Updated: Sep 25, 2020
Throughout my life, I've been fortunate to come across some situations that propelled me further and further into the gratifying (yet equally fraught) world of writing. Reading exemplary novels, meeting kind and interactive authors, etc. Kelley Armstrong, #1 NYT bestselling author, ticks all of my boxes. When I first read her novel 'The Masked Truth', I found myself inexplicably attached to protagonists Max and Riley. But no, I began to think, there was one very simple reason; Kelley made me. She had strategically chosen how she would draw in her audience, keep their attention, and throw them from their seats. This experience existed in Armstrong's other novels, such as 'City of the Lost'.
In September of 2019, I finally met the amazing Kelley Armstong at a book signing. Granted it was nowhere near my house and I skipped school to do it, it was worth every hour of the drive. Because finally, after years of writing in my bedroom, I met an author. A real author— someone just like me. Her presence solidified my resolve and pushed me forward. Why? Because authors are people with a knack for written manipulation, but they're real people who have worked hard to get to where they are today, and I was more than willing to work hard to get there, too.
So, when I got an interview with this very same author, you can imagine my shock. A big reason I continued to write was Kelley Armstrong, and now I'm writing about her! If you're unfamiliar with her work, Armstrong is a Canadian (primarily) fantasy author who published her first book in 2001. Since then, she has completed both series— Rockton, Cainsville, Otherworld, Age of Legends, etc— and standalones such as The Masked Truth, Wherever She Goes, The Aftermath, Missing, etc. You can check out her books on her website, http://www.kelleyarmstrong.com/. Keep up with Kelley on social media such as Twitter, and Facebook.
Without any more ranting, I hope you fangirl equally as much as I did over the following interview with the amazing Kelley Armstrong.
Q: Your fantasy series Women of the Otherworld has 13 books. It’s complete with witches, werewolves, vampires, and more! You’ve written both magical and ‘normal’ fiction, yet this is your longest series. Is there a reason you’re drawn to such high fantasy?
A: I must point out that the reason it’s so long is that it was my first series. One thing I learned from it is that I never intend to write one that long again. So it isn’t that I’m more invested in fantasy than contemporary fiction, but just that I hadn’t yet come to recognize the signs that I’m ready for a new challenge.
As for why I write fantasy, I've always been fascinated by stories with a paranormal angle, right from watching Scooby-Doo as a child. Fantasy has such a capacity for creativity— the eternal "what if?" of storytelling. I can take all the folklore that I read as a child and teenager, and put my own slant on them.
Q: If you could take any of your standalone novels and make them into a series, which one would you choose? Is it for the prolonged story, loose ends, or just an overall admiration for the plot?
A: I’ve never published something as a standalone and wanted more from it. There have been several cases where a book was written as a standalone and I decided to turn it into a series (Bitten, City of the Lost) but I knew that before it was done. If a book is published as a standalone, that means I’m sure the story is complete.
Q: After the book is published, what’s the best part about the process? Reading reviews, seeing it in print, book tours, etc.
A: Reader reactions. I’ve spent usually two years working on it and going through the publishing process, so there is great joy in having people Tweet at me about it, email me about it, etc. My story is finally out there in the wild.
Q: Do you believe your surroundings affect your writing and the mood you convey on the page?