Meet Kelly St. Clare, author of the YA fantasy series The Tainted Accords. Kelly is originally from New Zealand, lives in Australia and wrote the first two books of The Tainted Accords while traveling to approximately fifteen countries. She is a physiotherapist, loves day dreaming and has always been drawn to the mystery and magic of books.
Kelly kindly agreed to answer a few questions about her background, motivation, inspiration, comfort reads and more…
Where did you grow up?
I was lucky enough to grow up in beautiful New Zealand. I was born in Rotorua, which the locals dub Rotovegas due to the large influx of tourists. It smells a lot like eggs because of the natural hot pools in the area (which are amazing!). I haven’t made it sound very good, but it is. Definitely visit it.
I’ve travelled a fair amount, and lived in several places throughout NZ, from the top of the north island to the bottom of the south island. As well as this, my fiance and I have lived in Londonderry, Ireland, and Victoria, Australia. I love learning and experiencing the different slang, food and traditions of each place. Even though I’ve only lived in ‘westernized’ countries, the cultures are still varied and unique. My favourite thing to do in a new place is to go to the local supermarket and buy a whole bunch of unknown food to try.
When did you start writing? What motivates you to write?
Unlike most authors I didn’t write as soon as I could hold a pen. But try to tear me away from my books and you would be unpleasantly surprised. I sporadically wrote bits and bobs and loooved and excelled in English classes during high school. I suppose more than anything I wished I could write a book. Eventually (after achieving my physiotherapy degree) I decided to pursue writing as a hobby and studied with the Australian Writing Centre on the side. One day, inspiration struck and with much research and hard work, my first book was created.
My motivation are the stories! The characters chat to each other in my head – perhaps I should be a little concerned about this…And now I’m published, it’s the readers who patiently wait for months between books who keep me eager to get back to the keyboard.
Do you have any writing rituals? Do you keep inspirational items on your desk?
My books are so international. I’ve travelled through about fifteen countries while writing them. It’s very unsettling! As such I don’t have a desk for inspirational items. But I will when I return to Victoria. An unchanging writing environment will be a dream to work in.
The only ritual I religiously stick to is to never look back over what I wrote the day before. It’s too tempting to change and fix your previous writing and never move forward because of it. Oh, and the ever present cup of tea – which I’ve had to change to decaf because I was getting caffeine withdrawals.
Any reading/writing pet peeves?
Reading peeves! I suffer from character loyalty. I don’t like when writers continue a series, but change the main characters. I have to leave the series for at least six months before I can go back and not hate the book. Typos as well. Which now I’m an author I am so much more understanding of. Those typos are elusive and never-ending!
I don’t think I have any writing peeves. I enjoy the whole process and love reaching the finish mark. Such an awesome feeling.
Favorite comfort reads?
Oooo, Pride and Prejudice every time. I often return to Sookie Stackhouse series by Charlane Harris, Forever Evermore series by Scarlett Dawn, Tomorrow When the War Began series by John Marsden and The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins is another fav. I’d probably read these once or twice a year.
What are you currently working on?
I have just finished Fantasy of Flight (Book Two) which comes out May 24th 2015, and now I am working on Book three in the series which doesn’t come out until early next year. I love this story, it’s just so fun to write.
[PLEASE NOTE: the next (and last) question contains spoilers!]
On page 56 of Fantasy of Frost Kedrick launches himself at Olina and pins her to the ground. Of course we know Olina is a skilled fighter and can easily defend herself, but what follows is a rather forceful moment. What made you decide to write it that way?
A part of this is because of where Kedrick is from. Glacium tends to be bold with a “take what you want” attitude. He has largely suppressed this during his time on Osolis, but while they’re alone at Aquins’, he lets down his guard. He has also realized Olina tends to evade and deflect uncomfortable questions, she holds her cards close to her chest and Kedrick is uncertain about the extent of her feelings. This is a playful way for him to get more of an idea of her feelings for him. The third reason? He just wants an excuse to touch her:)
Hi, I'm H.E, a TCK and the author of Culture Shock - A Practical Guide. Love the outdoors. Motto: onwards and forwards! In search of perspective. If you'd like to get to know me a little better, head on over to the menu and click "For readers".