Author Interviews: Kelly St. Clare and The Retreat

Kelly St. Clare, a New Zealand author living in Australia.

I write fantasy and science fiction novels for teens and above. Currently, I have two series out. The Tainted Accords is complete – a series about a young woman veiled from birth. And the first in my science fiction series, The After Trilogy, is now available – a series about an emotionally suppressed space soldier in a post-global warming Earth.

When and why did you start writing?

English has always been my favorite subject. I didn’t seriously pursue a manuscript until sitting down to write Fantasy of Frost (the first in the Tainted Accords series). I had completed one first draft of a random manuscript prior to this. One day something clicked into place. It was all very sudden.

What inspires your writing?

The stories and characters within them.

How would you define creativity?

The ability to look at a square like it’s a triangle.

Do you have any writing rituals to get you in the mood for writing?

Haha, yes! I have to have a cup of tea when I begin writing. That’s a given. I like uncluttered space, and when I write my first draft I always go and get a huge notebook and new pen for the planning process. I just brought the prettiest one in readiness for planning the sequel to The Retreat.

If you could, what would you go back and tell yourself as a writer starting out?

Firstly, I’d send her a whole book of marketing know-how. And I would tell her to start connecting with other authors and bloggers straight away.

What do you believe makes for great writing?

An unpredictable plot. The emotion that drips from the pages. Characters you want to be friends with.

Which writers have influenced your writing?

Jane Austen, JK Rowling, John Marsden and Emily Rhodda are some of my favourites.

How do you measure success as a writer?

Depends on what you deem important! It could be finances, or reader following. For me, it’s my happiness with the quality of the story.

Have you ever hated something you wrote?

Not yet! Though I think all authors look at their first book and think…I know a lot more now.

What’s your biggest fear as a writer?

Uploading a final product that has formatting errors!

What traits do you feel make a great writer?

A love of reading, and desire to get better with each book. A tonne of self-discipline and imagination.

Describe your latest book to our readers

The Retreat is the first in my After Trilogy. It is set in a post-global warming Earth where 4000 emotionally suppressed space soldiers – the last slice of humankind – has been forced to inhabit orbit. They protect Earth from invaders, waiting until the planet is safe to reinhabit…that is until the main character, Romy, crash-lands on planet Earth with her crew and discovers things there aren’t quite as they soldiers been led to believe.

What would you like readers to take away from your writing?

I want them to fall in love and find adventure. I want readers to put down the book and still be stuck in my world for days.

Do you have any tips for aspiring writers?

Releasing books is the best kind of marketing you can do. Don’t get too caught up trying to make book one a raging success, just get stuck into writing the sequel (or book two).

Can you give our audience a writing prompt to help get them writing?

My great-grandfather would often talk about the time before Planet Earth split in two…

What’s next for you?

I bring out the first novella in my companion series to The Tainted Accords on January 14th. And then I’ll be writing the sequel to The Retreat which releases in June 2017. I’ve got a queue of story ideas that are clamouring for a turn, so who knows after that.


The Retreat

by Kelly St. Claire

Earth was ruined. Humankind destroyed. And it’s old news.

Romy’s life is simple–for a genetically enhanced space soldier; pick up space junk with her four friends, and stave off the invaders fixated on stealing Planet Earth.

It isn’t much. But it’s temporary–only another 850 years to go, give or take. Then the 4000 space soldiers can reinhabit their beloved homeland once more.

When her crew tangles with a gulp-worthy alien mothership, Romy’s return to Earth is brought forwards at hurtling pace. And what she finds on the ground defies everything she’s been told.

Strength comes from the unlikeliest of quarters.

As does leadership.

…As does betrayal.

About the Author

Scott Mullins is a freelance writer and digital content manager. When he’s not finding ways to distract himself from writing his novel he writes killer copy for companies all over the world. Connect with Scott on Twitter @ScottMullins86 or LinkedIn. He’s always looking to connect with other writers.