Let's talk about writing, my stories, and my life after breast cancer. A conversation with Kat Kelly, Ask ME Anything.

Kathryn Kelly
Jan 10, 2018

#Askmeanything! I'll be here to talk about writing, my stories, and my life after breast cancer. Do you want to know about one of my characters? Are you a Kendall hater or one of her super fans? Discover my plans for the Death Dweller MC characters and the sons of the bikers. But there's more! If you're an aspiring author, I may have tips. You can even ask me about her dogs and cats and their behavior while I write. :-) 



Comments are locked

Conversation (49)

In three easy steps and under a minute you could be hosting your own AMA. Join our passionate community of AMA hosts and schedule your own AMA today.

Let's get started!

How many more years do you plan to write?

Dec 28, 8:39AM EST0

For as long as the ideas come to me, I intend to write. I could write another two years or another twenty. I take it one day at a time. As long as the passion is still there, I won't stop.

Dec 28, 8:40PM EST0

When did you discover about breast cancer? What symptoms caused you to seek Doctors' advice?

Dec 28, 3:07AM EST0

In 2010, I felt a lump in my breast. I went to my gynecologist and he referred me to a breast specialist. He said he wanted to be safe rather than sorry. It was just a small lump at the time. I had a mammogram and the radiologist told me I needed to scale back on the caffeine. I had a cup of coffee every day and a can of Coke. I did as suggested. I was told I had cysts and dense breasts. However, to be on the safe side, I needed to have a mammogram and ultrasound every 6 months. I did so for the 12 or 18 months, but I got tired of hearing the same thing, especially since I was barely drinking anything with caffeine any more. Fast forward to June 2015. I'd gone to have a mammogram that January, so I intended to wait until January 2016 to have another one. But the lump had become a mass and I was in terrible pain. I'd also started to have pain prior to my January mammogram but the doctor said she wasn't concerned about the pain. My mother convinced me to have the scheduled June mammogram. (It was actually July before I could get an appointment). I decided to switch the hospital where I had the test done. The radiologist at Methodist ordered a biopsy, which I had on August 3rd. On August 5th, my doctor called and told me I had aggressive breast cancer. I spent most of the next day at the hospital for pre-op to have a port placed in my chest. The port was placed on August 12th and I developed an infection. I had to get a pick line placed in my arm and have antiobiotics pumped into me 24 hours a day for a month. The doctor told me the mammogram showing the cancer had completely changed from the original one. I've always thought the cancer was always there. It had been dismissed, however.

Dec 28, 8:51PM EST0
Show all 3 replies

Is writing profession a lucrative one?

Dec 27, 2:03PM EST0

For a lucky few, yes. But I write because I love it. Whether you're self-published, independently published, or traditionally published, the competition is fierce. You have to enter the business with the goal of expressing your creativity and seeing any wealth to be gained as secondary. 

Dec 28, 8:54PM EST0
Show all 3 replies

Can we safely say that writing is indeed a form of therapy?

Dec 27, 8:15AM EST0

Yes! It certainly is. It helps me to express myself and live vicariously (sometimes) through my characters. There are times when I'm in a certain mood and I'll write the character from that same perspective and actually feel better afterwards.

Dec 28, 8:55PM EST0

What inspiration did you draw your story from?

Dec 27, 4:44AM EST0

I draw my stories from a variety of place. The Phoenix Rising Series came from my love of music and stories about older men going with much younger women. For the Death Dwellers, that's an entirely different story. As cliche as this sounds, Christopher came to me in a dream and wouldn't leave me alone until I got his story on paper.

Dec 28, 8:58PM EST0

Who is the best writer for you? Do you also follow her style of writing?

Dec 26, 1:09PM EST0

This is a hard one to answer. I read so many different writers. Two of my favorites are at the complete end of the writing spectrum, in the persons of Madeline Sheehan and Eloisa James, lol. While I admire them, (and several more), it is important to develop your own style and voice. 

Dec 26, 2:32PM EST0

What did you need to improve in your skills before you started Authoring books?

Dec 26, 2:03AM EST0

Hmmm. Let's see. Honestly, there's no one thing I needed to improve, lol.  The important thing was getting the words down on paper and I would figure out everything else afterwards. I read articles and books (especially from Writer's Digest) about everything from plotting to setting to dialogue. It's imperative that I keep an open mind in all areas. For me, when I write, I'm always learning. I believe once I close my mind to beng taught new things, then I will compromise my craft. Nowadays, when I send my stories out to my beta readers, I always take into account whatever the point out. I'm a reader, but it is hard to separate myself from my work and find all the flaws, so I pay attention to constructive criticism and learn from the comments. To me, improving your skill is always a work-in-progress.

Dec 26, 2:30PM EST0

Who do you base Phoenix's character from?

Dec 26, 1:19AM EST0

No one in particular. Sloane Mason and his band, Phoenix Rising, are an amalgamation of my favorite bands. As for Georgie and Sloane's ages,  I took the idea from some of the reports in celebrity magazines. Sloane did end up in jail for the relationship. When Sloane and Georgie's story came to me, I didn't think about their ages. This story wanted to come out. I've received a lot of flak for it, but I had to be true to the story that wanted to be told.

Dec 26, 2:21PM EST0

Who do you base Phoenix's character from?

Dec 26, 1:19AM EST0

No one in particular. Sloane Mason and his band, Phoenix Rising, are an amalgamation of my favorite bands. As for Georgie and Sloane's ages,  I took the idea from some of the reports in celebrity magazines. Sloane did end up in jail for the relationship. When Sloane and Georgie's story came to me, I didn't think about their ages. This story wanted to come out. I've received a lot of flak for it, but I had to be true to the story that wanted to be told.

Dec 26, 2:21PM EST0

It's been book 3. Will there be Book 4?

Dec 25, 7:07PM EST0

I would love to write a couple more books in the Phoenix Rising series, but it all depends on interest. There's definitely Abby and Parnell's story floating around in my head. 

Dec 26, 2:13PM EST0
Show all 3 replies

Do you have your own dog or cat as a pet?

Dec 24, 4:06AM EST0

Yes! We have dogs and cats. My daughters and I absolutely love animals. The attached photo is of Mikos, my youngest daughter's dog. 

Dec 26, 2:09PM EST0


Jan 11, 12:29AM EST0

How did you beat cancer? Did you rely on chemotherapy or did you also resort to other forms of therapy?

Dec 23, 11:46PM EST0

I relied on chemotherapy and surgery. I had four and a half months of Cyclophosphamide, Pertuzumab, Trastuzumab, Paclitaxel, and Adriamycin. 2 weeks after the last dose, I underwent a double mastectomy and breast reconstruction. Three weeks after the surgery, I began additional Trastuzumab treatments that ended in November 2016. I was also supposed to get radiation as it is recommended for HER2 Positive breast cancer. However, I have a genetic disease called Li-Fraumeni, something I'd never heard of before December 2015. Li-Fraumeni is a rare syndrome that makes me more susceptible to developing many types of cancers. Therefore, radiation is contra-indicated. 

Dec 26, 2:06PM EST0

How long did it take you to complete the pages of the novel "Inflame"?

Dec 23, 10:11AM EST0

Normally, I release about six books a year. Not in 2017, though. I started Inferno in April and didn't finish until November. Being unable to do what I love was stressful for me. I often wondered if I had chemo brain. Whatever it might have been, I hope I've gotten past that block.

Dec 23, 4:09PM EST0

It's good that you are in a remission. Did writing help you win through the struggles?

Dec 23, 5:22AM EST0

Thank you! And, yes, writing definitely helped me. It gave me something else to focus. I also received a lot of encouragment from my readers, which also helped. I wrote and released two books during treatment. During the recovery from my surgery, I wrote and released another book, which turned out to be the longest book I'd ever written. One of my beta readers called it War and Peace due to its length. It was supposed to be the last book in the Death Dwellers series. Between writing during the long weeks of recovery and trying to tie up all the loose ends in the individual storylines, it ended up being huge. Interestingly, it has been writing since I finished chemotherapy that's been the problem. My last treatment was November 30, 2016. I released a book in November and one in March, then hard a very hard time getting my thoughts together to write much more. That's why it took me so long to release Inflame.

Dec 23, 4:06PM EST0

How did you choose your plot/storyline?

Dec 23, 1:43AM EST0

Before I start writing, I always ask myself what do I want these characters to learn on their journey to happiness. I want to know what they want to learn about themselves, especially. I also want to know what their ultimate goal is. Are they seeking vengeance? If so, for what? Sometimes, all of the answers come easily. Other times, I have to start writing to know the answers. I let my characters guide me. I'll use Inflame as an example. I knew who my hero was because he'd been in the two previous books in the serious. I already knew he was going to be somewhat of an anti-hero just based on his past actions. He needed to let the past go. But how would he do that? What would he have to experience for him to "see the light"? What type of heroine would he need to stand at his side? I go on baby name sites to search for character names. I came across 'Raine', and knew I had my heroine. But who was she? I had to listen to her and hear her story. When I figured out her last name, I got a vague idea of the plot. Raine would meet Kiln during one of the lowest points in his life, during a time when her world was also in turmoil. She wouldn't stand for Kiln's behavior and wouldn't compromise her principles for the sake of his ego. Her attitude intrigued him and he wanted to get to know her better. That's basically what I had when I started Inflame. From there, the rest of the plot grew. I've tried to write entire outlines. Following one is the problem for me. I'm horrible at it. Having a plot written out before I actually write makes me feel boxed in and actually stifles my creativity. 

Dec 23, 3:59PM EST0

Do you also promote/sell your books on Amazon?

Dec 22, 11:40PM EST0

Yes, they are. They are on several sales channels, including iTunes, Smashwords, Barnes and Noble, and Kobo. Here is the link to my amazon page where you can find many of my titles. Kathryn Kelly on Amazon

Dec 23, 3:45PM EST0

Are you fond of bands yourself?

Dec 22, 4:40PM EST0

Yes! I love music. Though I can neither sing or dance, I still do both, lol, when some of my favorite songs play. Some of my favorite bands are Imagine Dragons, Maroon 5, Linkin Park, Florida Georgia Line, Twenty One Pilots, Paramore, U2, Bon Jovi, Aerosmith, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Motley Crew...the list goes on and on. My all-time favorite artist, however, is Prince.

Dec 22, 6:59PM EST0

What is with Kendall that you hate so much?

Dec 22, 1:56PM EST0

I don't hate Kendall, at all. Most of the readers of the Death Dwellers MC Series do, however. Most readers vigorously call for her death. Although she is one of the heroine's, people see her as the resident bad girl, who stirs up trouble and controversy. I see her as someone who has been through a lot and is completely misunderstood. She learned to fend for herself, trusting no one. She survived by using her beauty and her brain and became a successful attorney with a taste for the finer things in life. Many readers disagree and we have very lively discussions on my Facebook page. She's a complicated character to write. On the surface, her actions seem selfish, dangeous, and manipulative. Deep down, there's so much more to her. Despite this explanation, the following hashtags were posted #killtheredhead and #killred. Kendall's fans are as passionate about her surviving the series as her haters are about begging for her death and her hero to find another woman to love.

Dec 22, 2:22PM EST0

Why the title? Where did you get the inspiration from?

Dec 22, 12:35PM EST0

I chose Inflame because the hero and heroine are intense characters, who rile each other up in more ways than one. Raine isn't afraid to stand up for her beliefs and she won't compromise her views to stroke Kiln's ego. They exasperate each other and inspire each other. Either way, they always evoke passionate responses and behavior in each other.

Dec 22, 1:37PM EST0

Did you try going out of the house be just a biker, yourself?

Dec 22, 10:54AM EST0

I never have. I've done a lot of research via documentaries, books, and online research, and been to a couple of bars where bikers hung out.

Dec 22, 1:39PM EST0
About #AuthorsAMA

Welcome to #AuthorsAMA, an AMA Event channel for authors and their important work sharing their knowledge with others.

The #AuthorsAMA channel (http://www.AuthorsAMA.com) is owned and operated by AMAfeed, LLC.