For today’s Indie Summer Feature, please welcome Kelly Walker to Parajunkee’s View.
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
My favorite indulgences are chocolate and books. I’ll read anything with a romantic thread. I’m married to my high school sweetheart, and our lovestory rivals that of a lot of the NA contemporary romances that are currently all the rage. I think that might be why I like them so much.
When I’m not reading or writing, I’m taking care of a 5 adopted animals and our 2 kids (who aren’t adopted.)
In your own words, tell us a little bit about your book?
Cornerstone is the story of a medieval heroine who goes to great lengths to protect her family, and her land. Her story is a journey of learning who she can trust, and who she can love, as well as one of learning to pick up the pieces when confronted with harsh truths.
Can you tell us about the characters in your book? Who is your favorite?
I guess my favorite would have to be Riya. Sometimes I want to bash her upside the head because of the choices she makes, but ultimately, it was her story that captivated me and begged me to start writing Cornerstone in the first place. Emariya (Riya) is 17, beautiful, and stubborn to a fault. Her mother died when she was an infant, her father is missing, and her brother has strong opinions about what is acceptable behavior for a leaders daughter/sister, that don’t always mesh with her own.
Reeve is Riya’s brother, and he’s uptight, and overbearing, but ultimately he is striving to do what’s right to honor his people and his mother’s memory. He still remembers the day their mother died and it haunts him.
Riya is often accompanied by Garith, her childhood best friend who loves her even though he can never have her, and Jessa, her handmaiden. Riya does her best not to encourage Garith’s affections, because she doesn’t love him the way he loves her, and she also does her best not to treat Jessa as beneath her, even though she technically is. Jessa herself has very strong opinions of right and wrong, and she’s more than willing to try her best to keep Riya moving in the right direction.
What makes your book different from other books out there in the same genre?
Cornerstone is unique in that it is told with many of the factors of epic fantasy such as extensive world building, a unique magic system, and a Hero’s quest, but it’s told from a YA voice and perspective. Try to imagine that Game of Thrones meets Twilight, and you’ll have Cornerstone.
What led to you going “indie”?
I am not a patient person, and I’m a bit of a control freak.
I just hate the thought of waiting two years to get a book out, when my editor and I together can get one out in less than three months. I like being able to have the final say on story and cover art, and while I would entertain traditional offers, it would take a lot of concessions on a traditional publisher’s part to tempt me.
Is Writing your full time profession?
I write full time during the school year while the kids are in school, and part time during the summer, so yes-ish.
Do you have any quirks or processes that you go through when you write?
When I’m writing, I need noise, but not distraction. I cannot write while the kids are running around being kids, or the television is on. I like music, but I get caught up in singing along ( badly) and then I don’t remember what words I was trying to write. I’ve found that I write best to Epic Soundtracks radio on Pandora.
What are you reading now?
I’m reading the Drakon series by Shana Abe, and I’m also reading Graceling.
What advice can you give to struggling writers?
Figuring out why you’re struggling, first and foremost.
If you’re struggling to write the story, there is probably an underlying reason why. Maybe you’re trying to force the plot, or you’re missing a character that hasn’t introduced themselves to you yet. Consider finding a critique group who can be an extra pair of eyes. You’ll learn as much about writing from critiquing others as you will from receiving critiques.
If you’re struggling to publish, then you need to think long and hard about why you want to publish, what your goals are, and what would make you feel satisfied. Once you’ve decided that, try to objectively evaluate whether or not the various paths to publishing would meet your needs, or not. Do your research, and go into it with both eyes open.
If you’ve decided to self publish, or you want to be a hybrid author, and you’re struggling with the details of publishing and marketing, I would recommend you visit the Writer’s Cafe on Kboards. You’ll find some of the smartest industry people you’ll ever meet.Find out more about Kelly Walker and Cornerstone here:
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Kelly Walker is a YA and NA author of several romantic titles, including the Souls of the Stones series. She has an unhealthy appreciation for chocolate, and a soft spot for rescued animals. Her best lessons on writing came from a lifetime of reading. She loves the fantastical, and the magical, and believes a captivating romance can be the most realistic magic of all. Kelly, her husband and her two children share their Virginia home with three dogs who walk her, and two cats who permit her to occasionally share their couch.