The talented authors who spoil us with such creative works of fiction are basically superheroes, saving us from reality's bleakness and transporting us to worlds that fuel us with the inspiration, love and curiosity we need to endure reality. One of these heroic authors is the award-winning, Marlow Kelly.
Marlow was kind enough to let us in on some of the secrets to her success as a prolific writer. She also shares some insight on the challenges she's faced as a writer. Check out what she has to say!
My first novel lives in a box in the basement and is beyond saving. I can’t even begin to tell you all the mistakes I made. It’s terrible across the board; character growth, plot, and story arc. I really should burn it.
I love the way Linda Howard and Julie Garwood made me feel. That ability to evoke emotion is something I try to put into my writing.
Carla Neggers has a unique gift for plotting and fast-paced storytelling and she makes it look easy.
I often wake up early and get some writing done before the day begins. And if I can’t sleep at night I grab my computer and write, even if it’s just a few lines. Every time I get words on the page I feel like I’ve accomplished something.
I also love research. I like learning new things. For Sun Storm I studied a number of subjects, including; a type of solar panel known as plastic photovoltaics, the US Army and Special Forces, and law enforcement in Montana. I took courses on FBI procedure, and I read What Every Body Is Saying by Joe Navarro.
Joe’s book about his experience as an FBI agent and specialist in reading body language helped me create Special Agent Finn Callaghan, a character featured in all the Gathering Storm books.
I’m absolutely terrible at both, but I have a fantastic editor, Corinne Demaagd. Her experience, talent and industry knowledge are invaluable. It’s great to have someone I can trust to do line edits and also copy edit all those pesky punctuation errors.
For every day writing, such as Facebook posts I use Grammarly, which is not ideal but it gives me some confidence.
Years later when I searched for it again I couldn’t find it anywhere on the Internet. For all I know, they never got it to work, but I have a writers mind and I always ask “what if?”
The characters already existed somewhere in my subconscious. They just needed an outlet. Dr. Marie Wilson was smart but sheltered and naïve, and David Quinn was a wounded Ex-Special Forces tough guy who was surly and honest.
What I couldn’t figure out was how they would meet. Then one day while walking the dog I realized that David had to arrive with the bad guys. After that everything fell into place.
Personally, I think the secret to being an author is to keep learning, and never give up.
There’s always something new to study, and there are some wonderful writer’s groups both online and in the real world who can help you.
In my opinion, it isn’t in your best interest to let a publishing professional read your work until you’ve done some editing. I always read my story aloud before I send it to my editor, and then again before publication. You’d be amazed at how many errors you find when you listen to your work.