Tuesday, February 10, 2015

AUTHOR INTERVIEW: Kelly Stone Gamble


The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Hello, Kelly.  Welcome to The Gal!!  I loved your book!!  Great job!!  Let's start the interview out with something easy: Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Kelly Stone Gamble:
After twenty years of living in Las Vegas, I recently moved to a small town in southeast Oklahoma to teach full-time at Southeastern Oklahoma State University.  Teaching is something I have always wanted to do, but it took a lot of dedication to go back to school and get the credentials to do so.  Although I'm still experiencing some culture shock from the drastic change of setting, I absolutely love my job, and can't imagine being anywhere else at this time in my life.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What are five things most people don't know about you?

Kelly Stone Gamble:
  1. I hate to admit it, but I walk like a dude.  I lumber instead of glide.  Remember Whoopi Goldberg, in heels, walking in the bank in the movie Ghost?
  2. I can't dance.  Oh, sure, I love to get up and move when music plays, any kind of music.  But I have about as much rhythm as Steve Martin and my moves are better left to a chess board.
  3. I can't cook.  Okay, maybe I just hate to cook and therefore, subconsciously, I burn things.  I've set off my fire alarm so many times that the fire department has started calling ahead.  I took them burnt cookies one year for Christmas.  They were not amused.
  4. I have color-coded notebooks, keep calendars and endless lists.  I am almost obsessive about maintaining organizational tools for everything.  I can design hour by hour agendas that leave people in awe, but referring to them and actually following them is another story.  My meticulous organization skills are an illusion.
  5. I live in a small, boutique-isn hunting lodge in Southeast Oklahoma, but I don't hunt.
The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What is the first book you remember reading?

Kelly Stone Gamble:
Where Did I Come From? by Peter Mayle.  I'm sure it wasn't the first book I ever read, but the shock of finding out where babies really came from was enough to make me remember reading this book at a young age.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What are you reading now?

Kelly Stone Gamble:
Driven by Robert Herjavec.  I am a little obsessed with Shark Tank, and have a bit of a fan crush on Robert Herjavec.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What made you decide you want to write?  When did you begin writing?

Kelly Stone Gamble:
I've always 'written,' but mostly for my own entertainment.  I started getting serious about it fifteen years ago.  My dad was a person who always said, 'before I die, I want to ...'  When he died suddenly, I re-evaluated my own life and thought 'what do I want to do before I die?'  I have always wanted to write a book, so the day after he passed away, I started writing.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Do you have a special place you like to write?

Kelly Stone Gamble:
I prefer to write at night, sitting alone in a quiet room where I can tune out everything but my own thoughts.  I have found that I'm easily distracted if I try to write outside or in a public place.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Do you have any quirks or processes that you go through when you write?

Kelly Stone Gamble:
I rewrite the first chapter several times before I go any further.  In fact, I probably spend as much time on the first chapter as I do on the first half of the book.  Of course, the main characters all develop quite a bit in writing, and I change a lot in editing, but the writing, overwriting, and rewriting of the first chapter allows me to get to know my main character in depth before I continue with her story.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Where do the ideas for your books come from.

Kelly Stone Gamble:
Everywhere.  The idea for They Call Me Crazy came while sitting in a bar watching a television show about building koi ponds.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What books have most inspired you?

Kelly Stone Gamble:
Marguerite Duras' The Lover, Barry Lopez' River Notes and Desert Notes, and the Gods & Generals trilogy by Michael and Jeff Shaara.  None of which, I might add, are even remotely similar to my own writing.  However, I love the attention to detail and setting that each of these authors bring to their work.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Is there anything about writing you find most challenging?

Kelly Stone Gamble:
Sticking with one story at a time.  In fact, I find it easier to have two projects going at once, so I can move back and forth when my mind decides to jump tracks.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What do you think makes a good story?

Kelly Stone Gamble:
Great characters.  When I read, I want to feel like I know a character or two, even if they are whacky or a bit deranged.  Realistic, interesting characters are what keeps me interested enough to turn the pages.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Which, of all your characters, do you think is the most like you?

Kelly Stone Gamble:
Fat Tina, the strip club owner.  People like her, they are a little bit afraid of her, and she takes care of business.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Why did you pick your particular genre?

Kelly Stone Gamble:
I think it chose me.  I started with an idea, a woman burying her husband in an unfinished koi pond, and wrote the first chapter several times.  Class began as a very serious, troubled woman, which reminded me of Francine Hughes in The Burning Bed.  However, I found it difficult to write so much pain into a character without having some humor to offset it.  Once I discovered who I really wanted Cass to be, the rest followed.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What makes your book different from others out there in this genre?

Kelly Stone Gamble:
You'll fall in love with a warm farmer.  What other book can say that?

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What can we expect from you in the future?

Kelly Stone Gamble:
I have two more books coming in this series, more crazy characters in Deacon, Kansas, and I also have a historical fiction novel set during the building of the Hoover Dam that is in its two hundredth revision.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Thanks for stopping by, Kelly.  I'm excited about two more books to this series!!
            One more thing before you go:  Where can we find you?

Kelly Stone Gamble:

More about the author:
Kelly Stone Gamble lives in a hunting lodge in Idabel, Oklahoma, and spends way too much time looking for Bigfoot and the Ivory-Billed Woodpecker, both of which are said to reside in her 1,800 acre backyard.  When she isn't writing, trying to keep her dog from befriending a skunk, or shooting various wildlife (camera shooting, that is), she teaches Communications, Humanities and English to students at Southeastern Oklahoma State University.

2 comments:

Kelly Gamble said...

Thank you for having me!

Meghan H said...

You're very welcome!! And you can come back any time :)