I recently got to answer some fun questions on author quirks with author Keely Brooke Keith. Our interview will be up here on her blog this Wednesday, March 25th. In the meantime, I was curious about Keely’s books and writing career, having noticed her great cover art and blurbs. You’ll find our interview below.
***Keely is also graciously offering TWO winners TWO of her books in e-book format–her first novel, The Land Uncharted, and her second, Uncharted Redemption. Enter the Rafflecopter giveaway at the bottom of this post for a chance to win!***
And now, a bit more about Keely:
Born in St. Joseph, Missouri, Keely was a tree-climbing, baseball-loving ‘80s kid. She grew up in a family who frequently relocated. By graduation, Keely lived in 8 states and attended 14 schools. Keely’s many adventures include: being an exchange student, recording with a former Beatles producer, being chased through the New Mexico desert by a rattlesnake, jumping out of an airplane at 14,500 feet, and sleeping under the open sky in the Australian outback.
Keely is a bass guitarist and plays on worship teams and for solo artists. She is married to singer/songwriter John Martin Keith, and they frequently perform and tour together. When she isn’t writing stories or playing bass, Keely enjoys dancing, having coffee with friends, and sifting through vintage books at antique stores.
Keely resides on a hilltop south of Nashville with her husband and their daughter, Rachel.
Keely loves to connect with readers!
Facebook: Keely Brooke Keith
Goodreads: Keely Brooke Keith
Interview with Keely Brooke Keith, Author of the Uncharted Series
HG: Tell us about your Uncharted series…they are adult fiction, but also coming-of-age stories. They are sci-fi and yet feel like historicals. They have romance, to boot. I love genre-benders of all kinds, so please fill us in on this world you write about!
KBK: A group of antebellum families sailed away from America in December of 1860. Their ship was blown off course and ran aground on an uncharted land in the middle of the South Atlantic Ocean. They called the uninhabited place, simply, the Land. They founded a society there and seven generations later it’s flourishing, but antiquated compared to the outside world. This is where our story begins. The people of the Land have no contact with the warring 2025 world and no idea their land is undetectable until Unified States Naval Aviator Connor Bradshaw is ejected from his aircraft and his parachute carries him to the shore of the Land.
HG: Sounds intriguing! Could you share some of your journey to publication? I know many authors are becoming increasingly diverse in the way they’re getting their out-of-the-box stories out there.
KBK: When I decided to try to get The Land Uncharted published, I received a lot of great feedback from literary agents. I was repeatedly advised that The Land Uncharted was an independent press project due to the difficulty in marketing a unique genre blend. So I submitted directly to a few small presses and immediately had offers. This book’s small press history is a novel unto itself, but suffice it to say The Land Uncharted was released by Edenbrooke Press in October 2014. Uncharted Redemption was released in February and the third book, Uncharted Inheritance, will be released May 5, 2015. Audio versions of all three books are currently in production.
HG: I’ve heard that “difficult-to-market” response before myself so I totally relate. As this is a series, did you have all the books written before going to publication? Or are you writing as you go along?
KBK: I had the first two books complete before I started submitting The Land Uncharted and I was working on the third. My goal was to have the whole series written before I had a contract, because I was afraid any kind of deadline would stunt my creativity. It was both fortunate and freaky that I had my first offer just weeks after I started querying. Before long, I found myself getting ready for my first book launch and editing a book and writing another book all at the same time. It was overwhelming, but I had so much support from my husband and family and friends.
HG: You’re working on audiobooks for all three books. I know what a thrill it is to hear your book read aloud for the first time. How is this experience going for you? And you have different narrators for each?
KBK: When I had to approve the first portion of the first audiobook I was so nervous and didn’t want to hear it. I’m not sure why. I’d heard the narrator’s audition and loved it. Still, I had that same feeling you get as a kid right before you have to get a shot. Finally, I listened to it and once I heard it, I was in love with the process. Now when one of the narrators has completed another chapter for me to listen to, I feel like it’s Christmas morning!
And yes, I have different narrators for each book. I know some authors want one narrator for an entire series, which works when each book is based on one main character. But even though these three books have one series arc, each book focuses on a different member of the Colburn family. So with three different and complete stories, I wanted a different voice for each book. All three narrators are terrific. They love the stories. That comes across in a narrator’s voice.
HG: That is such a blessing to find unique narrators for each book! Could you share some of your best marketing strategies with us, as well as something that didn’t pan out the way you’d hoped? I know I could make a list of things I’ve tried that didn’t work! LOL.
KBK: Let’s see… don’t get a tattoo of your book cover. I’m totally kidding. I’ve done so much marketing in the past few months and it’s ongoing. I wish I had a “best strategy” but I’m new at all this. I’m still throwing things at the wall, hoping something sticks. I’m told the best marketing is simply writing more books and I’m doing that–not because of marketing though, but because I love writing. I am considering hiring a skywriter for the launch of Uncharted Inheritance. I was thinking he could draw a QR code in the sky over Manhattan and it would link to the series’ page on my website. There couldn’t be a breeze at all though or the skywriting would just be an expensive cloud. Again, kidding. See, you don’t want me in a marketing meeting.
HG: Call me gullible because I was falling for that tattoo and skywriting thing… Finally, you have two books out in the Uncharted series now…when is the final release? And what are you working on after that, if you can share?
KBK: Yes, The Land Uncharted and Uncharted Redemption are out now and Uncharted Inheritance comes out May 5, 2015. That’s the final book with this particular series arc, meaning all the questions up to that point are answered. I do have tons of ideas for future stories. I’ve created a whole world and plenty could happen there.
I’m currently writing the story of the founders–the group that ran aground on the Land in 1861. It’s a lot of fun to write and also a ton of research. I had to learn more about sailing and schooners than I ever wanted to know!
HG: Sounds very well-researched! Thanks for visiting today, Keely, and all the best with your series and all your books. Readers, please read on for a chance to win the first two in this series!
Lydia Colburn is a young physician dedicated to serving her village in the Land. When injured fighter pilot Connor Bradshaw’s parachute carries him from the war engulfing the 2025 world to her hidden land, his presence threatens her plans, her family, and the survival of her preindustrial society. As Connor searches for a way to return to his squadron, his fascination with life in the Land makes him protective of Lydia and her peaceful homeland, and Lydia’s attraction to Connor stirs desires she never anticipated. Written like a historical, set like a scifi, and filled with romance, The Land Uncharted weaves adventure and love in this suspenseful story of a hidden land.
From the author of The Land Uncharted comes the second book in the Uncharted series, Uncharted Redemption. Written like a historical, set like a scifi, and filled with romance, Uncharted Redemption continues this suspenseful story of life in a hidden land.
Levi Colburn, resentful of his father, haunted by his mother’s tragic death, and pained by his love for the unattainable Mandy Foster, breaks from the Land’s tradition and begins to build a life of his own. When rebels tear through the village of Good Springs, Levi vows to deliver justice and restore the woman he loves. As tradition stands in the way of redemption and threats from the outside world begin to appear, Levi must learn his greatest battles cannot be fought with his fists. Romantic, suspenseful, and filled with adventure, Uncharted Redemption weaves dramatic new layers into life in the Land.
***Readers, be sure to follow the link below to enter the Rafflecopter giveaway for e-book copies of The Land Uncharted and Uncharted Redemption.***
***a Rafflecopter giveaway***