by Rox Burkey and Greg Kelso
Talking to amazing authors is one of my favorite activities. Today have award-winning Greg Kelso ready to have a chat with me. Please share a bit of your background with my readers, Greg.
I am a native of Houston, Texas and an author of both Fantasy Fiction and Westerns. All books I write are currently Young Adult. I do hope to try and stay in that area. I am a stage IV cancer survivor and currently on my fourth battle with the dreaded disease. As always, I will defeat this beast. I can be seen at most conventions around the Houston Area and plan on 2021 to add Lake Charles, LA. To my travels.
Greg, thank you for sharing that with my readers. I am honored to have you here and know you will beat the C. Let’s start into some questions. Was there a specific event convinced you writing was the right direction for you?
I think when wife and I got together. We read books together and also made up our own stories. She would give a short part, then I would add to, then back to her, etc.
Sounds like a lot of fun and great memories. What is the biggest inspiration to your writing?
I am big on energy follows thought, when I write, I believe that in certain scenes it assists in fighting the cancer I am battling and winning. That is one of the biggest inspirations for me.
How have your life events triggered your ideas for writing?
I have always been big in Dungeons and Dragons and I think it has brought a lot into my story telling.
Fantasy writing presents its own set of challenges. What do you find the biggest challenge?
Oh, the challenges really show up in two different areas. I think working with multiple main characters is a big challenge in not confusing them with one another, also sometimes creating or figuring out names for them when they enter the story.
The biggest, is the timeline of the story, placing one scene out of order can really mess things up. Either I have to rewrite the entire scene/chapter or remove the scene and place where it belongs, or rearrange the other scenes to coordinate properly, can be a real mess. It is what I had to do in Alonica: Rise of the Dragon Heirs.
Are your characters created from people you know?
Most definitely, in the end of Book 2: Alonica: Splitting Heirs, the Barbarians are based off a group I know who make leather and have a shop at Texas Ren Fest.
To date, what is the most satisfying book you have published, and why?
Having my first book, Alonica: Rise of the Dragon Heirs will always be the most exciting and enjoyable. Having that first accomplishment, will never leave me.
Your covers are distinctive, where do you get your ideas for them?
I don’t try to take from scenes, but I try to think of what I would see after reading the book and how to correlate that into a cover people could understand. Jenna Whitaker, my illustrator does well in understanding what I am looking for when I tell her. It is almost like she reads my words perfectly and returns the image I am looking for. With truly little adjustments after the first.
Are there other genres you really want to explore for writing purposes?
I do have an idea I am currently working on for a historical fiction story. Looking forward to really getting into it. I do have a few chapters written to having it started.
Tell me a little about your writing process and how it has evolved over time?
I feel with each book, my writing improves. I am no English major and having my first book printed was a major accomplishment for me. My editor also has stated with each story she has worked with, she has seen major improvements. I can also tell in my writing; I am finding most mistakes before I finish.
How do you use beta readers to make your writing so amazing?
My Beta readers are my critique group. They are a great group and can help adjust a scene to be more fitting.
How many hours a day do you put into your writing?
Recently not enough. Going through Chemo can really wipe one out. Makes you weak and then I spend most of my effort recently trying to build my strength back up for the next session. I think beginning of 2021, I will spend more time in the writing area.
You have quite a few books, do you have any favorites and how were they elevated to that status?
I enjoy them all. I hope others feel the same. Mainly, I just want a fun story where everyone can possibly relate to one character.
What formats are your books available in?
Paper Back, and E-Book. Currently, I have one on Audible, Tess: Law Woman of the West
Are your books published in multiple languages?
Unfortunately, no. I did see someone sent me a message just recently to have them translated, but I feel the cost at present is just too much.
Can you tell me a little bit about your next book and when it will be available?
Next story will be a third book on Alonica. Won’t give out a title but it will be based either solely on the Barbarians. Depending on how I feel, I might add the hero story to it. This I have not decided yet but should be ready before April of 2021 which ever I decide.
Do you read your book reviews?
Yes, I love reading the reviews. It can help both in improvement, or in keeping with the story.
I know you are an award-winning author. Which award are you most proud of so far?
Having 2 for book covers and 1 for Best YA Wester in Texas. I think having Best YA Western in a state known for its wild west is something I am most proud of.
What sort of groups are you involved with and why?
I am in several groups, one being PR for authors and one I assist in running called Authorology, which informs authors about places where they can be vendors or being able to set up in a relaxing place, like a coffee shop.
Most authors I come across are readers, does this apply to you? If yes, do you have a favorite genre to read?
I do enjoy reading. My favorite genre will always be Fantasy Fiction. I just enjoy seeing and being able to let my mind wander out into another world.
You are hosting a luncheon. You have invited two authors to join you (Doesn’t matter if they are living or not). What questions would you pose to each of them and why?
Mark Twain and Robert Jordan. I think Robert Jordan I would ask where his idea came from, if it was possibly something which may have occurred in his life to assist him in coming up with the story, or if he just cam up with the idea off the top of his head. Mark Twain, I think I would ask the same.
I know you also write Young Adult Westerns. Is this a genre you will continue writing?
I will continue writing the story of Tess: Law Woman of the West, currently not sure if I will write a story on the Bounty Hunter in the book or continue with Tess. Both, I plan on.
Do you have any advice for up-and-coming authors?
One thing I would say is never give up. I do not have a degree, but I have 3 books published. Keep up the work, listen to what people have to say, but always remember it is your story, not theirs.
Greg often attends festivals, some of which have cos-players. Lots of fun and aligned to his awesome Fantasy Fictions.
Where can folks find you and follow you.