Today I welcome author Susabelle Kelmer to my blog. Her book, Fairest of the Faire, came out in June.
Where were you born and where do you call home?
I was born and lived my first 50 years in the St. Louis metro area. I lived in suburbs, the city itself, and then far out in an adjoining rural county. I moved to Colorado for work during the recession, and settled in Longmont, Colorado. Longmont is the big city that is really a small town, about 20 miles northeast of Boulder. The Rocky Mountains are practically in my back yard. I love it here and will never move back to Missouri! I am the product of a country father, and a city mother, so living in a semi-rural area suits me just fine.
What is the best thing about being a writer? The worst?
The best thing about being a writer is being able to tell stories. I am a born storyteller, so this fits me well. The worst part of writing is all that editing. I marvel at writers pre-typewriter. They wrote long-hand and didn’t edit the way we do today. We are spoiled by word processors, I know. But having to be perfect with each word would be paralyzing, too. So I have a lot of respect for those writers of the classics.
Do you outline your books or just start writing?
I am a pantser, for sure. The few times I tried to outline, it was a disaster. The writing of the outline meant I’d written the story, and no longer had the energy or willingness to write the actual story. So I do better as a pantser. I usually start with an idea, a character, a scene, and build around it. I refer to myself as a “spiral” writer. That little scene or character becomes a seed that I build around to get the whole story. I enjoy the process, for the most part.
What inspired you to write this book?
I love Renaissance fairs. There is drama, incredible costumes, yummy foods, lots of play-acting. I have friends who’ve worked fairs, and my brother is a blacksmith who works the Greater St. Louis RenFaire with some of his buddies. I had good resources for doing the research. At that renfair I encountered a very handsome young man dressed in a very interesting costume. My friend and I twittered and giggled at him from a distance, and I took a few pictures (he was posing for everyone). I knew he had a story, so I wrote it, and it fell together pretty easily.
Did the story turn out the way you planned from the beginning? If not, what change happened that you didn’t expect?
All of my stories turn out the way I expect. (grin) It is all that stuff in the middle that is a surprise. When I think about a story I want to write, I usually have a beginning (the Great Meeting), and an end (Happily Ever After), but getting to that end is where the work is. So the middles sometimes are very different than what I might have thought they would be.
Is there a specific place in the house (or out of the house) that you like to write?
I am very blessed to have dedicated writing space in my home. We rent a large house, and there is a complete guest suite on the garden level – kitchenette, full bath, bedroom, and sitting room. A corner of the sitting room is my “office.” I have a large trestle table that is my desk (I move my feet a lot so a traditional desk is not comfortable for me), two book cases, and a small file cabinet. I spent a lot of time down there – either writing or hanging out on the Internet. When we have guests, I am evicted, of course, and have to make do in a corner of the bedroom or at the end of the dining room table with my laptop. I love the space, though. It’s quiet and away from the household noise, and I can play my favorite music and talk to our black cat, Gracie.
What book are you reading right now?
I buy a lot of used books at thrift stores, so I have an odd assortment of things on my “to be read” pile. Right now I’m reading an older hard-back book called “Prairie Songs.” Can’t remember the author off the top of my head, but the story is written from the perspective of a young girl living on the prairie in a “soddy” house with her brother and her parents. So far, I’m enjoying it. Before that, I read “Waltzing the Cat” by Pam Houston. Interesting book, and I loved the main character and her independence. It was definitely different than anything I’d read before. As a writer, I know I need to read, and read more, but time is limited for me with a full-tme job and the usual wife/mom things to do, so I don’t get as much reading time as I like.
Tell us a random fact about you that we never would have guessed.
I was an athlete in high school. Until my lungs went bad at 17, I regularly placed at swim meets. I also played basketball, soccer, and softball. I was also in the marching band (I played piccolo) and we were second in the state every year I was in high school. Most people look at me and can’t believe I was ever an athlete.
Schoolteacher Connie Meyers is suddenly a young widow, her husband killed in a horrific car accident. Heartbroken to find out he had gambled away everything they had, she moves to her sister-in-law’s Midwest home to rebuild her life. A trip to the local Renaissance Faire with her nieces leads to a summer job as a costumed storyteller.
Avowed bad boy and fair performer Gage Youngblood is infatuated with Connie at first sight. Despite his deliberately commitment-free life, and Connie’s don’t-touch-me attitude, he soon has her in his arms, realizing quickly she is also in his heart.
When she is threatened by her late husband’s bookie, he steps into the role of protector, his fate forever sealed with hers.
About the Author
Susabelle Kelmer is a wife and mother living at the base of the Rocky Mountains in northern Colorado. She believes in romance, second chances, and the magic of moonlight. When she isn’t writing, she works with students with disabilities in the college environment.