the psychological horror. Combining it can make some very beautiful music. Haunting, melodic music carrying a chainsaw. Oh, I know it can go the other way, too. I’ve seen it happen. I’m not an idiot. But more should at least try. If we do not try, we do not learn.

We can take notes from this movie, and spread them all over the place, and hope that little baby movies with this much intensity are born. Or something.

Cowboys & Aliens (graphic novel)

Wow.

I … I really don’t know how to say this, guys. I’m really… I’m really sorry.

I know we all really liked the movie version of Cowboys & Aliens, Daniel Craig did a really fantastic job running around in chaps and hurting people a lot. Really, everyone did a rousing performance in that movie. We enjoyed the way they made the aliens look. We like that the shitty kid got hurt a lot. In general, we just really liked the film.

And in really liking something, we tend to want more of it. So we go around looking for things that can prolong our experiences. Things to make us happy. Things that will bring back that joy we felt while watching shit blow up on the big screen.

Which might lead some of us to the graphic novel. And those of us who find it might become very excited. We might order it on Amazon and wait anxiously for it to be delivered. Once we get it, we might sit for a while, just looking at the cover (a new cover, by the way, not the old one, this one is mighty pretty). We might, then, crack it open to the front page, ready to nestle into our favorite reading spot and relive our glee.

Then we might find ourselves very, very disappointed.

It’s kind of like when you see somebody do something really stupid, but they don’t end up hurting themselves. Or watching a car blow through a red light right in front of a cop, but the cop doesn’t do anything about it. It’s that kind of let down. Enormous. Soul crushing (Okay, that might be going a little too far, maybe).

Pretty much the entire thing is different from the flick, and I can really see why they’d choose to change everything right down to the character’s names, because really, other than the concept, the whole thing sucks. From the start, right to that very last page, you’re going to find yourself wondering what the fuck you just read. Then you’re going to wonder why the fuck you just read it. Believe me, you won’t find a good answer for that. All the reasons previously stated, all that wonderment brought about by the movie, and that need for more of it, it’s going to be gone. Right down the tubes.

Luckily, the movie is so completely different from this bound colorful wad of paper that you won’t even be able to bridge your disappointment of the one to the other. It’s like you’ve seen a Muppet movie and decided to read a how-to guide about frogs to further your fun. There really are only very vague similarities, and those you can ignore or wipe from your mind completely. Don’t fret too much over it. It can be forgotten. I’ve nearly already done so, and it’s only been a couple of days.

I suppose I’ll keep the thing around, because the cover is really very pretty, and I spent money on the thing, so I feel bad doing anything else aside from letting it have some shelf space. But I feel like I really need to spare you from the same fate.

Do not buy it. Do not even read it. If a friend has it and offers to loan it to you, they’re likely trying to pawn it off on you, don’t fall for it. Say ‘Thank you, my good friend, for your thoughts of me on this subject matter, but I must respectfully decline on the basis that you are a liar’. And then maybe quickly leave before your friend tries to sneak it into your car or backpack.

It does make me sad that I have to write words like this about something that should have been good. But I cannot bring myself to lie when things are bad. It’s unfair to the rest of the world. I suffer so that you do not have to. Don’t let my suffering be in vain.

True Grit (Book edition!)

I couldn’t wait any longer. I sped through the book I’d been reading and immediately picked up True Grit. I was a little impatient about it, because I’d meant to read it before I got the new version of the movie from Netflix, but I’d put my mind to rereading a whole series of books before I got to this one. It only took a little over a week, but still too long.

I love it. Absolutely love it.

There are times, and I believe I’ve spoken about it before, where you read a book of a movie you love and the book just ends up being nothing more than trash. Crap. I worry about that sometimes, when I’ve not gotten to or known that the book exists before I see the movie.

Maybe I should stop worrying so much about it, since it hasn’t happened in a long time.

I have to say, I devoured the book as if I were starved for words. I read it so fast, I could hardly believe it. But once I picked it up, I just couldn’t put it down again. I do believe I will try this author again.

There will be further comparisons made later. True Grit – The Trinal!

The Virgin Suicides

I only recently got to see the movie adaption of this book. I read it a few years ago and discovered that I really liked it. It wasn’t until after I finished that I made the mental connection of the author of this book being the author of Middlesex. To say that I enjoy his writing is an understatement. Since I read Middlesex, I’ve gone actively searching for things Jeffrey Eugenides has written. Which means that at the time that I picked up The Virgin Suicides, I likely knew exactly what I was doing, but by the time I actually got to it (through my large stack of books-to-read) I’d forgotten.

I wish now that I’d seen the movie before I’d read the book. It’s the only way I can come up with that I might possible have enjoyed myself while watching. If I hadn’t known how it was supposed to feel, maybe I could have felt anything at all.

This really makes me sad to say. Considering how much I love the writer and I love the book. It really kind of hurts. But this movie really fell flat.

The insertion of real people into the characters went well. They picked some very good faces to fit into what I had imagined. So I don’t know if it was their acting, or if it was the directing that caused the problem. I hate to say either. But considering I’ve seen these particular people in other things where they aren’t lifeless and empty, I think I might have to lean toward the directing.

I don’t want to insult Sofia Coppola, but it’s the only thing that makes sense.

The book made me actually cry. I was dry eyed through the entire movie. The book moved me, it made me feel things. I kept wondering how much longer the movie was going to take. I felt I knew the characters when I read the book. Watching the movie was like stepping into a crowded room full of strangers wearing masks of my friend’s faces. Everything the book was, the movie lacked. I was not interested in the story as I watched it play out on my television screen. I was not intrigued with what the characters were doing.

So much was left out. Not just scenes, but emotions. Key things. Hints. Clues. Knowledge. A life of it’s own.

The emptiness of this movie was really rather astounding. How can somebody take words that have such presence to them and steamroll them into something so dull?

I don’t know.

I wish I had the answer.

Mogworld

I can say it – I’m actually pleasantly surprised at how fun and entertaining this book was. I was highly amused the whole time I was reading it. I really enjoyed the book, and hope that he writes more in the future.

It may sound unfair that I should say that, I do, after all, enjoy his reviews of games. I have so enjoyed his game reviews in the past that I’ve been able to overlook if I agree with him or not and just watch them for what they are. And I don’t always agree with what he has to say, of course. Nobody always agrees with somebody unless they’re a complete nutjob.

But just because he does a good job at those doesn’t mean he’s got what it takes to write a book. I don’t think that just because I enjoy writing that these reviews I do are actually viable for money. I do them because I want to talk about the things I interact with, not because I want it to be my job. I think I’d actually hate to review things because I had to.

People who can’t and shouldn’t write are getting a lot more book deals these days. That chick from The Hills got two. Should she be writing? No. Will people buy her shit? Yes. Because they’ve seen her face on TV.

I got a copy of Mogworld at PAX and sort of put it off because I was unsure if I wanted to taint his game reviews with disappointment in his book. I shouldn’t have worried. Because he’s not some twat who got famous doing something else so they gave him a book deal to make cash off of him. He’s really quite talented. I’m very pleased to be wrong in my waiting.

The type of book that Mogworld is is the type that only comes from a writer that really knows their characters. Some writers just push things out for the sake of getting shit done, and some take time to really evolve what they’re writing about.

Not to mention that it was really funny. I literally laughed out loud a couple of times. That’s not an easy task to accomplish. Not that I’m a humorless bitch, but I generally keep quiet while reading. Comes from spending many hours in libraries as a youth, I think.

Sorry to say, anybody who doesn’t have it already is going to have to wait for a second printing. But when that happens, I suggest reading it as soon as you can. Don’t put it off like I did. Because you’re missing out.

Let The Right One In/Let Me In

I’m sure we all recall how I feel about the book and the movie Let The Right One In, yes? That I adore it to pieces and make everybody watch it.

When it was announced that there was going to be an American version made, I was curious. The Wiki for it said the director intended to include some of the things in the book that the Swedish version didn’t. I was expecting that they meant the really vampirey parts. The things where you go “oh shit!” and got kind of excited about it. I mean, it’s not that I wanted a replacement for my movie, it’s just that I wanted to see what could be done with it.

THEN it turns out that instead of adding things, the American director has removed some things. Some VERY IMPORTANT THINGS. I am a little ticked off that names were changed. Yes. Okay. But that’s minor.

It seems that they’ve removed entirely the fact that Eli/Abby is not really a girl, and just made the character a girl. Hello, that’s sort of really important to the story, thanks. That irritates me. There are a couple of other things, too. I was just generally unhappy with the whole thing.

Then, of course, I read up some on it because I was curious again, and discovered that they’re not trying to remake the Swedish movie, but make another version of the movie. Okay. Fine. And then it turns out that the director holds the movie in high esteem, both the original and his own. And that the book is something he adores.

After that, I watched a couple of the trailers for it and now I’m back to being curious and wanting to see it. I want to see what this guy does. I want to see how it all comes out. He’s quoted as saying he thought that the book could make a really great scary story, and while Let The Right One In is psychologically scary, I think I’d like to see what this American director did. And if I’m honest, I did enjoy Cloverfield. I think maybe this guy can do it, do what he thinks he can do without fucking shit up too much. Despite what he did with Eli/Abby.

So I’ll give it, and him, a chance.