Kellie, your book will be released on April 2nd, 2012
What prompted you to pursue publishing a book of your work?
To be honest, I never even considered publishing a book. I have always just written for the love of writing so publishing was the farthest thing from my mind. I just so happened to stumble across Winter Goose Publishing's website while "stalking" (lol) a poet who I adore and has a book of her own published with them. I ended up on the submissions page and found that they were currently accepting poetry manuscripts and I thought about it for a split second and then quickly pushed that thought out of my head for the fear of being rejected. I figured anyone can write and why would they ever want my stuff. It felt...arrogant of me to even allow myself to consider being good enough for publication. This was until I opened my mouth about that split second consideration I told you about. Once I let the cat out of the bag, everyone began encouraging me and telling me that I should just go for it and so, I did and here we are.
You grew up in a small town in Tennessee. Do you think this influenced your writing?
Oh my gosh yes! I was just talking with my mom about this the other day. This place just overflows with beauty and inspiration. I told my mom how while driving my son to school one morning, the mountains in the distance, the colors in the sky and the mist on the ground was so beautiful that I almost teared up with emotion just looking out on it and how I will never understand people wanting to live in the city. Cities are built by men, made of concrete and steel, and there is no sky out "yonder" in the distance. The mountains, this landscape here in east Tennessee, the country period...well, man could never create something so majestic in my opinion.
Your book is titled Magic in the Backyard. What inspired you to choose it for a book title?
Actually, I have a poem of the same name and it is included in my collection. It's about a girl who takes her pen and paper out into her backyard and writes, creating stories and poetry from what she see's around her. It is in part about myself and part my niece who loves to write as well. The character described is a blend of the two of us. If I say so myself, it is one of my favorite pieces for one important reason...it rhymes. (lol) I envy poets who rhyme. It is a form that feels so restricted to me and I have never done it well until Magic in the Backyard (the poem) and I have never done so again. I figured I would quit while I was ahead.
You state you desire your poetry to take the reader back to rekindle a memory or feeling.
Why is that important to you?
I have lost some incredibly important people in my life. Death, love-loss, circumstance, life direction- just plain fate. People who have held a special place in my heart have been removed for many different reasons and in writing, I learned to cope with all the different emotions that those forms of loss bring. Writing not only helped me heal but, it also taught me about spirit and keeping it alive. Everyone has a spirit and they live in memories, as long as we can look back on the memories and embrace the feelings that once lived there, then we can keep that person close to us and keep them or that time and place alive in some special way. So, to be able to rekindle a fond memory for someone of a time they shared with a grandma, a friend, a lover... and have them go back there with a smile, then I (hopefully) have helped them breathe life back into it's spirit so it may linger for a time, once more.
If you could sum it up in just a few short words, how would you describe your journey thus far as a writer?
An enriching experience of healing and learning that I would not trade for any island. ...But I wouldn't mind practicing it on a island. ;)
Today, March 26th, 2012 begins a Twitter contest to win a free, signed copy of Magic in the Backyard. Go to Kellie's blog at this address http://kellieelmore.com/blog for all the details.
To catch up with Kellie you can find her at the following addresses: