Exculpate – definition : to free from blame : vindicate
Please welcome Kelly Samarah, who chose the word she wanted for her interview. Try and find the reason!
Where do you call home?
Molalla, Oregon, a little logging town nestled in the foothills of the Cascade Range and just a hop away from the Mt. Hood National Forest. I grew up here, moved to Salem, Oregon for ten years, and just came back a little over a year ago. It’s still small and close-knit.
Your preferred genre to write:
Hhhmmm, I always hate this question. I write. I lean toward the horrific side of the spectrum, but not always. I have several ideas and story lines brewing from all over the board.
Have you always wanted to be a writer?
I always have been a writer. Reading and writing go hand in hand. I am a lover of books. No, let me rephrase that. I am in love with books. In kindergarten I was reading chapter books and getting in trouble for skipping ahead in our reader books. In second grade my teacher made me read all of my short stories aloud in class. Same thing in fourth grade. In junior high I tried my hand at poetry, and discovered I am not a poet. Fast forward to a couple years ago: Life had chewed me up and spit me out. I found myself a single mom, very little money and no future. Writing had been on the back burner for a long time. I decided to go back to school-for Criminal Justice of all things-and took a writing class as an elective. My teacher told me I was cheating myself if I didn’t focus on my love for the craft. I took his words to heart.
How do you explain the feeling when you have finally come back to what you were meant to do? Complete? Not a strong enough word, I think. Maybe it’s unexplainable.
Stories and/or book you have released right now?
Thorns of Glass
My novel and a short story. Both are on the horror side, although Thorns of Glass is a little more complex than that. It deals with domestic abuse, murder, child abuse…it’s a sad read more than scary.
The Edge is a straight up psychological thriller. It will also be included in my anthology. Both are available on Amazon, B&N, and Smashwords.
Tell us about your most current work:
Right now I am getting ready to release a short story collection. It will be up on Amazon, B&N, and Smashwords on August 25th. The stories are quick, scary reads, more psychological than anything else.
I am also doing what I call Blog-A-Book Friday on my blog. Each week I am posting the roughest of the rough draft chapters to a YA fantasy novel I have been playing around with. It’s been a lot of fun, and I’m hoping at some point I take it seriously and it turns into a book.
Do you like to read?
I LOVE to read. Anything, but I prefer horror, sci-fi, and fantasy. The only thing I will not indulge in is romance or erotica. Not my thing.
Who are the authors who have inspired you?
Stephen King, Anne Rice, Lois Lowry, Dean Koontz, Madeleine L’Engle, and lately, John Hart and Neal Shusterman. There are so may more, but let’s leave it here, at the risk of me going on and on.
Where do you get your ideas?
I have so many ideas I carry a small notebook around with me. I want to get a voice recorder, but the thought of listening to myself talk to me is unnerving. I would much rather write it down.
I love to give people goose bumps. I blame the “what-if” conversations commonly held with my son and my brothers. The best story ideas come to me after one of those sessions.
Links to buy:
Excerpt from Kelly’s short story Chop:
“Now, would you like to try out your new toy?” Benny nodded his head. He left the kitchen, holding the knife at his side.
At the head of the hallway he stared at his mother’s door. He could hear her muffled, chainsaw snoring and the creak of her mattress springs as she rolled over in her sleep. He thought about the hard lines embedded in her thick, sweaty face and the way her eyebrows pulled together right before she threw out her fist.
He squeezed the knife handle. He could be his own hero.
“That’s right. Go on…” Chopping Tony urged him forward. He slowly turned her doorknob pushed the creaking door open.
Kelly Samarah grew up in a small town located in the Willamette Valley of Oregon. When she isn’t busy working on a new story to share with her readers she enjoys cooking, music, painting and of course, reading. She also enjoys spending time with her dog, cat and two children.