A little bit about Kelly...
Kelly Bridgewater is the Assistant Editor and a Featured Reviewer at The Christian Manifesto. She is also an active member of My Book Therapy and ACFW. Two of her short stories, Letting Go and Moving on, have been published. She finished her Bachelor and Masters degree in English at Indiana State University where she taught Freshman Composition. She has completed two complete manuscripts, Missing and Deadly Hunt, which she hopes one day will be published. Currently, she's working on a three part trilogy that she's in the process of writing and can't wait to introduce Devin Sanders and Chloe Walker to the world. She resides in Western Indiana with her husband, their three sons, and their two dogs.
How to connect with Kelly...
Goodreads: Kelly Bridgewater
Two other blogs I am a contributor to: Hoosier Ink (Indiana’s ACFW) www.hoosierink.blogspot.com and Sleuths and Suspects (www.sleuthsandsuspects.blogspot.com)
Writer Interview | Kelly Bridgewater
You and Writing
Tell us a little bit about yourself: How did you start writing? What has kept you writing?
...I am a stay-at-home mother of three boys ages 13, 10, and 6 and a half. My youngest started kindergarten this past fall, so I have more spare time to create and write, which has been really great. This fall, I have been married for fourteen years to my best friend. I’m extremely grateful that he allows me to stay home and pursue my dreams. I have a Bachelor’s in English and a Masters in Writing from Indiana State University where I taught Freshman composition for two years.
...I started writing when my father handed me a journal to record my thoughts, feelings, short stories, or anything. As an immature young lady, I only wrote in it when I was upset with my parents. The pages sprawled with red markings declaring I hated my parents. As I matured, I learned the value of writing down my feelings and my story ideas. I would fill notebook pages with chapters, wanting to complete my story. I used to get laughed out in school because I always had my nose in a book or a notebook where I daydreamed a lot.
...I have kept writing because I can’t stop. Trust me, I have tried a lot because I have entered a number of contests and haven’t earned high scores. I kept begging God to stop giving me this desire, but he keeps plopping down story ideas in front of me. The next thing I know, I’m sitting in front of a computer, typing away the hours, allowing my imagination to run free.
Do you have a favorite book?
...My favorite book is The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas. I was introduced to this 1,062 page book when I was sophomore in high school. I signed up for a senior level creative writing course, and this was the book that was assigned. We had all semester to read it, but I finished it in one week. I loved it so much that I re-read it two more times that semester. Adventure. Revenge. Romance. Buried Treasure. Forgiveness. Just the type of books I’m still drawn to today.
**Leave a comment below to win a Kindle version of this book!
Tell us a little bit about what you’re working on currently? Why are you/did you write it?
...I’m working on a three-part series called The Lockwood Mills Files. They are romantic suspense books, but I have tried to make it a little different than most romantic suspense books because I want the romance between the hero and heroine to take place over the course of the three books. The mystery will coincide with the same arch. I have written the trilogy so that the mystery will appear to be wrapped up in each individual book, but when you read the next one, you notice it wasn’t. It has been tricky, leaving my own trail of clues from the beginning to the end, but I’m working on it.
Do you have a favorite character in this work? If so, why?
...My favorite character is my hero, Devin Sanders. He carries around a lot of guilt from his past. From his parent’s divorce to the break-up between him and the heroine, Chloe Walker, but through the story, you will watch him change and grow, by owning up to his mistakes and allowing God to forgive him and accept his forgiveness. Because understanding God has forgiven us is easier sometimes than truly accepting his forgiveness. I want Devin to truly change before he can accept Chloe completely back into his life.
What is one take-away from your book that you hope readers identify with?
...I want readers to learn that forgiveness is easy to confess, but until you actually embrace that God has truly forgiven you, than it will be hard for you to truly forgive others.
Where do you find inspiration for your story/characters? Are they based on real life or pure imagination or both?
...The first thing that comes to me when I’m writing is the ending. I may not even know who the hero or heroine is but the ending or the climactic moment jumps in front of me. I sit down and write down what I think should be the biggest moment of the story. I backtrack by thinking of climactic moments that could strangle my characters more and more. Eventually, I sit down and interview characters from my character bank before finding the perfect hero and heroine who would be great for my story.
...My inspiration for my characters come from maybe a clip of a character who I admire in a movie or television show, but then I walk away and come up with a backstory that I think fits the characters.
What advice would you give to aspiring authors for writing and/or publishing?
...Be patient! Keep writing! I have Psalm 37: 7 and James 5: 7-11 on notecards near my computer. It is really hard. I have wanted to give up so many times, but writing is liking breathing; I can’t live without it.
Do you listen to music when you write? If so, what do you listen to?
...Yes, I listen to a radio station that I stream through the internet called Radiou (www.radiou.com). They play alternative Christian music. I like my music a little louder than the contemporary Christian music. I like praise and worship, but it must be loud and vocal. A couple of my favorite bands are We As Humans, I am Empire, Wolves at the Gate, Thousand Foot Krutch, and House of Heroes. On a side note, I can’t stand Hillsong or Francesca Battistelli. Both make me cringe when they are played.
What is your favorite season and why?
...Winter. I love everything about winter. Snow, ice, sledding, making snowman, drinking hot cocoa, and bundling up in layers make me feel nice and cozy. I love sweaters. Winter gives me time to lose myself in a good book. I wish winter was all year round.
What is your favorite genre to read? Why do you enjoy it?
...I love romantic suspense and action books. I don’t want to be bored with characters that do normal things while wondering over and over and over again if they really like someone or does someone like them. Kill someone already! I need the action of discovering a killer or stalker to keep me interested.
In the mean time, I thought it would be fun to offer one of Kelly's favorite classics as a fun little giveaway. Leave a comment below for Kelly or commenting on your favorite genre to read and you could win a Kindle version of this amazing book.