Friday, June 17, 2016

Frequently Asked Questions of Margo Kelly, Author

Here are answers to the questions I'm most commonly asked during interviews:

Q: As a public speaker, you’re already something of a professional communicator, but there is a difference between the spoken word and the written one. Was the transition from orator to author a challenging one for you? 
A: In some ways, yes, because much of my public speaking has been on non-fiction topics such as business, sales, and recruiting. Now I’m writing fiction for the young adult audience. These are two completely separate worlds. However, any great public speaker includes stories, personal details, and a bit of hyperbole to keep the interest of the listeners. The art of engaging the audience has definitely helped me translate stories to paper.

Q: What was the greatest thing you learned at school?
A: The greatest thing I learned at school was to think for myself. Just because someone says something doesn’t make it true. Researching and challenging the statements of others became an essential skill.

Q: What did you want to be when you grew up? 
A: I wanted to be a writer … or ruler of the universe … they’re pretty much the same thing.

Q: How do you react to a bad review?
A: With my favorite ice cream: Chocolate Haagen-Dazs.

Q: What makes you cringe? 
A: Cockroaches … really any kind of bug or spider or creepy-crawly thing makes me cringe! I once slept with a can of Raid next to my bed, because when we lived in Arizona our apartment had a poisonous centipede infestation. I kid you not! We used bug-bombs multiple times, and those huge suckers kept returning. Legs as thick as toothpicks. Bodies as long as nine inches. My husband went after one once with a butcher’s knife (quickest thing he could grab). He chopped that thing into multiple pieces, and each piece scampered off in a different direction. It would not die. Ack. Just thinking about it makes me cringe! I still check my sheets every night before climbing into bed.

Q: You are stranded on a deserted island, what three things would you want? 
A: Computer, WiFi, and an all-you-can-eat pizza buffet

Q: What do you like to do when you’re not writing? 
A: I love to make quilts, go camping, garden, and read.

Q: What’s on your nightstand?
A: Dust. Because I’d rather read than clean house. In addition to the dust, I have a stack of over twenty books and my Kindle (with countless additional books waiting to be read).

Q: Who are some of your favorite authors?
A: Dean Koontz, Mindy McGinnis, Marissa Meyer, Barry Lyga, Janet Evanovich, Marie Lu, Dan Wells, Patricia Briggs, Leigh Bardugo, oh there are so many great authors out there!

Q: If you could choose only one, who would be your favorite author?
A: Dean Koontz, for his page-turning thrillers. My desire is to write fast paced thrillers for the young adult audience.

Q: Beyond your own work (of course), what is your all-time favorite book and why? And what is your favorite book outside of your genre?
A: I love to read, and I have a lot of favorites, but if I have to pick just one, I suppose I’d choose Odd Thomas by Dean Koontz. It not only kept me turning pages, but it also caught me by surprise in the end. Any plotline that is unpredictable impresses me, but I especially enjoyed Odd Thomas because he’s such a lovable character. Koontz writes great thrillers. Outside of my genre – I’d have to say I love the Stephanie Plum novels by Janet Evanovich. Every single book in the series has made me laugh out loud at some point. I love fast paced, plot driven books.

Q: What was your favorite book as a child/teen?
A: Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell

Q: If you could live in any book “world” which book would it be? 
A: Oh. My. I read a lot of thrillers, horrors, and dystopias … so I don’t know that I’d want to live in any of them. ;) I would want to live in a tranquil place. So I suppose I’d want to live in the world of Anne of Green Gables -- Prince Edward Island. 

Q: If you had a time machine where would you go back in time or ahead? And who would you like to visit. 
A: I would go back in time about fifteen years to visit more with my maternal grandmother before she passed away from this life.

Q: Do you have any pets?
A: Two dogs. We rescued our big black dog from the local shelter, and they had named him Black Sabbath. The little white dog, which we also rescued, was really tiny when we first brought him home. We wanted to give him a name opposite of Black Sabbath. So we named him Rascal Flatts. We call him Rascal.

Q: Any pet peeves? 
A: Dog hair (no pun intended) … and yet, I have two wonderful dogs who shed hair everywhere and on everything, and I love them.

Q: When asked, what’s the one question you always answer with a lie? 
A: I’m a pretty honest and even blunt person. I don’t usually lie. If you ask me a question I don’t want to answer, I will either say, “Oh, that’s a story for another day.” Or, “Frankly, that’s none of your business.”

Q: Who was your first boyfriend?
A: A boy I met at the roller-skating rink. I can’t even remember his name.

Q: Tell me about your first kiss
A: When I was a preteen I tackled the cute neighbor boy and planted one right on him.

Q: Do you believe in love at first sight? 
A: Yes. I fell in love with my husband at first sight. I went back to my college dorm that night and told all of my friends that I was going to marry him. They thought I was nuts, but they laughed when I announced our engagement about five months later.

Q: What's the memorable summer job you've ever had?
A: I only lasted two weeks at KFC. It was so greasy that I kept slipping on the floors and falling. Grease covered every surface, and I went home feeling so icky every day. But I still eat there occasionally! 

Q: What’s your favorite season/weather? 
A: Fall

Q: Beach or pool? 
A: Sandy beach along a river in Idaho

Q: Where is the best place in the world you’ve been?
A: I’ve traveled a lot. I’ve been to places like Bermuda, Grand Cayman, Cancun, Panama, Alaska, Hawaii, Washington D.C., Williamsburg, Puerto Rico, and many other great places. But the best place in the world is amongst the pine trees in the mountains of Idaho next to a rushing white-water river.

Q: Where can readers stalk you online?
A: Website:

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