Picture drawn by Maggie Stiefvater, 2009. Header made by S.F. Robertson, 2010.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Fresh New Voice of YA- Tara Kelly Interview

1) How did you get the idea for Harmonic Feedback?

Harmonic Feedback wasn't so much an idea as a character I couldn't get out of my head. Having some socially-unusual people in my family (including myself), I've always wanted to write from the POV of a character who sees the world a little differently. And Drea fit that bill perfectly..she just has a voice that demands to be heard. The majority of my story ideas start with characters first, plot later . Which isn't always ideal, but I can't fight what works for me!

2) What was The Call like? Tell us all about it!

Ha--that's a funny story.

Well, first I woke up to an email from my agent, saying something like...we have an offer, here's what it is, call me...NOW. But my agent called before I could pick up the phone *grin* and said my editor, Kate Farrell, LOVES Harmonic Feedback--so much she had her boss read it overnight and she's making an offer on her day off. Which was amazing, surreal, and just many emotions I can't describe.

But that's not the funny part. Kate called later on--right as I was getting out of the shower. And the first thing she said was--is this a good time to talk? And of course I was still in shock and totally nervous...so I blurt out--oh, I just got out of the shower. But it's okay, I have a towel on.

Yes, headbanging moment. But Kate just laughed it off and we had an awesome conversation about the book. I think I spent the next week walking around in a daze...

3) What book(s) are you working on now? Can you tell us anything about them?

My next book, C-Side Tales, comes out next year, and I'm very excited about it. Harmonic Feedback deals with music, obviously, but C-Side focuses solely on what it's like to be a band in today's music world--which has changed significantly in the last ten years. To steal my agent's summary--the story revolves around a 17-year-old girl who has to battle wicked stage fright (and a crush on the superhot bass player) to convince the members of her new band that she can hack it as their lead guitarist.

The other book I'm working on is called Nyx & Thor. Told in alternating points of view, it's a love story about two Vegas teens--a bully and the girl he torments.

4) Have you always been a fan of YA, or are you still new to it all?

Yes! I got hooked on Christopher Pike novels in junior high and never really stopped enjoying YA. Even as a teen, I knew I wanted to write for teens. I even saved all my old stories, journal entries, and notes passed back and forth in class so I wouldn't forget what it was like to be a teen :)

5) What book(s) are you reading now?

Right this second I'm finishing up Bleeding Violet by Dia Reeves, which has been a wild and crazy ride. I'm in love with the MC--she's unique, insane, and lovable at the same time.

6) What's your favorite Jelly Belly jelly bean flavor?

Wow, it's been years since I've had jelly beans. But I know I enjoyed the pineapple. I'm pretty much obsessed with pineapples...

7) In both your life and your book, music and movies play a huge part. What about those fields fascinates you, and do any of the skills involved cross over to your writing?

I think it's safe to say art fascinates me. I was born to be an artist, really. I even love the mediums I'm terrible at--like drawing or painting (although I'm not half bad with charcoal). Probably because it's messy--I'm good at being messy :) Honestly, I'd be bored just doing one type of art...I crave and need variety. I also love challenging myself. Although, I have to say music and writing are my two biggest loves. I can't do one without the other. So, yes, my other skills definitely cross over into my writing. Art has been a huge part of ALL my books so far.


  1. Wonderful interview, I cant wait to read Harmonic Feedback as a lover of all things music, I think it will be RIGHT up my alley!

  2. Can't wait to read this book by fellow Tenner! Go Tara :)

  3. Great interview! I read Harmonic Feedback a couple of months ago and absolutely LOVED it. It's one of my favorite debut novels by far. And her future books sound like they will be just as fantastic.