Life is short, so it is essential to live it fully and be the light in the dark. These are a few words from our recent conversation with our author of the month, Kelly Moran.
A brief introduction before we dive into the details further: Kelly is an author who writes enchanting ever-afters. Here book Mistletoe Magic (Redwood Ridge 6) is a Finalist in the Book Excellence Awards. She lives in South Carolina, the USA with her significant other and is a mother of three sons.
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We here at Storizen got a chance to read The Redwood Ridge series and are glad that we got an opportunity to have a conversation with the author herself. Below, you can read the excerpt from the interview with Pria and Swapna.
Life: Then and Now
Before starting her career as a full-time writer, Kelly was a medical assistant. As a writer, she loves her job and wouldn’t ever stop. So what if you stop writing or wouldn’t have been a writer? Kelly was smiling and replied with a charm, “Before writing full time, I was a medical assistant. Should I ever stop writing, I think I’d get into editing or marketing, but that’s unlikely. I enjoy my job too much and my characters would kill me.”
Kelly loves her life and believes that one should approach people with compassion and empathy. No one knows what pain the other person is going through. Being a living person in this world, pain and suffering are our buddies and enemies. We asked her to throw some light on what life has been for her and we strongly agree with her thoughts, “We never know what someone is dealing with or what burdens they carry. Be kind. Be humble. Be a light in the dark. I’m an avid supporter of the underdog and try to pay it forward when I can. Cliché as it sounds, life is short and we only get one go-around, so I try to make mine count and leave an imprint in the lives I encounter.”
Knowing Kelly as a Writer
Be it any industry, we all face some level of discrimination based on gender. As female writers, discrimination came to our minds. We wanted to know if she ever faced discrimination ever, and her answer came as a surprise. ” I have often felt more discriminated against because of my genre than my sex. Whenever possible, I try to educate if I can. There are many people out there who frown upon romance, often describing it as mommy porn, not actual literature, or a joke. Romance is the number one selling fiction genre and has been for more than thirty years. We’ve come a long way between organizations, reviews, multicultural awareness, LGBTQ+ awareness, sheer numbers, and awards, but yet we’re still snubbed,” we listened to her intently.
If you like romance, I have a little something for everyone. You’ll always get a happily-ever-after and real characters in my stories. Please feel free to reach out to me anytime on social media or through email. I always respond personally and love connecting with readers.-Kelly Moran
She continued, “Literary greats such as Shakespeare, Bronte, Hemingway, Poe, and Austen were all romance-driven writers. No book or genre or writer should ever be made to feel ashamed. Love is important. It brings hope, lights up the dark, and is the most basic of human needs. Without it, we’d have no existence or purpose. I’m honored and proud to write happily-ever-afters.”
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I also usually have some soft music playing in the background as I do the reading, Swapna intervened, do you also listen to any music while writing? We both looked at Kelly. “I don’t have one song in particular as a whole, but each book I write often has a theme song I play on repeat to keep me in the story that reminds me of the plot or characters,” she replied.
Apart from the Romance genre, Kelly Moran told us that she would also love to explore the horror genre. She says, “I might someday soon dabble in the horror genre. It’s something I’ve been thinking about for a long while. It would most likely be under a different pen name and solely focus on ghostly themes.”
Before writing full time, I was a medical assistant. Should I ever stop writing, I think I’d get into editing or marketing, but that’s unlikely. I enjoy my job too much and my characters would kill me.-Kelly Moran
On her Characters
Like parents love their children, every author loves their characters. They are born out of their imagination, making the author their parent. The process of building a character can be easy or daunting depending on the plot and several other factors. Some level of research is indeed necessary while building the characters. For Kelly, she believes in doing research beforehand so that the characters are built impeccably.
She elaborates her process further, “I research everything beforehand, and along the way if something comes up. From a character’s career to the way they behave on a psychiatric level, I research. How they were raised and their past plays a role in who they are today. I also research the setting on a deep level, from flora and fauna to dialect to climate. I write fiction, but it is important for me to be based in reality.”
She loves all her characters. Some are easy to develop, and some are too much of a pain to write. “Each book and character holds a piece of me and was both a pleasure and pain to write. Many of my heroines are strong and feisty, and many of my heroes often struggle to live with a condition such as PTSD or anxiety, but that is not always the case or the situation is reversed. There’s a greater challenge to those elements, especially if it’s a friends-to-lovers, yet worth it.” “Mm-Hmm, we sip on our coffee as we continue listening to her.”
Her Take on Reading
Every reader may not be a writer, but every writer is a reader. We believe in this notion and asked Kelly about her reading preferences, favorite authors et al.
“I’m currently reading Gena Showalter’s Lords of the Underworld series again. Great books. I’d also recommend anything by AJ Nuest, Mackenzie Crowne, Dixie Brown, Alison Bliss, Angel Nicholas, Arial Burnz, or Sarah Grimm. It’s pretty rare that I don’t finish a book, so I can’t recall the last instance. Even if I don’t care for something, I’ll push through until the end.”
There is always a book we love to read as a child that would scare us. For Kelly, it was Stephen King. She throws the light on it further, “I don’t know if it was the scariest or even if I was a child, but Stephen King’s book Misery stands out. I think because the main character was also an author, who ultimately got kidnapped and tortured, is why it was so bone-chilling for me. I could relate and it was realistic. To this day, if someone says, “I’m your number one fan,” I cringe.
Inspiration Behind The Redwood Ridge Series
The Redwood Ridge series was one of the finest books that we got a chance to read and as a romance genre lover, Puppy Love is a charming romance and a fascinating story. We asked Kelly to shed some light on The Redwood Ridge Series and her inspiration behind it.
“The Redwood Ridge series kind of took on a life of its own, winning awards, and has foreign translation in many countries (like my Cattanach Ranch series did). I love the small-town setting there in the Pacific Northwest, pocketed between the Klamath Mountains and the Pacific Ocean, and that 3 women play matchmaker.”
Many novels have been written with small-town settings and books centered around veterinarians and public service members such as firefighters or police officers. “Jill Shalvis, Kimberly Kincaid, and Kristan Higgins have written books like those, which I devoured. They inspired me to combine both elements, with a Cupid twist.”
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Wrapping it Up
Time was running by and we were ready to conclude the interview with the author Kelly Moran. Before saying Goodbye, she suggests that first-time readers of her books check her website and book trailers before deciding which book of hers to read.
“If you like romance, I have a little something for everyone. You’ll always get a happily-ever-after and real characters in my stories. Please feel free to reach out to me anytime on social media or through email. I always respond personally and love connecting with readers.”
We thanked Kelly for her wonderful time and amazing conversation.
If you would like to read her books, you can explore her website: https://www.authorkellymoran.com/