Author Interview: Kellie Bellamy Tayer
Kellie Bellamy Tayer is a resident of Shaker Heights, Ohio, and the author of The Gypsy Thief, the first book in, The Talisman Trilogy, a series for Young Adults. Kellie is a former newspaper reporter and military veteran. She has three children and one grandchild. Kellie loves to read, often reading a book a day as time permits.
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When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
I’ve loved writing since I was a grade-schooler. I always loved essay tests in school, finding essays easier even than multiple choice! I used to write poetry in my teenage years and now I enjoy writing songs, too. Being a writer has been a life-long dream! I especially love writing YA because I still feel 17 inside.
What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I go through an avoidance process before I begin writing each day that involves making sure my bed is made just so and everything is neat and tidy. I have to play a couple of rounds of Words with Friends. I need my Yankee candles and I absolutely must have music (Muse, movie soundtracks like the Twilight Saga, Taylor Swift, Two Cellos, Josh Groban, The Wanted, One Direction, Il Divo, John Mayer, Coldplay, Justin Bieber…just to name a few). I always have a glass of iced tea next to me, too.
What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?
The absolute most surprising thing is that I can almost convince myself the characters I’ve created are real to the point that I sometimes think I see them in public places. I’m also amazed at the way I feel physically when I’m writing–adrenaline rushes, rapid heartbeat, anxiety, wistfulness … I feel everything my characters feel when I write.
Where did you get ideas for your books?
The characters in The Gypsy Thief just showed up in my mind a few days after I quit a job I’d had for four years, which I hated. Leaving the job was like tearing down a wall that was blocking my creativity. As soon as I quit the toxic job, my imagination came to life.
Out of all the books you have written which is your favorite and why?
As much as I love them all, my favorite is The Shadow King which is Book Three in The Talisman Trilogy. It is the book that ties up the story-lines and brings all of the characters to their (mostly) happy endings. I was in the zone when I was writing The Talisman Trilogy, but never moreso than when writing that final installment. Seeing Laura, Miguel and Andrew mature and overcome great odds to form a life-long bond that can never be severed really blew me away.
What age group do you think best describes your reader?
Probably 7th grade on up. It’s intended for teens.
What do you think makes a good story?
I’m a sucker for romance, especially love triangles in which both boys are amazing and the girl can’t really go wrong either way with her choice (I always imagine two boys, one girl–never vice-versa). I must have a happy ending, and I don’t ever want an author to leave me to decide how things ends. I want to know it all!
Who are some of your favorite Authors?
Simone Elkeles, Tracey Garvis-Graves, Elizabeth Reyes, Colleen Hoover, Abby Glines, Becca Fitzpatrick, Ally Condie, Maggie Stiefvater, C.C. Hunter, Huntley Fitzpatrick, Jenny Han, Stephenie Meyer, Luanne Rice, Belinda Jones (there are so many!)
If you could pick one actor to play a character in your book in the movie version, who would it be?
OMG! There is only ONE actor who can play the role of Andrew Easton in The Talisman Trilogy and that is the young actor Austin Butler! He is my Andrew in every way! He was born to be my Andrew!
What song best describes your book and Why?
Taylor Swift’s song “Long Live” from her “Speak Now” album sums up so much of what The Talisman Trilogy is all about. The song makes me cry!
Who are some of the people that influenced your love of writing?
The people who influenced me were fictional characters from my childhood: Trixie Belden, Nancy Drew, The Hardy Boys, the heroes and heroines in the Harlequin romance novels I used to read when I was a teen and a young woman in my 20s. As for real people, the author Luanne Rice’s books always made me want to write my own love stories.
If you had one piece of advice for an aspiring Author, what would it be?
I spent many years saying I was a writer when in fact, I wasn’t writing anything.I would say, keep writing and never, never, never stop and never give up. Don’t take ‘no’ for an answer. If you don’t believe in your power as a writer, no one else will.
What would you like to say to friends and family of writers (not just your own)?
This is a great question. You MUST support your writer. Let them talk to you about their characters if they want to. Encourage them constantly. Don’t turn a deaf ear if they need a sounding board. Don’t blow them off because you think it’s a boring or books just aren’t your thing. READ their work! BUY their books! If your writer can’t count on you to buy the book, read the book, show up at your signings, etc., how can he/she expect strangers to support them? My biggest pet peeve is when people who I thought were my friends, say, “Good luck with the book…I’d get a copy but I’m not much of a reader” or “I would get a copy but I don’t do Young Adult or romance.” Those words HURT!
What projects do you have up and coming?
I just completed the first book of my new series, The Crescent Saga. Book one is called, Crescent Summer. It’s a YA love triangle, of course!
Is there anything else you want to share with your readers?
I hope you will read The Gypsy Thief and recommend it to your friends and family and post reviews on Goodreads and Amazon. Readers and bloggers have so much power over a writer’s career. Our fates are in your hands! Readers and Bloggers have as much power (sometimes more!) as agents and publishers, especially for indie authors. We’d be nowhere without you!
An Excerpt from:
The Gypsy Thief, Book One of The Talisman Trilogy:
If you had the chance to go back into your life and change one thing, would you do it, even if it meant that every single thing that came after would be changed as a result? What if I had ignored that boy who’d told me I’d dropped something on the ground when I knew I hadn’t? What if I’d picked up that gold disk and tossed it to the boy and then gone on my merry way? What if I’d given it away to a stranger? What if someone else had found the gold disk before I had? What if? They say life can turn on a dime, but my life turned on a gold disk about the size of a fifty-cent piece. I knew it wasn’t mine, but I chose to keep it anyway and in so doing, I set the course of my life. If I could go back in time and choose not to keep that gold disk, would I? Knowing everything that came after? Knowing I could escape all the pain, suffering, tears and heartache that came as a result of keeping that gold disk? Knowing I would never taste the sweetness of a prince’s kiss or feel the heat of a gypsy’s passion? Even though it seemed to bring me more heartache than not, without it, I never would have known how far I was willing to go—how much I was willing to sacrifice—for love. But I know what my choice would be. Yes, I would have to say—I would keep the disk every time.