Kellie Doherty is a PSU graduate student studying book publishing, aiming to complete her masters this spring. She also has a freelance editing company called Edit Revise Perfect and takes jobs whenever they come her way. When not doing homework, work-work, and trying not to stress out about all the graduation prep, Kellie likes to write and go for walks. Her debut science fiction novel Finding Hekate was published by Desert Palm Press on April 8, 2016. Find more information on her website: http://kelliedoherty.com/.
9 Bridges: When you are writing do you feel more like you are being inspired by a muse, or driven by demons?
Kellie Doherty: It really depends on which character I’m writing at the moment. If I’m working on a particularly mischievous villain I feel like it could be demons lashing out to get it out of my system. I can go to a pretty dark place to get the characters right. But with the other characters, it tends to be easier, lighter, eased out by muses even. I used to joke around about how all my muse needed was a good sprig of rosemary to get her going. (It usually doesn’t take much to make me write.)
9B: If you were alone on a desert isle with no tinder for a fire handy what book would you most want to have with you and why would you chose that book to burn?
KD: I would burn Fifty Shades of Grey. Sorry, James, I respect the time and effort it took to transform the once-Twilight fanfiction into a book, but I honestly can’t stand it. The representation of the BDSM community alone is cringe worthy. Plus, with all the sex scenes, don’t you think Fifty Shades would burn just a bit hotter than anything else?
9B:What is the best advice you have ever given or received about writing?
KD: The best advice I’ve both received and given is this: Keep writing. Even if it’s crappy. Even if you don’t like it. Even if you think you’ll never use it in a million years, write it out. Who knows, there might be some gold in all that muck.
9B: What tools do you use when you write?
KD: Can my cats be tools? Seriously, my cats sit on me whenever I write so they might as well be instrumental. I generally write in Word on my computer. I also have a separate doc open for consistency checks (with character traits, world building stuff, odd names, etc.). I keep a pen and notebook handy wherever I go in case the inspiration strikes—because really, do we ever honestly stop writing?—and I keep some paper by my bedside, too. (Just last night I had a dream about a father/daughter/old lady team in a post apocalyptic world that I might turn into a short story!) I have The Emotion Thesaurus by Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi close by in case I get stuck on how to portray certain emotions via actions. (It’s an awesome resource. I highly recommend it.) I also listen to Disney or classical music, depending on what I’m actually writing. I also like to have water or tea nearby.
9B: What is your favorite part of the writing process?
KD: Character creation! I love creating characters. It was my favorite part when I was a kid, and it’s still my favorite now. Generating a whole backstory for them, weaving them into a current plotline, inventing a special tick or trait (like the scar from Finding Hekate) that defines them in some way is the best part for me.
9B: Everyone always talks about writers block but no one ever seems to do anything about it. What is your solution?
KD: My solution to writers block is threefold: 1) have a cup of black tea with milk and honey, 2) take a walk, and 3) write at least 500 words per day until that block breaks.
9B: Most writers I have talked to have at least one story about a loony teacher they knew who somehow inspired them. What is yours?
KD: Hmm, I’d have to tell a story about Prof. Clay Nunnally. He taught a bunch of my college-level classes at the University of Alaska Anchorage. He wasn’t loony by any means, but he would recite poetry from memory, my favorite being My Last Duchess by Browning. He would do voices and act it out even. The class would fall silent listening to him. His recitations made me appreciate the power and charm of words and inspired me to write better because of it.
9B: How has 9 Bridges supported you in your writing journey?
KD: Out of all the wonderful opportunities the 9 Bridges offers, I’d say their write-ins have supported me the most. Writing is usually seen as a solitary act—and for me it is, more often than not—but their format of writing for a certain amount of time and then chatting about it is quite helpful. It gets me out of that solitary moment for a little while.
9B: Rock, Paper or Scissors?
KD: Paper, definitely.