Thursday, December 30, 2010

New giveaway: Book Club's 31 Days of Giveaways

The fabulous Crissi invited me to participate in Book Club's 31 Days of Giveaways. Today is my day! :D This giveaway lasts for 24 hours, so hie yonselves over to Crissi's Blog to answer the following questions: (NOTE: DO NOT ANSWER HERE. YOU MUST GO TO CRISSI'S BLOG TO ANSWER AND BE ENTERED!!)

1) When I deck the halls I use garland, but in this popular Christmas carol they use?

2) Where does Frosty the Snowman go after winter is over?

3) Can elves fly?

(A) Obviously! There magical beings.
(B) Only with the help of a reindeer or Santa's sleigh
(C) Not at all, that's why they work all the time.

The giveaway today consists of both of my Charlie Madigan titles (THE BETTER PART OF DARKNESS & THE DARKEST EDGE OF DAWN), signed. And a final autographed copy of Kelly Keaton's YA debut, DARKNESS BECOMES HER. The YA will be mailed separately once the final copies come in sometimes in late January, early February, but the adult titles will be mailed after the winner is announced.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

ARC contest & Happy Holidays!

Thanks to everyone for the awesome feedback on the new Charlie cover! :D Just quickly wanted to share info on the ARC contest I have running over on the Kelly Keaton Facebook Page. One signed ARC of my young adult novel, DARKNESS BECOMES HER is up for grabs until Jan 1st.

And saying a BIG OLE HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!! to you all now since I'm not sure when I'll be back by. Be safe and I hope you all have a great time over the next few days. :-)

Monday, December 20, 2010

New Cover: The Hour of Dust and Ashes

I can share! Here is the cover for the third Charlie Madigan book. Once again, the art was created by Chris McGrath. And I'm in LOVE with the color. Remember when I said, "Intense"? Was I right or was I right? :D Big, big thanks to my editor, Ed, Chris M, and the Art Dept. at Pocket for creating another great cover for the series! There might be a few minor changes (blurbs, quotes, that sort of thing) but the artwork is done, so sharing is okay. Hope you enjoy!

I'm taking sometime off for the holidays (though I'll be checking in online from time to time), But I want to wish you all a wonderful, wonderful holiday!!! A big mushy thanks to all my readers and friends for making 2010 such an amazing journey. I can't wait to see what 2011 brings.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

How an Agent Picks a Client: From Query to Career

Just passing this info along. Might be of interest to some of you or a good Christmas present to give to yourself (LOL) or someone you love:

"Irene Goodman will be conducting a live webinar on Thursday, December 16th, from 1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. on How an Agent Picks a Client: From Query to Career. This event will give you an inside look at exactly what goes through an agent’s mind through each step of the submission process when making this all-important decision. And with this peek inside an agent’s mind, writers will see what makes a query letter stand out, what makes an agent request sample pages or a book proposal, and how agents evaluate single titles vs. a book series. In addition to instructing, Irene Goodman will be taking questions live during the webinar. No question goes unanswered."

Here is the link:

"All registrants are invited to submit either a query letter or the first page of a manuscript (300 words or fewer for each) immediately after the event. All submissions will receive a critique from the instructor. (All the instructor's funds will be donated to charity—specifically: the Foundation Fighting Blindness and the Deafness Research Foundation.)"

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Darkest Edge is up for a Goodreads Choice Award!

I'm so tickled about this, I can't even say. I'm in such amazing company (paranormal fantasy); I have to pinch myself. :D According to Goodreads they nominated books "by analyzing statistics about books read by our members from the 47 million books added, rated, and reviewed on the site in 2010. Official nominees were selected based on a book's popularity and average rating among Goodreads members, so a nomination is truly an honor because it comes from your readers!"

And they provided this nifty (and very convenient) voting widget! I don't have a chance in hell, LOL, but this is amazing, so big, big thanks to everyone at Goodreads for posting, rating, and reviewing the book to begin with!

2010 Goodreads Choice Awards Official Nominee: Best Paranormal Fantasy
Vote for this book!

Thursday, December 09, 2010

31 Days of Giveaways

Book Club is hosting a massive giveaway all month long here. Lots of opportunities to win free books and swag from some of your favorite authors! I'll be giving away both Charlie Madigan books (1 &2) and my YA, Darkness Becomes Her.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

The end is near...

Finally. Almost done this YA manuscript! I turned in Charlie #3, THE HOUR OF DUST AND ASHES in mid-November, and have been working like crazy to wrap up the YA to turn it in today.

This book (YA) has exhausted me. In good ways and bad. Never have I felt so many emotions with a book. Happiness, excitement, sadness, grief, sickened... And these things I consider good because it means the story has depth and emotional impact. The actual writing of it? Total ups and downs. No consistency there. Optimistic, stressful, bouts of extreme creativity, followed by a total blankess that I have never experienced before, confidence highs and lows....

All I can say is that I'm glad it's done. My brain hurts. My body hurts. And I'm so happy I don't care.

I have a fabulous title that I hope will stay (and will share as soon as I can). But at times, I really wanted to title this book, SOME CRAZY-ASS SHIT.

I have emails and posts and a ton of other work-related things to catch up on. And I will be sending out my newsletter in the next few days or over the weekend... and I'll be giving away some books, so sign up if you haven't already.

And lastly, THE HOUR OF DUST AND ASHES is up on Amazon! Cover is coming shortly. And I have seen what I believe is the final version and it is stunning. The color ROCKS and the image has so much intensity and movement -- can't wait to share!

Okay, so I'm off to do a few minor things on this YA and then send it off. Whew!

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Juggling two series

So you all know I've been writing my adult Charlie Madigan series and my new YA series (Charlie #3 and YA #2). Both are due in a matter of days, really. One mid month, one at the end of the month.

Before I was published I worked on dual projects all the time. For instance, I wrote a YA called 'Blighted' and then when the rough draft was done and I went into revisions, I started on the rough draft of the first Charlie book. I found this to be easy-peasy. Revisions on one, rough draft writing on the other. Get tired of one, work on the other. I'd done this several times in earlier works as well. This works really well for me.

But that was before the days of deadlines.

The last few months, I had to work on two rough drafts at once. (Due to my own scheduling issues and personal things that caused me to put off the start of one of the books). I was very worried about 'voice' and would one voice leak into the other. But now that I'm working on revising both, I can see the voices of each character, Charlie and Ari, have maintained their own unique qualities. Both characters have become so real in my mind that maintaining voice wasn't an issue after all. I think the hardest part was switching gears from one to the other and getting mentally and creatively into the groove of each one, every day.

While it's doable, it's not something I could do repeatedly. With a family, kids, home life and other book business things, it makes life a little insane! I love working on both series, and I actually really love working on both at once -- just not when they're at the same stage in the writing process.

Working on two rough drafts simultaneously has probably been the hardest writing I have ever done. The most stressful, for sure. But now that I'm in the revision/polishing stages, things are much smoother. Thank God!! And I'm super happy with them both.

So here's where I'm at:

Books sold so far: 6 (4 UF, 2 YA)
Books on the shelf: 2 (UF)
Books out in 2011: 2 (1 YA, 1 UF)
Books out in 2012: 2 (1 YA, 1 UF)

And when I turn in the two books coming due, I'll only have one book left to write, Charlie #4. My contracts will be complete. :-) And then I can think about additional books or new books. Always fun.

Back to my cave . . . deadlines are looming bigtime!!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Still here...

I know it's been a while since I last posted. I have a deadline in Nov. and a deadline in Dec. that fall pretty close together, so I'm in a bit of a crunch to address both and get everything done.

That being said, I have learned a lot this years about time managing and scheduling, LOL!

I'm almost done with THE HOUR OF DUST & ASHES, (Charlie #3). Some days I feel really great about this book, and others I feel like every scene is BLAH. Like that phone voice in Charlie Brown, just a bunch of WA WA WA WA WA.... And then I'll find myself falling into it and two hours pass before I even realize it. And I know those scenes are good ones.

Having sold a few books now, I can say that it doesn't get any easier (quite frankly the first book I sold, having had it written before having an agent or a publisher was the easiest of the three). I still worry that every book I turn in is crap, that no one will like it, and my career is over. The level of worry is different with each one. And I have come to a better place as far as letting negative outside things affect me. But, internally, there is still the usual angst and worry... I'm starting to accept that too and realize that those emotions are good -- they fuel the fire to make me try my hardest every single time.

So maybe all that stress makes for a good book! Let's hope. If that's the case, this one should be AMAZING! ;-) Anyway, I might be a litte scarce from here until Dec... But I'll pop in here and there....

Kelly out.

Monday, October 11, 2010

ARC giveaway

Kelly Keaton is giving away an ARC of her upcoming young adult novel, DARKNESS BECOMES HER, over at A Life Bound by Books. Please stop by and check out her Haunted Halloween post and enter to win! ;-)

Monday, October 04, 2010

More Charlie!

Very excited to be able to share this news! Pocket books and my fabulous editor have decided to published two more books in the Charlie Madigan series. Book 3, THE HOUR OF DUST & ASHES is slated for summer 2011, and the 4th should come the following summer (2012). Of course, these things can change, but right now this is how it looks!

Hopefully, I'll be able to share a short blurb about 'Hour' very soon! Lots of interesting things happening in this story and the title fits very, very well (thanks to my editor for the title brainstorming phone call!!).

Thursday, September 30, 2010

I'm here...

Just been swamped with work and life. I spent all day Friday in the emergency room with my 2 yr old (who ran face first into the corner of a table at daycare and sliced his lip and part of his chin/cheek area clean open). And, since he's 2 there was no way he was going to be still for numbing and then stitches, so they had to put him into conscious sedation.

So our weekend, needless to say, was a bit insane with dealing with my Wounded One. And then the following morning, my daughter's soccer team played the top team in her league and won. And she scored both goals! I'm so proud of her. She has scored a goal in every single game so far and two in this last one (it's all a team effort, and a lot of them would not have ben possible without great passes from her team). They are now the number one team!! This is her sixth year playing the sport. Cannot believe how fast time passes!

This week has been me playing a lot of catching up. I have to work all day every day in order to make my deadline -- even nights and weekends. And I missed several of those this past week and weekend. Actually, I have to make TWO deadlines within a month of each other, so I may be scarce in October!

Oh, and I got my final copies of THE DARKEST EDGE OF DAWN and have mailed out the remaining books. So anyone still waiting, yours should be there any day now. If you don't get it by next week, though, send me an email...

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Mailings of DEOD

So just a quickie. If you've won a book from me or elsewhere online, most have been mailed out. Thanks to my publicist who sent me some extra copies! There are a few in the que, however that haven't been sent because there's been a delay with my author copies. I apologize. But, I promise, as soon as they get here, I'll be mailing out the rest of the books!

There are a few people who I promised books to as well and promised an early arrival to. I expected to get my copies before the pub date rather than after it, so to those folks, I'm sorry as well. :( Sometimes, these things happen and it's out of my range of control. But, again, as soon as they get here, I'll be sending them out!

Off to write and then have lunch with my good friend and author, Cynthia Cooke. Hope everyone has a great day!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Rough draft: check

Been a bit quiet here, I know. Sorry 'bout that. Good news is I finished the rough draft of Charlie #3. Finished for me means everything but the last two chapters. I never write them until I'm in the revision/polish stage. A couple reasons for that:

My rough drafts are like long, messy outlines. Complete chapters, chapters with a couple sentences, notes to write this scene or that scene. I skip a lot of description and research stuff as well. Word count for this rough draft is 50,000 words. I'm right on target. :-)

As I begin to go through, flesh out, write those scenes I skipped over, etc... it'll grow into what it should. No worries there. I like writing this way. It allows me to see things from a 'skeletal' perspective. And then I have all my other things like character growths/relationships/sub plots that I begin to weave through the bones.

Those final chapters get written when I have all my arcs figured out and I know where everything and everyone is going. But, I like leaving them open/undone while I work, that way my brain isn't stuck on any certain ending... Everything can come together naturally without being forced into some preconceived notion that I can't let go of. (That being said, I do sometimes have an idea for a cool ending. If I do, I just let it simmer and see if the rest of the book will mesh with what I have in mind or not. Sometimes it does, sometimes it doesn't.)

I have a *lot* of work to do now (way more than what it took to write the rough draft). But this is my favorite part -- the crafting, molding, shaping... Love it! This is when I really feel like a creator. The rough draft part is more like regurgitating a big blob of clay that has very little shape or interest.

Totally glad I'm done that part!!

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

In hell right now

Hell as in Charbydon, LOL. Been in deep writing mode the past few days and spending some time in Carreg's homeland. Fun. Not sure if it'll stay in the final draft, but I must get this book done ASAP!!

Until then, the fabulous Kaylana Price (author of ONCE BITTEN and TWICE DEAD) interviewed me on her blog to celebrate the upcoming release of her new urban fantasy, GRAVE WITCH. Come say hi!

And as soon as I get through the next few scenes, I'm going to posts some bookish stats... Hope everyone had a nice holiday weekend!

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Busy little bee

First, BIG thanks to everyone for the Release Day congrats and good wishes. It was an exciting day, and a nerve-wracking one as well -- nerve-wracking in the way that I want this book to do well. Because I love it. The characters are real to me. I care about them. I root for them and cry with them, and I want to share their story...

Well, anyway, before I get all sappy about that, I want to say thanks to everyone who is participating in the blog tour today for THE DARKEST EDGE OF DAWN!!. And I want to tell you of two great places I'm appearing today.

1) A giveaway, a review of DEOD and an interview with The Wayfaring Writer. My first book was the first book Brenda ever reviewed on her blog. She's a sweetheart, and it's been so cool to get to know her as we both move forward in the writing world. :D

2) An interview with author E.J. Stevens on her fabulous blog: From the Shadows. She and Brenda both asked me some fun, and unusual questions, so these were fun interviews to do!

Back to the writing. I put this on twitter earlier, because it cracked me up (and still does), but one of the revision oops I found earlier was a line that read: "Put down the porker." It was supposed to be "poker", but, OMG. I think I might have to leave it. Haha!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010


It's here! The official release of THE DARKEST EDGE OF DAWN! I am now a multi-published author, which is unbelievable, incredible, and just plain good. Whether or not this book is a success remains to be seen, but I'm very proud of the story. It was a tough one to write and one I questioned almost every single day of writing it. But I'm insanely lucky - I have an amazing editor who patiently steered me in all the right directions. Without him this book never would have made it out the door. Sometimes the hardest things are the ones you're most proud of, right?

I hope you all give it a try, and that it gives you the same thrill ride that some of those scenes gave me when I was writing them!

I'll be celebrating today at two wonderful places. One an interview, and one a guest post:

1) An interview over at RomFan Reviews.

2) A guest post and giveaway at Bitten by Books (see details in the post below).

And a big, gigantic THANK YOU to everyone for their support. You all gave Charlie Madigan a chance, spreading the word, buying the books, and letting me know she's not half bad. :-) I'm so grateful and happy to have you all as my readers and friends!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Event: $100 Amazon gift card. RSVP now!

Hey guys. So Big Day tomorrow! To celebrate the release of Darkest Edge, I'm guest blogging at Bitten by Books and giving away a $100 Amazon gift card and 6 novels. RSVP at the link here. RSVP'ing gets you an extra 25 entries!

The Vampire Cyclist

I laugh everytime I read that. Curious? That's the title for my guest post over at Reading with Tequila, which is an awesome, awesome site. Check it out if you get a chance (there's a signed copy of DEOD up for grabs, too!). Jennifer also reviewed Darkest Edge of Dawn as well.

And while I was out this weekend, I saw DEOD on the shelves at a couple B&N's in my area. So it's making its way to stores! And, thanks to Lacie, I can also say it's been sighted at a B&N in Ohio! Wee. Here's her pic: Thanks, Lacie!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Random stuff

So, in 4 days I'll officially be a multi-published author. Hee. There was a moment last week when I received a final copy of DEOD, and an ARC of my new young adult title, and I had a copy of BPOD on the table. There they were, three of my books. All together. I stacked them. I unstacked them. Lined them up. Spread them out. My hub was sitting across from me, and I kept saying, "Look. Look at them. Can you believe this? I wrote them. These are real books. Look at them. See how pretty."

The utterances of a teary-eyed crazy woman. :-)

A stressed-out woman . As there's much on my plate right now, both in work and in life. I finally crashed. Went to bed at 7:30 PM last night and didn't wake up until 7 this morning. Might need to do this again tonight... though Kid #1 has soccer practice tonight and we usually do pizza and a movie on Friday nights. Hmm. We'll see.

Oh, and Kid has scored in each of her two games so far. SWEET! Two for two baby!

And I made my first Spotlight appearance at RT Book Reviews Magazine. Which is just really neat because I got to talk about Charlie and Hank, and hopefully introduce them to some new readers!

And Dragon Con is approaching. And once again, I cannot go. Who is going? I want pictures!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Big Stack Giveaway Winners!

Sorry it took me so long! A lot of entries to tally. First, though, thanks to everyone for entering and spreading the word about the giveaway -- you guys are awesome!

Now to the winners. I'm listing them in order of the draw, and this will be the order in which you choose your books. So, the first one listed is the Grand Prize winner (gets the swag), and he/she picks their choice of three books, and then the next winner will pick theirs, and the next, etc... (remember, everyone gets a signed copy of THE DARKEST EDGE OF DAWN in addition to your 3 choices).

Grand Prize: elaing8
#2: Blodeuedd
#3: throughthehaze
#4: Vickie
#5: JoAnna - Please send me your email. Here or at kelly(at)kellygay(dot)com.

Here are the books again. Please choose three. I'll send out emails as well and let you know what books are available as we go...

an ARC of the first Charlie Madigan book (signed), 3 Stacia Kane books (Megan Chase series), 3 Molly Harper books (Jane Jameson series), first 2 Linda Robertson Books (Persephone Alcmedi series), 1 by Dee Davis (Dangerous Desires), 1 by Karin Harlow (Enemy Lover), 1 by Maggie Shayne (Killing Me Softly), 2 Kris Kennedy books (historical romances, signed), and the last Morgan Kingsley book by Jenna Black (signed).

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Big Stack O' Books Giveaway


In celebration of my upcoming release and in massive, enormous, fall-down-to-my-knees-in-thanks to my followers and readers, I offer a


As you can tell by the pic below, I've been saving books. Here's what's up for grabs: an ARC of the first Charlie Madigan book (signed), 3 Stacia Kane books (Megan Chase series), 3 Molly Harper books (Jane Jameson series), first 2 Linda Robertson Books (Persephone Alcmedi series), 1 by Dee Davis (Dangerous Desires), 1 by Karin Harlow (Enemy Lover), 1 by Maggie Shayne (Killing Me Softly), 2 Kris Kennedy books (signed), and the last Morgan Kingsley book by Jenna Black (signed).

All the books are brand new, and I'm throwing in a very cool mousepad from Pocket After Dark (Go sign up! It's a cool place!), and some swag (bookmarks, postcard, coverflat) as well as a 5 signed copies of THE DARKEST EDGE OF DAWN, the second Charlie Madigan book (not shown).

I will draw five winners. Each winner will choose 3 books in the pic in order in which I have drawn them. Everyone gets a signed copy of DEOD, bringing your total to four. So five winners get four books:

-- First winner drawn will get 1st choice of three of the books pictured + the swag.

-- Other four winners will get their choice of three. Choices will be made in order in which I draw.


Comment and you're entered, open internationally, contest runs for one week, ending Aug 25th at noon EST, winner announced shortly therefter. Please leave a way for me to contact you!!

Your comment gets you one entry (no matter how many times you comment). To get more, here's how:

+1 if you mention this elsewhere (like twitter, a blog, FB...) (multiple mentions are awesome, but will still only get you a +1. This just makes it easier for me to count in the end, but please feel free to spread the word if you want!!) :-)
+1 if you already follow my Blog or become a new follower.
+1 if you already follow me here on Twitter or become a new follower.
+1 if you already follow me here on Facebook or become a new follower.

Some of you have been following me for a while, but please make sure to list your +1's, so I have everything within the comments section and can tally the entries up easily. Good luck! :-)


Monday, August 23, 2010

Skip A Starbucks Day

My friend and fellow writer, C.J. Redwine is hosting some amazing giveaways on her blog (including signed copies of both of my Charlie Madigan novels). Please check it out. C.J. and her family have organized this fundraiser, Skip A Starbucks Day to help with the costs of bringing home Johanna, their baby girl they're adopting from China. Her story can be read at the above link, and donations are also being taken at the link below.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Wherein we come full circle

Friday the 13th. I adore this day. I sold my first book on this day in June of 2008. (Two Charlie Madigan books to be exact). And, now, two years later on yet another Friday the 13th, I've just received my final copies of that second book. I started and completed my first contract. Made the sale and got the final book of that sale all on this auspicious day.

Friday the 13th Rocks!!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Guest Post & Contest

I'm guest blogging today at Literary Escapism, one of my favorite book, review, and news sites. Please stop by and say hello for a chance to win a signed copy -- winner's choice of either THE BETTER PART OF DARKNESS or THE DARKEST EDGE OF DAWN.

Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

A Darkest Edge of Dawn sneak peek...

It's a book! A preview all the way from NYC. Weee! And to celebrate (and because this is one of my favorite lines from the book), I'm sharing... It's a little, tiny one-liner featured before Chapter One, a tantalizing bit from Emma's journal. (For those who are new to my Charlie Madigan series, Emma is Charlie's eleven year old daughter):

They say that at dawn, on the winter solstice, the top of Helios Tower burned brighter than the sun and dragons fell from the sky....


December 24th
From the journal of Emma Garrity

Saturday, August 07, 2010

RWA Highlights, Part Two

Thought you guys might want to see the necklaces that were made for each author to wear at the Pocket dinner (see previous post). Wearing your cover like this is a great way to see who writes what or put a face to the cover. Beneath the necklace is Meg Cabot's new YA, INSATIABLE. And next to that is the Pocket After Dark mouse pad that all the authors got at dinner. Pocket announced the launch of their new interactive site for readers and authors at the conference, and it's really, really cool. You can even earn points for your participation, which go toward the purchase of books. There's a message board, editor's blog, all kinds of neat stuff...

Okay, so where were we? Friday, right:

Friday morning I meet my friend, Jax Cassidy, for breakfast. It was so great to see her and catch up! I caught the last fifteen or so minutes of the Pocket Spotlight, then it was off to the luncheon where I sat with my friend Cynthia Cooke who lives in my town and writes for Nocturne. I also got to meet a good friend of hers, Nina Bruhns. I only stayed to eat my salad, because I wanted to get back to my room, and chill out a bit before getting ready for the Pocket signing.

There was time for me to check out a panel or two, but, I wanted some quiet time before the signing. The conference is crazy and you're always "on", so for an introvert like myself, it can be draining after a while. (It's a weird dynamic because I love conference. I love talking to people, reconnecting with friends, but I'm always exhausted by the end of the week.) Anyway, hub and daughter were at Disney so I had the room all to myself. Took a nap, checked email, and wrote a guest post that was coming due, and worked on some promo things.

Then, it was off to the Pocket Signing, my first one! Each publisher hosts their own signing during conference (for attendees only) and all the books are FREE. It's awesome. People line up an hour in advance, and flood into the room. I had 48 books and they were gone in about 3o minutes. Such a fun experience! And since my books were gone, I was able to make the last hour of the the RITA/Golden Heart Reception where I saw my chapter mate, friend, and fellow RITA finalist, Deb Marlowe. Oh, and I got to finally chat with Courtney Milan, who was also up for A RITA.

This was a great day. I was always one of those waiting in the line to see my favorite authors, and now I was the one sitting in the chair behind a stack of books. And it was my birthday. I couldn't imagine a better way to spend it. And since my agency party and publisher dinner was on Thursday, I had Friday night free and went out to dinner with my hub and daughter in Disney Downtown to celebrate.


Ordered room service for breakfast. Can you believe one piece of toast was $4?

Pretty easy morning. Sat in on a few panels, then went to the RITA rehearsal, ate lunch, wrote my acceptance speeches - finally --and met up with the family in our room to start getting ready for the Awards Dinner and Ceremony. (Again, pics are on my Facebook Page for those who want to see the Fabulous Duds.)

*Okay, so I just sat here for two minutes trying to put into the words the next few hours.*

It's a blur. I could hardly eat dinner, was so nervous that when the awards portion began, I prayed my name wouldn't be called. And by the time we got to my second category, I was praying they would. I wanted to get up there and thank everyone who had helped me along the way. There are so many people, completely instrumental, in this book making it to the shelves. Without them it never would've happened. I *so* wanted the chance to get up there and shout their names to the world. But, alas, my name wasn't called. And I folded up my speech and decided right then and there to save it. I'm reading that damn thing, from the stage, one day. :D

So those are the highlights. My editor was great and sent me a few hysterical texts that night, and a few that made me tear up. And then I accidentally ass-dialed his home number. Twice. On a Saturday night. At midnight. Sooo embarrassed. But who knew you could ass dial on a touch screen? I mean, really.... ;-)

Thursday, August 05, 2010

RWA Highlights, Part One

What a trip! I've been home since Sunday. I unpacked, visited with my mom (who stayed at my house to watch my son and animals), saw her safely back home, and tried to get back into my daily routine. It's taken a few days, but here I am. :-)

These are just my personal highlights. Who I saw, things I did, friends I made, so maybe not the usual recap, but here goes...


We (hub and daughter included) arrived at the Dolphin Resort in Orlando, which is a gorgeous place. I wasn't as tired as I thought I'd be after the drive from NC. Breaking up the 10 hr. trip made a huge difference. We left the house Mon. night, drove for about three hours, stopped at a hotel, and then drove the rest of the way on Tues.

After checking out our awesome room and the incredible view over to Epcot (check out my Facebook Page for a bunch of pics), we found something to eat, chilled in our room, and then crashed.


My only scheduled event was the big, open-to-the-public charity Literary Signing later in the evening. But, I headed down to the lobby, found registration, and got my conference bag with several free books (the latest by Meg Cabot, which I'm stoked to read), my RITA ribbon (wee!), and schedule.

I ate breakfast and had a lovely conversation with the woman who'd stood in line at the buffet with me. Turns out she was a Golden Heart finalist in Paranormal, had come all the way from Australia, and she ended up winning the Golden Heart later in the week. So, Kylie Griffin, if you're out there -Hi! And big congrats!

Later in the day as I was orienting myself, I saw my agent at the registration desk and went over. I thought about sneaking up behind her and pitching some crazy story, but she saw me. :-) We ended up hanging out near the lobby at a table by the bar, which was closed. We also ran into Jesse Peterson and Kathryn Smith (both clients of Miriam). Fabulous women, smart, funny, and my first time meeting both of them.

Even later in the day, my critique partner, Jenna Black, arrived. And we hung out a bit before I went back to my room to get ready for the Lit Signing. I'd been to the signings several times, but as a reader and fan, not as an author. I felt like a deer in the headlights most of the time. And at other times, I just kept thinking how cool and surreal it all was. I sat next to Maria Geraci, who was really sweet and so friendly, and Olivia Gates, who is not only a successful author but a surgeon as well, and she brought a huge tray of Baklava (yes, I got lucky). :D

According to RWA: In two hours, 3,600 fans and 500 participating authors helped raise $55,000 for literacy.

And, I actually had a small line a few times! People actually bought my book, or had read my book and wanted a signed copy. I met so many great people, saw old friends, and got to see Leslee from Night Owl Romance, which was very cool.

Oh, and right before they opened the doors, I darted over to find Kasey MacKenzie and Jennifer Lynn Barnes, where I got signed copies of their books. And Jennifer said she was a fan -- which gave me all kinds of warm, fuzzy feelings. :D


The official start of the conference. I met my agent in the lobby at noon for lunch and we headed for the Disney Boardwalk where we ate at The Brewery. (Well, first we walked to this Meditterranean place, which ended up being closed, so we had to backtrack to The Brewery -- OMG, did I mention how HOT it was). Thank God for air conditioning. We had salads and talked about the book biz, and my career, and all the things I want to do in the future. It was pretty cool, and my first "lunch" with an agent.

(This entire trip was full of "Firsts").

Jenna and I hooked up later and went to the agency party acrossed the lake at the Disney Yacht Club. We took the boat and ran into Jesse and Kate again. Jen and I only stayed about thirty minutes before having to go back and catch the bus for the Pocket dinner, which was being held at The Living Seas at Epcot.

Pocket's dinner, which I'd gone to in 2009 before BPOD was out, is a class act affair. We actually had dinner in a private room with the aquarium being one entire wall in the room. There was a massive sting ray, a shark, and all types of fish swimming around. Dinner was amazing, and I sat at a table with some great company, the Executive VP of Pocket, Louise Burke, and authors, Dianna Love Snell, Laura Griffin (who later won the RITA), Barabra Freethy, and Sharie Kohler. I also got to meet YA author and RITA finalist Lauren Strasnick who is just so sweet and smart and friendly, and I got to hang with my pal Sharie!! Then, we hiked to a reserved spot at the lake in Epcot where drinks and desserts were served and we watched the fireworks. 'Twas awesome and in true Pocket style.

Then, it was back to the hotel, and the bar where I hung out a bit with a bunch of great Pocket authors, but those seated within earshot were Allison Pang (who has a very sweet cover for her debut book that I'm sure you'll all get to see very soon. So gorgeous!), Jenna, Sharie, Kresley Cole, Eileen Carr, and Carry Lofty. And in true Kelly Style I left earlier than most because, well, I was just plain tired. :D

So that's Part One wherein I was pinching myself from the time I woke up to the time I fell asleep. Most of the conference was me travelling through a dream I'd imagine only in my mind for years and years. To have actually experienced the signings and what it's like to be a RITA finalist --- it was totally unreal.

Part Two tomorrow...

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Dear Author & RT Review

Just a quick break as I'm in my hotel room for a few minutes before I go to lunch with my lovely agent, and had some great news from my editor that I wanted to share. But first,

Alyson at Dear Author has done a really cool interview with all of the Best First Book RITA Finalists. It's sort of a quick-fire question and answer session that was really fun to do. It's in two parts. Part One & Part Two. Thanks so much to Alyson!!

And for the news: THE DARKEST EDGE OF DAWN has it's very first review!! It's from RT Magazine and it's 4 1/2 stars! I'm so relieved. This was one of the hardest books I've ever written.:

The second book in Gay's gritty Atlanta set urban fantasy series is even better than the first! Charlie is fast becoming a vastly intriguing and likeable heroine. The groundwork laid in the first novel pays off here as Charlie must face the repercussions of her actions. The tight plotting keeps the pace brisk and the action exciting. This author is definitely on the rise!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Off to Orlando soon...

I'm headed to Orlando this week to attend the RWA National Conference. I'll try to post while I'm there and add some pics. If anyone is going, please come say hi. I'll be at the 2010 "Readers for Life" Literacy Autographing, which takes place on Wednesday, July 28, from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at the Walt Disney World® Dolphin Resort, Pacific Exhibit Hall. It's open to the public and there's no admittance charge. For those attending the conference, I'll also be signing books at the Pocket Signing on Friday 3:00-4:30. And, ya know, I'll be lurking around and having some fan girl moments over my favorite authors. :D

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Found this awesome cover...

. . . for Kelly Keaton's new young adult novel, DARKNESS BECOMES HER. ;-) Love the mood and look of it so much! The tree will be a clear spot gloss design over the black cover. My publisher is discussing printing this on metallic stock to bring out the silver in the gate, and possibly embossing the gate, and maybe the title as well. Whatever they do, I'm sure it will look stunning! And I'm over at Riding with the Top Down today.

Publisher: Simon Pulse
Release Date: February 22, 2011
Genre: Young Adult/Dark urban fantasy
ISBN-10: 144240924X
ISBN-13: 978-1442409248
Pre-order DBH at Amazon
DBH at Goodreads


Ari can’t help feeling lost and alone. With teal eyes and freakish silver hair that can’t be changed or destroyed, Ari has always stood out. And after growing up in foster care, she longs for some understanding of where she came from and who she is.

Her search for answers uncovers just one message from her long dead mother: Run. Ari can sense that someone, or something, is getting closer than they should. But it’s impossible to protect herself when she doesn’t know what she’s running from or why she is being pursued.

She knows only one thing: she must return to her birthplace of New 2, the lush rebuilt city of New Orleans. Upon arriving, she discovers that New 2 is very...different. Here, Ari is seemingly normal. But every creature she encounters, no matter how deadly or horrifying, is afraid of her.

Ari won’t stop until she knows why. But some truths are too haunting, too terrifying, to ever be revealed.

BPOD is a Fresh Pick Today...

Which is a delightful surprise on this day, this day when my air conditioner in my car has suddenly stopped working. When it is broaching 100 degrees. When I have to tote my two children around. In a car. With no air. *sigh*

July 22, 2010

Fresh Picks are very cool because as the folks at Fresh Fiction say: "The Fresh Pick is chosen by a group of readers and is never a purchased advertisement or promotion. We've chosen your book because it appeals to us and we like to share our diverse tastes in reading and hope other readers will give it a try."

So heres to a little awesome today to balance out the not-so-awesome. The universe giveth and the universe taketh. Or something like that. ;-)

And thanks to the folks over at Fresh Fiction!!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Widdling away

At my To Do list. This might be the longest To Do list I've ever created. It's a mix of work stuff, travel stuff, personal stuff, house stuff, promo stuff (as evident by the pic), etc...

So let's see what I have left for this week before leaving for Orlando and the RWA National Conference next week:
  • dry cleaning
  • vacuum the stairs
  • wash the sheets
  • mow the yard
  • finish sending out bookmarks and swag
  • write four guest posts
  • finish one interview
  • finish laundry
  • grocery shop

Oy. I think that's enough for now. There's more. And did you notice that no where did I mention any actual writing? Which is a big bummer, but there are way too many things to accomplish this week. Just slightly overwhelmed, and maniacal at this point. Also have to pack... And that's going to be a B^%*ch. :D

But I am getting excited and happy. I've been looking forward to this trip, to spending sometime with my friends, getting to know my agent a bit better (we're having lunch together and I'll be attending the agency cocktail party, and I'm sure I'll be seeing her around the con as well), spending some time with my hub and kid. Ooh, and my birthday is Friday of next week, and I think we're going to find a cool place to eat at Disney. And then there's the award's ceremony... There is a lot of work leading up to the con, but once there, I think it's going to be awesome fun!

Have to make sure my camera is charged. Now, where the hell is the charger? Hmm...

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Darkest Edge Contest!

There's a contest going on right now for a copy of Darkest Edge of Dawn over at Amberkatze's Book Blog. Check out the interview, comment, and Amber will pick one winner to receive a signed final copy of the book. Since I receive my author copies before the actual release date, the winner will, hopefully get the book a bit early as well. ;-) I'm so excited to appear on Amber's blog! Hope you'll check it out.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Darkness Becomes Her is up!

Doin' the Happy Dance, people! My YA is up at Amazon and available for pre-order, complete with the amazing cover flap blurb. My editor, Emilia, did the most incredible job capturing the tone and mystery of the book. It makes my heart pound every time I read it.

I hope you guys will go check it out. I'll put up the description on my Kelly Keaton Facebook page, and the new Kelly, so it'll be there to read as well...

But, YAY! :D

Monday, July 12, 2010

Jaunty Quills

The fabulous Kristan Higgins (who is very funny and sweet) has put up some info on Jaunty Quills about the RITA Best First Books. So if you're looking for a new author to try, check out the finalists. There are some very interesting premises and plots going on. Yet more authors to add to my TBR list!!

Speaking of RWA, my To Do List is slowly being widdled away. So far I've:
  • Taken my daughter's dress to be altered
  • Bought shoes and earrings to go with my gown
  • Shipped off all necessary books for raffles & baskets
  • Picked up dry cleaning
  • Slowly cleaning my house so my mom won't be living in chaos for a week.

Starting to get excited about the trip, and the thought of seeing some old friends again, hanging out, catching up on their lives, and talking about the biz. Meeting with my agent. Participating in the Literacy Signing for the first time...

If anyone is attending, please stop by and say hello. The Literacy signing is open to the public. Wednesday, July 28, from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at the Walt Disney World® Dolphin Resort, Pacific Exhibit Hall, in Orlando, Florida. Hope to see some familiar faces!

Off to write my pages for the day...

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Long time, no see

Yeah. That's me. :-) Been away from the blog for a bit. Life is crazy.

I want to say that I've been busy writing, accomplishing my goal of ten pages a day, so that I can get this manuscript done in time to start my second contracted YA, but that would be a big, ole lie.

Here's the thing, getting published means you not only have to squeeze writing into your week, but you also must play the role of secretary, promotion/marketing person, personal assistant, editor (for your copy edits and galleys), etc...

I spend so much time fielding emails, calls, creating ads and banners, keeping an online presence, sending out mailings, ordering promo items, arranging travel, completing interviews, writing guest posts... Writing is only one part of the equation, and lately -- with a new book releasing in 54 days and a conference coming up -- it has, unfortunately, played a small part.

The last part of my week and this week has been taken up by cover conferencing and finalizing a bunch of promotion efforts for Darkest Edge of Dawn. I could sit here and tell you that finding a balance is key, but here's the thing: You can plan some stuff -- like you know your deadlines, you know when interviews and posts are due. You have some idea when edits are coming, but there are a lot of other things you just can't balance in -- cover issues, promotion issues, requests for a quick excerpt to go into the back of your latest release... Whatever it may be, you just can't plan for these things, and these thing throw off the timing of the things you have planned for.

But, it's okay. Sometimes I do get stressed out. Especially when I'm behind on my page count, sit down in the morning, and think I have X amount of hours of blissful writing time to make up the lost pages. And then life intrudes or business stuff takes precedence, and I get even farther behind. And since I'm now writing two series at the same time, all this is doubled. It makes for a sometimes crazy life. Yet I would NOT give it up for the world -- you'd have to rest this life out of my cold, dead fingers if it came to that. I love what I do, I love writing and I love chatting with my readers and those in the biz, and I even love the business side of things. Just have to roll with the punches sometimes, yanno? And drink a lot of coffee.

Now, let's see if I can make up a few pages... ;-)

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Outlines, rough drafts & word counts

So I took part in my first panel a couple weeks ago with sci-fi/fantasy authors, James Maxey, Lisa Shearin, Mark Van Name, and David Drake. Had the 'first-time' jitters like you would not believe... But anyway, I've been thinking about a topic we discussed about the writing process, word counts, outlining, etc...

I want to expand a little and highlight the fact that no one process is right or wrong. It DOES NOT MATTER how you get to the final product as long as that final product is a good book. If you outline every chapter, if you think and ponder for five months before starting, if you use index cards, if you have no idea what's going to happen when you sit down to right... A good book is a good book regardless of how you did it and how long it took you.

My process is different with each book I've written. These days, I seem content to let the story stew in my head before I sit down and start writing. Sometimes I have an ending in mind, sometimes I don't. But what seems to always remain a constant is my rough draft approach. I write fast rough drafts. I've done ones that have taken me 3wks to 2 mos. But that's not some impressive fact because they are messy, messy affairs. It's not nearly a finished book at this point! The reason they take me so little time is because I hate writing rough drafts and do it as fast as I can to get it over with.

I don't stop to research, don't revise, don't take time to craft pretty sentences, etc.. I speed through in order to get the story down on paper so I have an idea of what's going on and what happens. It's really my version of an outline. Now I have a beginning, middle, and end. I have something to work with. I have my block of clay. That's when I become an artist, when I slow down, savor my work, and start crafting, sculpting, weaving, and creating something wonderful. This process often takes me longer than it took to do the initial rough draft. So when I say, it took me 4 weeks to write a rough draft, that does not mean *total* time. That does not take into account the revision, the polishing, the critiques, etc...

I always come in under word count, which is what sparked the conversation in the first place. I don't think about word counts. I think about story. I usually come in about 70,000 words with my rough draft. And once I start revising and then polishing, it inevitably grows to about 85,000 words. And once my editor gets a hold of it, I end up with a 90,000-100,000 word book.

I wished I had explained my process better at the panel, but, like my rough drafts I sped through my answers like a jack rabbit on a sugar high.... :-)

Friday, June 25, 2010

The Best & The Worst

You. All. Are. The. Best. :-)

I read two amazing emails this morning from readers of THE BETTER PART OF DARKNESS. They have gone into the file with others who have written to me. (Because I could never delete them). I love hearing from readers, and I'm regularly stunned and humbled by the fact that you guys have given this book your time/effort, taken a chance on a new author.

Thanks to you all. (God, that sounds sooooo inadequate!)

One of the emails asked if there was any way to help get the word out, and really I couldn't ask for more than just giving BPOD a try. That in itself is such a mind-blowing thing to me. But, for those who want to spread the word and are not sure what is helpful or not... Just recommending it to a friend is huge. Or if you're an Internet person, giving it a shout online, or rate it at Goodreads or Amazon, etc. All those things help, too.

And yes, I'm even grateful to those who were unsure of the book or didn't end up liking it, because they gave it a try. And really, again, that's all an author can hope for.

Of course, the ones who make blanket statements, rip you a new one, get all the facts wrong, or just think nasty and sarcastic somehow comes off as witty and cool -- eh, not so sure I get the point to those kinds of responses. But, even those (after I calm down and remember how to breathe) I remind myself that it's still someone who gave it a try.

The ones I will never understand are those who put their copy on filesharing sites for thousands of strangers to download for free. Not so great for a first time author who could use real, actual sales numbers to help her publisher decide to publish more books. If you love books so much, why do something that has the potential to put an author out of business and offer her product for free to thousands of people you don't even know when you have no right to do so and it's illegal? There are no "sales" being reported when someone illegally downloads my book. All my publisher see is that "we made x-amount of copies available and x-amount was purchased." Publishers take into account the numbers. It affects their decision to keep publishing me. How would you feel if I cut into your ability to make money at your job? That I affected your performance numbers with your boss? That I went and stole something you produced and then made illegal copies of it for others? *sigh* If you don't want to or can't pay for it, please go to the library instead of requesting an illegal copy. Because then what happens is not that the poster simply sends you the file privately. It's put up for THOUSANDS of others as well. HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS. I cannot begin to explain how heartbreaking this is. I don't make money on concert tickets, merchandise, appearances. I make money on the book. That's it. Think about it. (Jeaniene Frost wrote an excellent post here about e-piracy at Deadline Dames.)

Anyway, that is another post for another time... But, guys. Readers. People who truly love books, and want to see authors continue to write and continue to get contracts, and who give your time, and money, and effort into showcasing books and just reading books - You all are amazing, and so appreciated. You can't even know how much.

So here's to all you guys! :D Thank you.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Like perched on a cloud

I have been shopping. Finally bought new living room furniture from Haverty's. A gorgeous leather couch and *drumroll* . . . a new recliner. Also known as Kelly's Office. Old chair is gone. New one is here, and it is Mighty Fine. I feel like Jean Luc Picard in this chair and want to say "Engage" every time I sit down and open my laptop.

Feast yours eyes on my new writing chair. Sorry about the blinding supernova coming in from the window:

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Signed book giveaway & Interview

Hey guys. Popping my head out of LaLa Land (aka Kelly's fictional universe) to let you know that the fabulous Larissa is hosting a book giveaway of THE BETTER PART OF DARKNESS (signed to the winner, of course) on her amazing blog, Larissa's Bookish Life. The contest is open internationally as well. And she had me answer some great interview questions that are up on the blog today. This was a fun one to do, so I hope you'll check it out!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Writing through the crap

Writing through a big ole spot or spots of crap isn't fun. It doesn't help my confidence in my writing abilities, and it doesn't exactly make me feel all warm and fuzzy about current WIP. But, the one thing it is is: Productive.

Might not sound that way, but writing through the crap and giving yourself permission to do so is productive. Sure, you have to go back at some point and fix said poo, but guess what? You have to go back and revise anyway, and now you have a completed draft. There is something to actually fix. You're not staring at a blank page.

I used to feel awkward about writing terrible sentences, paragraphs, and pages. Deadlines taught me otherwise. I'm the kind of writer that if I didn't give myself permission to write through the crap, I'd slave over every page until it was perfect and I'd most likely never complete a manuscript, and if I did, it would take me a long ass time.

So now I write whatever comes to mind. If nothing comes to mind, then I'll make a note and keep going until something does. If it's crap, it's crap. That's why it's called a rough draft. Yesterday I wrote five pages of crap. And it wasn't a waste of time. It allowed me to continue on with the story and move things along. Had I not done that, I would have stared at the screen for days because, quite frankly, the scene in those five pages did not want to be written. And if I'd waited or made so many attempts at perfection, I never would have moved on.

My rough drafts are littered with brackets: [FIX THIS] or [RESEARCH] or [CHARLIE KICKS ASS HERE] or [MORE HERE]. But these markers help me to keep going until The End. Then, when I do go back for my first revision, I know what happens in the story, I can see the over all arcs, and I can better address certain issues and fix certain things.

Works for me. :-) Now, I'm off to write more cra-- *cough* rough stuff....

Monday, June 07, 2010

Crazy weekend

We had a huge storm here on Friday. Or maybe it was Thurs. Can't remember. (I know, that's pretty sad), but anyway, it killed my router. I spent two days trying to reset and make work (b/c I didn't want to buy another until I was sure it was actually toast). Finally, realized it was and bought another on Sunday. Same storm also blew shingles and shutters off my shed out back. Not sure if it was lightning or the wind, but I can tell you whatever it was was fierce.

And took the cutest picture of Yeager, (my Dane) this morning. He has fallen in love with my son's Winnie the Pooh couch.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

90 Days

And counting. How do I know this? I just downloaded a countdown widget for my Droid. Heh. 3 months! So here's how things are looking in the writing world as of now:
  • Starting to organize promo stuff. (ARC list for reviewers, etc..)
  • Completing a couple interview questions for later this month and next.
  • Working on Charlie #3
  • Getting nervous about Sci-Fi/Fantasy Panel at B&N in two weeks.

So all in all pretty quiet right now. Been thinking a lot about this second Charlie book, and how people are going to react to it. The feeling with this one releasing is a bit different than the first. BPOD was basically "Here is my book. Dear God, I hope people don't use it as kindling" kind of thing. People would like it or they wouldn't. But when I wrote this second one, I had an all-consuming desire to give everyone what I thought they might want in the second book.

I learned that's just crazy thinking. The only way I can write a great second book is to write what I want to write, what speaks to me, and makes me passionate. Hopefully that'll translate onto the page. If I write to please someone else, it all falls apart. Can't please everyone. Doesn't work that way. Might as well bang my laptop against my head.

So, wondering what you'll get with the second? A book that pleased me. A book that (after I got over the second book hump) I fell totally in love with and wrote from my heart. A book that I hope you will love too. In DEOD we'll see:

  • More Hank. (We all need a little more Hank in our lives, right?)
  • The intro of a character known as the Druid King.
  • A journey into the early myths of Elysia and Charbydon
  • And interesting turn of events with Rex (because, as we all know, with Rex we can expect the unexpected).


Tuesday, June 01, 2010

It's up

The Darkest Edge of Dawn's cover is finally up on Amazon. Looks good. Looks very, very good. :D (Although, there is an editorial review for another book where mine should be. But this should be taken care of shortly. Weird.) But anyway, yay! It's a thrill to see it up there. Can't wait for the blurb to go up as well.

And, totally unrelated, last night I dropped my old cell phone into the tub while giving boy child a bubble bath. It was not working this morning so I got a new phone. A Droid! It's very cool, and very intimidating. Though, I feel certain I shall be able to master this phone eventually. This is the first phone I've had with the ability to receive email.

So, off to play with ma Droid. ;-)

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Winner of Glimmerglass

Random generator picked 21. And the 21st entry is....

Rachaelfrom NJ!

Okay, Miss Rachael. Email me at kelly(at)kellygay(dot)com and let me know how you want Jenna Black to sign your book! Your name, friend's name, whatever you want!

Congrats! And thanks so much to all who entered! And never fear, my friends, because this summer I'm preparing a massive multi-book giveaway. Oh yeah. Over fifteen books and counting! It's going to be awesome...

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Glimmerglass Contest!

Okay. I decided. At first I was going to pick up an extra signed copy of the Jenna Black's new YA, GLIMMERGLASS, next week when I went to her signing, and offer it as a prize for an upcoming giveaway. But, I think a better and much cooler option will be to hold a contest now, so she can personalize the book to you (or whomever you specify). So here's the deal:
  • Enter via the comments section here.

  • Tell me what upcoming YA releases you're most excited about or your favorite YA of all time, and you're entered. One entry is all you need.

  • I will randomly draw one winner Wednesday 5/26 at noon EST.

  • Winner, you must respond before 5 p.m. on Thursday 5/27 because I will need to know the name you want signed in the book before I leave for the signing.

  • This contest is open to everyone no matter where you are.

Now, a little about the book. I have read this book. I love this book. I have even read the second one, and I can tell you -- OMG -- you guys are in for an awesome series with Dana and the world of Avalon. And those dots on the book: Sparkly! How can you resist?

It’s all she’s ever wanted to be, but it couldn’t be further from her grasp…

Dana Hathaway doesn’t know it yet, but she’s in big trouble. When her alcoholic mom shows up at her voice recital drunk, again, Dana decides she’s had enough and runs away to find her mysterious father in Avalon: the only place on Earth where the regular, everyday world and the captivating, magical world of Faerie intersect. But from the moment Dana sets foot in Avalon, everything goes wrong, for it turns out she isn't just an ordinary teenage girl—she's a Faeriewalker, a rare individual who can travel between both worlds, and the only person who can bring magic into the human world and technology into Faerie.

Soon, Dana finds herself tangled up in a cutthroat game of Fae politics. Someone's trying to kill her, and everyone seems to want something from her, from her newfound friends and family to Ethan, the hot Fae guy Dana figures she’ll never have a chance with… until she does. Caught between two worlds, Dana isn’t sure where she’ll ever fit in and who can be trusted, not to mention if her world will ever be normal again…

Monday, May 17, 2010

Writing rituals

Been writing... ;-)

During my free time, I've been working on the first three chapters of a new book. This is a spec novel, and just something I needed to get out of my head because it was distracting me from writing what I'm supposed to be writing.

I don't have many rituals, and often times I'll do different things for different novels (some I write long hand, some on the PC, some both... Some I outline, some not at all, etc..). But one thing that remains consistent with every novel I write, is my need to make the first chapter absolutely perfect (or what I think of as perfect at the time) before proceeding. I cannot, in fact, continue with the rough draft of a new novel until that first chapter shines.

I say all the time to write through the crap, write through trouble areas, and just get that rough draft down on paper because you can always go back -- then, at least, you have something to work with versus a blank page. And I do this as well. All except for that first chapter. I realize this is a ritual for me. A constant. To fine tune, revise, edit, polish many, many times before I can then go ahead and write the entire rough draft.

So what constants do you guys have?

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

How cool is this?

My friend, and fabulous fellow writer, C.J. Redwine sent me this. *love* From a place called the Etsy shop where handmade things of awesomeness are sold. It's soap! Sweet-smelling, wonderful soap, and one of the coolest gifts I've ever gotten.

Monday, May 03, 2010

Bid for a good cause

The annual Brenda Novak Auc­tion to Ben­e­fit Dia­betes Research is on! This is a great cause, and there are so many wonderful items up for bid. We're talking reads and critiques by NYC editors, agents, and best selling authors. Signed books, private lunch with your favorite authors, have drinks with agents and editors at RWA national conference... The list is amazing.

The published 2008 Golden Heart finalists have a basket full of signed books, mine included. Here's the link to bid on our basket, and here's the link at Kris Kennedy's site that showcases each book in the basket. We have nine bids so far! I'm headed over to see what I can bid on!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Do you 'Like' me, yes or no?

Heh. Yes, I actually remember getting those notes and writing them, complete with the check boxes. Things were so simple back then... :-)

Just another of my quickies here to let you guys know that I have a new FB page for my YA alter ego: Kelly Keaton. Got some cool pics that inspired me while I wrote DARKNESS BECOMES HER, and interview excerpts in the discussion area. Going to use this page to talk YA stuff, and to post updates. Please take a look and 'Like' me, er if you'd like. ;-)

Also finishing up galleys and then working on some new material today...

Friday, April 23, 2010

Chilling plots

Just a quickie since I'm knee deep in edits... I'm guest blogging today over at Mayhem & Magic. The subject is creating 'chilling plots'. Please stop by and say hello! :)

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Doubling up

I might be a bit scarce in the next week or so. Depends on how much I get done. Get what done, you ask? That would be Young Adults copy edits that came yesterday and DEOD galleys that are arriving tomorrow. ::crazy eyes:: Heh.

I'll try to take some non-spoilery pics to show you guys what they look like, and the differences between them.

Getting a jump right now on the YA, and it's going smoothly, so I should be able to get both done without too much trouble, she says optimistically.

Monday, April 19, 2010

A morning I'll never forget...

EDITED TO ADD: Yesterday evening I learned that the woman is in the hospital, still in and out of consciousness. Her kids are staying with their aunt, so sounds like everyone is being looked after... Here's hoping everything turns out OK!

Not sure where to start, only that my mind is on overdrive and I can't stop thinking about this morning. The first time in my life I called 911. Not sure I have ever been so scared or at a loss before either.

I took Kid #1 to school this morning and noticed an SUV parked near an intersection in my neighborhood. This is nothing new as this is a bus stop and parents often park on the curb to wait with their kids. Never saw this vehicle there before though, and as I drove past, I saw that the driver, a woman had her head down as though looking at something in her lap and there were kids in the back seat. I thought a cell phone or something. The way her head was bowed struck me as odd, but I kept driving, dropped off my daughter at school (2 miles away) and then drove back into the neighborhood.

The car was still there, and as I passed, I saw that the woman's head was still bowed. It wasn't right. I knew it. I stopped in the middle of the road and sat there for a second, looking in my rear view mirror. I'm not nosey. I mind my own business. I don't like to get involved. I mean, what if she was just texting or something? But I sat there thinking she might be in trouble. The way her head was bowed. It was too odd. Too...inanimate. What if she is in trouble? Then I thought, if that was me, I'd want someone to help me.

So, I put the car in reverse and parked on the curb in front of her car and got out, leaving my son in the car seat and telling him I'd be right back. As I walked up to the car, I started shaking. Her car was still running. There were two little girls I could see climbing around out of their seats. I unclip my cell. The way her head was bowed... Was. Not. Right. When I got to her window I saw she was out. Pale. Sweaty. It crossed my mind that she might be gone. I knocked on her window. Nothing. No response. I called 911.

For a second, I didn't know what to say to the operator, or where I was standing. I floundered, but then glanced up at the road signs and just repeated, told them there was a woman in a running vehicle passed out with two kids in the back.

Then I hung up. I kept thinking what if she is dying? What do I do? What do I do?! My legs were trembling so bad. I went around to the passenger side, took a deep breath, and tried the door. It opened. The woman looked the same from the other side -- no wounds or blood. The girls, I guess between 3-5 had been going through their mom's purse, putting on her make-up and had lipstick on. I put on my friendly Mommy voice, said hello to them, told them it was okay. I called out to the mom. Nothing. I asked them what had happened to their mom. They told me she was "sleeping."

I ran back to her side, opened her door, and shook her shoulder, calling out to her, and wondering why the police weren't there yet. Finally, she lifted her head just a fraction, her eyes came open, rolled, and then she passed out again. All I could think was THANK GOD, she is alive. Then, I started wondering what I should do keep her that way, but just then two police cars flew passed the intersection and didn't see us. I ran into the intersection, behind them waving my arms. I called 911 again (and I'll admit I was a tiny bit panicking at this point). The operator said she'd tell them to turn around.

I ran back to the car and told her and her kids that it would be okay, that someone was coming to help. I have no idea if she could hear me or not. I told the girls that Mommy was going to be okay, and then the police were there, like a swarm. Four of them. I have no idea what I said, but I stepped back, went to check on my son, got him out of the car and held him. And waited. Legs still shaking and trying not to cry.

They talked to her. She lifted her head once and then was out cold again. Two of the other officers got the girls back into their seats, gave them teddy bears, and the ambulance was on its way. One of the offcers ask me a few questions, took down my info, and then I left.

And now I'm home, and I keep tearing up. I keep wondering if she'll be okay. And I can't help but think about if I kept driving. If I'd passed by like a ton of other cars did (and as I did the first time by), what would have happened to her in that car? I think she knew she was in trouble, because she had the sense to pull against the curb and put the car in park.

Anyway, that was my morning. And I can't stop thinking about her, how precious life is, and how one single moment can change everything. :-/

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Strange month

Feel like I've lost track of things this month. Of the writing and blogging. Like, good, meaty content, ya know? The last two weeks I've mostly been:
  • Organizing promo things for DEOD, which doesn't come out until the end of Aug., but there are things (swag, ads, etc.) that need to be designed, ordered, and begun now...
  • There was seeing to the final details of (which turned out fabulous!!).
  • Reading over and signing my YA contract.
  • Coming off the RITA nod, and thus planning my trip to Nashville to take part in the conference and awards ceremony. (This also includes dieting and exercise, so I can fit into some type of ball gown of yet-to-be-determined or imagined style. (I. Am. Not. A. Shopper.)
  • Figuring out taxes. This makes me drink. Heavily. Just sayin'. Though, a bright spot here is that I'm hiring a CPA to tax plan for 2010 and, hopefully, every dang year thereafter!

All this has thrown me off my usual writing routine a bit. But, as some of you already know, I did begin writing a new Charlie Madigan scene that got stuck in my head and had to be written. This scene involves the mention and subsequent creation (on my part) of a an eerie mythical creature that I totally dig, for it's creepy and dark and soooooo lethal. ;-)

I love connecting with readers and networking, organizing, and getting fab-o news. But, man, when the creation bulb sparks that is when I love my job the most. That's when I'm in my element and doing what I'm meant to do. So, yay for the scary creatures! I'm off to write...

Monday, April 12, 2010

Book I want to read!

Kay Cassidy's YA debuts today! Kay is a friend and a fabulous writer, so I cannot wait to read her book. And she's getting great buzz, too. Becca Fitzpatrick New York Times bestselling author of Hush, Hush says: "Girl power, baby! This is the book you want when you want to believe you can do anything!"

Heading out today to get my copy! I love a good uplifting YA yarn, and how can you resist a book where the two oppossing factions are called the Cindys and the Wickeds? So cool. ;-)

Thursday, April 08, 2010

And we are live...

Yay! So has moved to New address and fantastic new site designed by Atomic Cherry and inspired by the artwork of Chris McGrath. Really happy with how it turned out! Go take a look and let me know what you think, and if you spot any issues or errors, please let me know. Thanks!

Tuesday, April 06, 2010


Earthly Charms designed the bookmarks for BPOD and DEOD. Love them! They also did amazing postcards, too. The front is the actual cover and the back is pictured below. As soon as my website goes live, which should be today or tomorrow, there'll be a contact form available for anyone who'd like one (or more if you're requesting for a bookstore or reading group). I'll be moving to, but my old site will redirect once the new one is up. But until then, aren't they pretty?

Monday, April 05, 2010

Poor little digit

My Sunday started early. Made BBQ chicken salad, brown sugar wedding balls, and a layered concotion of granola, yogurt, and fresh fruit to take (along with two bottles of champagne for mimosas) to our friends house.

Then, I broke my middle toe. :(

Tripped over my son's animal book and smashed it into the corner of the ottoman. It was the kind of pain that knocked the breath out of me for a few seconds. It swelled, turned purple, and burned like crazy.

In the end, though, we still made it to our friend's house and had a lot of fun. Once we made it back home (to a kitchen full of dishes), the dishwasher broke. *sigh* I'm talking full of dirty dishes and then all my dirty ones from cooking and the day before. Which now need handwashing. But, good news is there's a new dishwasher expected on Wednesday and said 'little digit' is nestled in tape and healing quite nicely.

How was everyone's Easter holiday?

Thursday, April 01, 2010

It's a caffeinated miracle

I don't know what's weirder: The 'K' in my coffee cup this morning or the fact that I had to take a picture of it. :-) Behold I present to you this amazing phenomenom:

Thursday, March 25, 2010

RITAs announced...

And THE BETTER PART OF DARKNESS finaled in two categories. Can't even begin to say how excited and astonished I am. Big thanks to the judges, volunteers, and RWA. Congratulations to all the finalists and my pals who finaled in both the RITA and GH. And to everyone who has sent me congratulations online and off -- you guys are amazing *sniff sniff*. Truly amazing. Thank you for all the support!

Here is the official list:

2010 RITA for Novel with Strong Romantic Elements Finalists

The Better Part of Darkness by Kelly Gay
Simon & Schuster, Pocket Books
Editor: Ed Schlesinger
ISBN: 978-1-439-10965-6

Scandal Sheet by Gemma Halliday
Dorchester Publishing
Editor Leah Hultenschmidt
ISBN: 978-0-505-52805-6

Red's Hot Honky Tonk Bar by Pamela Morsi
Harlequin Enterprises, MIRA Books
Editor: Valerie Gray
ISBN: 978-0-7783-2729-5

The Lost Recipe for Happiness by Barbara O'Neal
Bantam Dell Publishing Group, Discovery
Editor: Shauna Summers
ISBN: 978-0-553-38551-9

Silent on the Moor by Deanna Raybourn
Harlequin Enterprises, MIRA Books
Editor: Valerie Gray
ISBN: 978-0-7783-2614-4

The Accidental Bestseller by Wendy Wax
Penguin Group USA, Berkley
Editor: Wendy McCurdy
ISBN: 978-0-425-22767-1

The Virgin's Daughters: In the Court of Elizabeth I by Jeane Westin
Penguin Group, USA, NAL Trade
Editor: Ellen Edwards
ISBN: 978-0-451-22667-9

Lakeshore Christmas by Susan Wiggs
Harlequin Enterprises, MIRA Books
Editor: Margaret O'Neill Marbury
ISBN: 978-0-778-32689-2

2010 RITA for Best First Book Finalists

One Scream Away by Kate Brady
Grand Central Publishing, Forever
Editor: Celia Johnson
ISBN: 978-0-446-54152-7

He Calls Her Doc by Mary Brady
Harlequin Enterprises, Harlequin Superromance
Editor: Kathryn Lye
ISBN: 978-0-373-71561-9

The Gladiator by Carla Capshaw
Harlequin Enterprises, Steeple Hill Love Inspired Historical
Editor: Melissa Endlich
ISBN: 978-0-373-82824-1

Angel Vindicated by Viola Estrella
Ellora’s Cave, Cerridwen Press
Editor: Helen Woodall
ISBN: 978-1-419-92068-4

The Better Part of Darkness by Kelly Gay
Simon & Schuster, Pocket Books
Editor: Ed Schlesinger
ISBN: 978-1-439-10965-6

Stolen Fury by Elisabeth Naughton
Dorchester Publishing, Love Spell
Editor: Leah Hultenschmidt
ISBN: 978-0-505-52793-6

Nothing Like You by Lauren Strasnick
Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
Editor: Anica Rissi
ISBN: 978-1-416-98264-7

The Last Will of Moira Leahy by Therese Walsh
Random House Group, Shaye Areheart Books
Editor: Sarah Knight
ISBN: 978-0-230-746157-5

To see the full list, check out RWA's RITA and GH list.

Monday, March 22, 2010


My prints from Chris McGrath, aka cover artist god, came last week. Signed and numbered, too. Really excited about this because one of the things I always dreamed about doing when I became a pulished author was to have prints made of my covers, frame them, and hang them on my office (which does not exist yet) wall. No text, just the artwork. The beautiful, inspiring art.

The prints turned out beautifully and are so detailed and vibrant, and they look awesome matted and framed. Now I can glance up, and it's like an instant shot of inspiration to see Charlie, to see this artwork made specifically for my book, my stories. . . Looking at them makes me feel really proud of what I've accomplished so far, and I don't usually say that about myself, 'cus yanno, I'm my own worst critic.

Here they are, all framed up and ready for the wall. They look small in the pic, but are actually a nice size. The frame is 18" x 22". I think right now, I'll hang them in my bedroom or prop them against the wall... Once I get a dedicated office, though, these babies will have a permanent home.

Makes me want to jump right back into Charlie's world and start writing!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Regrets of the nerf sword purchase

I have been bad.

Mind out of the gutter, people. I don't mean that kind of bad. :-) Bad, neglectful Blogger. *sigh*

Finally getting over this sinus/allergy cold along with the rest of the family. Then Kid 1 (9 yrs) decides to take on Kid 2 (2 yrs) in a nerf sword fight. Kid 2 goes in swinging wildly (because, yanno, the sword is twice as long as he is). Kid 1 makes a flying leap onto the couch where she taunts Kid 2. Kid 2 advances and swings at Kid 1's ankles. Kid 1 jumps into the air to clear the swing - brilliant move -- but goes sailing off the couch and onto the floor where she sprains her foot and much screaming ensues.

Welcome to my week. + two migraines, Afrin withdrawl, doctor visits, Kid 1 BORED b/c it's track-out . . .

Did I mention that YA line edits are due Friday and Adult copy edits are due next Friday? Heh.

To sum up: Kelly's brain cannot come up with any posts of interest. So, I ask you, Dear Readers, what you'd like to read about on the blog, anything you'd like to know more about, see, discuss, etc., etc.. If so, please give me a shout... And if not, well, that's okay too. Though, it might be scarce around here and elsewhere online, but eventually (hopefully) my mind will start cranking out stuff like usual.

And now it's back to work!

Friday, March 12, 2010

My interview with Captain Jack...

This was so fun! I was interviewed by the infamous Captain Jack Sparrow over at C.J. Redwine's blog, The Last Word. And, holy cow, you guys have to check out the awesome cupcake made to resemble the Bleeding Soul flower in THE BETTER PART OF DARKNESS! I bow down to the greatness of the Redwines and their cupcake-making skillz. Big thanks to my fellow Pixie Chick (aka 2008 Golden Heart finalist extraordinaire) for having me!!

We're also giving away a signed copy of BPOD. Just sail on over to The Last Word and tell us about the most 'piratish' thing you've ever done.

See ya there, matey!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Pancake brain

That's what it feels like, like all this pressure in my head has flattened my brain. Fun. Believe this is a sinus cold. I'm very close to being addicted to my Afrin.

Anyway, been filling out tax forms for the whole foreign rights deal. See, behind all good deal-type news is the complicated business stuff that makes you go 'Huh? WTH does that mean?' a hundred times in a three page form. :-) But, think I have it all figured out now, so once I get off here and put this baby in the mail, I can return to my other task of the day:

Young Adult line edits. Due next week. But, it's progressing nicely. Mainly just fixing sentence structure, addressing my editor's queries, word echoes, and other grammar oopsies. Did 83 pages yesterday, which was way more than I expected to get done. Once I'm at the end, though, I have to go back and address some comments I made to myself...

And that's about it folks. Kelly out.

Monday, March 08, 2010

All quiet . . .

. . . here at the blog recently. Sorry for the silence. My mom came down to visit, which is always a great, great time. We shopped, went antiquing, spent time outside with the kids, and ate a lot of food.

Then, she left and the entire family became sick with what I think are sinus colds or viral colds. Who knows, but the Doc says it's nothing serious. We just have to tough it out. Joy. Toddler with a cold is so not fun. Older child thinks it's hysterical that she sounds like a frog and can blow snot bubbles.

Am I getting any work done? That would be a big ole NO. *sigh* Hoping (now that my mom is gone, and provided the young'n goes back to daycare soon), I can return to the Young Adult line edits for DARKNESS BECOMES HER. And the copyedits for DARKEST EDGE OF DAWN should be coming soon. So I need to start feeling better!!