Monday, July 11, 2016

[ Blogiversary ] Author Interview: Kelli Jean

Author Interview: Kelli Jean
Hi Kelli Jean! It is great to have you here at T & G Book Boutique! I am so excited that I get to ask you some questions!

First off, tell us a little bit about yourself!

Hi! I’m Kelli Jean. I was born and raised in Miami, Florida, but moved to the Norwegian Arctic ten years ago. I live on a sheep farm (for real), that’s in a fjord. I’ve been a neuromuscular therapist for twelve years. I’m in an awesome long-term relationship with my baby daddy. We’ve got three cats. I absolutely adore heavy metal music, dudes with beards, and I have so many tattoos I’ve lost count. I used to work as a body piercer in a tattoo shop. Good times!

What got you into writing?

I’m not entirely sure. I just remember always writing as a kid. And reading. I always had a book with me. But I’ve been writing my own stories since elementary school—six or seven years old? Something like that.

Where do you like to write?

I mostly write in my office on my big computer, but I will take my iPad with me and write on that, too. I also handwrite a lot in notebooks. If I’m not around any of these things when inspiration hits, I’ll make notes in my phone.

Did you always know you wanted to publish or did you just decide recently?

When I was a kid, I dreamed about being a published author—and an archaeologist, but that’s beside the point. Although I never stopped writing, I didn’t see it happening the older I got. I sort of fell into therapy and am really good at it. But it was never my passion. It wasn’t until one of my oldest friends told me to sit my ass down and write a book to publish that I did (Thanks, Lili!). So I guess it’s a recent development.

Were you scared to publish your first book?

Absolutely terrified.

Tell us a little bit about your books.

I’ve got two series out right now. The first is NOLA’s Own, which consists of three continuous books: Over the Hills and Far Away, No Quarter, and The Song Remains the Same. This is the story of Kenna and Phil, their amazing journey about finding each other, losing each other, and finding each other all over again. Phil is the lead singer of Kenna’s favorite heavy metal band. Kenna is doctor who provides alternative treatments to those who suffer with chronic pain. They’re very different people, and at the same time absolutely perfect for one another. They complement and balance each other. There’s a ton of angst, laughter, tears. Their friends and family are really involved in their lives. It’s a hell of a ride. Tons of music! And sex. Off the charts sex. Hell yeah.

In my second series, Ten Thousand, each book is a standalone, focusing on a couple, but all the characters and their stories are interwoven.

In Ten Thousand Words, we have Xanthe Malcolm, a reclusive indie author on the verge of hitting it huge with a big-name publisher, and Oliver Fairfax, a popular photographer. They have a passionate, whirlwind start to their romance, but Xanthe has a secret life, and keeping it from Oliver just might destroy their budding relationship.

Ten Thousand Lies is Ricki and Jaime’s story. In Words, they’re already happily married, so this books starts where Words leaves off, with Ricki telling Oliver all about how they all meet, how he and Jaime hook up, and what life will be like being with Xanthe.

Each of the Ten Thousand books (of which I think there will be five in total) deals with some very harsh, disturbing situations. For me as the author, they each bring with them a different human experience that I personally feel the need to address. Each book is progressively darker and more dangerous.

The next book, Ten Thousand Truths, is the darkest I’ve ever written, and there were parts I found incredibly difficult to write. But I stayed true to the story, and for that, I’m damn proud. This is Deo and Odessa’s story, and I can’t wait until October to release it into the wild.

If you could jump into any one of your books, which lead female would you choose and why?

I’d be Kenna from NOLA’s Own. Hands down. Growing up, my heroes were my favorite rock stars, and I was in love with one particular rocker for a long time. NOLA’s Own is the secret (well, not so much now) fantasy life I lived in my head with my die-hard crush.

What book was your favorite to write?

That’s tough, man. I think there’s certain things in each of my books that has been a favorite to write about. But I think it’s Ten Thousand Truths (which isn’t out yet), because of everything Deo and Opie (Odessa) have gone through in their separate pasts, how they come together, and the obstacles they have to get through to even have a chance of making it is so raw. It’s very real, and it gets quite painful at times.

Favorite hobby?

WRITING! Hahahaha! But seriously, it’s one of the greatest joys I have.

Tell us an embarrassing story?! I always love asking this question because it gives us a good laugh.

Just recently I was at the mall with The Dude and our spawn, and said spawn decided the penis paraphernalia display in a sex shop (I live in Europe, and Europeans have no qualms about sex shops in malls) was fascinating enough to run up and start playing with the display. My child is almost four years old, and she really, really wanted the tiny espresso cup with the dick handle, and loved the penis tiara with veil attachment (they’re used for bachelorette parties). The lady behind the counter was losing her shit.

I was flaming red in the face, and The Dude (the spawn’s father) just stood there not knowing what to do.

I told our spawn she could have the cup in about thirteen years, the imp. Then I dragged her out of the shop.

Tell us one weird or interesting thing about you?

I’ve had both nipples pierced twice. I’m sure there’s weirder things about me—I grow a really thick, long, red hair out of my neck that spontaneously shows up overnight. I don’t know if that’s weird or just unfortunate, though…

What book are you working on now?

I’m currently working on Since I’ve Been Loving You, which is the fourth book in the NOLA’s Own series. This one is about Connor (Kenna’s brother) and Alys (Kenna’s BFF) and Xavier “X.” In some ways it’s a three-way sort of relationship, but for those who’ve read the first three books, they know what it’s about—without knowing what it’s about. It’s different, and I hope I do this story justice.

Who is your ultimate book boyfriend?
It’s a tossup for me between Phil Deveraux (NOLA’s Own) and Amadeo Dahl (Ten Thousand Truths).

If you could only do one what would you choose; reading or writing?

Writing, because at least I can read what I’ve written, although I don’t read my stuff much after I publish—unless it’s for reference.

I LOVE listening in to your COPA Talk Radio! What made you want to do this? How did it start? Are you ever nervous to go live on the air?

Well, my partner-in-crime, E.M. Abel, is the brain behind this project. She asked me to co-host, and I said yes. It’s a lot of fun! It’s an absolute trip getting to know all of these amazing authors, and E.M. and I have a blast doing it.  

The first show, I remember being really nervous. And I had to control my fangirling BIG TIME when we had Beth Flynn on the show. But after the first couple of episodes, we’ve gotten into the groove, and now E.M. plays sheep sounds at me. I love it.

Thank you so much Kelli! It was so much fun having you here!

The pleasure is all mine :D 

Read Kelli Jean's Books:

NOLA's Own Book 1

Kenna MacGregor was raised to believe that music is the language of the soul. That life is a song, pulsing with beats and rhythms, harmonizing the inner spirit with the energy of the universe. In a fated moment, she discovers the one person whose music reaches deep into her being, speaking to her in ways no one else ever could.

He is the dominating, larger-than-life, in-your-face Phil Deveraux. He's the lead singer of her favorite band; her adolescent fantasy.
She is just a face in the crowd. A face that Phil is destined to see, and would never forget.
Lips touch, igniting an inferno-hot passion, melting two souls together in ways neither could foresee. Time stands still for these two, while life relentlessly moves forward for them both.

Ten Thousand Book 1

There’s danger that neither of them can escape.

Reclusive author, Xanthe Malcolm, likes her private and quiet life. However, when her wildly-popular series Paranormal Hunters gets picked up by a big-time publishing agency, she’s thrust into the limelight alongside sexy, photographer-turned-cover model, Oliver Fairfax. Upon meeting, the chemistry between the quirky writer and arrogant model quickly intensifies, creating a steamy page-turner of events made for romance novels.
Then comes the plot twist.
Xanthe has secrets that have kept her bound to silence.
And the truth has Oliver questioning every unspoken word.

Goodreads | Amazon

Connect with Kelli Jean

1 comment :

  1. Another amazing interview! I love the embarrassing story! I have Ten Thousand Words on my tbr list of 2016, but I'm moving it up my list ;)Ten Thousand Words has also a gorgeous cover that drew my attention, then I read the blurb and I was sold! - H


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