An Interview With: Kelly Hall
Q1. The Legend of the Light Keeper is paranormal, and the story takes place where there are supposedly paranormal occurrences in your town. In fact, on your blog you tell a story about something that you saw that could definitely have been paranormal. Did this event inspire the whole book? If not, what did?
Actually the event that I spoke of occurred after I had already been writing the series for a good year. I asked my husband and kids if they wanted to take a ride out to the road just for fun. I found that such trips not only inspired me, but they also gave me a good idea of what the characters would experience as far as the atmosphere for world-building purposes. I’d been to the road before for such trips, but never saw anything like the light we saw that time. But after seeing it, I was really inspired. I have returned there several times since and haven’t seen anything else. When it came to writing in the beginning, I really just wanted to try something new. I’ve always written poems and short stories for fun, so I thought I’d try writing something a tad longer. Attracted to the paranormal, I turned to something familiar for inspiration which was the Ghost Road legend. I had no idea when I started that I’d write a series, as I was just writing for myself as a hobby. I let the story take me where it wanted to go. I never dreamed it would be published, but I am very thankful I have the opportunity with Booktrope.
Q2. Between a hurricane ravaging the main character’s home and her mother getting engaged, there’s a lot of change in Lily’s life. Teens can certainly relate to that whether their home life is unstable or not. Do you think the diary of legends that Lily reads would have the same impact if she didn’t have some difficult situations on her hands in the first place?
Probably not. Lily’s problem is that she’s been living a pretty sheltered life for a girl who has special abilities. She learned throughout her life to shield herself and managed to live a certain way without really having to deal with her gifts. She’s never understood it and has lived fearful of the Shadows her entire life. She wants to be normal, and being put in this new environment, she has to face that she never will be. The hurricane not only destroyed her home, but that normal façade she was managing, putting her in a place where she had to deal with her gifts. When she finds the diary, it’s like learning that she’s not alone in the world. Being accepted by the guys is really important to her as well, since she’s never been able to tell anyone about her gifts. This plays a big part in book two.
Q3. Can you tell us a secret about the book that nobody would know from reading the book’s description? Something juicy!
Well, I will say that Lily’s destiny isn’t quite what she expects, and at this point she’d never in a million years dream it to be. I’ll also say that she was brought to the road for a reason and there are fewer coincidences than it seems in book one.
Q4. The true beginning of Lily’s discoveries comes when she reads the old diary, which is hand written. What difference do you think technology would make to the story? For example, if the diary existed on a computer or a smartphone instead?
Well, it would certainly mess up the time frame, since the diary was written long before any computers or devices were invented. It would also mean that the murder would have been recent and well known, and there would have been more clues or possibly the murderer would have been caught and in the media. But more than that, I think it would take away the personal connection between Alyssa and Lily, or lessen it. There is a certain personal sentimental feeling with the written word that is just not captured with technology. To hold something from the past and see what time has done to it makes it more real to Lily.
Q5. When do you plan to release the next part in the Light Keeper series? Can you tell us anything about it?
I’ve written book two and it is currently in editing. I’m hoping for a mid-summer release date and I’m very excited about this second installment. I don’t want to give too much away, but I will say that you’re going to meet some fun new characters, learn more about Lily’s gifts and the Water, and find out what happens with Talon and Lily’s relationship as the wedding day approaches. Also, you get to take a closer look at Owen and see how his and Lily’s friendship is strengthening and how that effects things. It’s a very strange dynamic and I hope readers will enjoy it.