Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Won’t You Be My Neighbor—Kelley Gerschke

Kelley being creative!

Welcome everyone :) It's time for another "Won't You Be My Neighbor." I'm so excited to present Kelley Lynn! She is a talented author, SOOO nice and she's a freaking engineer!!! Talk about overly gifted :)

I've got on my Mr. Rogers sweater (Pink today...Mr. Rogers wore pink, right?) so I'm ready to go.

Kelley: I don’t remember if Mr. Rodgers wore pink…even if he didn’t this is your program not his. Move over Mr. Rodgers!! :)

I’m super excited to be here!! Isn’t technology great? I’m answering this from a hotel lobby in Philly since I’m on a business trip for that engineering job. It’s good to know I’ve got you fooled into thinking I’m overly gifted. I’m still wondering if I’m even remotely gifted ;) I figure it I throw myself into a number of things I’ve got to wind up good at at least one of them! (Fingers crossed its writing.)

Angie: You are super gifted!!! I love technology too. I'm writing back from my iPhone waiting in the Jr. High parking lot.

That brings me to my first question...What is one talent you wish you had, and why?

Kelley: Oh boy. There are so many things I'd love to have a talent for. I think I'd have to go with cooking. Right now it is literally dangerous for me to be in a kitchen. I've melted plastic bags to glass 9 by 13 pans and have scars on my knuckles from sticking my hand in the oven without mitts. Not to mention nothing I cook tastes good. So then it’s like, why bother? Haha.

Angie: Hehehe :) Cooking is a lost art! I wish you lived by me, I would teach you to cook. I'm actually a pretty good cook, but I hate it!

My three kids are so picky they've sucked the life out of cooking for me. I can make perfect chicken enchiladas and they will ask for cold cereal?!? YOU SUCK KIDS! (Did that sound bitter? Yes? *sigh* I guess I am)

Kelley: Where do you live? I'll move there... :)

Haha. You're only slightly bitter. Someday they'll appreciate your fantastic cooking abilities. Force them to learn too! That way they won't end up like me...

Angie: I went on a six month cooking strike! Seriously! But it didn't help :( 

Okay, no more about me. I have another question for you. I know you are superwoman! You run half marathons and play soccer. I want to know...How is writing like playing sports? (Did you see how I "pitched" you a metaphor opportunity?) 

Kelley:  That was well done. Thanks for the metaphor.

Writing is like sports because we all have our strengths and weaknesses and rely on others to accomplish our goals. Let's take soccer for example. Usually there are those on your team that are better at offense, others specialize in defense and the rest run around the midfield. (Then of course there's the goalie. VERY specialized.) Each position needs some skills more than others.

So how is this like writing? We all have our strengths. Some of us are better with dialog, some with action, some with character development. It’s funny but when I started on this writing journey I through it was a solo endeavor. WRONG! Writing with the intention to share our work is anything but solo. We need help from other writers, beta readers, CPs. The whole journey needs a team to reach a goal (or get a goal, in the analogy of a soccer team. :))

Angie: Oh, that was beautifully delivered!!! I love a great metaphor. 

Kelley: Oh thanks! I stole it from the guy next to me on the airplane. ;)

Angie: Whatever you stole it from the guy on the airplane. "Excuse me, sir? Do you have a writing metaphor I can borrow?"

You are SO right! I've learned so much in the last year and most of it has been from other writers. Do you feel like you learn more from critiquing or being critiqued?

Kelley:  Hmmm... This is a very good question. I definitely learn from both. But I learn more from critiquing, I think. There's something about analyzing someone else's work. Determining what you like and why. What you don't like and why. Plus my CP's work (including yours, my dear :)) is SO good, I learn an incredible amount about writing an engaging story.

Angie: I completely agree about learning from critiquing. Pacing, internalization, world building, and characterization are all things I've learned from reading other authors :)

I feel like we need a fun question. If you were a candy bar what kind would you be and why?

Kelley: I would be a Nut Roll. How can you go wrong with peanuts and caramel?
Plus it’s like a hidden gem. Not everyone knows how wonderful they are. AND its sort of a joke we've got going with a few writers about how
amazing Nut Rolls are. I want to be that amazing :)

Haha. How ridiculous is this answer??

Angie: I love Nut Rolls. I knew there was a reason I loved you, beyond the obvious.

Here's a question I'm curious about...You live in Wisconsin (my sister lives in Milwaukee, btw :), do you have a supportive group of writers where you live? Where do you meet most of your CP's or other writers you are close too?

Kelley: Your sister lives in Wisconsin! She must be SO COOL! ;) ;) Does she write?

I actually don't know any writers in my area. Most of my friends and family don't even read. (My sister says if I get published she'll wait till the movie comes out...haha)

I found my betas and CPs in a number of ways, but all online. My first CP, Theresa, I found through the website, Ladies Who Critique. She is an amazing writer and very good at critiquing. I actually found another four CPs through Cassie's call for CPs. I answered the call and she hooked me up with Jade, Jen and Hope. I also found Leigh, but for the life of me I can't remember how our relationship began. I think she was searching and I was searching and the stars aligned and we found each other. :) Again, all these ladies are fantastic and 'specialize' in different areas of writing. AND they don't mind telling me what they think which is one of the most important aspects of CPs/Beta Readers.

Which brings me to YOU, my dear. You realized that our stories were similar and offered to give mine a look. Brilliant as you are you found my plot holes, inconsistencies and lack of tension. Each one of you is vitally important to the success of my work. (We're kinda all like that soccer team we talked about earlier ;))

Angie: You are sweet to think I am helpful. We sound like a soccer team :) Can I play the position that moves the least? You know the position that sits on the field and counts blades of grass? (I guess I've been to too many 5 year olds soccer games :)

Here in Utah I am within a super short car ride of tons of writers and bloggers. And even though I'm neighbors with a few, we also met online. The online writing community is amazing!

Kelley:  The online community is amazing! I wish I were closer to all you wonderful, talented people, but alas, I just have to sit longingly behind a computer screen, wishing for the day when you all sign six figure deals and can fly me out to meet you at your incredibly popular book signing ;)

Angie: I would love for us all to get mega deals. Then maybe we could all fly somewhere fun like Hawaii :) I bet Cassie would be a blast in Hawaii!

Okay time for the infamous pageant question. Are you ready? Can you tell me who these people are: John Boehner, Ben Bernake, and Mahmoud Ahmajdinejad?............

I'm just kidding. Although I have asked a variation of this question in SOOO many interviews. If you know you can impress us all (but we will never really know if you googled them or not :)

Real question...What is the best advice your parents have ever given you? And did you realize it at the time?

Kelley: Haha. I actually know who the first two are. I do try and keep up with the news and have it on in my house as I'm doing things. So I know John Boehner is the Speaker of the House and Ben Bernake is the Chairman of the Federal Reserve. I did have to google Mr. Ahmajdinejad, the President of Iran. :)

I think the best advice I've ever gotten was from my mother who lives by the philosophy, 'Live your life with no regrets.' I think at the time I realized it was important and have made it my mantra as well. When faced with a tough decision this is what I ask myself. Will I regret doing it? Will I regret not doing it? If the answer is yes, I do the opposite. I realize we all make mistakes. (In my case MANY mistakes). But mistakes aren't the same as regrets. I don't want to look back on my life with any regrets.

So far so good ;)

Angie: That is EXCELLENT advice. I think with the exception of breaking the law and poor moral decisions, most people regret what they don't do. I think writers are really brave. We open ourselves up to the world. We tell people who we are deep inside by what we write, and we do that knowing that some people will reject us.

Kelley: I completely agree. As writers we are really brave. Because though we might not realize it, there is so much of ourselves in our work. We might think we're writing about characters completely opposite ourselves and events we've never experienced, but we're in there. We have to be in order to put in a believable voice and compelling fiction.

And yes, people will judge us but it’s so much better than not writing and not sharing. Because far more people will be touched and encouraged in a positive way than those who aren't. We write for those people.

Hmmm...was that too deep? Haha

Angie: No, that is the perfect amount of deep :) 

Thanks for stopping by today Kelley! You were awesome. Next time I come visit my sister (she is a book lover and one of my best Alpha readers) we can go out and get custard!

Kelley: Saweet! That sounds awesome. Yes, we'll have to get custard for sure!

Thanks SO MUCH for having me. This was a lot of fun!

Angie: So much fun :) Thanks Kelley!

And thanks to everyone for sticking around for the whole interview. I need to be more concise. I can be super long winded.


Kyra Lennon said...

First of all, the metaphors about soccer are right up my street at the moment lol! I think Kelley is amazing! She's talented, and beautiful and she always has a kind word for everyone! <3 Lovely interview. :D

J. A. Bennett said...

How could you not like cooking? Maybe I like it because I force my kids to eat it. It's dinner or nothing, lol. And they've taken to it too. My two year old goes nuts over a green salad. Crazy, no? Anyway I love the soccer metaphor. Once again, great interview!

ilima said...

Nice interview, Angie. I love Kelley...she is one of the kindest people I've met online. And no one is going to Hawaii without ME. Don't even think about ditching me. :)

Melissa Sarno said...

I love Kelley even more now. She has such a sunny positive outlook. I love her mother's advice. I want to meet you both for custard and books and celebrate your mega deals please and thank you.

Neurotic Workaholic said...

Interesting interview! And it's good to know that I'm not the only one who wishes she were better at cooking. I've eaten cold cereal for dinner several times because I can't even heat up frozen pizza without burning it, and even Easy Mac tastes weird when I try to make it. (But then again frozen pizza and Easy Mac don't taste very good in the first place, even when they are made right.)

Ruth Josse said...

Cooking is a talent I wish I had as well. Or maybe the talent of liking to cook. I'm with Angie, though. It's all the kids fault. I love reading these interviews! Thanks Kelley and Angie!

Emily R. King said...

Wonderful interview, Kelley and Angie! I laughed when I read Kelley would be a Nut Roll. Ha! So very funny. Thanks for the deep thoughts, Kelley. You're such a doll!

Donna K. Weaver said...

Great interview. I can relate to Kelley's kitchen mishaps. I seem to have some of the same problems. It's Peeves, I tell you!

Angela Brown said...

I love this interview. The back and forth banter is just priceless. And as for those chicken enchiladas, please feel free to let me know when you make some more and I'll be happy to receive those lovelies via overnight shipment :-)

Small Town Shelly Brown said...

Great interview. You actually motivated me to write (which doesn't always happen).

Small Town Shelly Brown said...

LOL. I didn't mean that YOU don't USUALLY motivate me to write.
I meant to say that I am motivated to write and THAT doesn't always happen.

Kelley said...

Oh Kyra! THANK YOU! I'm seriously blushing...

Kelley said...

So glad you liked the soccer metaphor! Hats off to Angie for feeding me a good one :)

Kelley said...

Awww, thanks Ilima!

And no worries. We'll all go together ;)

Kelley said...

Whoever gets the book deal first brings the custard. Good? :)

Kelley said...

Workaholic. I eat out SO MUCH its embarrassing. But I can't make food as good as the other guys, so I just don't try. :)

Kelley said...

I wish I had kids...then i could blame it on them... :)

Kelley said...

Thanks girlfriend! Nut Rolls are SO good. :)

Kelley said...

Haha. Oh Donna. Glad to hear its not only me :)

Kelley said...

Right? I totally agree. Angela, we'll just have to crash Angie's place!

Kelley said...

Haha. Oh my gosh. You're so funny. :) No matter what the motivation I'm glad you found it :)

Leigh Covington said...

You ladies are both so brilliant, talented and amazing. I love you both and learn SO MUCH from the both of you! I love it. You're right about everything... including the nut rolls. Ahhh - yum! Those are so good! Love you ladies! Great interview! Kelley, you're rocking the pink sweater!

Cassie Mae said...

Haha! The nut roll!!!! I knew I could get y'all hooked on them :D

And girl, I can't cook either. When we hang out, we'll just have to go to Angie's and have her cook us up some cold cereal ;)

I would have a blast in Hawaii! But really, I'd have a blast anywhere :)

You girls are supa awesome! I love you both so much and way privileged to call you my friends!

Jackie said...

Love the interview! My 14 year old wants to be an engineer. :D

elizabeth seckman said...

Angie- you're sooo ruin the chef in all of us! And I will help you count the blades of grass. ;)
Kelley- you amazing young lady, I doubt you ever suffer regret. You're just too smart and classy.

Tara Tyler said...

fun and lively interview! it was nice getting to know kelley better!

Danielle B. said...

Great pic! It's awesome getting to know my fellow bloggers! Especially when they are as cool as you!

Anonymous said...

So great to get to know you, Kelley! I agree, writing is a team effort! CP's are probably the most important part of the writing experience. With good CP's, our writing will get better and better, and then we can share it with the world.

I wouldn't say sharing our writing with the world as being a solo endeavor!

Kelley said...

Haha. I think Angie's rocking the pink sweater. But I have one too so we can both rock it ;)

Kelley said...

I thought you'd like the nut roll Cassie. ;)

And yes. I think its agreed that most of us are going to crash Angie's house for food.


Kelley said...

Yay! Good for him/her!

I really like my 'day job'. I work with great people and everyday is different.

Kelley said...

Awww, thanks Elizabeth! I try really hard not to suffer from regret. So far so good :)

Kelley said...

Thanks Tara! I like sharing :)

Kelley said...

Oh geez. Do I have you guys fooled ;)

Kelley said...

We have to make sure we recruit a complete 'soccer team'. :)

Thanks for stopping by Jack!

Suzi said...

What a fun interview. My question is.. with your total lack of cooking skills, did you make it through your engineering labs without any major incident? I know we utilized ovens, burners and many other dangerous machines/tools that may cause you to lose life or limb. You obviously didn't lose any fingers--or at least I'm assuming.

Jenny S. Morris said...

Great interview! I would like the same position on the soccer team that Angie has. ;0) Oh and a group trip to Hawaii would be awesome! I'll bring my salty Nut Roll.

Kelley said...

That's a great question Suzi. :) One would think that we mix things in Chemistry and Polymer Science so what's the difference compared to food?

I passed all my I must not have been too horrible.

But the trick is awesome lab partners ;)

Kelley said...

Bring a few. I want more than a few bites ;)

Hope Roberson said...

Fantastic back and forth ladies! Six month cooking strike? That sounds pretty dreamy :) I'm good with cereal too though :) I hate cooking!

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