About the Author
Carla Kelly is a veteran of the New York and international publishing world. The author of more than thirty novels and novellas for Donald I. Fine Co., Signet, and Harlequin, Carla is the recipient of two Rita Awards (think Oscars for romance writing) from Romance Writers of America and two Spur Awards (think Oscars for western fiction) from Western Writers of America. She is also a recipient of a Whitney Award for “Borrowed Light,” “My Loving Vigil Keeping,” and “Softly Falling.”
1. What or who inspired you to become an author?
I took journalism in high school from Miss Jean Dugat, who was a dragon demanding perfection. There were times when I disliked her because she made me work (I’m a bit lazy by nature). I had an epiphany by the end of my sophomore year that if I listened to her, I would be a writer. I did and I am. Thanks, Miss D!
I was inspired to write fiction by my ranger job at Fort Laramie National Historic Site in the early 1970s. I decided to tell Indian Wars stories as a painless way of educating people about the post Civil War- trans Mississippi army. It worked.
Beyond that, I started writing the stories I wanted to read. Simple as that. They needed to have a good plot and accurate history.
2. Who are some of your favorite authors? Do they inspire your own writing?
Nevil Shute really inspired me at a time when I needed it. Great writer, with a straightforward, journalistic style. I love his novel, A Town Like Alice. My other favorite author is Owen Johnson, who wrote the delectable Lawrenceville Stories, and Stover at Yale. Other than those two, my escape reading is crime fiction. Favorite authors there include Robert Crais and John Harvey. Beyond that, I read a lot of non-fiction/history.
3. What inspired the idea for A Season of Love: a Christmas Anthology?
Mostly deadlines. Signet and Harlequin publish Christmas anthologies every year, and I’m invariably asked to write a novella for one company or another. They’re usually written in the summer, so it takes a bit of discipline to get in the Christmas mood in August. So there I am, sweating in my office, and thinking what readers might like.
4. What do you want readers to take away from reading A Season of Love: a Christmas Anthology?
Maybe that things seldom go as planned during Christmas, and enjoy it anyway. Also that sometimes good things happen to us when we least expect it. It’s also a welcome release from the hustle-bustle that the season seems to become, if we let it.
5. What is your current WIP? What can you tell us about this project?
I just finished The Unlikely Master Genius, book one in a Regency-era trilogy set at an unusual school for future Royal Navy sailing masters: St. Brendan the Navigator School in Portsmouth, England. The first book is set in 1803 and introduces us to SM Durable Six, a bonafide polymath and genius, and his charming wife Meridee Six, and workhouse boys who are the students. It was sheer joy to write this. The book will be out in early May 2018.
I’m currently writing One Step Enough, a sequel to My Loving Vigil Keeping. Basically, it’s the further adventures of Owen and Della Davis, who try to figure out what to do, now that Owen has promised to stay out of coal mines. The larger theme is forgiving oneself for being a survivor, and rearranging priorities. It will be out in early June.
6. When you are not writing, what other "hats" do you wear?
Good question. I have no idea how to answer it. I write. I enjoy a bit of travel. I speak at book clubs often enough to keep me on my toes. I’m in charge of our neighborhood book club, which is lots of fun.
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