Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Author Interview featuring Kersten Kelly

Kersten Kelly 

About the Author

Kersten L. Kelly is a self-published author of narrative non-fiction and semi-fiction books. She grew up in Munster, Indiana, and currently works in a sales role based out of Chicago, Illinois. She started writing at an early age and graduated from Indiana University with a dual Bachelor’s Degree in Economics and Communication & Culture. She then went on to earn a Master’s in Business Administration from the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University. She has a passion for learning, teaching, and writing as well as international travel in her spare time. This book is her first piece of published work.


1. Please tell the readers a bit more about you.

I am a self-published author of narrative non-fiction and semi-fiction books. I grew up in Munster, Indiana, and currently work in a sales role based out of Chicago, Illinois. I started writing at an early age and graduated from Indiana University with a dual Bachelor’s Degree in Economics and Communication & Culture. I then went on to earn a Master’s in Business Administration from the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University. I have a passion for learning, teaching, and writing as well as international travel in my spare time.

2. What types of books do you write?

I typically stick with non-fiction and semi-fiction books. I really like the idea that someone can learn something from the books and they can apply the concepts I discuss in it.

3. Who's your main audience?

The main audience is anyone and everyone who can enjoy a little bit about economic theory. Many times people think of economics as a boring, rigid topic that they are forced to learn about in school as a requirement. My goal is to broaden people's perspectives on this and help them to learn that economics plays a key role in many of their everyday activities.

4. When it comes to writing- what are your strong points? What are your weaknesses?

My strong points are probably the ability to make the words come together and continue writing quickly. I am very determined, and once I have an idea that I want to convey, I am able to do so fairly quickly. On the contrary, I think my impatience is one of my weaknesses. I have thought of additional examples and things to include in the book after I already published it. I guess they will have to be added in once a new edition of the book is published.

5. What do you think of this term- Writer's Block? How do you overcome it?

Writer's Block is very real. I think it's important to remember that even though writing is my passion, I have other hobbies and activities that I enjoy. When I run into Writer's Block, I usually stop writing all together and take some time to myself. I will go for a nice jog, spend time with my friends and family, or surf the Internet for ideas. It's always good to clear my head from writing for a bit.

6. How many books have you written?

This is my first written book.

7. How many are published?

This is also the first published book.

8. Are you self published or traditionally published?
I made the decision to self publish my book, and I'm glad I did. I didn't submit the manuscript to any traditional publishers after I talked to another author who self published. He gave me his rationale behind his decision, and my viewpoints aligned with his. It was very beneficial for me to be a part of the entire process from start to finish. Although it was hard work, I think this was the best decision I've made in this process. I had a fantastic support team of people who worked so well with my goals for the book.

9. What's the hardest part of the writing process for you?

The most difficult part of the writing process for me is putting everything together in a proper order. The way I usually write is to follow an outline of information that I want to include. Once I have that written, I try to follow it as best as possible. For this book, I realized that moving a few of the topics in the book around would make more sense, and the topics would flow more smoothly. It was hard to find that happy medium.

10. What type of books do you enjoy reading?

I really like memoirs, non-fiction, and anything with a story. Uncharacteristically, I picked up The Hunger Games and ended up finishing the first book the day I started it. I couldn't put it down. This is not typically the type of book I read, but I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it.

11. Who's your favorite Author?

My favorite author is probably James Frey. His accounts of his life are unmatched to any other book I've read. His stories took me out of reality for hours while I joined him on his journey. His writing style is very unique, and I appreciate all he went through and the facts that he was able to convey it so candidly through his written work.

12. What's your all time favorite book?

My all time favorite book is probably Freakonomics. The authors use so much research that is relevant to almost anyone in their writing. They put together a fantastic account of economics at its very best. When I read that book, I was mesmerized. It helped me to think outside the box, and it actually inspired me to write my own book.

13. How long does it take you to write a book?

This book took me 5 months to actually write it, and the entire process of publishing and marketing has taken a little less than 10 months. It has been a very busy year!

14. Out of all of your characters, which is your favorite? Why?

Since my book is a narrative non-fiction book about economics, there aren't any characters in it.

15. What is one of the most surprising things you've learned as a writer?

Writing the book is actually the easiest part of the process. I thought when I completed the written stage of the book that I was at the easy point of the process then. I figured since I had the manuscript done, each of the following parts would be simple, and I was wrong. The editing, designing, and marketing phases of the publishing process are much more time consuming and difficult than the writing process.

16. What does your family think of your writing?

My family is an extremely intrinsic part of my writing and one of the reasons that this book was published. Ever since I was a little kid, I loved to write stories. My family was and is very encouraging through the process. They would help me make the stories better whenever they could. They all bought their own copies of the book. It's quite humbling to have such wonderful people in my life.

17. What does your writing schedule look like?

Typically, I try to sneak it in at my convenience. I never like to force myself to write because it feels like I do a better job and think more outside the box when it is purely enjoyable instead of a necessity.
18. Do you manage to write every day?

No, I don't. I try to write as often as possible, but my full-time job keeps me very busy most of the time. I also travel a lot for my current position, so I find myself sneaking in writing time in airports or other pockets of time that open up for me. It's always good to jot something down each day regardless of whether I include it in a book or not.

19. What's the latest news you'd like to share?

The book is in the process of being formatted for the Apple iStore. It should be available on this channel in the next month. I am really looking forward to this because it will reach a broader scope of readers. It will also allow readers to be able to acquire the book in a new format if the iPod, iPad, or iPhone are the only vehicles they can download it on. Stay tuned to the website for more information.

20. Do you have any advice for new writers?

1. Never give up.
2. Challenge yourself.
3. Edit, edit, edit, and edit again.
4. Reach out to other non-fiction authors and ask questions. People are willing to help.
5. Write about a subject you enjoy and that you are passionate about.

Book  Excerpt

Professional football players, corporate tobacco advertisers,  volatile gasoline prices, and the Cold War all share an undetected commonality—each is an intrinsic part of economics. Though not obvious to the naked eye, each entity shares a pattern with the others. This book helps to shed light on these mutual characteristics. It is an extensive compilation of theories interpreted using supportive examples.

A person with a professional degree graduates from high school at age eighteen. At an average of eight years to fully earn their education, the age they start a professional position is twenty-six. They must also factor in the debt of $150,000 that will have to be paid back for their education. If the person works the same number of hours per year and retires at the same age as a person with less than a high school diploma, the average lifetime earnings of a person with a professional degree is $3,115,080 after educational debt repayment. This is a 287 percent lifetime increase for an eight-year average investment in human capital. If that isn’t a worthwhile payout, I don’t know what is!
Economics is an enthralling science that encompasses our actions, thoughts, and emotional rationality every day in the unconscious. This book dissects economic theory into bite-size, entertaining snippets that anyone can understand and apply to their daily routines. It is a compelling depiction of history, business, pop culture, and social movements intertwined with relevant economic trends. Economics is part of daily life, and this book challenges readers to question how and why people make decisions by adding a simple twist on normalcy.


Jessica L Buike (AuthorJess and Operation Relax) said...

Great interview! Always nice to meet the authors behind our favorite books. I linked to this post today on my blog:

Jillian Nicole said...

I like the questions asked, it gives a good insight in what the writers go through emotionally and professionally. Thanks.


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