Introduce yourself to the rest of the class. Who are you and what makes you tick?
Hi, my name is Kellie Doherty! I’m an office assistant by day, a freelance editor by night, and a science fiction/fantasy author pretty much all the time. I currently reside in the frozen north that is Eagle River, Alaska. I’m a proud Ravenclaw, a Critical Role #Critter at heart, and a nerd twenty-four seven. A lot of things make me tick: the promise of a budding story, the thrill of powerful magic and crazy tech, the spark of life in newly created characters. I love storytelling. In my day-job, I really enjoy it when someone asks me a super random question and I actually know the answer! It’s a simple thing, but I like helping people figure things out. In my freelance editing gig, it’s amazing the typos folks can miss and I laugh quite a lot (because I’ve also done the same typos) but those mistakes make me hyper focused.
What does it mean to you to be an author? What makes a writer a writer?
It means everything for me to be an author. It was a dream of mine ever since I was young and devouring Harry Potter books, writing fanfiction about Digimon and Pokemon, and wanting to put my own fictional characters out there in the world. Being an author also means that I can represent and expand the queer and female main characters in the fantasy and science fiction realms. Growing up, I didn’t really have many female leads in the stories I read, and little to no queer characters, so I wanted to change that with my own writing. Being an author means the stories are out there for other women and queer folk like me to find and (hopefully) enjoy! What makes a writer a writer? Well, that’s easy. They write. You don’t need to have work published in order to be a writer. You just need to write! And it doesn’t need to be fictional work, either, if you write recipes or do journaling or variety articles, you’re a writer! As long as you’re having fun in your craft and learning new things and enjoying what you write, you’re a writer. (If you’re not enjoying it, maybe try a different craft? There are so many creative fields out there!)
Are you promoting a specific book? Tell us about it. Include the book blurb if you’d like.
Yes, I am! I have an adult fantasy book, Sunkissed Feathers & Severed Ties, that launched on March 27 from Desert Palm Press! It’s got an awkward bisexual main character with an adorable companion animal, a unique style of magic (called crafting in my world), a badass hero-type love interest, and newfound friendships. Here’s the official blurb: Misti Eildelmann is fighting a banished one when he slips a pendant around her neck that saps her strength. The pendant is dangerous. Deadly. Misti needs help. Old and new friends join her on the quest for aid, including her crush Dylori Clyofis and a villager Arias Silverstone. The journey is risky—filled with frightening suncreatures, evil worshippers, and twisted betrayal—and Misti soon discovers her pendant is connected to a much bigger plan.
Back cover blurb:
Misti Eildelmann is a Vagari — a race whose innate crafting ability is connected to the creatures of the world. She’s also a Moon Knight. Misti is fighting a banished one when he slips a pendant around her neck that saps her strength. The pendant is dangerous. Deadly even. It harnesses crafting in a way not seen before, so she sets off to find help. Old and new friends join her on this quest, including her longtime crush Dylori Clyofis and a villager named Arias Silverstone. The journey is risky — filled with frightening suncreatures, evil worshippers, and twisted betrayal. Misti is thankful to have friends on this path into the scorching light, but something much bigger is waiting for them in the sunshine. Her pendant is just a piece of puzzle.
Tell us about your biggest guilty pleasure. For example, do you sit naked in your pantry in the middle of the night and eat Nutella with your fingers?
Ooo, good question! I really love those giant Costco poppy seed muffins, and the only way I eat them is frozen solid because that’s how I used to eat them as a kid and I just never stopped. (Seriously, if you haven’t tried it, you should!) It’s a guilty pleasure because I actually have a bunch of allergies and I know the muffin won’t sit well with my system. Yet I eat it anyway because they’re delicious. It’s become a regular part of my Saturday morning routine. (I also have some fruit to compensate for the super unhealthiness of the muffin…because that’s how eating works, right?)
Tell us one thing that you’re passionate about. For example, would you strap yourself to an oil rigging a la Lucy Lawless with a Greenpeace sign in your hands?
Aside from writing, I’m passionate about being a creative type of person and supporting other creatives, whether it be in writing, art, film, knitting, or any other kind of creative sphere. I buy a lot of things from Etsy (those fandom people rock!), and I recently backed a Critical Role kickstarter campaign because I am in love with that show. Quite simply, this is the best time to be a creative nerd! So many amazing things are happening—all the comics and superhero movies and the D&D programming and fantasy shows and YouTube videos—that I am thrilled to be part of the fandom community.
What’s your writing process? That is, do you have a particular place you write and/or time of day? Do you have any particular things you do before you write? (e.g. do you listen to music, drink coffee, take dance breaks…)
My writing process is pretty simple honestly. I’ve tried the whole writing-in-a-coffee-shop thing but it’s too noisy for me, so I usually write at home. I make a cup of tea with milk and honey (my go-to drink), grab my water bottle and notebooks, some pens, and curl up on my couch. Since I’ve been focused on fantasy, I usually listen to a Lord of the Rings soundtrack mix that I found on YouTube (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=chLZQtCold8), which provides the right mood for me. I’m pretty busy during the work week, so there isn’t a specific time that I write Monday–Friday, mainly jot inspiration down when it hits—but I always carve out time during the weekend!
Tell us something that most people don’t know about you (unless you’d have to kill us, in which case tell us something that some people don’t know).
I broke my pelvis in four places when I was twelve. I used to take horseback riding when I was younger, and while on vacation in Florida vising a family friend who had horses, I fell off one and slammed into the tree. (I didn’t realize the thoroughbred would be so scared of the ice in my water bottle when I took a drink.) I was also stupidly stubborn and refused to go to the hospital for three days, but I distinctly remember walking into the kitchen one morning to sneak in some breakfast cookies before my parents woke up and thinking how it felt really weird to walk…and also really painful. I remember knowing something was wrong with me and I couldn’t pretend anymore. Eventually my parents made me go to get checked out, I discovered I had broken bones, and I spent the rest of my vacation on crutches.
Is there a book by another author that you wish you had written?
E. Schwab’s Darker Shades trilogy! It’s so good—filled with fun magic and cool characters—and the writing is just amazing. Or, you know, my all time favorite growing up, Harry Potter. (Mainly because I love Hogwarts and the unique worldbuilding Rowling does.)
If time and money were no problem, where would you most like to go in the world?
Japan! I went there in 2014 with my family for two weeks, but I’d love to go back again. The food there was amazing, the culture and history was fascinating, and the people were really nice.
And finally, what sorts of writing projects are next for you?
Sunkissed Feathers & Severed Ties is book one in a five-book fantasy series called the Broken Chronicles, but like Sunkissed Feathers, the books are meant to be standalones in the same world. I’m currently working on book two, which focuses on a different main character called Orenda Silverstone.
Kellie Doherty is a queer science fiction and fantasy author from Eagle River, Alaska. Living in Alaska gave her an appreciation for nature, a hankering for a good cup of tea, and a passion for all things below zero. During those dark winter nights, she kept herself busy by writing stories and creating characters. When she noticed a lack of queer characters in science fiction and fantasy stories, she decided to create her own. She’s currently working on a five-book fantasy series, and the first book Sunkissed Feathers & Severed Ties launched on March 27, 2019 from Desert Palm Press.
Links: kelliedoherty.com | Twitter @Kellie_Doherty | Facebook @KellieDoherty89 | desertpalmpress.com