Tuesday Interview: Kelly St Clare

Jelly tip chocolate, hot male protagonists – and a new release!

Today the Paisley Piranhas are delighted to welcome Kelly St Clare to the aquarium. Kelly writes fantasy novels, and has just written a sci-fi/speculative novel that’s right up our street – so we wanted to find out more.

PP: Hello, Kelly! Make yourself at home. Don’t stick your fingers in the tank, we’re not sure how well trained the piranhas are. Can I get you a cup of tea? Would you like some chocolate? Silly question; you’re a writer – what sort of chocolate do you like and I’ll see what I can set my hands on?

KSC: Tea, please! Milk, no sugar, and the bag left in. As for chocolate, have you tried Cadbury’s Jelly Tip chocolate? Heaven in my mouth. Wait, I can give you one of the just-in-case blocks from my handbag to try.

PP: Ooh, thank you – that won’t last long around here *hides it down the back of the sofa, out of sight of the other Piranhas* Right, well, a big thank you for coming. We’re always excited to meet new YA authors. What made you decide you wanted to be a writer?

KSC: I love reading and the thought of what went into a novel behind-the-scenes always amazed me.  I remember telling my dad I’d love to be a writer. It was a dream. But like most aspiring authors, writing seemed like an impossible career. Where to even start?! Everything clicked into place for me the day I woke up with the idea for The Tainted Accords. I had to write the story – there was no other option. It made the decision easy.

PP: Which of your characters would you most like to be stuck in a lift with?

KSC: I feel like I should go with one of my hot male protagonists, but they’re like my children, so that’s too weird. I’m going to say, Houston; The not-quite-from-this-earth doctor in my new book, The Retreat. He is extremely intelligent – not to mention, entertaining (in an oddball kind of way) – and I think the hours could whittle away as I tried to figure him out. If that’s even possible …

PP: Oh, yes, I’ll join you in that lift – Houston would be hugely entertaining! (Although if any of your hot male protagonists wanted to join us, I wouldn’t complain…) Ahem. If we suddenly descended into a totalitarian police state where the writing of fiction was banned, what would you do instead?

KSC: Set up an underground rebellion for starters. That’s not a future I’d accept. But by day I’d be a travelling musician. The perfect recruitment cover.

PP: I like your thinking ! What one thing that you know now do you wish you’d known when you were sixteen?

KSC: That you don’t ever really know who you are, because you continually change as you age. But you will know yourself better in ten years. So don’t sweat it!

PP: In three words, why do you love books?

KSC: The ultimate escape.

PP: What are you working on now – and when does it hit bookstores?

Cover of Kelly St Clare's The Retreat

My new book, The Retreat, actually came out today. It’s the first in The After Trilogy and follows a young woman named Romy – oh, and she’s a genetically enhanced space soldier. I shouldn’t forget to mention that.

The book is set in a post-global-warming Earth, which isn’t a big deal … until Romy crash lands there with her four best friends.

PP: Oh, whoop, whoop! Happy publication day! I guess you don’t have time for anything else at the moment, then?

KSC: Well, aside from that, the fourth and final book in my first series, The Tainted Accords, comes out October 10th. That’s currently away with beta readers. Busy, busy!

PP: Never a dull moment! Finally, the Paisley Piranhas like to share the love because we know how wonderful it is to find a new book or author to fall in love with. Can you recommend a (YA) book or a writer we might not have heard of that we really should try?

KSC: SO many. There are tonnes of epic YA Authors. Off the top of my head; Michelle Bryan, Barbara Kloss, Melissa A. Craven, Laura Thalassa, Jaymin Eve, and Kayla Howarth. Those are some of my ‘one-clicks’ as I like to call them.

PP: Wow, fabulous, they could keep us going for a while. We’ll check them out. Thank you so much for coming, Kelly – and best of luck with your launch!

Check back for Katy Haye’s review of The Retreat on Thursday.

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