Author Interview: Maria Kelly

mariakellyToday our featured anthology author is Maria Kelly, who submitted a superb drabble (100 word story) back in the days when we had an annual drabble issue.

First off, please tell us a bit about yourself. Have any super powers or secret talents?

I am a senior at the University of South Florida St. Petersburg, graduating in December 2015 with my Bachelor’s degree in English (Literature). I am currently looking at graduate schools for my MFA. I also edit and publish a magazine online called “The Were-Traveler” that publishes science fiction, fantasy, and horror. I like to read everything from classics to Japanese manga.

Can you tell us a bit about what inspired your story in the anthology?

Sometimes I like to base my stories on “what if?” questions. My story in the anthology is based on a “what if?” question I asked myself one day. What if books had feelings? What would the life of a book in a community of other books (i.e., a bookshelf) be like? I wrote my little book’s story based on that question.

What have you been up to lately? Do you have any books out right now? Are you working on anything new?

I do have a novel I’m working on called “Quellseek: Army of Empaths.” But I’m also gearing up for writing some short stories. I started a group on Facebook, ShoStoWriMo 15, and our goal is to write at least one new short story a week for the month of July 2015. I’d like to have some new stories to edit and send out into Publishing Land. I have several ideas for stories for this coming month.

I’m always fascinated by where and how people work. What is your writing setup like? Any tools you enjoy using?

I recently moved into an apartment closer to my campus and I have my own office there. At least until December when I graduate. I like working in my own office. I also have some computer tools. I use Evernote for note-taking and research…so easy to clip something from the Internet and pop in there. I keep track of submissions with the Submission Grinder website. I do nearly all of my draft writing and editing in Google Docs now and only copy and paste it to Word when I’m getting ready to send submissions. I also keep track of my word counts in Google’s spreadsheet program.

Most writers are lifelong readers and books tend to be important to them. What books or stories have most influenced your life (genre stories or otherwise)?

“The Dispossessed,” “Left Hand of Darkness,” “Wizard of Earthsea” and other stories by Ursula K. LeGuin. “We Have Always Lived in the Castle” by Shirley Jackson is disturbingly wonderful. The creepy short stories of Joyce Carol Oates (“Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?” comes to mind). Lots of other fiction by J.R.R. Tolkien, Stephen King, Neil Gaiman, Octavia Butler, Edgar Allan Poe, etc. Also classic speculative fiction and Russian literature such as “We,” by Yevgeny Zamyartin (considered by many to be the first dystopian novel) and “The Devil and Margarita” by Mikhail Bulgakov. Manga. I LOVE manga. I’ll read just about anything, really.

Where can we learn more about you and your writing?

My new website can be found here: http://mxkelly.weebly.com. And the address of my old WordPress blog is here: https://mariakellyauthordotcom.wordpress.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MariaKellyAuthor

The Were-Traveler’s Home Page: https://theweretraveler.wordpress.com

Thanks Maria! We’ll be sure to keep an eye out for “Quellseek”!

If you’re intrigued by the inspiration behind ” A New Book on the Shelf”, consider getting yourself a copy of “The Best of Luna Station Quarterly: The First Five Years” and read it for yourself, along with the other forty-nine awesome stories and gorgeous cover art by Julie Dillon.

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