YVONNE: What inspired you to write They Call Me Crazy? Do you remember the initial spark?
KELLY: I was in a bar (a fancy tavern, actually), watching TV with the bartender and Captain Morgan, and a show came on about building koi ponds. I told the bartender (who made the acknowledgements in my book) that the freshly dug ponds looked like graves to me. A not-so-typical bartender to patron conversation ensued, and by the time I left that evening, I had a story.
YVONNE: Please give us a glimpse of your writing process. Do you have a routine, use an outline, set word or page count deadlines . . . or anything you’d like to share?
KELLY: I would love to say I do anything in an organized fashion, but the truth is, I binge write, then I back-outline and edit like crazy.
YVONNE: What would do you consider to be the most challenging part of writing They Call Me Crazy?
KELLY: Keeping the big secrets to dole out along the way. When I started, I had a first chapter and knew where I was going, but adding the twists and turns throughout the book without giving away too much at a time wasn't always easy. Fun, but challenging.
YVONNE: How about the most rewarding?
KELLY: The reviews have been very rewarding! A writer spends years writing and editing and then, sends the book out into the world hoping others will love it, too. But you never know. I've been so pleased with the responses from readers.
YVONNE: I already miss your cast of characters and was relieved to learn that there are two more books to look forward to in The Deaacon Series – They Call Me Chief this year and Deacon Divided in 2016. What’s it like to live with your characters for an extended period of time – and did you work on all books simultaneously? I’m curious about how you mapped out the series.
KELLY: I love my characters, so living with them is kind of fun! As I was writing the first book, I thought of the idea for the third book, but needed the middle bridge. One of my favorite characters in They Call Me Crazy, is Benny Cloud, the local Chief of Police, so I started exploring his story a bit more and came up with They Call Me Chief.
YVONNE: I can’t go any further without asking about your video. I absolutely love how you captured the celebratory spirit of this momentous occasion. Could you tell me how you went from getting “the call” to creating this awesome expression of how you felt?
KELLY: I wrote a book about a crazy woman, so doing a few things a little bit off the wall to promote it seemed like the thing to do. Fremont Street in Las Vegas is about the craziest place I know, so I went with it. And it's no secret that I like to have fun. For the second book, I'm making another video this summer---in Times Square.
YVONNE: What do you like to do when you’re not writing fiction or making hilarious videos?
KELLY: I teach Humanities and Communications at Southeastern Oklahoma State University and I love my job. I like to travel, do things I've never done before, and hang out with my adult kids, who are the funniest people I know.
YVONNE: What advice would you share with a writer who has finished the first draft of a novel and wants to find a publisher?
KELLY: Do your research. It's great to get a publishing contract, but even better to know that you are considered part of a family. I love Red Adept Publishing. Not only do they put out great books, but they’re also supportive of their authors.
YVONNE: Which writers (dead or alive) would you want to have cocktails or coffee with?
KELLY: I've realized that alcohol is crazy fuel for most writers, so I'll drink with any of them! I would love to meet Stephen King because he seems like a funny guy, and it would have been fun to share a bottle and a cigar with Kate Chopin.
YVONNE: What are you reading now?
KELLY: Advanced reading copies of Taking on Water by David Rawding and The Trees Beneath Us by Darren R. Leo. I am in awe of both of these writers ability to paint pictures with words.
Buy it on Amazon
Find it on Goodreads
Like it on Facebook
Follow the author on Twitter: @KellyGamble
Kelly's official website: kstonegamble.com
ABOUT THE INTERVIEWER
Yvonne Lieblein is a writer and creative producer who lives in the seaside village of Greenport, NY. Her debut novel with a musical soundtrack, The Wheelhouse Café, will be released this summer. You can find her at yvonnelieblein.com.