Kelley Grant is the author of Desert Rising and The Obsidian Temple. The third book in the trilogy, The World Weavers, is scheduled for release in April, 2016. I recently spoke to Kelley about her writing inspirations, the challenges of writing a trilogy and whether she feels any of her personality is reflected in any of the characters that appear in her books. Her answers were very insightful. Read what she had to say below.
When did you realize you wanted to become a writer?
“I wrote little stories when I was kid and my teachers loved them. But I’m from a working class family and I didn’t realize it was something a kid like me could do. I didn’t know any adults who were writers. College opened my eyes and I realized that I really loved writing, and I had so many professors who encouraged me. That’s when I realized I wanted to write novels, and hopefully become a published author.”
What writers inspire you?
“Robin McKinley has such a lyrical voice – The Blue Sword inspired me as a kid and made me want to do something heroic with my life. I’m in love with well-written characters and books where the plot depends on the characters’ flaws and heroisms – Sharon Shinn, Anne Bishop, Ilona Andrews, Julie Czerneda are all huge inspirations in the art character-driven novels.”
Under what genre would you classify your books?
“They are epic fantasy for adults. Desert Rising has also been call “new adult” fantasy.”
Your Desert Rising series includes your books Desert Rising, The Obsidian Temple and The World Weavers. How did you conceive of this series?
“I’ve always been fascinated with Greek mythology and the whimsical gods and goddesses it contains. I began to wonder how those deities would rebel if there were yet a higher authority over them – and how the humans under them would survive the conflicts between those higher powers. And then my cats used mind control to create the feli who pair with the humans and it wrote itself.”
Your book, The World Weavers, is scheduled to be released this April. What challenges did you face writing this book that you didn’t experience with your previous work?
“The World Weavers is the concluding book of the Desert Rising trilogy. I’d built up conflict in a dozen different areas in the first two books. With this final book all those conflicts had to be tied together and resolved. It was a challenge creating enough viewpoints to see what was happening across the warring territories, without confusing the reader skipping between too many characters.”
Is there any aspect of your personality that you feel is reflected in one or more of your characters?
“I’d love to say that I am either Sulis or Alannah – the bold, outspoken main character or the serene spiritual guru – but I am probably more like one of my minor characters, Lasha. Lasha is more reserved than either of her friends – but she wants to blaze her own path through life. She wants to explore how she can be herself and find happiness in life while still being true to her heart. She’s not a leader, but she isn’t a follower either.”
What advice would you give aspiring writers?
“Don’t be discouraged by rejection. I’ve heard some writers say that if you can’t handle rejection you should give up on writing/publishing. That isn’t true. It is hard to have your writing rejected – but you have the ability to learn how to deal with rejection in a way that is positive. And learning how to handle rejection in writing will enhance your life overall, because rejection is a part of every aspect of living. Learning not to let rejection be soul-killing in one aspect of life will help you deal with it in all aspects. If you find yourself giving up because of rejection and need help – reach out to a trusted mentor, teacher or therapist. Your life will be richer for it.”
Are there any current projects that you are working on that you can share with us?
“I have several books that are half-formed in my imagination right now. I’m writing down the ideas and details as they come to see which decides to be my next project. I’m editing a comedic fantasy novel that is already written involving a groundhog mage and a shadowy villain.”