I was honored to have the chance to interview author Kelsey Bryant on her life, writings, and upcoming book!
I’ve known Kelsey for almost four years now, and I can honestly say she is one of the nicest people to be around. Kelsey befriended me right away, and I’ve had a blast getting to know her more and more over the years. She’s also an exceptional writer. Check out her answers below and then head over to her blog to read more!
What can you tell us about yourself? Starting with the obvious, I’m 24 years old, tall, and redheaded. I love being active—working and playing hard—but sitting down to work and play with words is my favorite part of each day. My family consists of my mom and dad, my brother and sister-in-law, four awesome people whom I don’t know what I’d do without! I’m a homeschool graduate who works part-time and writes whenever she can. I wouldn’t be anything without the Lord God, and my greatest desire is to glorify Him.
What are the main differences between your first book and your second, and how have the characters changed? In Family Reunion, set in Central Texas, I was exploring a limited setting—the kind of environment most young teenagers live in, where they have to learn how to handle family and friend relationships with grace. It’s that environment that really forms character and prepares us for a wider life. In England Adventure, set a few months later, Marielle’s world expands when she and her cousins travel to England and she meets someone whose life and family are really falling apart. She uses the lessons she learned during her family reunion to deal with this situation and the stress of traveling abroad for two weeks. (I’ve traveled like that before, so I know how much it stretches your character!) In general, all six cousins grow to some extent or another, and they also get to tootle around with an older couple and their granddaughter, all of whom possessed new and really fun personalities to write.
Who inspires/encourages you to write? God does, foremost, because He is so creative and has given me an unquenchable thirst for doing this kind of thing. I’m excited that He can use my words to sow a message of hope in His Kingdom. My family members and writing friends spur me on, just through listening, giving advice, and being my fans, and so do my other fans … it’s still hard for me to fathom that girls I don’t know have had my book resonate so much with them. It’s a wonderful feeling. Other authors, old and new, remind me daily of why I love working with words and just can’t stop. Classic authors like Jane Austen, L.M. Montgomery, Louisa May Alcott, and Elizabeth Goudge represent the enduring power of story and give me something to strive for.
What do you hope people will gain by reading your work? I hope they’ll be drawn closer to the Lord and inspired to pour out their lives for Him; that they’ll be uplifted and encouraged; that they’ll realize the beauty and importance of everyday life; and that their souls will be enriched by well-chosen words (which I really strive for as I write … that may not sound as important as the other things, but from my own experience, reading good writing makes me happy!).
Do you have any advice for other aspiring writers? Figure out why you want to write, because—I think this is true for every writer—if you don’t have a greater goal spurring you on, you won’t be able to see your work through to end and make it the best it can be. It’s too easy to give up polishing a manuscript when you’re not really committed to seeing your words in print, to helping others, to speaking a message God gave you, or to whatever your goal may be. Be committed, and don’t let more than a day or two go by without somehow doing something to further the direction of your writing.
What do you like to do when you’re not writing? My next favorite things still have to do with words (I must be an addict): I read, study the Bible, and edit. When I just can’t sit still any longer, I enjoy exercising, making cards, and playing piano. Hanging out and chatting with friends never goes amiss, and there’s definitely satisfaction to be had in working at my two jobs—light remodeling and teaching martial arts.
If you could pick any superpower, what would it be? Flying, hands down. I’ve lost count of the dreams I’ve had where I jump into the air and fly wherever I wanted—I almost seem to know exactly how it would be done, if I could ever get the chance! (Send Peter Pan to my house if you ever see him.)
Secret (or not so secret) celebrity crush? Hmm … I have a hard time with these types of questions. 🙂 Danny Kaye’s sweet, happy sense of humor is so endearing, but Cary Elwes (of Princess Bride fame) is so dashingly good-looking.
How can readers connect with you? I love hearing from readers on my blog, Kelsey’s Notebook, and on my Facebook page and on Goodreads. I have a website: http://kelseybryantauthor.weebly.com/ if you want to know any more about me! I generally keep these things well updated.
Thanks for the interview, Kelsey! Looking forward to your book!
Thank you so much for having me, Cheyanne! It was fun and I reallllly appreciate that you wanted to talk with me!
Bio: Kelsey Bryant is a homeschool graduate from Central Texas. Books have been a part of her family for generations. Ever since she can remember, Kelsey has been writing stories and dreaming of the magical moment when her books would join the ranks. She draws inspiration from the Greatest Story Ever Told, which culminates in the Messiah’s salvation offered to every person. Her life would be meaningless without her relationship with Yeshua (Jesus). She’s also inspired by the classics, especially the works of her favorite authors Jane Austen, L. M. Montgomery, Elizabeth Gaskell, and Louisa May Alcott. She loves history and even her contemporary fiction has a historical bent.
For as long as she can remember, Marielle has dreamed of seeing England in person. When kind grandparents send her and her cousins there to visit old friends, she can hardly wait to see the places she’s known in fiction and film. The Endicotts are perfect hosts—and their worldly American granddaughter Paris, perfectly beautiful.
But it soon turns out that nothing is as it seems. Her cousins Abby and Reanna, once the best of friends, appear deeply at odds, and the picture-perfect Endicott family is hiding secrets of its own. Distanced by an ocean from home and her family’s protection, Marielle finds herself challenged by a troubling new world. She befriends Paris, but Paris seems opposed to what Marielle stands for. Can Marielle be the witness who helps Paris overcome the lifestyle that’s harming her? Or will Marielle and her cousins be overwhelmed by the conflict this supposed dream trip has brought them?
Releases March 20!