Collin Kelley, who lives in Atlanta, Georgia, is the author of the novels Conquering Venus and Remain In Light, which was a 2012 finalist for the Townsend Prize for Fiction. His poetry collections include Better To Travel, Slow To Burn and After the Poison and the forthcoming Render. Kelley is also the author of the eBook short story collection, Kiss Shot. A recipient of the Georgia Author of the Year Award, Deep South Festival of Writers Award and Goodreads Poetry Award, Kelley’s poetry, essays and interviews have appeared in magazines, journals and anthologies around the world.
When you were a child, what did you want to "be" when you grew up?
I never wanted to be anything but a writer. I started writing when I was a child. My parents taught me to read and write very early, so by the time I was in first grade I had already devoured all of the Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys books. I always read far above my grade level. I got into poetry in high school and my first published work was poetry. I had always wanted to write fiction and now I’ve written two novels and working on the third.
If you could have one last meal, what would it be?
I grew up in Atlanta and we love our Southern food. There’s a fantastic restaurant in Atlanta called The Colonnade that cooks up some of the best Southern cooking anywhere. I’d have the turkey and dressing with pole beans, creamed corn and a basket of the rolls and cornbread. My mouth is watering just thinking about it.
Have you based a character in your book on someone you know?
Yes, but they are usually composites of several people I know. I usually warn my friends before a book comes out that I’ve barrowed some trait or catchphrase. Everyone’s been flattered – so far. For the third book in The Venus Trilogy, I’m basing a new character on a poet friend of mine and she has offered up a couple of her poems for me to use in the novel.
What is the most adventurous thing you've ever done?
Traveling around Europe on my own. I did it for the first time in 2000 when I turned 30 and I’ve pretty much gone on my own ever since. I think I’ve become more self-reliant and unafraid to explore because of these solo journeys abroad. I love being able to come and go at my leisure and set my own timetable. I wrote a good portion of the latest novel, Remain In Light, in 2010 while I was at Oxford in England and then in Paris where the novel takes place.
Who is one of your favorite authors?
I couldn’t name just one. A few of them are Margaret Atwood, Jeanette Winterson, Don DeLillo, Toni Morrison, Alice Walker, John Irving, Anne Sexton, Walt Whitman, Raymond Carver and Ray Bradbury. I could go on and on.
Collin will giveaway an eBook edition of each of his novels, Conquering Venus and Remain In Light, via Smashwords to a lucky winner. The eBooks will be available for download in multi-formats including versions for the Kindle, Nook and other devices. Make sure to leave a comment and Collin will randomly draw a winner, which will be announced at his Modern Confessional blog (www.collinkelley.com) on Dec. 12.
Thank you for joining us on the Mystery We Write Blog Tour. For more information, visit www.collinkelley.com, find him on Facebook at CollinKelleyWriter or follow him on Twitter @collinkelley.
Conquering Venus and Remain In Light are available in Ebook and trade paperback formats from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Powell’s, Smashwords and through your favorite local bookstore.