Hey there everyone.
Welcome to another thrilling installment in the Author Interview Series.
For today’s guest, we have the enigmatic author Kelly Hall here to regale us all with her tales of ghosts, legends and eerie mysteries.
It’s time to draw the curtains, turn off the lights, raid the fridge and gather round to enjoy some spooky writerly advice.
Hi there Kelly, thank you for agreeing to talk about your creative processes and what drives you as a writer.
Thank you for having me. It’s great to be a part of such a wonderful blog.
Let’s start with your books, you have a series called “The Light Keeper Series”. What role does light play in this series and what sort of genre(s), world and character story arcs are we going to find if we step into the light?
My Light Keeper series is actually loosely based on a real-life ghost legend here in my hometown. The Light itself is a real phenomenon that occurs on Bragg Road which is believed to be the ghostly light of a man who lost his head from a train accident back when the stretch used to be a branch off the Santa Fe railroad.
The series is about a girl who moves out to the road and discovers that she has a special connection to the Light. So it’s basically my take on what the mysterious ghost light is.
The world is a fictional representation of the area today and touches on what it used to be back when Bragg was an actual boomtown here in Southeast Texas. Through the story we meet Lily and learn about her gifts and affinity with the Light and how it affects the new relationships she’s forming since losing everything in a recent hurricane and then having to relocate with her mom, her mother’s fiancé, and his son who Lily is attracted to. There is also a murder mystery and lots of folklore.
The first three books in the series had already been released by a certain publisher which recently went under, but I’m very fortunate to have been picked up by BrixBaxter Publishing who has already republished book one in the series, The Legend of the Light Keeper, and we’re currently working on The Secret of Strange Waters, which is book two and book three, The Truth about Broken Trees. I’m really excited about continuing the series with books four and five.
I also notice that your work has been included in four Anthologies – “Spellbound”, “Echoes of Winter”, “Darkness Echoes” & “The December Awethology – Light Volume”. Can you please elaborate more regarding these specific collections and your contributions to them. Are your contributions linked in any way to your Light Keeper Series or are they totally different content for us to get stuck into?
Last year I was fortunate to participate in Darkness Echoes for the Halloween season with a lovely group of authors. I contributed my story Witch Moth and introduced a set of twin witches, Dominic and Dahlia Dane, who had been banished from their coven for consorting with Vampires. In the Echoes of Winter Anthology, I contributed Cold Hearth, which was a continuation of the twin’s story and their relationship with the Cold Hearth Coven from which they’d been banished and Dahlia’s struggle with being Darkborn and what that means for her. I had a blast working with new characters and at the time it was perfect for a much needed break from my series.
Spellbound, my most recent anthology, again with BrixBaxter, is a summer reads anthology and I contributed a story called Tethered which is a tale about two young vampires who are soulmates from rival royal families that are each run by a pair of feuding matriarchs. It’s about family, love, acceptance and forgiveness. The only story that is related to my Light Keeper Series is in the December Awethology Light Anthology. The Year of the Light Keeper is not really a complete story, but more like a short bonus scene. I really enjoyed working on the anthologies though and it’s a good way to break up the monotony of series writing.
If your novels were to be made into movies, who would you cast in the lead roles?
I have always imagined my main character, Lily Jordan, as a younger Evangeline Lilly. Think Kate from Lost. The whole dark hair, freckle-faced, pixie-like features, only with greener eyes, look. That’s her. Owen would be a young Hunter Parrish. He starred in Weeds as the oldest son. He’s gorgeous like Owen. I think Zach Roerig, who plays Matt on Vampire Diaries would be my Hunter. He and Hunter Parrish could pull off the brother thing perfectly because they look like they could really be brothers. Talon is the hard one to cast. He’s a little bit Robert Sheehan, but not the weird zany Sheehan we’ve seen lately, but more like Love/Hate bad boy Sheehan. It’s really a weird mix.
What do you find the most difficult thing about writing? And what do you find the easiest?
I think this varies from project to project. Lately I’ve struggled with which cards to show and what to keep under my hat. Series writing can be hard like that because you know you have another book coming and trying to decide how the long term story will unfold and what I want to share early on and what I want to keep for later is hard. I have to look at it like a huge puzzle and there are only so many pieces I can put in place so I don’t give away the big picture too early on. It’s even harder when your big picture keeps evolving and changing as you go. This is why outlining is important. I suck at outlining.
The easiest thing for me lately is naming characters. I remember I used to really suffer over this and now it just seems so, well, I hate to say unimportant, but it kind of is. At least the way I used to fuss over it. I’ve always liked to use simple, easy-to-read names, but I wanted them just so. I wanted the name to fit and to be unusual, though common enough to pronounce, and I’d let it slow me down.
Now I’ve learned just to start writing and give my characters place holder names until something better comes along. It’s not worth wasting time over and not every name needs to be clever. I’m throwing down names like Mary and Bob just to get my story written, I can always go back and change it if they don’t fit. But I don’t waste time on it. I love it when a placeholder name sticks.
Who are some of the authors in general that inspire you?
Well, I have to say I’m most inspired by JR Ward. I love to read her books and she always puts me in a mood to write. I consider her my sure cure for writer’s block. For YA, I love Cassandra Clare and Rachel Caine. I love Clare’s descriptions and world building abilities and wish I was better when it comes to that. Caine’s Morganville Vampire series was based in Texas and is one of my favorite series because even though it was about vampires, I found the characters relatable.
What sort of research do you do to write your books?
Well, when it comes to the Light Keeper series, I did lots of local research. I think it made things kind of easier to be from the area where the story is based and to be able to research the Bragg Road legend. Bragg was a very small, short-lived boomtown back in the early 1900’s and the road and its legend are about all that’s left today. I grew up hearing other people’s stories and I’ve actually been out to the road multiple times. Once, I even had a paranormal encounter there where I saw a strange Light dart up from the middle of the road about a car length away, which was also witnessed by my husband and two sons.
I talked to many people too about their Bragg Road experience with the Light. There are multiple theories and I touched on every one of them in the series. Though I fictionalized the story, I feel I kept its integrity. That was really important to me. I recently read an article where the author mentioned the road as part of a ghost hike and she totally butchered the legend and I was really offended. I realized how important that legend is to me now.
Why do you write? What inspired you to become a writer?
Well, I’ve always been a dabbler in different arts. I love to create and I think writing is just another medium. Perhaps the best medium, because you can stare at a painting all day and it can tell a story, but it’s not a very long one. With writing, I can take my readers much deeper into the painting and put it in motion in their mind. It’s really like drawing very detailed pictures with words that allow you to step inside and go on a journey.
I think just like the escape I want to give my readers, I get to escape into those worlds when I create them. I began writing novels in 2009 after the death of my father. I think it helped me escape and cope with that loss. It definitely gave me focus and something to be happy about.
What keeps you motivated during creative slumps? How do you deal with Writers Block?
Yeah, I joke about JR Ward’s books being my cure for writer’s block, and they really are in a way. I not only read her work, but other’s as well. Reading is an important practice for authors, especially reading in your genre and your market, but I think if you find someone whose writing voice speaks to you, that can be such a powerful tool to help you stay on track in your own writing. I also think when you get stuck on something the best thing is to just push through it and write. Even if you step aside and work on a different project, or just totally start something new, the best thing is to just keep writing. There’s truly nothing wasted, even if you don’t ever use it, but a very wise person once told me you can’t edit a blank page.
One thing I love to do also is pick a scene and flesh it out while I take my morning walk. Then when I get home I write it and that helps me work through those problem spots. I truly think writer’s block is an excuse. When you get stuck in one direction, there are so many others to go to. Writing isn’t just from beginning to end for me. If I get hung up I’ll go around it. If you’re stuck and need to redirect, try rereading what you’ve written, or even edit it for a little bit. You’ll find your way back on track, but don’t give up.
How do you spend your free time when you are not writing?
I have a family, so I spend lots of time with them. I read lots of different things. I’m a cake decorator and I also enjoy mixed media art and so many other crafts and hobbies. I love TV series and movies and binge watch a ton of Netflix. I love anything spooky and paranormal, but I do get scared sometimes, so I have to watch out.
Tell us more about your upcoming projects. Are you working on anything specific or have plans in the pipeline?
I have lots of plans in the pipeline I just need to find the time to do them all. But first and foremost is getting my first three books of the Light Keeper series republished. We’ve already got one out, two and three will happen soon. While that’s going on, I’m working on releasing other projects while also working on The Shape of Severed Circles, which is Light Keeper Book 4. I hope to have that out as soon as possible because I have readers being very patient with me over that one. I regrettably had to put it on hold with my publisher changing. I think in the end it will all be worth the wait.
Finally, are there any nuggets of wisdom that you can impart to other aspiring writers?
Yes, and it’s a very simple little nugget. Write. You can be the most brilliant thinker ever. You can sit and think all day. You can think and dream and think some more and it all go no further than your own mind. What a waste is that? If that’s all you do, do you know what you’ll be? One hell of a thinker. Do the work. Writers write. Get those ideas down. It all goes back to “You can’t edit a blank page.”
And that’s a wrap!
Thanks again for the opportunity! It’s been a blast!
Kelly Hall was born and raised in Southeast Texas, and lives in a small town just a stone’s throw from the ghost road where her Light Keeper series is based.
When she’s not busy writing, or spending time with her husband and two sons, this self-proclaimed creative junkie dabbles in many different forms of art, including cake decorating and mixed media.
You can contact her on the following Social Media platforms:-
You can buy her books here:-
Canada:- Buy Kelly Hall’s books in Canada
UK/Europe:- Buy Kelly Hall’s books in UK/Europe
US/Rest of the World:- Buy Kelly Hall’s books in US/Rest of the World
If you too would like to be interviewed on my blog at TooFullToWrite and you have a book or a series of books that you would like us to chat about then fill out the Contact Me form here with your details and we can arrange a future interview slot.
Still want more? Well The Daily Post happens to have a prompt called ‘Ghost’. For more blog post articles around the topic of ghosts, check out the links below (if you dare!):-
1. Butterflies & Dragonflies – byindiablue
2. No Good Dragon Goes Unpunished (Heartstrikers Book 3) Review – Intense Mode
3. Water of Rain – Ghosts on My Ceiling
4. Madeline Scribes – ghosting…Boo!
5. Power: The New Soap-Opera – In a Perfectly Imperfect World
6. Belief in Ghosts – law abiding brunette
7. ativ schuberg – A solitary man
8. burntbreakfast – Day 30: Ghost
9. Ghost away – Nomadic Adventurer
10. My Mixed Blog – The Ghost Ship
11. Gomke – Khayal
12. Mangalsutra – Khayal
13. This, On Purpose – They’re still around.
14. A Hundred Years Later – The Chaos Within
15. No Need to Fear – littleflamesblog
16. Le Drake Noir – Look a like a ghost village
17. The Doors to the Soul – World Through My Eyes
18. artifiswords – GHOST
19. The Light Breaks Through – A Different Kind of Spector
20. Po’ Girl Shines – McCourtie Park, More Than Meets The Eye under Ghost
21. Project BMG – The hidden injury – Roberta Pimentel
22. Things From Susan’s Perspective – Do You Believe In Ghosts?
23. Icesabel – The Unknown
24. Annette’s place – Daily prompt/ghost/8/17/2016
25. When I Was Your Age – The DADgum Blog
26. he will walk in, as you’re sitting down to a meal – Scattered Showers in a Clear Sky
27. Dear Little Things – Think Outside The Toaster
28. Running Ghosts – Sneakers on Pavement
29. The Lazy Wanderer – Ghost
30. love story. – lemonadeletter
31. Browsing The Atlas – Jerome: Not Your ‘Brady Bunch’ Ghost Town
32. Eileen On – Only a Ghost Remains
33. teleportingweena – I AM THE GHOST BESIDE YOU
34. I Will Fight Site – Life is not a Whisper
35. Rambling wraith – speaking up for myself
36. HarlemATL Inner City Blues – Katt Leya: More Than I Can Handle
37. A Ghost In The Loo – atrangizindagieksafar
38. Ghost – Mrs Reckless Writes
39. Spirit Anthem (Rock!) – Let Me Stay Among The Stars
40. On the 15th day in the 7th month…. – Singledust
41. Repercussions – Stories
42. Meg’s Magical Musings
43. A Ghostling, in Training – HemmingPlay
44. Purposive Writer – Re-aligning My Health Goals: Day 21
45. Ghost – Bel’s Site
46. Reviews on a Train – “Dear Ghost” – The Daily Post Creative Writing Challenge
47. Spooky – mum’s going nuts
48. method two madness – Ghosts
49. somawrites – scarlet vessel
50. Smoke – Red Spirited Hurricane
51. Ghosts of Me (A Poem) – stephentotheplate
52. The ghosts of our friendship – Celebrating ART
53. My love – Morning Reads
54. The Fiction Cafe – Daily Prompt – Ghost
55. witchlike – Friend, Foe, or Otherwise?
56. 3am Bursts of Inspiration – Crimson River Part III
57. A word on ghost – ioanaazoica
58. Magnanimous Word – What’s wrong with Jimmy?
59. Summertime, Ghosts, Campfires & Stories – TAwrites
60. a cooking pot and twistedtales – Yesterdays Ghost…
61. Ghost – a nomad in cyberspace
62. I was my own ghost! – Abi&Stella
63. Red bags – KangaWithoutRoo
64. Ghost… – CrossGear
65. Sweet Smell of The Lady – True_George
66. Ghost – StrangeLander2015
67. Ghost – She Who Hears
68. Melancholy Doll
69. A shoe, hair and a shower – mistspell
70. Your words haunt Me – Akanksha
71. And time will stand still – Painted in words
72. vapors (20160817) – Words and Feathers
73. Lake Matka- Macedonia – Thirty by Thirty
74. MY MOM AND HER GHOST – R.J. Carlisle – Author
75. Ghost (25/35) – The Film Girl
76. Moonlight Reflections – Ghost
77. inspiration in progress – Captive
78. Ghosts and Landmines – Doodles and Scribbles
79. Already gone – writemebad
80. manvsloneliness – Day 46: The Man and the Haunting; ‘ Ghost’
81. The Ghost of Me – Modern Day Wonderland
82. A Final Goodbye – Onto My Next 40 Years
83. Myammy! Moving in together at 50… – Spooky! Who said the Everglades were ebullient?
84. Amie Writes – The Last Goodbye
85. MY ENDURING BONES – The Hunters
86. Already gone – writemebad
87. When I’m gone – Un Camino de Hojas Secas
88. The Butterfly of Death – thebeckchronicles
89. Ghost – Espiritu en Fuego/A Fiery Spirit
90. Alexia Jones – Ghost
91. Ghost – WORDS from SONOBE
92. The Generous Ghost – rupalislale
93. Hiking Wedgemount Lake – The Foxy Igorota
94. Scraps of Paper – Autumn Ghosts
95. Sacrificial Chain Breaker – MONSTERS AND GHOSTS AGAIN!
96. Derelict Heart – Ghost-Love
97. Today’s Prompt: Ghost. An eerily empty hallway – Come in, sit down
98. April’s Perspective – I Always Wanted a Ghost
99. Ghost Come out – Karuchan
100. Serendipitousbloom.com – Writing Wednesdays #1
101. The Daily Post – Progressing into Solitude – Ghost
102. khetarpalblog – No Ghost- That’s the Goal
103. Words on Words on Words – Ghost Writer
104. Red Mountain Motel – Visitor Daily Prompt–Ghost
105. Your Song – Fenix Verde
106. Ghosts Of Thoughts – Odyssey In Atlantis
107. It’s Too Late Now – A mile in my shoes
108. Ghosts By The Tombstones – Leigha Robbins
109. Lakeland Musings by Irwin – Ghost of a Chance
110. Ghosts in my head – Fenix Verde
111. Success Inspirers’ World – Scared of ghosts?
112. Haunting Me – …Illusive…Road…
113. Shadow People – From Sand to Gemstones
114. Eden of Knowledge – Ghost playing with me
115. In my heart, a ghost – Jane Dougherty Writes
116. Water of Rain – Perceptions
117. The Daily Prompt for August 17, 2016 – Writer 4835
118. deserted – What does nelkumi think?
119. Ghosts- The haunting memories – ruinedpages
120. Lisa’s Journal Blog – Ghost
121. MEMORIES – AN OCEAN OF NOTIONS
122. Brendon Ward – Heinrich Bullinger
123. Making it write – They come to me
124. Shell Games – Pokemon Sun and Moon: Ghosts of the Past (and Future)
125. 3am Bursts of Inspiration – Crimson River Part II
126. Meet Me in Nevada – Haunted Park
127. Little Ghost – The Inkwell
128. The hidden injury – yasminmay
129. Gone are the days… – caffeinetoyourdecaf
130. Common Pursuit – For a Fleeting Moment
131. The ghosts of my youth… – MissusDoubleYew
132. Nicholas – The Cliffhanger Chronicle
133. This world is not mine – Fenix Verde
134. Fluffy Pool – The White Ribbon
135. razorshell – just some stories
136. Katy Trail Creations – Ghost Riders in the Sky
137. Landslide – november child
138. Your Memory Is A Treasure Chest. It Is More Than the Ghosts of Your Past – Blog to Memoir
139. Writing and Works – Shadow Heart
140. Chris Writes – Take Me Home
141. Life is great – Saved by the Ghost
142. Fear of the Unknown – thepathtocreativity
143. kwesi – Ghost
144. Ghost – Image & Word
145. The Ghost of Happiness. – PsychPerspectives
146. You and me song – Ghost
147. Behind me. – Journey
148. Ghost – A Thomas Point of View
149. Insach – Sweet eating ghost.
150. A Ghost in the Works – Pippakin Talks Cats, Dogs, Teeth and Claws
151. Just A Simple Country Girl – Ghost
152. jelmo88’s Blog – Silent Confession
153. Read and Write Here – I Saw a Ghost
154. Dialy Prompts August 2016 – My Garden Biodiversity
155. wordsareallihavesite – Ghost
156. B_ up to date – In or out of control
157. Stargazing With Ghosts – passiondesignerblog
158. Stairs – C.L. Kohuss
159. What Does My Headscarf Mean to You? – ONE MORE SHOT PLEASE
160. Ghost – Covert Novelist
161. The diary #micro fiction – lovelyricism
162. Sleepless – Caillen James –Author
163. Indira’s Blog – Ghost- The daily post
164. Untitled (Ghost prompt) – Barryjack’s Place
165. Ghosts – Words in verse…..
166. The Gad About Town – The Ghostly Writer
167. To Wear A Rainbow – friendly ghost
168. Life with Jess – Forward Is Forward
169. Ghostly Fingers – syazwani14cats
170. How can there be a ghost? – Writcrit
171. rhymeagination – AN UNAVOIDABLE SENSATION
172. dinamicdynasty – Ghost
173. Eye Crosser #7: The Shadow Banking System – The Mono-Economy of the New Millennium
174. Site Title – Ghostly Matters
175. Ghosts of the lost. – TheTattooedBookGeek
176. Crossing Colorado – How to Get the Most out of Your Exercise Routine
177. Ghost – Jane Dougherty Writes
178. maisiethenewfieandcompany – Annie the Friendly Ghost
179. Think About It – Ghosts
180. #BlueCutFire – fire by my house, red skies, utter craziness #Diary – Damien at the Speed of Life WP
181. lifelessons – a blog by Judy Dykstra-Brown – Ghosts
182. Ghosts – Kathy’s Komments
183. 3am Bursts of Inspiration – Crimson River Part I
184. Dreams in Alaska – Ghosts
185. You! – Some More Fiction
186. 20160817: Ghost in the hills. – Vanderhoof Photography
187. Ghost – chosenperspectives
188. JonahzSong – Holy Ghost Revival
189. Life in a Few Words – Too Little, Too Late
190. Vexing Point – Ghost
191. Flowers and Breezes – Bed Ghost
192. kStan(ly) kSays – the ghost in the window
193. MY OWN PRIVATE IDAHO – Ghost
194. Dreams – Ayoka
195. a ghost of a chance..highly improbable ⋆ Obsolete Childhood
196. The Lonely Boy – Sleepless Book Junkies
197. Scribbles from the other side – Afterlife Love Story
198. Writer Sanctuary – How to Tell if a Website Is Worth Keeping Online
199. Ghost, he must be… – maybeiamsure
200. Ghost That I Run From – eddaz
201. Lamont and Dude Discuss Ghosts – Where’s the Windmill?
202. A Haunting – Dutch goes the Photo!
203. Mainline_Matter – Ladybug Cookie Ghost
204. Ghost – juantetcts
205. Always focused – zorazebic
206. The Cat Chronicles – Daily Feline Prompt: The ghost of the paws
207. Ghosts Don’t Exist – Rambling Kori
208. Once Upon Your Prime – Don’t Change That Channel-er !
209. Michael J. Fite – How Will You Deal With Your Ghosts?
210. Zombies and Vampires and Ghosts – Pete Gardner Psalms
211. Ghost of You – Single Mom In Dallas
212. SERENDIPITY – GHOSTS OF THE SUPERSTITIONS – GARRY ARMSTRONG
213. Cold, Grey Day – ladyleemanila
214. Ghost – disue
215. Random Brain Musings – Ghost in the Machine
216. Casper’d…but not in a friendly way. – Insidious Temptation
217. What a life. . . – A Walk in the Woods
218. Chronicles of an Anglo Swiss – The ghostly avocado
219. La Tour Abolie – Walking Ghosts
220. Full-Time – Gone
221. Only if… – Ms Skyfall
222. Keep Going… – SUCCESS STRATEGIES
223. My Story With “Ghost” – Beautifully Alyssa
224. ATG Successful Living – Let Go of the Past….
225. Ghost – Tuba
226. I am killing my Mother – mySestina
227. ramblings of reticent risb – Ghost
228. A Vibrant Palette – The Ghost
229. Ghost in our Heads – just a little magic
230. A quarter of a Dream #4 – PLEXIUS
231. Zombie Flamingos
232. GHOST – My QuotesVilla
233. Ghost – Words For Leaving
234. trial of pingback – REVERIES
235. kristinakoti – Nose and plastic
236. My Ghost is a Flippant Little God – Justus Books
237. ghost 2 u, – pressedpoetree’
238. Jacki Kellum Juxtapositions: Read My Mind – Your Memory Is A Treasure Chest. It Is More Than the Ghosts of Your Past
239. Lost Property Repository – Ghost
240. kStan(ly) kSays – ghosts who pay the bills
241. I wrote a book. Now what? – Ghosts that write stories
242. A Former Selfie – My Second Act, Scene One
243. the15thday – go bump in the night? nah. watch eyecandy instead.
244. Ghost – Lilly’s View
245. Devil Doll Musings – Ghostbusters
246. Ghost.. – whatamberthinks
247. PHANTOMS WITH FINE ENDINGS – thepunkpenblog
248. Ghosts in the basement – Thoughtful Frani
249. Left – indisputably inconclusive
250. THE GHOST IN US! – Positive Reflections
251. mellogic – Ghosts: Anonymity & Strangeness
252. Drift – indisputably inconclusive
253. Frank Prem – the long night
254. Frank Prem – praying m
255. 23rd Floor Ghost Girl – venuscaliphate
256. Ikea Trip: Lessons Learned! – Chronicles of an Orange-Haired Woman!
257. Designer Sophisticate – They don’t exist.
258. The Greek Life – Nomadchasingwaterfalls
259. Reflections – psychedelicwizard
260. Hot White Snow – Reliving 9/11
261. Frank Prem – Furball and Freddie
262. Memories – Just Writing!
263. What Would You Keep!
264. Passion through Poetry – Why?
265. Passion through Poetry – Ghost Kisses
266. The Wandering Poet – Where spirits from the past may still roam
267. Lantern Words – Oh Holy Ghost
268. A List Poem – Bits of Poems