Talkshow Thursday: Meet Keely Brooke Keith
Linda: The second book in your Uncharted Beginnings Series has recently been released. Did you set out to write a series or did it just sort of happen?
|Author Keely Brooke Keith
Keely: I set out to write a series. Actually, the Uncharted Beginnings series, which includes Aboard Providence and Above Rubies, is a prequel series to the Uncharted books. (The Land Uncharted). So all of my books thus far connect.
LM: Where did you find your inspiration for this story?
Keely: I’ve always had an explorer’s heart. As a child, I papered my bedroom walls with maps out of National Geographic Magazine. I often stared at the wide blue swaths of ocean on the maps and wondered if land existed that no one knew about. While researching my family history as an adult, I became fascinated by the group migrations to the American West. I wondered what would happen if instead of going west, a group of families left the United States on a ship, got lost at sea, and ended up on that hidden land. Once I told that story in Aboard Providence, I decided to tell more stories about the new settlement in Above Rubies.
LM: The series is written in the mid-1800s. What draws you to that time period?
Keely: It’s easy in our modern era to blame life’s difficulty on technology-driven complications. I wanted to pick a time in the recent past without computers and cars and electricity to show life was still complex, but in a different way.
LM: Lots of research goes into each story to ensure historical accuracy. What is your method for researching a story, and how much time goes into that before you begin to write?
Keely: The research time is different for every story. I like to have a good sense of what life and work would have been like for my characters before I begin, but I have to stop researching and start writing at some point. Since I love history it can be hard to pull myself away to write.
Keely: I get “blocks” in everything I do--days when I don’t feel like working because my mind is tired or I’m fearful. Proper rest, exercise, socializing, and eating healthy go a long way in helping a person feel energized no matter their profession. I don’t like to call it writer’s block because it’s often the same feeling everyone experiences when they don’t want to work. Doctors can’t say they have “doctor’s block” and walk out of the operating room. If the block isn’t fear or laziness or exhaustion, it is usually boredom. We get bored with our own thoughts and ideas after a while. That’s when we need to observe and absorb. There is a big, crazy, wonderful, terrifying world waiting for writers to look away from their screens.
LM: What is your next project?
Keely: I'm currently working on what will be Book 5 in the Uncharted series. Since it the story still morphing as I explore all the angles, I can't give a description just yet ;)
LM: Where can folks find you on the web?
Keely: My website is www.keelybrookekeith.com