Kelly Marino was born and raised in Buena Park, California, where she grew up believing in true love at first sight, and devoured every romance novel she could find. The moment she did meet the love of her life at the tender age of 18, she fell instantly in love, got married, and moved with her new husband to his home town of Staten Island, New York.
Fast-forward 31 years: Still married to her Prince Charming, Kelly’s a retired Master Cake Decorator, and currently works as a Graphic Designer at Atlantic Express, the third largest provider of transportation for school children in the US.
Kelly and her husband live with their two kids in Staten Island, where she dreams of being able to write full time, works more hours than she would like, and steadfastly remains a hopeless romantic!
Bio provided by author
It was our pleasure to get the opportunity to interview Kelly and learn more about her and how she came to be a author. It’s nice to meet another who also has the dream of writing full time too! So get comfortable and grab a warm mug of your favorite hot beverage and please give a warm welcome to Kelly!
1. What makes for a good hook in your stories? Where does your inspiration come from?
I’m a real sucker for character development, and I love to quickly establish immediate personality quirks within my heroine. Then, I like to throw something unexpected at the reader to throw her off, and if my reader scratches her head right away, I know I’ve succeeded. Extremes and contrasts (in personalities and physical attributes in the main characters) appeal to me. Inspiration comes from the multi-faceted people I observe every day.
2. Are you an organized writer? Do you do things like take notes and make lists of characters? Or do you free write and work it out as you go?
I do makes lists and outlines, but I usually end up deviating from them. I don’t know when I’ll learn to stop trying to stick to a regimen! Flying by the seat of my pants always seems to work best.
3. What is your normal writing day like? Do you write when you are inspired or do you have a schedule?
I come home from work, do my hula-hoop for half an hour, sit down with my laptop, and then spend about two hours writing. On the weekends, I write off and on around the clock, especially at night. I’m an incurable night owl, and love the serenity. I don’t get much sleep!
4. Who is your favorite author and how did they inspire you to write?
When I read Maya Angelou’s “Caged Bird,” it changed my entire outlook on how a story should be written. That was at least 30 years ago, but I still remember one particular line she crafted about being horribly insulted, and the line went something like this: “It was like rust on the razor that threatens your throat.” Think about that for a minute. How unnecessary would it be to have rust on a razor that is poised at your throat and ready to kill you. Her writing has always been sheer genius.
5. It’s easy to see that you have a passion for writing but is there any part of it you don’t like?
None that I can think of. Finding that sweet spot (stumbling onto a great way to phrase a thought) is rather like what my fisherman husband describes as the feeling that comes over him when he lands a keeper striped bass, and then throws it, alive and well, back to King Neptune.
6. Do you make time to read and if you do what are you reading right now?
Since I’ve been trying to put those last finishing touches on my novel and get it uploaded to CreateSpace and Amazon.com, I haven’t had too much time to devote to reading lately. I know, I know, I should read all the time, no matter what.
7. How did you get started in writing in the romance/paranormal genre? Is there personal life experience in the writing?
In the mid to late 70s, I read every romance novel that came down the pike (and I mean every single one), and I particularly loved the ones that took place in cities like New Orleans or Port Royal, Jamaica, etc. and touched on subjects like Voodoo and Black Magic. I wanted to honor that obsession by telling a story that stretched the bonds of credibility. My dad’s a retired aerospace engineer, and I’ve always been fascinated by physics and the possibility of time travel.
8. Your books have been published with Create Space, Does this mean you see the publishing industry headed this way?
I hope so. Unfortunately, the publishing world has spent the past 20+ years barring the way for good writers, and have (possibly by accident?) made it more and more difficult for great storytellers to get their stuff printed and promoted.
9. Do you have any online sites where others can read more of your writings?
10. Do you have any more stories in the works? What kinds of stories do you plan to write next?
I love the paranormal genre, and have a sequel (and Book 3) planned. Franny White’s story is far from over!
11.Who would be your first choice to play Franny White from your book “Into the Hourglass”?
There is a luminously pretty actress named Olivia Thirlby, and it’s her face I see when I imagine Franny White’s story on the big screen. Granted, Olivia is a tad older, but she is so fresh and young-looking, she would be my first choice.
12. If you could meet anyone from any time who would it be and what would be your first question?
It would be Pocahontas. I would like to know why she threw herself across Captain John Smith’s body at that last moment, staying the hand of his would-be executioner. Was it an act of brave mercy, or was she simply participating in a ceremony of “ritualistic rebirth?” (Historians have never been able to agree on that subject.) Oh, and I’d love to know if she loved her husband, John Rolfe, as passionately as she loved Captain Smith.