Good Friday morning to all of my fellow writers and readers! I trust you have some relaxing plans for the upcoming weekend. Between homeschooling my four children and writing two chapters in my book this week, I feel like I've run a marathon and am finally approaching the finish line. LOL.
However, it wouldn't be Friday without the weekly version of our Author Spotlight. So, allow me to introduce you to our Spotlighted author today. Kelsey Atkins is an elementary and middle school teacher who loves to write. According to her website, she grew up in a small town in Idaho where she grew to love the outdoors. She currently lives in Boise, Idaho with her husband, son, and fluffy Samoyed. When she isn’t teaching or writing, she enjoys spending time with her family, cooking, hiking, and volunteering at church.
I thoroughly enjoyed meeting and interviewing Kelsey. Read her interview below to find out why.
AJ: Good morning, Kelsey. I'm so happy to have you featured on my blog today! Let's just jump right in with the first question. Can you tell us a little about yourself and your background that led you to become a writer?
KA: I am a teacher by day and a writer by night. I have taught several different elementary grades ranging from Kindergarten to sixth grade. When I was teaching fourth grade, I started to notice the books that my students were reading weren’t as clean as they used to be. I noticed the same thing with my sixth grade students and had the desire to write a high interest novel without the graphic language and love scenes.
AJ: How many books have you written and in what genre would you classify your works?
KA: I write primarily Young Adult and New Adult Contemporary Fantasy. I have written many short stories but have only completed two full length novels. They are both part of a Christian Fantasy series called “Finding the Light.” The first book has been published and the second will be released in the near future.
AJ: Does your inspiration for your books come from real-life people and places? Or are they purely fictional?
KA: There are a few characters in my book who are inspired by real life people, but none of them are main characters. My book also starts out in Jacksonville, Oregon which is a real place, but the setting quickly changes to an unknown world. I also borrowed several names from people I know, but it’s often only their names I use, not their personalities.
AJ: What are your ambitions for your writing career?
KA: I started writing this series because I felt called to write it. I have always said, "This is God’s book and it’s in His hands." The only desire I’ve ever had for my books is for people to read them and gain something from them. Of course, just like any author, I would love to see my books become successful and make it into the hands of thousands of readers, but I am also happy if they only make it into the hands of a few.
AJ: If you could have been the original author of any book, what would it have been and why?
KA: There are so many amazingly written books and series that have inspired me. It’s impossible to choose just one, but I’ll leave you with a few of my favorites: The Gifting Series, Tiger’s Curse Series, The Testing Series, and The Infernal Devices Series.
AJ: What books have most influenced your life most?
KA: Because I’m an author, every book I read has had an impact on my life or my writing in some way. However, the books that have affected my personal life the most (besides the Holy Bible) are Joyce Meyer’s books. My favorite is Battlefield of the Mind.
AJ: How do you market your work? What avenues have you found to work best for your genre?
KA: I use social media a lot for marketing. I love to run giveaways to get my book in the hands of new readers. Twitter is my favorite social media platform for marketing but Instagram seems to get the most engagement (even though it’s the hardest to market on in my opinion). I also do book signings at book stores and coffee shops. Because my book is traditionally published, I am blessed to have the support of a publisher to help market my book as well.
AJ: What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author? What has been the best compliment?
KA: I think any criticism is difficult to take, but I always try to not take it personal and apply it to become a better writer. The only criticism I don’t take well is the criticism that is unfounded. One of my least favorite things to read on book reviews (on my own book or others), is when someone gives the book a low rating and says the reason is because they don’t like that genre.
The best compliment I’ve received is that my work is well written and is a page turner.
AJ: How can readers discover more about you?
If you'd like to find or follow this talented, young author, click on any of the above pictures or links.