Eilean Donan Castle by DRW Photography

Monday, July 28, 2014

Holly Kelly

When you are done with The interview below, Please take a moment and look at my "Thought of My Day page." I am talking about Kindle Unlimited and would like input.

Here is My Interview with Holly Kelly, Thank You for Stopping by my Blog today.

Me:      Tell us about yourself
Holly: I grew up in Kansas, which was the perfect place to foster an imagination. It’s so flat and monotonous there, if I wanted a rich world, I had to create it in my head—which I did on a regular basis. My mother was from Portland Oregon, so we took trips to see my grandma and it always involved an outing to the beach. I fell in love with the ocean and that eventually led me to Hawaii where I attended college at Brigham Young University—Hawaii. Finding myself on a tropical island, I realized the lush world on that island was even more beautiful than my imagination. 

Me:        Tell us about your new book?

Holly: My newest book is called Descending. It’s the second book in the Rising series—a series based in deep sea Greek Mythology. Two minor characters from Rising, Gretchen and Kyros, are the main characters of this book. I really wanted to have a fresh book, with a fresh story, and still be able to explore the world I created in Rising. Not to mention, I really don’t like love-triangles or cliff hangers. So I decided that this series would have new main characters that I could torture and put though a lot of crap and then be able to give them a happily-ever-after. So that’s what I did. Kyros is a Dagonian (think deadly, sea-monster battling merman), and Gretchen is a typical American law-student. Kyros hates humans; after all, humans murdered his twin sister. And Gretchen is a spunky, loud mouthed, human. When I put them together, the sparks flew! 


Me:        When you write, does your real life spill over into your book at any time?

Holly: I pull a lot of things from real life. I try to ground my so-called real world, in reality. I do a lot of research to make sure my settings are as accurate as possible. And then the personality of my characters are a mish mash of people I know. My husband is eerily similar in personality to the Dagonians. He’s an ex-Marine, seventh degree black belt with the confidence to match both those titles. Of course, I can hold my own. I’ve got a second degree black belt, and I’m raising six kids! 

Me:        Do you think about a book of yours, being made into a movie, or not when writing?

Holly: Not while I’m writing. After I’ve written it, I sometimes think about how my books could be made into a movie. It would be difficult, with the underwater scenes, but I think Hollywood could pull it off. Keeping my fingers crossed. 

Me;        When naming your characters, do you give any thought to the actual meaning?

Holly: I give a lot of thought to the names of my main characters, but not so much my minor characters. I’m dang lucky with my name for Gretchen. I named her in Rising, I gave little thought to the name other than I wanted something unique. When I decided to make her a main character in the next book, I looked up the name and was shocked with how well it fit her character. The name Gretchen literally means pearl. Like Gretchen says in the book, life gave her a piece of dirt, but she was making it her life beautiful, one layer at a time. 

Me:       What made you want to write and also what made you want to write the genre you are writing?

Holly: I started writing completely on a whim. I had a passing thought—maybe I should write a novel. Regardless of that fact I’m an avid reader, I’d never considered writing a book until that moment. Minutes later my writing journey began. My first novel was the most amazing piece of literature ever created. At least that’s what I thought when I was writing it. It only took having it sit for a while and coming back to it to realize it was a pile of crap. My forth novel was the charm, and in July 2013 I signed with Clean Teen Publishing. As for writing fantasy and paranormal, it’s just natural. I’ve always daydreamed in fantasy, so I can’t imagine writing anything else. 

Me:        If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
Holly: I’ve had so many experienced writers help me. But the first author that took me under her wing is an old friend of mine, Roseanne Wilkins. She writes Christian literature—not really the genre I read, but she was so supportive and helpful in guiding me to where I needed to go to develop as a writer. I am so grateful she took precious time out of her life for me, a new fledgling author.          

Me:   Do you have any tips for our readers that might dream of writing?
Holly: Just do it. And if you suck at it, join the club! We all did when we started. Just keep going, keep progressing as a writer, and don’t let ANYONE tell you that you can’t do it. Some of the closest people in my life were my biggest doubters. After the success I’ve had with my first two published novels, I can hold my head high around them and think, “See, I did it. You told me I couldn’t, but I proved you wrong!” I try not to say this vocally, I’m attempting to take the higher road. Sometimes I slip, but hey, I’m only human.

Me:       Tell us anything you want?

Holly: Hmmm, I guess I have a few more things to say to aspiring writers. To become a great writer, you absolutely must read, read, read, and write, write, write in equal amounts. Then intensively study the craft of writing, learning all the ins and outs of it. Finally, never give up. Keep writing, keep working on becoming a better writer, and don't let anyone or anything stop you!

You can find her at:
Author Page Web

~ Here is the first Chapter of Descending, click the book to be directed to Amazon Buy page.

Chapter 1
Deep inside the belly of the Kraken, Kyros had the beast right where he wanted. Enveloped in blackness, he sank to the floor of the stomach wall and inched his way to the side. Despite the fact that he kept his mouth and gills closed, he could taste the soured and rotten flesh of the beast’s last meal. He tried not to think about the fact he was swimming in vomit.
Lifting his sword, he sprang off the wall. His blade slashed through flesh, organs, and muscle. His tailfin drove him forward, spilling him out into the open sea. The water clouded with blood and stomach fluids. This was not the most appealing way to slay a Kraken, but it was effective—if you avoided the teeth on the way in. Thank the gods Krakens had extremely slow digestion. This would never work with a Leviathan.
Shouts of relief echoed through the sea. The town of Volosus had a new hero. Crowds of fellow Dagonians formed a semicircle of packed bodies pressing forward to get a good look at the dying beast. The colorful tailfins of the females outnumbered the grey fins. They’d lost a lot of males in this sea-monster attack.
The Kraken lay groaning on a bed of crushed homes. The beast’s eyes dimmed as crimson clouds billowed from his wound. His mouth gaped open, his jaw askew. Red wisps of blood flowed out, only to be sucked back in as the creature took his last breaths. Finally, the breathing stopped and bloody tendrils rose around his long, jagged teeth. The beast’s body spanned the entire width of the village—most of which he’d destroyed. If only Kyros had been called earlier. How the village warriors thought to kill this monster themselves was beyond understanding. Even the most skilled of warriors found it difficult to slay a Kraken. Kyros glanced around; the villagers looked haggard, broken.
A rounded Dagonian fluttered his fat, stumpy tail, inching his way through the sea toward Kyros. “Thank you, most honorable warrior.” He smiled, flashing perfect, white teeth framed by a jovial face. “This monster’s been terrorizing us for days. He killed my best soldiers, yet you alone defeated him. Thank you again.”
The Dagonian reached out and offered Kyros his hand. Kyros’s glare stopped him. The man clenched his fist and pulled it back. Clearing his throat, he gave him an apprehensive smile. “I invite you to celebrate with us.” He turned to the crowd. “Men, have your females prepare a feast.”
“Stop! No one move.” Kyros narrowed his eyes at the Dagonian. “And you are…?”
“The mayor—Eleon, son of Demokrates.” He cleared his throat, his eyes avoiding Kyros’s glare.
“Why did you wait days before calling for help?” The venom in Kyros’s voice tainted the water.
“I… uh… we didn’t want to bother you with our problems.”
“You mean—you were too proud to admit you couldn’t handle your problems.” Kyros narrowed his eyes and clenched his jaw. “Was it you who finally came to his senses and called me?”
The mayor’s head bobbed up and down.
“That’s a lie.” A shout came from a Dagonian in the crowd. “I called you.” A fit, young soldier swam forward, his hateful glare on the mayor. Other soldiers followed, anger echoed in their faces.
“Who are you?” Kyros asked.
“I’m the spawn of the devil,” he answered.
“He’s Azeus,” the mayor said, frowning, “…my son.”
Kyros approached the young Dagonian, who looked or acted nothing like his father. “Did your father ask you to call me?”
“No, on the contrary, he threatened to disown me if I did. He couldn’t admit he was wrong. Even when his own soldiers were devoured, he insisted he had everything under control.”
“Are there any soldiers left?” Kyros asked.
“Yes, my unit is still alive. My father wouldn’t let me lead them against the beast. I guess he didn’t want to lose his only son. But these unfortunate souls…” He nodded to the stunned survivors. “I guess their family members were expendable.”
“Is this true?” Kyros shouted to the people.” Are there any to collaborate this soldier’s story?” The villagers had fear in their eyes, but several nodded in agreement. None spoke out for the mayor.
Kyros turned to Azeus. “You do understand, as an elite guard, I outrank everyone in this village—including your father.”
“Yes, sir,” the young lad answered.
“I order you to arrest your father and place him in lockdown until trial.”
“No!” the mayor shouted. Azeus’s guards surrounded him. “How could you? Son? Will you betray your own father?”
“You betrayed your people by betraying their trust. You let soldiers die, for your pride’s sake only. I am ashamed to call you father.”
“Azeus, as the mayor’s son,” Kyros continued, “and because you have shown such fierce devotion to this village, I hereby appoint you mayor in your father’s stead. You will remain in position until such a time as elections can be held. Do you accept my appointment?”
Any doubt Kyros might have had appointing a young man to such a high level of responsibility flew from his mind as he saw the weight of responsibility settle over the lad’s countenance.
“I do.”
“I cannot stay longer,” Kyros said. “You have much work to do caring for the survivors and rebuilding the village. I will be checking up on your progress. First of all, I suggest you get rid of this Kraken’s body before a larger creature comes to feed.”
The lad nodded. “Thank you, sir. You’ve saved us, despite my father’s ignorant pride.”
Kyros nodded back.
As Kyros swam over a mountainous rise, he looked back on the scene of carnage. The town lay in ruins. It would take them a long time to rebuild. Tethered to three blue whales, the body of the Kraken left a scar across the sea floor as they dragged it toward the drop off. The creatures of the deep would have a feast on that carcass.
Kyros didn’t look forward to his new destination. It was even more unappealing than this scene.
Xanthus had summoned him.
Kyros had dreaded this meeting since he’d first heard his best friend was searching for volunteers—for a mission a hundred times worse than tearing through the digestive system of a Kraken. These volunteers were expected to live among the humans and guard a mermaid. Either of these things alone would be unpleasant enough, but together…
What was worse, the mermaid was Xanthus’s new wife.
Regardless of being Xanthus’s best friend and most loyal companion, Kyros shrunk from such a job. He wondered how, in Poseidon’s realm, Xanthus would find others willing to perform this task. Dagonians loathed mermaids—at least, they used to. Sara was the first mermaid to be born since Dagonians killed the last of them two thousand years ago. If the stories were true, all mermaids were cruel, selfish, and self-absorbed creatures. Why Xanthus would want to marry such a thing was beyond Kyros’s understanding. Perhaps the siren had bewitched him. If that were the case, Kyros may just have to figure out how to break the spell and save his friend.
But, to live among humans? He couldn’t think of anything worse. Word was Xanthus was looking for five soldiers to guard his wife. Perhaps he was finally putting his extensive fortune to use.
Kyros raised his face. His body shot straight up, racing to the surface. He had one place to go before the dreaded meeting. A place he hadn’t been to in a hundred years. He broke through the waves and flipped two times in the air before slamming his back flat against the water. He relished the pain; this burn was more tolerable than the painful memories he was about to confront. But he needed to face them. He needed a reminder of what the land-walkers had done to him. What they’d taken from him.
The journey took him merely two hours, swimming at twenty knots—it felt like much longer.
He considered passing his childhood home without a glance, but thought again. He was exhausted from fighting the Kraken, and even more so from witnessing how one man’s pride could wreak such devastation and destruction. Besides, if his parents knew he’d passed by, he’d never hear the end of it.
Swimming toward the village at dusk, he frowned when he realized this village probably looked much like the last one—minus the rubble and stench of blood.
His house stood on the edge of town and looked just like he’d remembered it—a hollowed-out, lumpy dome of multi-colored coral that grew in size every year. His parents were predictably old-fashioned. Where most families were building stone homes, with sea-glass windows and marble floors, his parents were happy with the house they’d found and hollowed out eight hundred years ago.
Kyros had to admit that it was plenty big. When his parents had first moved in, it had been barely big enough for the two of them. Now it could hold a large family. Too bad he was the only child they had left. Eros, the god of procreation, had not been kind to them—only two children born to them in eight hundred years.
“Kyros! How come you didn’t tell us you were coming?” asked an excited voice, interrupting his thoughts. His mother swam toward him and wrapped her arms around his chest. Her brown eyes sparkled. He looked down on her loving face, her long, red hair haloed naturally around her head. She’d long given up on keeping up with the latest hairstyles. She said they were far too complicated to braid and a waste of time, anyway.
“I’m not staying long,” he said. “I was just in the area.”
She raised an eyebrow. “Our village is not in danger, is it?”
“Not at all. I was just passing by.”
“Oh good. Come inside. Your father will be happy to see you.”
“Happy to see who?” His father swam in from the reading room. He was a large Dagonian, longer than Kyros—nearly as long as Xanthus. With genes coming from both his parents, Kyros had ended up somewhere in the middle—about seven and a half feet from head to fin.
“Who is this stranger?” His father scowled.
“Oh, stop being silly,” his mother said.
“I’m not being silly. We see so little of him; he may as well be a stranger.”
“You just saw him five months ago.”
“Five months is far too long. My friends have their sons by their side—helping them fish during the spawning season, helping them clear out the human debris that seems to get into every crack and crevice, and helping their fathers home when they’ve had a bit too much pod juice. Not to mention, their sons get married and give them grandchildren.”
“Dear, stop hounding him. He’ll marry when he’s ready.” His mother flitted around the house, batting small fish out the windows and closing the shutters.
“So, what has brought you here?” his father asked.
“I just needed a reminder.”
“A reminder of what?”
Kyros sighed, predicting his parent’s reactions. “Xanthus is going to ask me to accompany him to the surface.”
They both gasped at the same time. “Whatever for?” his mother asked—her face as white as whalebone.
“He recently married a mermaid.”
Their eyes grew wider.
“That is surprising,” his mother said. “I didn’t realize King Triton had more children. But I still don’t understand. Mermaids don’t usually live on the surface.”
“No, but Xanthus does—at least for a while. He has it in his head he needs to singlehandedly convince the humans to stop polluting our seas.”
“Sounds like a fool’s errand,” his father said.
“Yeah, I’ve tried to tell him.”
“So King Triton is worried about his daughter and wants her protected?” his mother asked.
“Why come home?” his father asked. “What do you hope this trip will accomplish?”
“Dear…” His mother frowned.
“I’m going to be around humans for a while, and I don’t want to forget,” Kyros said.
His mother bit down on her lip as his father asked, “Forget what?”
“How much I loathe them.”


  1. Replies
    1. I so love the cover of her books. They are just so beautiful.

  2. Love what I've read so far!! :) I'll look forward to finishing it! ;) Great interview Kimi! Nice to meet you Holly Kelly!

  3. Great interview, Holly! It seems I have another series to add to my ever growing TBR list. All the best with your new release!