Kelly Cozy became hooked on books in early infancy, when she turned one of her parents’ paperbacks into a teething ring; she’s been reading voraciously ever since. She wrote her first story at age 9, and has been writing ever since.
She lives in California with her husband, son, and cats. When she’s not writing or reading, she enjoys cooking, watching movies, and attending nerdy conventions.
Her debut novel is The Day After Yesterday (contemporary/women’s fiction). She is also the author of Ashes, first in a two-book suspense series, now available in print and ebook. Its sequel, Reckoning, will be available in late 2013.
Kelly is currently at work on her next novel; she hopes you enjoy reading her books as much as she enjoys writing them.
- 1. Can you tell me a little about your book/series?
- The Day After Yesterday is about Daniel Whitman, a professional musician with a good life, a loving family, and a lot of friends. But when he loses his family in an accident, it sends him into a downward emotional spiral. He runs away and starts walking up the California coast; it’s this journey and the people he meets that help him recover and start finding his way back home, and to start recovering and living his life again.
2. What inspired you to write this book/series?
To be honest, I’ve had this story in my head for so long I can’t recall what the original inspiration was. But it has themes that are prevalent in my writing: how people react to life-changing events, and how people can break the chains of the past and gain strength.
3. How did you get started writing?
I first started writing when I was in elementary school. I still have a copy of a story I wrote in fourth grade about magic animals that teamed up to fight crime. I’ve been writing ever since.
4. What was your first memorable life changing book you read and why?
I’ve read so many books over the years that it’s hard to point to one in particular that changed my life. What was a bigger inspiration was meeting a writer: Leonard Wibberley, author of The Mouse That Roared among other works. I met him when I was maybe 8 or 9. It was the first time I’d met a writer; up to then, writers had been an abstract idea. I knew that people wrote books but meeting one of those people was a revelation. Writing and publishing books became something that actual people did, and maybe one day I could do it.
5. Was it always your dream to become a published author?
Yes. And when I first saw my book on a store bookshelf, it felt like I’d come to the end of a long journey.
6. What are your essentials for writing?
Coffee. People ask me how I juggle writing with a day job and family, and I tell them, “With enough coffee you can do anything.”
7. Do you have a favorite place to write?
I can write most anywhere, but I get my best work done at home. I have a home office set up where I can focus on the writing and editing without distraction. Focus is essential, especially when you have limited time.
8. Do you have any words of advice for aspiring writers?
Write the story you want to read. Don’t worry about getting in on the latest trend in fiction. Writing takes so much time and dedication that you should write what makes you happy. And if you’re engaged with the characters and story, it will come through in your writing. Sincerity counts for a lot.
9. Without giving too much away what’s your favorite part of the book and why?
Favorite scene or line? Probably my favorite part when Daniel is making his way up the coast, thinking he can run away from his troubles. It’s an emotional journey that changes his whole life, and writing it was a challenge but also very rewarding.
10. What can we expect in the future from you as an author. Are you working on any new books?
I’ve just published Ashes, the first in a two-book suspense series. Like The Day After Yesterday, it’s very focused on the characters, though there’s plenty of action and intrigue as well. The second book in the series, Reckoning, will be published late this year.
11. Please tell us in one sentence only, why we should read your book.
My favorite books are those in which you care what happens to the characters; The Day After Yesterday‘s characters are people you care about.
12. Any other books in the works? Goals for future projects?
I’ve been working on a couple books that take place in the same town that’s the setting forThe Day After Yesterday. One is a mystery about a journalist looking into the case of a college women’s basketball coach who’s in prison for the murder of one of the team’s players. Another is a more lighthearted one about a bed-and-breakfast that might be haunted.
13. When you were little, what did you want to be when you “grew up”?
Except for a few times when I wanted to be a paleontologist or a dragon (yes, a dragon), I always wanted to be a writer.
14. How do you react to a bad review?
I always try to look for some constructive criticism I can take away from the review, so I can keep that in mind when I work on my next book. The main thing is to not take bad reviews personally. Not everything you read is your cup of tea, so there’s no reason that what I write will be everyone’s cup of tea.
15. What’s your favorite season/weather?
I love fall and early winter. Thanksgiving and Christmas are my favorite holidays, and I love putting on big feasts for my friends and family.
16. Who or what inspires you?
The most inspiring place for me is by the ocean. Many of the key events in my fiction take place on the beach, and being near it always gets my creative energies going. My family and friends are also a tremendous inspiration to me, and I owe them thanks for believing in me and for helping me become a better writer.