Posted by: Thomas Drinkard | October 23, 2010

Interview with J.M. Kelley, author of “Drew in Blue”

I’m honored to have an interview with J.M. Kelley, author of Drew in Blue. I have had the opportunity to read an excerpt from the book and found it to be funny, ( with winces for Drew’s missteps). I’m looking forward to reading the whole book.

T. Hello, please give us a bit of biography to start.

J.M. A lifelong resident of Pennsylvania, I am a writer of love stories, a painter, a painfully bad knitter, and a photographer – if the pursuit is artistic, chances are I’ve dabbled in it.

After a lengthy break that included adventures in accounting and coffee distribution, I returned to my passion for writing with that old adage write what you know whispering from the deep recesses of my mind. I realized that I know how to read a book on a moving skateboard, that if you’re riding shotgun in a pick-up truck, ‘mud’ can be used as a verb, Amish traffic jams can wreak havoc on your morning commute, and Hog Maw is not to be experienced by the faint of heart.

While this list of knowledge seemed random and borderline nonsensical, it led me to one rock-solid conclusion: life in the Keystone State is a rich and endless source of inspiration. And so, I sat down in front of my laptop and began to piece together a story about life in small-town Pennsylvania – something I know a thing or two about. The result of this epiphany is Drew in Blue, a contemporary love story set in the fictional Appalachian town of River’s View, Pennsylvania, and filled with quirky characters that pay homage to the real life characters I’ve had the pleasure of knowing all my life.

I am a member of the Romance Writers of America, The International Women’s Writing Guild, Pennwriters, and the South Carolina Writers Workshop.

T. When did you start writing?

J.M. My big debut as a paid writer was in first grade. I earned a dollar for a compelling two-sentence story about winning the lottery and buying a horsie, and it was published in the local newspaper’s student section. After that, I was hooked.

My next big break came in high school when we read The Devil and Tom Walker. The writing assignment was to write a modern day version of the tale, and my variation was read aloud in front of the class by the teacher. For a social leper, that was a shining moment. Unfortunately, after school, I lost the will and the time to concentrate on my writing, and didn’t return until a couple of years ago. Now I’m a born-again writing addict.

T. Was there a favorite writing teacher or mentor?

J.M. Mrs. Warner in high school-I’m thinking it was twelfth grade, but I could be wrong. She was my lit teacher, and was the kind of instructor who’d read Shakespeare while standing on her desk and shouting at the top of her lungs. I loved her, but I doubt she’d have the slightest clue who I am. I was such a wallflower, I doubt she knew me back then, either. She made a heck of an impression on me, though.

T. Please tell us about your current book.

J.M. Drew in Blue is a contemporary romance about a thirty-six year old loner unexpectedly saddled with the task of raising a baby while trying to sort out his mess of a life. Problem is, he just keeps making things worse for himself. It’s a running theme in Drew’s life, considering he never does anything the easy way. The River’s View, Pennsylvania gossip mill is watching each misstep as Drew juggles a price-gouging babysitter, a major case of artist’s block, and a best friend with an opinion to share on every bungled choice he makes.
His love life isn’t faring much better. Despite a long history of relationships that never really get off the ground, Drew falls head over heels for someone new, hoping she might be the one to end his romantic bad luck streak. After a few abysmally bad false starts, things finally start looking up. That is, until he finds out (the hard way, naturally) that his new love interest isn’t the one for him after all. Turns out it’s actually his lifelong pal and high school girlfriend, Kristina Moser.
Drew’s feelings for Kris intensify as he witnesses her growing bond with his son and he finally realizes where he belongs. Now all he has to do is convince Kris he’s right . . . and she’s just not buying it.

T. Do you have a sequel or prequel in mind or in progress?

J.M. It feels like Drew in Blue is a stand-alone story, though I am working on a second novel that is also set in small-town Pennsylvania. I suspect I’m developing a theme there. The state is chock full of interesting characters, so I might as well write them, right?

T. What are your thoughts about the future of digital publishing?

J.M. I believe digital publishing is here to stay. Obviously, there’s a healthy interest in the technology among the readers out there. I can say I was one of those people who like to cling to their paper and ink books, and that won’t change, but having really given eBooks a shot as a reader; I find them an incredibly useful option. Now, I don’t have to pick one or two books to travel with. I can download as many as I want and not use space in my luggage. That alone makes me a dedicated customer.

I don’t see digital publishing being a lark, or a passing fad. I don’t think it will replace traditional publishing, but it’s not going to fade away anytime soon, either. Personally, I really like having the choice between the two options depending upon my needs at any given moment.

T. Do you have anything else to share with us?

J.M. Drew in Blue will be available as an eBook December 1, 2010 through Lazy Day Publishing, and third-party sites such as Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Check back often at my website/blog at http://www.JMkelleywrites.com for updates and links as they become available!

T. Thank you for your time. Wishing you the greatest success.

J.M.. Thanks for having me on the blog, I enjoyed the interview!

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Responses

  1. Well done JM, I can’t wait to read the book.

  2. Excellent interview! I can’t wait to have Drew on my Kindle!

  3. Great interview. I’m eagerly awaiting the release of Drew in Blue.

  4. Thanks for the kind comments and support, everyone! The post looks great, Thomas, thanks yet again for having me here!

  5. Great interview! I’m looking forward to Drew’s release!


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