Interview With Ian Kelly


Goodmorning and welcome to my biweekly interview series. Today I have the honor of sharing with you the writing and blog of Ian Kelly. He’s a talented guy who has recently published a book of short stories. You can find Ian’s blog here: Ian Kelly Writing.


interview-ian
Credit: Ian Kelly

 

1. Hi Ian, Please Tell Us About Yourself?

Hi. My name is Iain Kelly and I’m from Glasgow in ScotlandI have lived here all my life and it’s where I write my blog from. My blog is called: Iain Kelly Writing.

Telling about yourself is always the most difficult question to answer, so I’ll keep it simple! I work as an editor of television programs for BBC Scotland. I’m married with two-year-old twins who take up most of my time. After work and family if I have any time left I like to write.


2. When Did You Begin Writing and Blogging?

I first started my blog six years ago and spent a year doing film and book reviews. I neglected it for a couple of years and then took a fiction writing course online. When I had finished that I had a few short pieces that I liked and decided to share them on my blog. From there I have kept writing new short stories and flash fiction.


“After work and family if I have any time left I like to write.” – Ian Kelly


3. What Does Writing Mean To You? Why Do You Write?

When I was much younger I wrote stories. I have always enjoyed coming up with characters, letting my imagination wander with them and see what stories resulted. I used to play football (soccer) and would write stories about fictional football teams and players. As often happens, life gets in the way of dreams. 

I went to university and studied English Literature, Film, and Television. My career took me down the path of television. Eventually, I’ve found the writing bug again. Writing is a chance to escape everyday life and I love being able to imagine the lives of many different people in places around the world. I enjoy thinking of the stories that could happen there.


4. Where Do You Find Your Inspiration and Motivation to Write?

I tend to write fiction based on real life, or perhaps a fictional future world rooted in reality. I don’t tend to write fantasy or science-fiction specifically. My inspiration comes from the world around us. It could be something happening in the news, events, politics, but also from looking at everyday people, the struggles and/or laughter they share with each other. My motivation may come from wanting to try and comment on events that are occuring. Writing is a way to turn frustration into something creative or to attempt to cope with a situation in life.


“Writing is a chance to escape everyday life and I love being able to imagine the lives of many different people in places around the world. I enjoy thinking of the stories that could happen there.” – Ian Kelly


5. Is There a Time of Day You Prefer to Write?

My time available to write depends on my work schedule and my children. When the kids have gone to bed in the evening I try to fit some time writing in. Or if the twins go for a nap during the day sometimes I have a chance to write. The main thing is that I have to find the opportunities to write when I can!


6. What Are Your Most Current Writing/Blogging Projects? Any Hopeful Projects for the Future?

At the moment I am working on my first novel-length story. I would say I’m about a quarter of the way through the first draft. I have the characters and the main story figured out, so the next couple of months will be dedicated to getting my head down and finishing the story.

After the first draft is finished I will re-write and edit. I’m aiming to have a finished novel by the end of the year and then decide what I want to do with it –- if it’s worth sending to a publishing company or self-publishing the novel.

Alongside that, I will continue writing short pieces for my blog. It helps to take a break from a long novel and focus the mind on something different every so often, before going back to the main project.


“At the moment I am working on my first novel length story. I would say I’m about a quarter of the way through the first draft. I have the characters and the main story figured out, so the next couple of months will be dedicated to getting my head down and finishing the story.” – Ian Kelly


7. Can You Tell Us About Your Recently Published Book? 

At the start of this year, I self-published a collection of my short stories from my blog in a book called Collected Sketches. I decided to do this at the end of 2016. I realized I had a lot of stories, some with similar themes and dealing with similar issues, that I thought were quite good and worth collecting together as a compendium.

The other benefit of publishing theses stories was that it gave me a chance to try self-publishing out for myself which I hadn’t done or considered doing before. I’m pleased with how my book turned out. It’s available to a global audience through on Amazon: HERE, which is an amazing thing to happen to my writing. You can find out about Collected Sketches by Ian Kelly on my blog or through Kindle on  Amazon.com


interview-ian-collected-sketches
Credit: Amazon.com – ‘Collected Sketches’ by Ian Kelly

Buy it HERE

 


8. Can You Briefly Describe Your Writing Process that You Went Through To Publish? 

I used Createspace online to self-publish. After looking around at a few online resources I went for this one mainly because it was free to do, and also it allowed me to do everything myself. Other sites offered help in editing and formatting and design, but at a cost.

If you’re confident to do these things yourself then Createspace is excellent. With the novel I am currently writing, I plan to try the traditional route of sending it to agents and publishers. But it is good to know that if all else fails I can self-publish and still have my novel out there into the world. Here is the link to Createspace HERE.


9. What Is Your Writing Process Like?

I think I’m still figuring my writing process out as I go through this novel. Most writers advise that the best thing to do is write the first draft as it comes to you. Whatever happens, keep writing! So I’m following that advice.

I already know there is a lot of it I will return to and completely rewrite but this way allows the story, plot, and characters to spill out and take form, freely. I will go back and finesse that raw material. I enjoy the editing part of writing probably more than the initial writing. Doing flash fiction short stories is great practice for that.


“I already know there is a lot of it I will return to and completely rewrite but this way allows the story, plot, and characters to spill out and take form freely. I will go back and finesse that raw material. I enjoy the editing part of writing probably more than the initial writing.” – Ian Kelly


10. Do You Have Certain Genres You Prefer to Write or To Read Books In?

I tend to stick to everyday drama or real world stories. But I also love to read and write spy stories, war fiction, and crime fiction. I might occasionally try other things too.

I spend a lot of time reading. Favorite authors would be John Le Carre, Martin Cruz Smith, Agatha Christie, James Ellroy, Ian McEwan, William Boyd, Ian Fleming, and Terry Pratchett –- to name a few. I also like to try and go back and read the classics every so often such as Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, and I love Alexandre Dumas and The Three Musketeer novels. I think that comes from my days as a student of English Literature. 


11. Do You Have Any Advice For Other Writers? Do You Have Any Favorite Blogs You Like To Follow?

Just keep writing and getting your work out there into the world for people to read. Ninty-Nine Percent of people will be kind to you and give constructive criticism and feedback. If you love doing it, keep doing it. And read lots too.

 I follow loads of great fiction writers out there so rather than trying to pick from them I will pick three alternatives:

  • One for writing prompts is a relatively new flash fiction challenge called ‘What Pegman Saw’ which uses Google Maps as a prompt each week to give a location to inspire stories. It’s a great idea and means I learn a lot about various places around the world, as well as writing stories.
  • I don’t really do film reviews anymore, but one of the best blogs that I follow for all things film-related, including reviews is The Snooty Ushers at which one of my friends from University days contributes to. Great reviews and doesn’t take itself too seriously.
  • Finally, Joanne Kelly Art and Design. I am biased but my wife Joanne has her own blog. She is a graphic designer and artist and has started creating works both by hand and on computer software. Some great stuff, so I hope people will check it out.

14. Can You Please Share With Us A Few Links From Your Blog? 

Flash Fiction, I have always liked this one, to sum up being a writer:

 

“The Writer’s Spiral”

By Ian Kelly

***

interview-ian-joy-pixley
Credit: Joy Pixley

***

Mark met Bob from Accounting at the bottom of the stairs.

‘Another Monday morning,’ said Bob, as they began the trudge up to the office. Mark grunted in reply. Bob began every Monday with the same conversation.

‘Don’t you ever feel like we’re hamsters in a wheel, going round and round and getting nowhere?’ Bob continued. ‘There must be something more exciting in life than this.’

As Mark prepared to answer, the lights went out. Out of the window, they saw bright orange beams cut through the air. Aircraft buzzed around them, firing at one another. Buildings exploded as aircraft and missiles crashed into them. The sky darkened as a large spaceship loomed over the city. Mark ducked as a piece of debris crashed through the glass next to them. It caught Bob and sent him plummeting to the ground below.

***

The writer paused and read back what he had just typed. It all spiraled out of control too quickly. He sighed and pressed Ctrl+A and Delete. The cursor on the blank screen blinked at him. He started again.

***

Mark arrived at work at the same time as Bob from Accounting…


Here Are Some Of Ian’s Longer Pieces he wrote and favorited:


Thank you so much, Ian, for wanting to be interviewed I enjoyed your answers and you seem to have a solid idea of what you’re doing as a writer and how to achieve your set goals. Best of luck with the novel and future endeavours. 

If you would like to be interviewed please reach out to me on my contact page. I would love to tell your story as a writer or if you blog for a cause, I can also interview on that as well. See you in two weeks!


©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved.

February: Please Be Good to Me!


February Please be good.
http://www.quoteswallpapers.net
 I’ve been feeling pretty great lately. I never feel I’m one-hundred percent, but I am feeling better than I have in a couple of years. The medication change for me I went into hospital in July 2015 to complete, was effective. Although, it is difficult for me to wake-up earlier then 10:30 am on my best days, I am able to do activities around home until midnight. 

Sometimes, I do still have a particularly, tiring day, and I need to sleep most of the day. But I feel I am at my best in the night and can achieve many of my daily goals. This drug I am on, clozapine, is supposed to heal your brain and help you improve each month you are on the drug. I hope it continues to help my health improve. There are many activities in life I would like to have the energy to accomplish. But I am sleeping well, and when you have insomnia sleeping well is always a plus.

Before Christmas, I did not feel I could go out at night. I didn’t have the energy for it and making the effort to get ready at night was extremely hard. But I have found since I am doing better at nights, I have been able to do more activities with friends. I attended my my friend K’s surprise 30th Birthday a couple of weeks ago ( I think I mentioned that in a poem) and I was at the hostesse’s house from 5:00 pm to 1:00 am and I felt fine. I expected to regret it the next morning but I felt alright. I was a tad tired but nothing a nap couldn’t fix. The party was a fun time with lots of wine and interesting conversation. It is crazy to see friends from university ( and friend’s of friends) as adults, with husbands, and children of their own.

I have also been feeling much better in the day time. When I wake- up, it takes me awhile to feel myself, but after an hour at most, I feel normal. I am able to write, research, scrapbook, do chores, go for a walk, or go out for an appointment or a date — whatever I need to be doing that day. I still time my outings so they occur every two-days and it helps me not become worn out. But I am also finding that my motivation has increased as well as my ability to mentally concentrate. I can concentrate for I’d say five hours or so writing, reading, and/or working on a project for school.

I am also interested in doing things I haven’t done in awhile. Over Christmas I started scrapbooking photos again. I do them the old fashioned way, by hand. But I enjoy it and I have fantastic scrapbooks full of memories. I have this tradition where I make mini – scrapbook albums for my friends who have recently gotten married. Unfortunately, I wasn’t motivated to scrapbook in two-years so I am behind. I have more pictures of my own to scrapbook but  I have completed two wedding albums for my friends T and J.

I am also working on the PopSugar Booklist, sort of . . .I find I do not have enough time or energy left in the day to read, especially when I am inspired to write a great deal. I am still half-way through reading ‘a book with a blue cover’ and I don’t know that I will finish the book I chose. I started another book I enjoy reading. It is the final book in a Romance/Action set of five books. The story moves along quickly and I feel more into this book. The other one is a little blah. So we’ll see how the list goes but I’m kind of thinking I will read what I like and I have a new book with a blue cover. I have always been a person who hated to have specific books assigned to read, if the books were not about a topic I was interested in. I am always surprised when a book I am assigned to read is fantastic these days. I read to escape and have fun so it is better to read what I feel like in the spur of the moment. I pre-order a few of my favourite writers on iBooks but mostly I read a book I feel like reading at the time.

Hard Love Book
Hard Love #5 OF Hackers Series http://www.amazon.com
Writing is time consuming. Especially now that my novel is planned out. I am half-way through writing the book. Thanks to those of you who have been giving helpful and encouraging comments. The book is at a point where I have to start building towards the defeat of the antagonist and provide resolution for my protagonist Nina. I’m excited to do write more but each chapter is a lot of work. Even after I post a chapter, I see so many corrections which need to be made. I leave it for a few days and sometimes I still miss obvious mistakes and areas of the chapter which don’t sound quite right.I know after I’ve done corrections (sometime in the near future)I’m going to be going back and taking out parts that are unnecessary and adding in parts that are needed. I will be combining chapters, moving parts around, and breaking chapters a part.

Writing a novel is a long process I am learning, one which I have only begun. But my goal as I have said in some of my comments, is completing a first-draft. After the first-draft is complete I can start to look at helpful and constructive comments more closely and complete a better second and/or third draft.  I want to have my novel edited professionally eventually. 

If you know of any talented editors or you are one, please send me a note. I’m looking for someone who has experience but who is not too pricey. Might be impossible! But I am looking for the kind of editor who will look over the book as a whole. I can’t remember the title used for this kind of editor, the name escapes me. I will need this editor to be someone who will honestly tell me what works in my novel and what needs rewriting. After,  I will look at obtaining the services of a copyeditor. But I amthinking too far ahead. Those steps are a long way off. For now, I’m aiming for a complete first-draft.

—–

I had the pleasure, of having brunch at one of my bestfriend’s condo yesterday. I haven’t seen her in months so it was exciting to see her and her new fiance and hear all about their wedding plans and their other plans for their future together. The fiance cooked a wonderful breakfast. I was sorry I had to make them wait in the morning. My cab took off  when I told him to wait one minute for me to put my boots and coat on. He was already fifteen minutes late, so I guess hanging around was too much for him. Luckily, Co-op cab is awesome most of the time and the driver who came at 11:30 am was excellent. I am grateful I got to visit with S and her fiance A for awhile. And I am looking forward to their wedding at a warm destination in 2017. I will be saving my money in hopes I will have the health and wealth to be there.

S gave me a wonderful belated Birthday and Christmas gift. It was so thoughtful. I received loot from David’s Tea, including some lip balm which I needed because my lips are dry. The lip balm is like this lip balm (in the picture below) only a different flavour. It is infused with Tea for flavouring and is hydrating for your lips. S also got me some chocolate flavoured Tea from David’s which I was introduced to yesterday at her house. It’s yummy! I also received a wonderful tin of strawberry flavoured tea bags to make real iced tea in the summer so I am anxious to try that tea when the weather is warm.

David's Tea Lip Balm
David’s Tea: Tea Infused Lip Balm http://www.davidstea.com
S also bought me this awesome face mask from Sephora which was very moisturizing. It was called the Sephora Rose Sleeping Mask. I woke this morning with the most wonderfully hydrated skin. I thought there was a lot of mask in one package at first but I layered it on and it all sunk into my skin by morning. I recommend trying one of Sephora’s sleeping masks. The rose mask, if nothing else, is perfect for dry winter skin.

Sephora Rose Mask
Sephora Rose Mask http://www.sephora.ca
One of my favourite actors is an Irish actor named Jamie Dornan. S managed to find me an adult coloring book of Jamie Dornan. I thought it must have been a completely random find, but I love it and will attempt to colour in it and make Jamie look artistic. It is the perfect activity to do when I am feeling like not doing anything too stressful, just relaxing.

In case your interest is peaked, here is some basic information on Jamie Dornan. If you are wondering where you’ve heard of him, he used to be a famous Calvin Klein model and dated Keira Knightley early in her career. He was Christian Grey in Fifty Shades of Grey and will be in both sequels. He is also in a mini series in it’s third season with Gillian Anderson from the X-Files, called The Fall. Season 1 and Season 2 can be found on Netflix. I have also seen Jamie in a few other random movies; he is a talented actor and I think his career is only beginning. And I did like him as an actor before Fifty Shades, so we’re clear. I think he is incredibly hot as well, even when he wears a beard which he often does. But he is happily married to an actress named Amelia who is pregnant with their second child. Nevertheless  I believe I’m allowed a movie star crush.

Additionally, when I was on YouTube today watching the Pixiewoo’s in some of their latest makeup tutorials, I found a great Youtube video on how to do a polished chignon. It seems a bit complicated but it’s not. The video is easy to follow and the style is perfect for medium to long hair. I think you would have to do this Chignon on first day hair as the look you are trying to achieve is not messy but neat.

Chignon YouTube Video (You have to go into my blog on WordPress to see the video.)

 

I also was excited to replace my trusty original Ipad Mini. I saved up from Christmas and received a hundred dollars for my old one, and replaced the original mini with the Ipad Mini 4. This Ipad 4 Mini is faster, plus it has 64 GB of memory compared to my old one which only had 16 GB. It is great to write blog posts on and to slip into my purse if I’m going to a coffee shop because of it’s size. It holds my entire music collection and book collection with plenty of space left. I did not opt for the Ipad with a possibility for a SIM card as I can find excellent WIFI for my Ipad 4, most places. Glad to be able to use an Ipad again. My only complaint would be is Apple hasn’t managed to increase the battery life in four models.

One last topic to cover: I have been doing Weight Watchers online for about a month. I find it hard to stay inside the number of points you have available to eat, despite the fact fruit and veggies are worth no points. To bad they are so expensive right now! But I have lost about four pounds, that is what I put on at Christmas. I am continuing on with Weight Watchers trying to lose twenty-one more pounds. I’m not sure it’s possible. I am also looking into diet, energy, and weight supplements a friend is trying from a company called XYNGULAR. I did a lot of research on Xyngular’s products today. I am undecided on whether the products will truly work or not. I have read mixed reviews. I am going to an event with more information this Saturday.

The products are quite expensive so I would only want to do the products I want, not a package of products. Also, I think I have to be careful being on medications. A pharmacist did say the list of ingredients was okay for me but I have taken supplements before which  didn’t work because of their interference with medications and because they didn’t work. I might try a few products at the end of February. It is money back garuenteed for thirty -days, but that always comes with it’s problems. Wish me luck!

Thanks for reading!