Author Crush Friday with Kelsey Sutton
Glitter girls, you have pressing questions for your favorite authors and we have their answers. Welcome to our weekly segment, Author Crush Fridays.
We love asking questions and we love the answers from some of our favorite authors. Today we’re talking to Kelsey Sutton, author of the new completely captivating YA, Smoke and Key (April 2, 2019; Entangled Teen). Sutton was inspired by Tim Burton’s A Corpse Bride and the first scene when Key wakes up in her own grave. Thank you for talking to us today, Kelsey! We’re honored! If you haven’t picked up Smoke and Key yet, run, don’t walk to grab this one at your local bookstore!
GLITTER: Tell us five things that people might not know about you.
KELSEY: I’m learning the piano. I have a passion for animal rescue. One of my dreams is to write a screenplay. My mother is from Mexico. And I’m double-jointed.
GLITTER: How would you describe your writing to a new reader?
KELSEY: Reviewers have called my writing “purple prose”, which I am very okay with. My stories are usually weird, have some kind of magic or creature in them, and always a romance of some kind!
GLITTER: How do you find the emotional truths in your writing?
KELSEY: When I was younger, they came from my own experiences or sensations. I’d put little pieces of me or my life within the storylines. A loved one with Asperger’s. A child being abused. A rural setting. While I don’t believe my books are perfect, I do hope that I at least accomplished this—emotional truths.
GLITTER: What one question sparked the whole plot of Smoke and Key?
KELSEY: There wasn’t any one question. My inspiration was a combination of Tim Burton’s A Corpse Bride and that very first scene in which Key wakes up in her own grave. I loved the feel of Burton’s film—the characters and the setting—but it wasn’t quite dark enough for me, what with the musical numbers and the playful feel of some scenes. So when I wrote that first scene, which had been in my head for a while, I knew exactly what kind of emotion and imagery I wanted for the reader.
GLITTER: Is Smoke and Key a personal book for you in any way?
KELSEY: Weirdly enough, not this one. Most of my books have been highly personal in some way or another, but this book was just fun to write. It has all my favorite ingredients—the Victorian era, a Tim Burton feel, a unique premise, romance, and an action-packed climax.
GLITTER: Do you have any particular writing rituals?
KELSEY: I don’t need much when I’m writing, but for some reason, a beverage is essential for me. It’s one thing every one of my books has in common; I was drinking coffee or wine during its creation.
GLITTER: What character do you relate most to?
KELSEY: Great question! I actually sat and thought about the answer for a while. I don’t know if this is allowed, but I don’t see myself or relate to any of the characters in Smoke and Key. This is the first time I can say that. Key is so logical and driven to find answers. Smoke is charming and wild. Ribbon is a mother figure. Journal is consumed by his research and his solitude. None of that is me. Which is such a new and exciting sensation; I feel like I’m growing as a writer!
GLITTER: Do you have anything that you love to collect?
KELSEY: Books, books, and books. Every time I move, they’re a huge pain the butt, and everyone helping me complains about how many I have. But they’re worth it.
I’m also very weird about loaning them out. (Don’t judge me.)
GLITTER: What one piece of advice could you give any teen going through difficult times now?
KELSEY: As a person who was homeless as a teenager, and as someone who worked at a high school for two years as an adult, the one thing I tell them most is the cliché. This. Will. Pass. Things will get better. Change will come.
All we can do is survive, and fight, and cling to our passions and our souls until that time comes.
GLITTER: Did any of the authors you read in high school affect how you write now?
KELSEY: Sarah Dessen. One hundred percent. This may seem strange, as she writes contemporary and my novels are decidedly not, but to this day I still adore how real and poignant certain moments in her books are. Now I try to achieve moments like this in my own writing.
GLITTER: What are you passionate about in life?
KELSEY: I am fortunate in that I have many, many passions. Writing, reading, photography, dog rescue, my partner, and so much more.
GLITTER: What are you working on right now?
KELSEY: This is always my favorite question. I am actually self-publishing for the first time this year! The novel will be the first in a series. It’s an adult urban fantasy entitled Fortuna Sworn. It’s already on Goodreads, and I’ll soon be putting it up on Amazon for pre-order! Here’s the synopsis:
Fortuna Sworn is the last of her kind.
Her brother disappeared two years ago, leaving her with no family or species to speak of. She hides among humans, spending her days working at a bar and her nights searching for him. The bleak pattern goes on and on… until she catches the eye of a powerful faerie.
He makes no attempt to hide that he desires Fortuna. And in exchange for her, he offers something irresistible. So Fortuna reluctantly leaves her safe existence behind to step back into a world of creatures and power.
It soon becomes clear that she may not have bargained with her heart, but her very life.
Thank you so much for having me on Glitter Magazine!
Kelsey Sutton is a young adult and middle grade author. She lives in Minnesota, where she received a dual bachelor’s degree in English and Creative Writing from Bemidji State University. She will soon have a master’s degree from Hamline University. Her work has received an Independent Publisher Book Award, an IndieFab Award, and was selected as a Kirkus Reviews Best Teen Book of 2013. When not writing, Kelsey can be found watching too much Netflix, ordering a mocha at the nearest coffee shop, napping with her rescue dogs, or browsing a bookstore. You can visit her online at www.kelseysuttonbooks.com, like her on Facebook, and follow her on Twitter or Instagram.