Kelly Risser knew at a young age what she wanted to be when she grew up. Unfortunately, Fairytale Princess was not a lucrative career. Leaving the castle and wand behind, she entered the world of creative business writing where she worked in advertising, marketing, and currently, eLearning instructional design.
When Kelly is not immersed in the middle of someone else's fantasy world, she's busy creating one of her own. Never Forgotten is her first complete series, which includes Never Forgotten, Current Impressions, Always Remembered, and Sea of Memories, a novella collection. Kelly is one of the authors of award-winning Fractured Glass and 7: The Seven Deadly Sins. She also has a short story in the Twists in Time anthology, and will be part of several other anthologies releasing in 2016. You can visit her atwww.KellyRisser.com.
Do you read for pleasure from the same genre you write in?
My favorite books are young adult and fantasy. I have always been a big reader, but in my early twenties, I was mostly reading romance novels. Harry Potter was the series that reopened my eyes to middle grade and young adult and reminded me those stories are not just for kids. (I’ll always be young at heart!)
What is the biggest influence/interest that brought you to this genre?
I always wanted to be a writer, but after high school, I let my creative writing go, trading it in for the world of business, which was in some ways still creative, just different. When I started discovering the early indie writers on Amazon, like Amanda Hocking, that’s when I first thought that I could do this too, if I just put my mind to it.
What were you doing five years ago?
Five years ago, I was working through revisions on Never Forgotten, my first book.
How long does it typically take you to write a book?
Never Forgotten took me five years of on and off writing and revising. The remaining books in the series were about 9 months each. I am not a fast writer, and I do not write every day. I find that it does me no good to force my writing; I’ll just end up junking those pages.
When writing a book, what is your favorite part of the creative process (outline, plot, character names, editing, etc)?
My favorite part of writing a book is when I finish the first draft. It’s such a sense of accomplishment. My favorite part that has little to do with me is when I get to see the cover art for the first time. It’s so exciting!
What is your favorite thing to do on your day off?
What day off? I kid, but not really. I work full time during the week and fit my writing in around the rest of my life. Between writing, blogging, and promoting my books, I don’t have a lot of free time. When I do, I like to shop or hang out with my family.
What are your current writing projects?
I’m revising a dystopian short story that was the result of being a finalist in a Utopia Con/Little Bird Publishing contest. I’m writing a contemporary romance short story with a breast cancer theme that will go into a fundraiser anthology to raise awareness for breast cancer research, and I have started two new books that are very different from each other. One is a clean young adult fantasy novel, and the other is a historical fiction adult novel.
Do you have hobbies that don’t involve writing or reading?
I like to make my own swag. I find it relaxing. I also enjoy decorating cakes. I make the cakes for my children, as well as my nieces and nephews.
Do you have pets?
We have a soft-coated Wheaten Terrier/Poodle mix named Clyde and a tank full of fish.
Coffee or tea? Juice or Soda?
Coffee and tea. I try to avoid juice and soda. Too much sugar. I get enough of that in my chocolate. ;-)
Money being no object, what is your dream getaway?
That’s easy. Hawaiian cruise.
Do you have tattoos? Piercings?
My ears are double pierced. I also have a Claddagh tattoo just below my collarbone.
Do you have a favorite television series?
Grimm. I love how unique the series is. And Nick Burkhart is a cutie.
If you could be any animal (living or extinct, real or imagined), what would it be and why? So yes, dinosaurs and unicorns count.
Unipeg, which is a cross between a unicorn and a pegasus. In grade school, I was pretty much obsessed with drawing unipegs with rainbow manes.
Tell us about your books!
Risser keeps her focus on the little details of Meara’s everyday life, lending the book a nice, homey charm. ~Kirkus Reviews
"NEVER FORGOTTEN is a sweet romance with a paranormal twist!" ~InD'Tale Magazine
USA BEST BOOK AWARDS (2014) AND INTERNATIONAL BOOK AWARDS (2015) FINALIST.
Meara Quinn is about to find out there are worse things than moving to a tiny oceanside town before her senior year. Like discovering there's a secret being kept from her and knowing it's a life-changer.
After experiencing vivid visions of her absentee father, Meara decides she deserves answers. With the help of her new friend Evan, a guy she happens to be falling for, she embarks on a journey in the hopes of unlocking family history and finding her true self. But when she meets a handsome stranger at a local club who knows far more about her than he should, her world is again shaken. In him, Meara may have uncovered the key to the very secret that will reveal not only who she is... but what she is.