Thursday, February 19, 2015

INTERVIEW: KETLEY ALLISON

Courtney and I are in love with Ketley Allison and her series, Snapped. If you haven't read it yet, you absolutely MUST read it. Seriously. It's that good. 

We recently approached Ketley with a few questions and here's what she had to say:

  1. Have you had a Reagan in your life--or any of the characters, for that matter? (You do a great job of writing a psycho..and you also do a great job of capturing that jealous paranoia)

Why, thank you! Reagan was honestly the most difficult to write. It was easy for me to make her be unreasonable and angry with questionable motives. What was hard for me was maintaining her humanity, because I didn't want her to be just another psycho who wants to do nothing but cause havoc. People, even ones that seem crazy to us, often have their reasons, both good and bad. She saw something good in Charlie, especially in Charlie's life, and wanted nothing more than to experience it for herself. But unfortunately she only knows how to act through big decisions and rash behavior, creating more messes than solutions. 

I haven't had an exact person like her in my life, but there have definitely been behaviors that Reagan would more than likely relate to. Someone who is excellent at lying for example, so much so that you question the truth in yourself. Or someone who chooses a certain route in life regardless of the collateral damage because they want it so bad it seems selfish, but they're desperate to reach a goal. I think we've all met--or watched, or experienced--someone like that in our lives, and I wanted to embody that it Reagan. To the extreme, of course! But I do hope, despite her actions, that while she may not be understandable readers can see what's behind her.

2. Can you tell us a little about how this idea came to you and how it's changed (if it has) as you've written it.

Where to begin! My ideas usually stem from friendships and all the interchangeable layers that makes one person connect with another. I've always wanted to write a murder mystery but found as I was writing, Snapped was becoming more about the relationships than the murder itself. And so I went with it. The murder's still there (obviously) and a killer still lurks in the shadows (of course), but the series isn't only a whodunit, but also who are all these characters? What makes them tick? Why does Slade love Charlie so much? What keeps Lara and Charlie so connected despite years of unique, personal growth?

And yes, there was a a major rewrite after a few parts were written. But I don't think I can tell you without spoiling the ending for you! I can say that I originally wanted the motive behind the murder to be straightforward, but as you can see in the paragraph above, it didn't work with how I wrote. This is about the lives, loves and wishes of my characters--there's more to them than simple cruelty and I had to make that happen with the killer, too.

3. What are your book plans after this series? (I'm having a hard time thinking about this series ending--I've become attached to these characters)

This makes me wiggle in my seat with joy! My greatest wish is for readers to see my characters as more than just text on a page. A trick I use to create mine (and I'm sure this is common with a lot of writers) is to take traits from people that I know, close friends in my life, and intersperse them throughout my characters to give them that depth. And I'm already working on my next novel, another romantic suspense which I'm more than excited to get out there. But it's involving a lot of research so it may take some time. It's about the NYC underground and questionable legality. My main character is turning out to be quite the spitfire and I can't wait to introduce you to her!! I also plan to finish off my paranormal trilogy this year (The Dark Souls Series), and I have a few other ideas I'm putting down on paper. In short - I love LOVE what I do, and don't plan on stopping any time soon :)

4. If readers go to your website they'll see you've written other things--do you have a favorite thing you've written?

This is a tough one. I write in first person and therefore become quite attached to the character I'm speaking for, so all my girls, Emily, Macy, Charlie, Lara, Reagan, have a special place in my heart--most especially Emily and Charlie (the ladies I channel directly). I can't say which story I like better - the two I currently have out are incredibly different, but the characters all come from some place deeper than straight up happy endings. They've had it rough but come out strong. I hope to keep that trend going.

5. We always love recommendations-- could you recommend a few books that you've read and loved?

Hmm do you have a million hours? Lol I read all the time, everything you can think of. Thriller, horror, romance, paranormal, YA, NA...basically everything fiction I can get my hands on. But some books have really resonated with me (you've likely already read them too!):

1. The Pact - Jodi Picoult
2. Daughter of Smoke and Bone - Laini Taylor
3. Montana Sky - Nora Roberts (my first EVER romance, and I mean ever. 14 and on a beach with my mouth hanging open as I flipped through the pages).
4. Anything written by L.J. Smith (she got me through high school and beyond and was my first intro into paranormal YA.).

As I said I'm a voracious reader and have a very long list on my Goodreads page! You can see what I'm currently gobbling up there (but I'm not kidding, I'm seriously all over the place with my novels. You will see Andy Weir nestled up against J.R. Ward).


Quick questions:

1. If you could pick a few characters (yours or others) to go on a roadtrip with you--who would you pick and why?

Lara and Macy from mine because they'd keep the entertainment to the maximum, though I wouldn't let them control the radio. And probably Maise O'Malley from Unteachable by Leah Raeder. Her no bullshit, no fear attitude would absolutely lend itself to a no limit road trip, and I'm pretty sure she'd get along with the other two, or at least shut them up enough so we could figure out where the hell we were going.

2. The five songs you'd put on replay right now?

1. Ghost - Ella Henderson
2. Not on Drugs - Tove Lo (or anything by her, really. Addicting lyrics)
3. Robyn - Handle Me
4. Heroes (we could be) - Alesso ft. Tove Lo
5. Don't - Ed Sheeran

3. Best coffee place in your hood?

I'm all about the independents - I look for them instead of the chains wherever I go, and luckily Brooklyn doesn't disappoint.Root Hill Cafe in Park Slope is my ultimate fav.

4. Last movie that made you laugh?

Bridesmaids. I know it came out a while ago and I've watched a lot of movies but nothing, I mean nothing, has made me laugh as hard since.

5. Actress you'd like to play you in a movie?

Hmm, Kristen Bell! Not because I look anything like her gorgeous self, but she seems so lovely and funny and could probably adapt to any character that's handed over (case in point: her character in House of Lies vs. Veronica Mars). And hey, I just love 'er.

6. Thing your most proud of.

Finally sitting down, thinking about it, and going "you know what? I'm just going to write."

For so long I'd been accomplishing other things, going to university, going to post grad, passing the bar...and it all left me unfulfilled. I always wrote fiction in my downtime, but never seriously until it became something I couldn't stop thinking about. It's what makes me happy - I look forward to waking up in the mornings because of it. I can't let something like that languish in the background any longer, and so a year ago I decided to do something about it. It hasn't come easy because there's always so much to learn and room for improvement (I also still do my day job), but while I've never been more stressed juggling everything, I've also never been more content. I've found my place and I'm proud of it :)

Thank you for having me, ladies!! It's always a pleasure talking with you! xo

Thank you so much, Ketley! We look forward to reading your WIP and the end of the series!


Snapped - Part I

Shade - Part II

Sin - Part III

Shade - Part IV
Goodreads | Amazon

Suspect--Part V

Goodreads | Amazon

About Ketley Allison

Ketley Allison began her creative career by writing books as birthday presents for her friends (with her friend as the main character and opposite a super sexy lead, of course) before ending it in order to walk down a path she thought she was supposed to follow.

The writing bug never left her—and, in fact, would often bleed into the official papers she was supposed to write—so now Ketley’s putting down her suit and finally following her dream. While her friends are no longer the stars of her books, she still throws in bits and pieces of them into each and every one of her characters.

As a result, her books tend to focus a lot on friendships as well as love, because let’s be honest, friends are what really get you through—especially when your epic love turns into epic heartbreak.

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