About Lyz Kelley:
Award-winning, contemporary romance author Lyz Kelley lives in a small community in Colorado with her husband and several four-legged family members. Lyz writes about brave women who have faced extraordinary challenges, and the honorable men who have an enormous capacity to love, even if they may not know it.
A healing love is at the heart of her book series. Creating wounded yet amazing characters—discovering what drives them, frightens them, heals them, makes them laugh—is what gives her joy. Lyz is pleased to share that joy through her masterfully written stories.
To keep tabs on her award-winning novels, connect with Lyz by signing up for her newsletter at LyzKelley.com. Members receive an exclusive copy of A Soldier’s Wife, learn about thoughtful giveaways, and get a sneak peek at upcoming releases. Members may even get the opportunity to receive advanced reader copies. Check out LyzKelley.com for more information.
What inspires you to write?
When I was eight, I began writing a story, first in my head, and later in my diary. The world I dreamed about was big and complex—filled with interesting creatures. When I turned 40, I tried to translate the story I’d lived with all those years to the page…and couldn’t. So I sought help. Romance Writers of America was the only group that said, “Come on in. We’ll help.” So, I started exploring the craft of writing. One day, when I’ve learned enough to write such a complicated story, I will write about the world that exists in my head.
Tell us about your writing process.
Over the years my writing process has changed. When I first started, I plotted and plotted, making massive spreadsheets of every little detail. I knew everything I could about my characters and story before I began, but my books turned out stiff and emotionless. Now, I write my first draft, focusing on story structure and let my characters do what is natural. After I get the bones of the book down, I review and edit to deepen the emotions and add flavor. Typically, I’ve done at least four passes of the book before it goes to an editor. After that, I work with a content editor, a line editor, and a proofreader to make sure I’m putting out the best book possible.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
Not really. I sort of hover over my characters and watch them, get to know them. I start with what the character fears the most, and then move onto the false belief that character has created to cope with that fear. Then I start building a growth arc to help that character resolve their fear through a healing love. After that, secondary characters are used to entice main characters to reflect, either by mirroring bad behavior or “calling out,” which is essentially creating a catalyst for change.
What advice would you give other writers?
Find your tribe. Find the people who will help you achieve your dream. Writing is a community effort. You need people who give you constructive feedback and help you figure out if the story in your head has translated well onto the page. You also need people who can make you laugh or who will pull you from the cliff’s when something happens. Friends provide the perspective and support you need to keep writing.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I had won several pre-published awards for three of my books: Spurned, Abandoned, and Shattered. While the judges loved the books, the publishers didn't think they could fit the books on a store's bookshelf. The books combine romance, woman's fiction, and mystery elements. When the time came, I decided to take the Indie Publishing route, and go for it. I don't regret the decision.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
Change. The world is changing, so why not publishing? More and more people around the world are gaining access to written material through less expensive devices. We live in an amazing time. All writers have the opportunity to be heard.
What do you use?: Professional Editor, Professional Cover Designer, Beta Readers
What genres do you write?: Romance with woman's fictional elements
What formats are your books in?: eBook, Print, Both eBook and Print
All information in this post is presented “as is” supplied by the author. We don’t edit to allow you the reader to hear the author in their own voice.