Author Q&A - Kate Kelly
Welcome to another Q&A post from Literary Edits! Every week, we interview a different author, asking them about their books, their writing experiences, and what they enjoy about the writing process.
This week, we have interviewed Kate Kelly, an author who specialises in writing cli-fi (climate change) novels! Read on to find out more.
Q: I understand that your writing is based on quite a specific – and arguably very topical – genre. How would you describe this genre to new readers? What are some of the themes that you consider within this?
A: My published YA novel, Red Rock, falls under the genre of cli-fi, which is short for climate fiction. Cli-fi deals with environmental themes, particularly those associated with climate change – all very topical at the moment. It’s a theme I tend to come back to.
Q: Do you think that your background has influenced your writing in any way? For instance, has it been affected by where you have lived?
A: Absolutely. In particular, my scientific background influences many of the themes I explore in my writing. I’m a huge fan of the science fiction genre and all my writing tends to be speculative to some degree. However, it’s hard to know whether it was my love of science that led me to writing sci-fi or sci-fi that awakened my interest in science.
Q: I am under the impression that you write both novels and short stories. Do you prefer writing longer or shorter pieces of fiction? How do they compare?
A: The short form is a great place to be experimental. I’ll try something out and if it works then I may well apply it to a future novel. Short stories are a great way for a writer to hone their skills and learn the craft, but it’s also great to dive into a longer piece where there is so much more scope to develop your themes in more depth.
Q: What is your favourite part of the writing process?
A: Developing a new idea and the adventure of not knowing quite where it’s going to lead you.
Q: Do you read around the genre that you write in? If so, who is your favourite author from that genre?
A: Absolutely. There are so many great authors, though; it’s hard to pick one, but I have just finished reading Children of Time by Adrian Tchaikovsky and it was one of the best SF novels I’ve read in a long time!
Q: When did you first decide that you wanted to become an author?
A: When I was five. My dad was an author and I wanted to be like him.
Q: Do you have a favourite scene or character out of those that you have written about?
A: Now you’ve done it! They’re all in my head arguing about why I should choose them! If I pick one, the others will go off and sulk!
Q: Are there any writing projects that you are currently working on? If so, what can you tell us about them?
A: I’m currently working on a rewrite of a YA SF novel I wrote a while back. I’m not going to say any more than that at this stage, though.
Q: Do you have any advice that you wish to share with your fellow writers?
A: Yes. Don’t try to follow trends. Write the book you want to read.
Q: Finally, to conclude this interview, can you tell us a little bit about one of your books?
A: Red Rock is a YA cli-fi thriller which was published by Curious Fox in 2013. Here is the blurb: “[t]he ice caps have melted. The coastal areas we once knew are gone and only scavvers now live in the flooded towns. The world has changed, but as 14-year-old Danni Rushton soon discovers, it isn’t the first time… Living with her uncle after the tragic death of her parents, Danni’s world is turned upside down when her aunt is assassinated. With her dying breath, she entrusts Danni with a strange, small rock. Danni must not tell a soul that she has it. But what is the rock for, and to what lengths must Danni go to keep it safe?”
We’re very grateful that Kate Kelly took the time to feature in an author Q&A with us. You can show your support for her by checking out her published works, or visiting her on social media! In the meantime, we’ll be back next week with another author Q&A!