Lynne Kelly was born in Galesburg, Illinois, grew up in Houston, Texas, then tried living in colder places again before making it back to the Houston area. She works as a sign language interpreter and writes novels for children and young adults.
Lynne’s debut middle grade novel Chained will be released in May 2012
Visit her at: http://lynnekellybooks.com/wordpress/
Now on to the FIVE QUESTIONS
1. Where did the spark of inspiration for Chained come from?
I’d heard that if a young elephant is captured and tied up, it will struggle and struggle to break free, but once it gives up, it gives up forever. So years later you’ll see the same small rope or chain holding a full-grown elephant, who doesn’t know it could easily break free if it tried. That was the birth of the captive elephant!
2. How much research time did you put in to recreate India?
A lot! It was really important to me to describe India accurately. One challenge was making the setting seem natural and familiar to the characters, but showing it clearly enough so readers who don’t know much about India could envision it. I read books and online resources about India and Indian culture, but I learned most from talking to people who’ve lived there. I don’t think most people know how diverse India itself is; I know I didn’t. There are such differences from region to region, it’s almost like many countries in one. I couldn’t just pick out an “Indian name” or have them eating “Indian food,” for example– it needed to be an appropriate name or food for that part of India.
3. What advice do you have for aspiring authors?
Read as much as possible, especially in the genre you want to write. Besides letting you know what books are already out there, I think that reading great writing helps you naturally absorb good storytelling skills.
4. What is your solution to writer’s block?
I do better with pen and paper than with the computer, so when I’m feeling stuck I sit down with a notebook and a pen to do some freewriting about whatever I’m working on. Usually I’ll come up with some good ideas or a sentence I need for a scene.
5. Finally, Beatles or Rolling Stones?
I love them both! If I had to pick one, though, it’d be the Beatles.