I am dying for everyone to read Gravemaidens. Her Skeleton Crew (see below) is ready for it! Anyone lucky enough to read it already, is just like GEEZE GET IT OUT THERE ALREADY THE WORLD NEEDS GRAVEMAIDENS NOW, ALREADY. But, is author Kelly Coon, ready for it? Not exactly.
But what author ever is ready? Especially when it is your debut? Can you be ready? That is like asking someone if they are ready for marriage or having children. If you wait till you are ready, chances are you just won’t do it. Well, Kelly Coon has done it. And that isn’t all she has done.
Check Back on Monday, October 14th for our second Blog Tour Stop – A review of Gravemaidens
Mom, wife, full-time editor, social media author support-group leader extraordinaire and writer, Kelly doesn’t stop. The question is… is she running on fumes? Or blood? Read on, my friends… read on.
Psst- Please see Gravemaiden Pre-Order information at the end of the post
1) As of when I’m typing this, you are a month out from Gravemaidens being unleashed into the world. When this interview posts it will be the month it releases. What is your current level of:
I think we’re sitting at an extremely high level of emotional flailing right now, complete with hysterics and sleepless nights.
2) On that same point- how is your family holding up?
Remarkably well. haha I’m not sure they realize the emotional turmoil bringing a book to life involves because momma has to keep it together.
3) Is there any one thing that someone could have said… Kelly X is going to happen leading up to the release date, and you would have cackled like a hyena, but has now actually happened and you are just shocked? Like you could have never seen that coming in a million years.
I had no idea the level of support GRAVEMAIDENS and I would be receiving. I get DMs from people telling me how the feminist aspects of the story inspired them, or how the levels of grief that Kammani goes through really hit home. It’s been wild, knowing that something I have felt deeply also resonates with other people.
3) You have to be one of the most engaged authors, in the writing community that I follow on twitter- not that I follow all of them. You retweet everyone and their deceased relatives. You host the 2019, 2020 through like 2025 novel release twitter chats. What is your motivation? And how do you find the time between mom, wife and author?
And full-time working editor! Honestly, I’m a vampire and do not sleep. I tweet from my coffin most nights.
But SERIOUSLY, I do a lot of scheduling. I schedule social posts, and as a card-carrying Ravenclaw, I’m a huge planner. I have a gigantic white board on my office wall that helps me keep track of everything from kids’ sportball games to editorial assignments to due dates for my books. It keeps me as sane as I can possibly be while juggling so many things.
My motivation is, and will continue to be, this internal drive I have inside to be relentless in my pursuit of my goals. For whatever reason, I’ve always been a dog with a bone. If I want something, I will go after it with everything in me. I like being able to show my sons that I can do it, and that helps motivate me, too.
4) Gravemaidens will be a success if <fill in the blank
I can’t control the market, and I can’t control how well-received Gravemaidens is. The only thing I can do is keep writing, promote in my little corner of the Internet, and let my publisher and this book do its thing. I think once you share your story, it’s not really yours anymore. I wrote it, but it was out of my hands, really, once I finished pass pages. I’m considering it a success because I sold it in the first place. That’s really all I can measure!
5) With Gravemaidens, and I believe (but correct me if I’m wrong), another project you have in the works, your religious beliefs have played a large role in the inspiration and storylines. Can you explain the why and how that has come to pass?
I was raised in a fundamentalist environment, so I was hearing about human sacrifice since the time I was a little kid. Although I’m not a fundamentalist anymore, the willingness of someone to die for something they believe in is compelling to me. Once I read some history about the ancient practices of human sacrifices all over the planet, I knew I wanted to set my story in a fantasy world where this was revered.
Although upcoming projects don’t tackle human sacrifice (sadly, haha), they do touch on aspects of my fundamentalist upbringing—a woman’s place in the world, what women can choose to do with their lives—that always puzzled me in my childhood religion.
6) Talk about your Skeleton Crew! Who is this masked group of people?
Oh gosh! Well, YOU are an illustrious member, of course! But the Skeleton Crew is a rowdy group of book enthusiasts who have volunteered to help spread the word about Gravemaidens. They are some of the most fiercely loyal people on the interwebs, and I am so, so lucky to have their support. It means the world to me to have this street team!
I think it is pretty safe to say that we love you and believe in Gravemaidens wholeheartedly!
7) I’m sure you’ve done a ton of interviews by now – is there anything you would like to say before Gravemaidens takes the world by storm that you haven’t yet had a chance to say?
This book definitely has some darker elements to it—a certain tomb scene might raise the hair on your head—but overall, it’s a story of courage, sisterhood, and heart, and has some sweet moments that might surprise you.
Thank you so much for having me, Susan! It’s been my pleasure to chat with you
Kelly Coon Bio
Kelly Coon is a young adult author represented by Kari Sutherland of Bradford Lit, an editor for Blue Ocean Brain, a member of the Washington Post Talent Network, a former high school English teacher, and the author of two test prep guides, ACT STRATEGY SMART and ACE THE ACT.
Kelly was the test prep expert for About.com for seven years, and has been published with both Scholastic and MSN in the education arena. In the parenting realm, Kelly has been published in The Washington Post, Scary Mommy, ParentMap, Folks, and others sites, regaling tales of life in the trenches with her three boys. She adores giving female characters the chance to flex their muscles and use their brains, and wishes every story got the happy ending she’s living near Tampa with her sons, brilliant husband, and a rescue pup who will steal your sandwich. Gravemaidens is her debut novel.
Gravemaidens Synopsis and Pre-Order/Giveaway Link/Information
In the walled city-state of Alu, Kammani wants nothing more than to become the accomplished healer her father used to be…before her family was cast out of their privileged life in shame.
When Alu’s ruler falls deathly ill, Kammani’s beautiful little sister, Nanaea, is chosen as one of three sacred maidens to join him in the afterlife. It’s an honor. A tradition. And Nanaea believes it is her chance to live an even grander life than the one that was stolen from her.
But Kammani sees the selection for what it really is—a death sentence.
Desperate to save her sister, Kammani schemes her way into the palace to heal the ruler. There, she discovers more danger lurking in the sandstone corridors than she could have ever imagined and that her own life—and heart—are at stake. But Kammani will stop at nothing to dig up the palace’s buried secrets even if it means sacrificing everything…including herself.
Gravemaidens Pre-Order Information and Links