Interview with Kerry Kelly, author of The Family Album

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Interview with Kerry Kelly, author of The Family Album

Posted on February 7 by Kerry Kelly
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Today we're talking to Kerry Kelly, author of The Family Album, about her book, her creative process and the best advice that she ever received as a writer!

Caitlyn: How did you come up with the idea for this work?

Kelly: A friend told me a story about how, after years of amicable separation, the news of her ex-husband's impending fatherhood stirred up irrational and very raw feelings for her. It was not a longing for him, but a sort of nostalgia of the path not taken, or perhaps not fully taken.  It made me curious to explore the unspoken fact that we never really let go of the people we choose, or are forced, to live without. We can, at times, be defined as much by those lost to us, as those we cling to.

Caitlyn: How did you come up with the title?

Kelly: The book is really a series of snapshots of a family during a specific period of time. Our relationships are fluid and, with those we love, often volatile. The reader here is a bit of a voyeur... popping in and out of both the best and the worst portrayals of a family and left to come to their own conclusions about how they (dis)function as a unit.  The Family Album seemed to pay homage to this idea.

Caitlyn: What was the creative process like for you?

Kelly: When writing, I often find myself attempting to capture lived experiences to the greatest extent possible. This often goes beyond observations and can result in extended periods of wandering around talking to myself... having the arguments, feeling the slights or the sublime moments. It seems the only way for me to really gauge the authenticity of the reaction from my characters. It also leads to a lot a odd glances from strangers.

Caitlyn: What's the best advice you've ever received as a writer?

Kelly: As magical as it may seem, the writing process is simply getting the words down.  You do it because you have a story to tell and a desire to tell it. If it's not good enough for anyone else, that's not your concern. The work is to iterate you story and it's no more mystical than that. It was incredibly liberating.

Caitlyn: Who did you read as a young adult?

Kelly: Kurt Vonnegut was, and still is, a huge influence. My all time favourite line from a piece of fiction is "Listen." The acknowledgment  of the audience, and the conspiratorial nature of his storytelling is so compelling.  Roddy Doyle is another great in my books. The naturalness of his voice, his dialogue. It's brilliant.

Kerry Kelly

Posted by Kendra on December 6, 2014

Kerry Kelly

Kerry Kelly is a native of North Bay, Ontario. She has been a full-time professional print and Web writer since 1998. Her byline has appeared in publications such as the Toronto Star, NOW, the Calgary Herald, and the Sudbury Star. Her debut novel, The Year She Left, was published in 2008. She lives in Toronto.