Back with a new interview! Been a bit slow on my end while I’ve been dealing with some mental health issues, but I return with an author interview with Kelly Blachard. She’s awesome, check her out!
First of all, tell me about yourself! What do you write? My name is Kelly Blanchard. In the online writing community, I am called the Muse. The reason for that is because I tend to share beautiful pictures in my community and I try to offer encouragement to everyone. I write fantasy/scifi though, the Chronicles of Lorrek being my first series.
How do you develop your plots and characters? That’s a fantastic question! Because I don’t have an actual formula for how I do it. Lots of my character inspiration comes from movies or TV shows. Sometimes I’ll see a character that really captures my attention, and I ask myself, “How is such a character written?” Then I play around with it and sometimes I blend multiple characters, and int he end come up with something different and unique. It’s a lot of fun.
As for how I develop my plots, honestly they tend to develop themselves. I just write an damage report of everything.
Tell the world about your current project! I am currently in the process of relaunching my nine-book series, the Chronicles of Lorrek, starting with a box set of the first three books!
Who would you say is the main character of your novels? And tell me a little bit about them! Sorcerer Prince Lorrek of Cuskelom is certainly the main character of the series. While there are many characters in the series, it all revolves around him. He is the youngest of four brothers and the only one with magic. He is a quiet individual, always watching out for others, protecting them from dangers they don’t see, but at the same time, he is terribly misunderstood. Bad things still happen, and people blame him for it because, after all, he has magic, so he should be able to stop bad things from happening, right? What they don’t realize is that he may have stopped something even worse from happening, and he gets tired of explaining, so he gives up and just accepts the blame.
Have you been to any conventions? If so, tell me a little about them! Unfortunately, I haven’t, and I’m not sure if I will ever be able to. My reason is because conventions tend to give me massive migraine and make me physically ill. I would love to attend one and have a table or even be on a panel, but I’m not sure if I’ll be able to.
When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer? I don’t have a precise memory. I just know that, as a child, I’ve always loved stories. Even before I could write stories properly, I was drawing stick people (I cannot draw for the life of me!) with bubble dialogue because I wanted to stories told! But then I learned how to do proper paragraphs and quotation marks, and that was it!
However, when I was twelve, I know I made a conscience decision to actually begin honing my skill and working on different elements of writing, such as description, dialgoue, character development, and so forth.
If you had the opportunity to live anywhere in the world for a year while writing a book that took place in that same setting, where would you choose? See, the only problem with that is that my books don’t take place in this world, so I can’t really answer that. But can I go to Sweden or Iceland? Or maybe even New Zealand. I hear it’s beautiful!
What advice would you give new writers? If they’re new to writing, don’t worry about publishing the first book they work on. They have too much to figure out, such as mastering description, dialogue, plot structure, strong and unique character, worldbuilding, and so much more! That’s a bunch to learn and master, so just focus on tha. Once it’s been mastered, then they can focus on writing a book to publish!
What real-life inspirations did you draw from for the worldbuilding? Depends on the book. I know in Book 6, I used ant colonies as inspirations for a race I created. I used the Crusades as inspiration for a huge conflict in another series. And so on and so forth. I can’t keep track of all the inspirations! There is so much!
What inspires you to write? Anything and everything. Could be a phrase someone said that struck me as intriguing. Could just be a question I want to explore, a big ‘what if?’
What is the hardest part of writing for you? For the most part, writing comes easy for me. The only time I’ve ever really struggled with anything is writing a battle in space. That is just difficult!
What is your routine when writing, if any? If you don’t follow a routine, why not? Usually I like to tackle my writing first thing in the morning, writing 2k words a day! Lately I haven’t been able to do that because I have so much I have to do, getting ready to move to Florida, but writing in the morning is my preferred time.
What was your favorite chapter (or part) to write in any of your books, and why? Oh, that’s a hard question! There are so many chapters that really stick out. I can’t pick just one. And they’re most likely spoilers, so…
Did you learn anything from writing your latest book? If so, what was it? I’m always challenging myself to learn new things about writing and how to write different kinds of characters or how to structure stories differently, and it’s a lot of fun to learn with each book that I write.
Are you a plotter or a pantser? A gardener or an architect? A bit of both? See, I usually know the beginning, the end, and the highlight scenes in the middle, and then I have to figure out what connects each highlight scene with the next. It’s a lot of fun.
If you had to give up either snacks and drinks during writing sessions, or music, which would you find more difficult to say goodbye to? I don’t listen to music while writing, and I tend to forget to eat snacks or drink anything during writing sessions, so…I know, I need to get better at remembering to eat and drink!
Which is your favorite season to write in, and why? I don’t have a favorite season to write in. Don’t really do favorites. Rather, it’s ‘what book am I writing?’ and even then some parts are more fun to write than others.
It’s sometimes difficult to get into understanding the characters we write. How do you go about it? Usually the characters will just tell me their secrets if I take time to listen to them. However, if they are tightlipped, I usually brainstorm with my husband, and with his help, I come to understand different things about my characters. Very helpful indeed!
What are your future project(s)? After the Chronicles of Lorrek is completely relaunched, I have a five-book series, The Ceralian Gambit, that I co-wrote with my husband that is already completely written. It takes place in the same universe as the Chronicles of Lorrek. Then I have another completed three-book series, The Assassin Pirate, that I wrote (again in my universe). After that is another series that my husband and I are currently writing together. Then I have another three or four series planned, and each time I write a new series, I come up with new ideas for others!
What is your favorite book ever written? Book that I’ve written or book that has ever been written in general by someone else? Although with both, it’s hard to say. I don’t do favorites! Though, personally, I like Book 9 of mine just because I’m still awed that I managed to pull off everything that I did in that book. It was huge!
Who are your favorite authors? Again, I don’t do favorites. I enjoyed C.S. Lewis’ books, but really I love interacting with authors of the day. So much fun!
What makes a good villain? Having them be frighteningly relatable and sometimes right. That really messes with the readers, and it’s a lot of fun!
What do you like to do in your spare time? Besides scrolling on Facebook or hanging out with my cats and my husband, I like to bake or play around with graphic design. My husband is trying to get me playing videos games, and he got me to play Skyrim, but that’s about it. He got me Sims, and I had a bit of fun just building stuff but not actually playing the game! But really, I like hanging out in my Facebook group and interacting with my fans. It’s a lot of fun!
If you couldn’t be an author, what ideal job would you like to do? I…don’t know. Work at a bookstore, I guess? I’ve always wanted to be an author, always been writing, so the thought of not being one is foreign.
Coffee or Tea? Or (exult deep breath) what other drink do you prefer, if you like neither? Hahaha, I don’t like either coffee or tea. Honestly, I just prefer water, lemonade, or simply chocolate milk.
You can travel to anywhere in the universe. Where would you go, and why? In my universe or just in THE universe? Because if it were mine, I would like to visit Cuskelom, Athorim, Ceraleo…But if it were this universe, if I wouldn’t die setting foot on Saturn, I’d want to visit there because I would like to see what Saturn’s rings would look like in the sky.
Do you have any writing blogs you recommend? Fantasy/Scifi Focus blog is fantastic!
Do you have any writer friends you’d like to give a shoutout to? That’s a long list. Lol! J.E. Mueller, KJ A. Lewis, Megan Lynn Hay, Nan Sampson Bach, J.R. O’Bryant, and so many more!
Pick any three fiction characters. These are now your roadtrip crew. Where do you go and what do you do? Can I do my own characters? Because I’d choose Lorrek, Vixen, and Anelm. Just because it would be fun!
What superpower would you most like? Teleportation. Seriously, it needs to be a reality!
What are two of your favorite covers of all time? (Not your own.) Ohhh, see, favorites again! There are SOO many out there! I can’t say. I really can’t because some of the ones I absolutely love are premade covers that don’t have a book assigned to them yet! So many talented artists!
It’s a very difficult time right now for the world. When quarantine and pandemic comes to an end, what is the first thing you would like to do? Well, initially, my husband and I wouldn’t go out. We’d probably wait another week or so to make sure there’s not another wave, but then we would go to a restuarant (likely Texas Roadhouse) and have a nice sit-down meal there. We miss that!
Finally, what is your preferred method to have readers get in touch with or follow you (i.e., website, personal blog, Facebook page, here on Goodreads, etc.) and link(s)? There are multiple ways. I am most active in my FB group, but you can find me elsewhere too!
Facebook Group: www.facebook.com/groups/MusesRealm
Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/AuthorKellyBlanchard
Thanks so much for having me! It was a lot of fun!