BLOG TOUR – Asbury High and the Parcels of Poison
Can you, for those who don’t know you already, tell something about yourself and how you became an author?
Hi! I’m Kelly and I became an author because I was born to tell stories. For as long as I can remember (and my past teammates, friends and family can attest to this), I’ve LOVED making up stories and using my crazy imagination. Plus, I talk a lot— ask my handsome husband! I was lucky to grow up in South Jersey, where going to the beach was a five-minute ride over the bridge and summer meant going on my best friend’s boat to tube or water ski whenever I wanted. Although I never said no to boating or swimming, I mostly enjoyed ‘traditional’ sports, like soccer and basketball and even played softball until eighth grade. Basically, sports and action are in my blood.
When I was looking to college, I was torn between majoring in criminal justice or education. Growing up, I had always dreamed of being an FBI Agent and going on crazy missions— I even would check the physical test and guidelines each year for making an agent and was proud to day I could’ve passed it easily. However, my cousins’ neighbor was a retired agent, and after learning that most of the job entailed paperwork and desk duty, I knew that wasn’t for me. But, I never stopped daydreaming of missions and mysteries, which led me to write out what I envisioned. After teaching for five years— ranging from first to eighth grade— my husband, Ryan, and I decided to work towards having a family. After the birth of our BIG little man, I realized that if I didn’t push myself to publish now, then I probably never would. With encouragement from Ry, I went full steam ahead.
What are some of your pet peeves?
I can forgive people most things and feel it is unhealthy to hold grudges or get mad over trivial things. However, there are three things that honestly make me cringe.
- Clapping- I honestly detest clapping. At the cinema, or when an airplane lands, or even if I was to score a goal. I just don’t see why people need to bring their hands together like that. My husband agrees its goofy, and I try not to look annoyed when other do it— especially because I know they’re clapping to show support or encouragement. But still, if you enjoy my books (which I hope you do), don’t clap… maybe whistle or say congrats.
- Sneezing- Yup, I visibly cringe when I hear others sneeze. It has nothing to do with germs or boogers, just the sound alone. And don’t even get me started on how unreasonably angry I feel when someone sneezes in the middle of a conversation. It’s crazy! And when I sneeze, I get the maddest at all— yes, it’s irrational, and we all do it. I just hope I never have to attend a dusting convention or something.
- Odd number volumes- If we’re watching TV or listening to music, I need to actually see that the volume is turned to an even number. Otherwise, I’ll change it myself, or turn it off. I have a weird mental image of the sound leaving the speaker and entering my ears unevenly if the volume number is odd.
Where were you born/grew up at?
I was born in Somers Point, NJ, but moved and grew up in Upper Township— right outside Ocean City, New Jersey. Honestly, I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way! I got to have all of the perks of living by the shore, without having to live in the actual busy and overcrowded summer town. Although, I did work on the boardwalk each summer (Bashful Banana, extremely delicious and healthy foods, a must-stop-at destination if you’re ever in town), and attend OCHS. However, living on the other side of the bridge enabled me to have an actual yard and much more space to play around and make up games as a kid, with the best neighbors ever— HI DIEROLF FAMILY!!
What do you do to unwind and relax?
I work out! I consider myself a lifelong athlete, even though my sports careers are finished—well other than for fun in pickup games or rec leagues. In fact, I was even my high school’s (GO OC!) most athletic and female athlete of the year. Therefore, it is obvious that running and being active is something I have always enjoyed and will continue to do so. Getting outside in the fresh air, and running around by myself or with my husband, son and two dogs (never a dull moment here) or playing games, does more for my mind than anything else. Especially if I find I am having a hard time finding the right words to say, or rather write.
How to find time to write as a parent?
As a new parent (our little man is only seven months old, as I write this), this proved to be more difficult than I originally thought. However, during both of our big boy’s naptimes, each are an hour and a half, I sit down in front of my computer with a tall glass of milk— the only drink I drink— and just start typing or writing out ideas. I have found that once I start, I just keep going. As a collegiate and lifetime athlete, I believe wholeheartedly that if you do something every day, for long enough, it becomes habit. One of my best friends, for whom one of the characters share the same last name (Gibbz!), is very motivational and definitely a glass-full type of person. After I decided to go ahead with the decision to get my books published, she would text me every day and ask: “Did you write today?” The rest is history!
Describe yourself in 5 words or less!
- Active (mentally and physically)