Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Interview with Kelley Grant, author of The Obsidian Temple!

Title: The Obsidian Temple
Author: Kelley Grant
Publisher: Harper Voyager Impulse
Genre: Science Fiction/Fantasy
Format: Kindle 

 After a harrowing escape to the desert, Sulis Hasifel finds her calling is not yet fulfilled. Traveling to the Obsidian Temple—the site of an ancient divine battle—Sulis is tasked with mentoring Ava, a young girl with a troubled past. Together, they join a group of magically gifted warriors to re-make the very fabric of the universe. But the fate of the world hinges on whether Ava can harness her power, and some trials cannot be overcome.

 Returning to Illian, Sulis's twin Kadar finds that his lover, Farrah, has abandoned their newborn daughter for the revolutionary cause. Not willing to give up his dream of a family, Kadar vows to stay by Farrah's side. But when he finds that Farrah is willing to anger the gods to aid the Forsaken caste's uprising, and as she steps farther down a violent and dark path, Kadar must decide if he will help her…or let the world spin out of control.

 In this mesmerizing sequel to Desert Rising, Kelley Grant brings us back to the cities of Illian and Shpeth, drawing her epic fantasy tale closer to the trilogy's stunning conclusion.

  ORDER INFORMATION The Obsidian Temple is available for purchase at  

What are you most proud of accomplishing so far in your life?
                I’m proud that I’ve followed my passions throughout my life, from teaching and owning a yoga studio to getting my novels published. Not everything has been a success, but I’m proud that I don’t give up. It can be hard to stay true to your heart.
 How has your upbringing influenced your writing?
                I grew up in a working class household and learned that if you want to succeed you have to work hard and finish what you started. That has given me the discipline to sit down and write every day, set my own schedule and stick to it until the end of a project.  
When and why did you begin writing?
                I always acted out elaborate stories I made up with my dolls and toys, as a kid. I began writing them down for assignments at school and teachers loved them. Praise is addictive!
Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
                Through reading thousands of books. I read and reread everything I could get my hands on as a kid. I love getting engrossed in another world. When I started writing I realized that was an even better way to leave this world and enter another – by creating the worlds and letting my imagination go.
When did you first know you could be a writer? 
                In college. As a child, I didn’t know anyone who was a writer and didn’t realize that they could be shy, country girls like me. College widened my horizons and I met creative, introverted people like myself who had the same love for the written word.
What inspires you to write and why?
                I love connecting all the words together to make sentences, and sentences to make paragraphs and paragraphs to make chapters. It is fun for me. I love the challenge of getting that daydream, that imaginary leap, down in words so that it reveals my creative vision.
What genre are you most comfortable writing?
                Fantasy. I love to write about new worlds and heroic quests.
What inspired you to write your first book?
                I had an entire world in my head I needed to write down. And it was way too big to fit in a short story so I had to start mapping things out, putting down the characters as they spoke to me, getting down the worldbuilding. The novel came from there. 
Who or what influenced your writing once you began?
                I’m pretty sure my five cats used their mind control to create the great temple cats in the Desert Rising series.
What do you consider the most challenging about writing a novel, or about writing in general?
                Turning off the self-criticism so the words and ideas can flow. I have to turn it back on to edit – but having a constant negative voice kills the creative process and makes for bland, boring writing.
Did writing this book teach you anything and what was it?
                How to write on a deadline. I wrote this book to contract and learned how to keep creativity flowing on a tight schedule, which would allow editing and revision before turning it in to the publisher. Writing the middle book of a trilogy was also a challenge – creating a book that was whole in itself, while building excitement for the final book.
Do you intend to make writing a career?
                Yes, at least part-time. I’m also a part-time yoga teacher, and the two careers seem to blend well together, with teaching forcing me to come out of myself and be around other humans and writing giving me the introvert time I need.
Have you developed a specific writing style?
                I’m not certain I believe writers so much develop a style as they have a style that comes out as they write. I’m not sure I can step back far enough from my writing to know if I have a specific style.
What is your greatest strength as a writer? 
                My creative worldbuilding abilities. I love creating new mythologies, new religions and imagining new lands and can create a world for the reader that feels as real as the one they are standing in.
What is your favorite quality about yourself?
                I am great in a crisis. I keep my head, work quickly and resolve the situation to the best of my ability – often before anyone else has even begun to think.
What is your least favorite quality about yourself?
                I have Seasonal Affective Disorder – so tend towards depression and negativity when stressed. I would like to be a more positive, present moment centered person.
What is your favorite quote, by whom, and why?
                I’m always looking for inspirational quotes for my yoga classes, so I have a lot to choose from. I have a tendency to get so strung up on what others think, on what others want me to be so I’d have to choose this one by Annie Lamott:
Oh my God, what if you wake up some day, and you’re 65, or 75, and you never got your memoir or novel written; or you didn’t go swimming in warm pools and oceans all those years because your thighs were jiggly and you had a nice big comfortable tummy; or you were just so strung out on perfectionism and people-pleasing that you forgot to have a big juicy creative life, of imagination and radical silliness and staring off into space like when you were a kid? It’s going to break your heart. Don’t let this happen.”

Kelley Grant grew up in the hills of Ohio’s Amish country. Her best friends were the books she read, stories she created and the forest and fields that inspired her. She and her husband live on a wooded hilltop and are owned by five cats, a dog and numerous uninvited critters. Besides writing, Kelley teaches yoga and meditation, sings kirtan with her husband, and designs brochures and media.

For More Information
  Visit Kelley at her website  

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