Tell me a little about yourself, personally.
Certainly! I’m an adult science fiction and fantasy author; I write adventure stories with queer main characters and a dash of romance. I pen mostly novel-length work, but I’ve done some short stories, flash fiction pieces, and poetry, too. By day, I’m a full-time office assistant; I work with data entry, phones, travel prep, and purchasing. (And a million other things, ha!) By night, I’m a freelance editor; I edit fiction and non-fiction, doing developmental editing, copyediting, and proofreading. I like to say I’m an author all the time—marketing, brainstorming, networking, speaking engagements, etc.—but I reserve my actual writing time for the weekend. I’m also a regular contributor to Fantasy Faction, a website dedicated to all things fantasy!
What is the name of the book or books you have published?
I have three books out at the moment, all through an amazing publisher called Desert Palm Press. My adult sci-fi duology—Finding Hekate and Losing Hold—is centered on a woman named Mia, a spaceship captain on the run. They find her again and she has to make a choice, stick with her crew and fight or run away like she’s done many times before. The problem is, her time as herself is running out. My adult fantasy—Sunkissed Feathers & Severed Ties—is centered on a woman named Misti. She gets this odd pendant stuck to her neck during a fight and she has to deal with the deadly consequences. Sunkissed Feathers is the first book in a series where the first four books will have a different main character and can be stand-alones and the fifth book will bring them all together and complete the arc.
Where can they be found?
You can find my books in a variety of places, like on the Desert Palm Press website, Bella Books, Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Smashwords, and a variety of local indie bookstores in Alaska and Oregon. See my website—kelliedoherty.com—for a full listing!
Do you have any current WIPs?
Of course! I always have to be working on something, you know? But I’m the kind of writer who can only write one major story at a time, so I’m narrowing my gaze on my fantasy series at the moment. (I can write shorter works, like flash fiction or short stories, if I need to take a break, but I’m usually a one-adventure-at-a-time kind of gal.) Currently, I’m drafting up book two in my adult fantasy series. The adventure revolves around a woman named Orenda; she’s one of the four main characters and someone you meet in book one, Sunkissed Feathers & Severed Ties. Anyway, Orenda’s wife gets kidnapped and Orenda is forced to do various tasks in order to get her wife back. But there’s a catch. One of her friends had family taken, too, and her final task is to “kill Orenda.” It makes for a fun push-and-pull kind of story!
How are they going?
I’ve been working on this fantasy pretty exclusively for the past few months. I’m currently on Chapter 24 so there are a few more chapters left of the story but I feel like I’m making good progress. I’ve been trying to write at a relatively steady pace. Some days are easier than others, of course! I’ve had quite a few writing sessions where I only get 200 words on the page…but that’s 200 more than I first started so I’m happy. My critique group has been amazing—I’ve been giving them chapters to review as I’m writing and, my goodness, it’s made my work so much better already! I can’t wait to go back through and make the second draft even stronger than the first. One thing I’m slightly concerned about is that I don’t have a title for Orenda’s story yet. Misti’s story title—Sunkissed Feathers & Severed Ties—came to me pretty easily as I was writing her tale, but Orenda’s hasn’t done that for me yet. I hope the title comes to me when I’m done with this first draft.
What got you into writing?
I got into writing through the fanfiction realm. I fell in love with Digimon growing up and I was reading fanfic at the same time, so I decided to try my hand at it. My first character was pretty much a sweeter version of Rika Nonaka. Her digimon was even a blue version of Rika’s Renamon! I had my girl meet up with the Digimon Tamers and adventures ensued. I chuckle when I look back now, but at the time it was mind-blowing that I could create characters like that, even though they were clearly copies. After that story, I was hooked on writing so I wrote more Digimon Tamers fanfiction, then went onto Pokemon, Sailor Moon, Teen Titans, and then finally felt comfortable to shift into original fiction. I write fantasy and science fiction now, I think primarily because that’s what I grew up with and what I really first fell in love with.
What keeps you focused?
The story and characters. Internal and external deadlines. My critique group. Readers cheering me on. Honestly, a combination of things keeps me focused! There are days or weeks where my day job or freelancing takes over but I try to keep my writing on the schedule as much as I can.
What gives you inspiration?
Inspiration is a fickle thing; for me it comes in bursts. Usually, my characters give me all the inspiration I need—their stories are exciting, after all! If my characters aren’t getting my muse going, I tend to find my creativity again from various books, TV shows, music, and YouTube videos.
How do you battle writer’s block?
When facing writer’s block one thing I find most helpful is taking a break from what I’m currently struggling to write. Taking a break could look like a lot of different things: going for a walk, diving into freelance editing, watching a funny YouTube video, reading, playing with my cats, or working on something else. Working on something else is actually my secret weapon! If I’m truly struggling, I pen a short story or flash fiction piece—anything quick that cleanses my palate of my current WIP. I often find that in the middle of writing a new short story, I have an idea about my original WIP and end up going back to that one anyway! I’m basically tricking myself. Sometimes, when the motivation to write isn’t there, I actually trick myself by saying I’ll “only write for ten minutes” and then end up writing for longer!
Did you decide on traditional or self publishing?
I decided on traditional publishing and, after querying for a while, got accepted by Desert Palm Press, a small queer publisher in California. I’m thrilled to be working with DPP; their editors are amazing, their designers are super talented, and Lee, the publisher, is always there if I have any questions. Plus, my fellow DPP authors are turning out some wonderful work!
What made you make that choice?
I was querying for a long time, over a year at least, and I had a literal spreadsheet of agents and smaller publishers that I contacted. When Desert Palm Press showed interest, I was thrilled. I had already made some connections with them as a freelance editor, and I really enjoyed their quality of work. I belong to the queer community—bi lady here!—so having a publishing house that specialized in queer work also caught my eye. The DPP family has been wonderful thus far!
How does it feel to be considered an author?
A dream come true! It’s not always sunshine and daisies, of course, but being an author was a dream of mine since I was young. Being an author is hard work—you’re always writing or networking or editing or marketing or worried how the next book will do or if the current book will connect with readers. It’s a true rollercoaster, but one I’m happy to be on!
What’s your social media platforms for people to find you?