Kelly Elizabeth Huston –  Unveiling the Creative Tapestry

Navigating Genre, Empowering Characters, and Embracing the Indie Journey

Explore the multifaceted world of author Kelly Elizabeth Huston, as she discusses her eclectic storytelling, empowering female protagonists, and the transition to indie publishing in a captivating interview.

Kelly Elizabeth Huston, a luminary in the realm of fiction, crafts narratives that are as eclectic as they are captivating. Her stories traverse genres with ease, weaving together elements of humour, romance, suspense, and mystery into tapestries of literary delight. With an unmistakable knack for infusing her tales with heart, humour, and a touch of intrigue, Kelly’s novels offer readers an immersive experience that lingers long after the final page is turned.

Venturing beyond the constraints of traditional publishing, Kelly embraced the indie route with gusto, propelling her literary creations into the world with fervour and determination. Her journey underscores a profound belief in the power of storytelling and the autonomy of the artist—a sentiment that resonates deeply in every word she writes.

In her latest interview with Reader’s House magazine, Kelly Elizabeth Huston opens up about her creative process, the inspiration behind her novels, and the challenges and rewards of her transition to indie publishing. Through insightful discussions on themes of resilience, empowerment, and the intricacies of the human experience, Kelly offers readers a glimpse into the inner workings of her imagination.

With strong, multifaceted female protagonists at the helm of her narratives, Kelly champions the importance of agency and diversity in storytelling. Her characters are a reflection of the complexities of real life, navigating challenges with wit, determination, and an unwavering spirit.

From the whimsical to the profound, Kelly’s novels strike a delicate balance between levity and depth, infusing even the most suspenseful moments with a dash of humour. Her dedication to entertaining her readers shines through in every chapter, inviting them on a journey filled with laughter, tears, and everything in between.

Aspiring writers seeking guidance will find solace in Kelly’s advice, rooted in her own experiences as a pantser—a testament to the beauty of embracing one’s unique creative process. Through her words of wisdom, Kelly encourages fellow storytellers to follow their instincts, embrace the joy of creation, and fearlessly chart their own path in the world of literature.

In essence, Kelly Elizabeth Huston’s interview offers a glimpse into the mind of a visionary storyteller—one whose passion for her craft illuminates every page, leaving an indelible mark on the literary landscape. Join us as we delve into the rich tapestry of Kelly’s imagination and discover the magic woven within her words.

Your novels seem to blend different genres seamlessly, offering readers a mix of humour, romance, suspense, and mystery. What draws you to this eclectic style of storytelling, and how do you manage to balance these elements effectively? 

It’s a blessing and a curse. I suppose I fell for the old adage: Write the book you want to read. Not the best marketing move for the traditional space, but I’m finding readers who enjoy the genre blend. Life is funny and scary and romantic and sad, so I enjoy books that mirror that. I haven’t had many complaints. Most readers want characters to root for. Give them that and they will follow them anywhere.

 Tex Miller Is Dead explores the intricate relationship between an author and her fictional creation, Tex Miller. What inspired you to delve into this metafictional concept, and how did you navigate the complexities of blurring the lines between reality and fiction within the narrative?

Sometimes, as writers, we reach a moment when we think, “I’d like to see other people.” My first complete manuscript, that lives in a drawer and will NEVER see the light of day, consumed me, but I wanted to try something different. Still, I didn’t know how to let go of the characters in that first story. That’s how the notion of “killing” a protagonist developed. How do you evict characters and stories that live inside your head? TEX and his fun just tumbled out of me from there.

 In A Very Crowded House, the protagonist Jocelyn Durand finds herself facing unexpected challenges when she meets her literary idol, Asher Cray. Can you discuss the themes of idolization, perception versus reality, and overcoming obstacles that are explored in this novel? 

I touch on this idea of literary idols in TEX MILLER too. I have a few idols but I cannot imagine meeting them. Don’t really want to, but my hope is, just like Callie and Asher and Jocelyn… my idols are just regular people, with the same fears, quirks, insecurities as the rest of us.

 A Girl, Stuck” introduces us to Harriet “Harry” Smith, a private investigator with a complicated past. What motivated you to create such a multifaceted character, and how does Harry’s journey reflect broader themes of resilience, redemption, and moral ambiguity?

I love Harry so much. She is incredibly flawed but in the way I think so many of us are in those early adult years—so sure of who we are and what we can accomplish, but not realizing all the study, effort, and falling flat it takes to truly be prepared to succeed. We want to skip the hard part, the grunt work. Throw forbidden romantic attraction on that fire and even the best and brightest are going to make some serious mistakes. Again, the reflection of real life. It’s how one perseveres in the face of all that tumult that makes an interesting story.

Many of your novels feature strong female protagonists navigating complex situations. How important is it for you to portray empowered women in your stories, and what messages do you hope readers take away from these characters? 

Well, I hope they end up stronger in the end, for sure. “My” women are sorts of things: smart, generous, wicked, not the brightest bulb, funny, fierce advocates, and troubling antagonists. I could go on. Whether they are a side character or the principal attraction, I hope the women I create are as varied as in real life. Agency is the key. If they don’t have it, they need to claim it or suffer the consequences. Hopefully, good thwarts bad. Eventually. 

 As someone who has transitioned from traditional publishing to indie publishing, what have been the most significant challenges and rewards of this journey? 

How does being an indie author influence your creative process and interaction with your readership? The learning curve is steep. I was determined to make the leap from traditional to self-publishing with as little difference in end-product as possible. It means a significant investment in time and money. That said, I wouldn’t change a thing. In the same time (two years) one traditionally published writer-friend will get her book to market I will have ended my relationship with my agent and published four books. And for me, nothing is better than getting read and enjoyed by strangers. Add the control I have over design and content, not having to share royalties, or face voided contracts? In the absence of some extraordinary lightning strike, I believe the indie route is the best track for my books over the slow-motion, gatekept, traditional publishing model. No matter the artform, I believe the creators should always end up on top.

 Your novels often incorporate elements of humour, even in the midst of suspenseful or emotional scenes. How do you approach incorporating humour into your writing, and why do you believe it’s essential to maintain a balance of levity in your stories? 

I grew up with Reader’s Digest and their “Laughter is the Best Medicine” segments. I am a believer and I live my life that way. If I’m hurt or scared or nervous, embarrassed, excited, surprised… you name it, I tend to lead with the funny. Not always appropriate, but that’s me. My goal with my writing has always been to entertain. Sure, I hope readers think and feel and open their minds to how others might think and feel like so many stories my more serious novelist-friends write, but in the end I hope I have satisfied the reader and they think, “Wow, that was fun!”

 Can you provide insight into your writing process? Do you meticulously plan out your plots and characters, or do you allow the story to evolve more organically as you write? 

Additionally, what advice do you have for aspiring writers looking to embark on their own writing journey? I am a complete and total PANTSER. I have tried plotting —taken workshops, read craft books, but my brain doesn’t work that way. I’ll “meet” a character and see a scene, then try to find my way to that place. That scene has NEVER turned out to be what I thought it was at first. Not once. It fascinates me how I am so wrong every time. I am a big believer in doing whatever works for the creative. Whatever brings the joy… and the words to the page.

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