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I'm Kelly Cozy, author of The Day After Yesterday (contemporary fiction) and of the Ashes suspense series. I live in California along with my husband, my son, and our cats. When I'm not writing, I like reading fiction in a wide variety of genres, from horror to romance to literature with a capital L. I love to cook, especially the big holiday dinners. I enjoy going to comic conventions, and for about a decade have been a movie reviewer for the Horrorview website.
What first inspired you to start writing?
I've been writing for as long as I can remember. Somewhere in my desk I have a short story I wrote when I was 9 or 10; it was about magic animals solving mysteries and fighting crime. I've been writing ever since. There's something special about taking all the stories that go through your brain, putting them into words, and then sharing them with readers.
Where do your best ideas come from?
I've found that the best ideas show up when you're not looking for them. I'll get ideas from very random places: a news story or something I overhear. Recently I got an idea for a novel from a song; I've heard the song hundreds of times, but something in the lyrics got my muse inspired. I don't know if this idea will pan out, but it's best to take note of your ideas and inspiration. You never know when they'll come in handy.
If you could spend a day with anyone from history, who would it be and why?
I'd love to meet Anne Boleyn. I've read a fair amount of history and novels about her, and there's so much myth and conjecture about her life. It would be nice to get her side of the story.
What advice would you give new and aspiring authors?
Take the time to make sure your work is the best it can be before you publish it. Share your manuscript with beta readers who will give you criticism and feedback, not just validation. Also be sure to have it edited, or proofread at the very least. When you spend so much of your time and imagination on a book, it can be difficult to get perspective and see errors. Editors and beta readers are invaluable for taking your book to the next level of quality.
What was the last book you enjoyed reading?
The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster. My son read it for school, and he liked it so much that he asked me to read it as well so we could talk about it. I hadn't read it since I was 9 or so, and I'd forgotten what a fun, imaginative book it is.
What makes your stories stand out from the competition?
I put a lot of work into my characters. My favorite books to read always have compelling characters, and I do my best to create characters that readers will connect with.
What are you working on at the moment?
I'm in the editing stage for a mystery titled Undertow. It's about a journalist who's interviewing a women's college basketball coach; the coach is on death row for the murder of one of his players. The journalist starts uncovering some ugliness around the case, which also brings back some issues he's had in the past, when the things he saw in crime reporting got too far into his mind. The book will be published in November of this year.
I'm also at work on my first nonfiction book. It's a collection of movie reviews titled A Nerd Girl's Guide to Cinema. It has reviews of 200 movies that are cult classics, interesting failures, overlooked gems, and entertaining trash. That will be on the shelves in early 2015.
Tell us about your latest release and how we can find out more.
My most recent release is the conclusion of my Ashes suspense series. The series opens with a domestic terrorist attack; a former secret agent comes out of retirement to help one of the survivors, but his quest for justice doesn't go as he'd hoped. The second and concluding book has lots of birds coming home to roost. This series and my contemporary novel are all available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, iTunes, Kobo, and Smashwords. Excerpts are also available to read at my blog: kellycozy.blogspot.com
You can find the archive of guest author interviews here: http://thecultofme.blogspot.co.uk/p/guest-author-interview-archive.html