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Ronald Kelly

answers the Usual Questions

photograph, Ronald Kelly courtesy of the author; 220x292

Ronald Kelly

American author Ronald Kelly became interested in horror as a child, watching the local "Creature Feature" on Saturday nights and "The Big Show"--a Nashville-based TV show that presented every old monster movie ever made.

He wrote mystery, science fiction, and western fiction, but found no success in those genres. Then, upon a whim, he returned to the horror and suspense genre that he had loved so during his earlier years. He now writes what is known as Southern Horror fiction.

Has your interaction with fans, for example, at conventions, affected your work?

Sometimes it gives me a better idea of what fans would like to see me write, theme-wise (vampire, ghost, apocalyptic horror, etc.) as well as giving me valuable feedback on past novels and stories. Sometimes I'll meet a particularly interesting person who ends up as a protagonist (or antagonist) in one of my stories... usually with a name change involved.

Is there any particular incident (a letter, a meeting, a comment that stands out?

There were two memorable meetings, actually. One was meeting Richard Matheson at the second World Horror Convention and discovering that he enjoyed my work. Another was meeting Forrest J. Ackerman (growing up with his Famous Monsters of Filmland Magazine made me a lifelong monster-lover at the age of eight and primed me for a career in horror writing).

Do you have a favourite author or book (or writer or film or series) that has influenced you or that you return to?

My favorite book of all times is To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, a perfect combination of Southern Gothic fiction and social commentary. I read it when I was 14 years old and it has had a profound effect on me ever since.

Who is the person you would most like to be trapped in a lift with? or a spaceship?

Living: Stephen King Dead: Ray Bradbury

Who is the person you would most DISlike to be trapped in a lift with? Or a spaceship?

Living: President Obama (because I don't see eye-to-eye with many of his policies) Dead: Adolf Hitler

What would you pack for space? (Is there a food, beverage, book, teddy bear, etc that you couldn't do without?)

Sweet tea and gravy and biscuits (Southern delicacies), the Bible (I'm a devout Baptist), and my Haunted Mansion Secret Panel Box (from my childhood trip to Disney World in 1972).

What is the most important thing you would like to get/achieve from your work?

To write novels and stories that withstand the test of time and entertain folks for generations after my death.

What is the special satisfaction of your work?

I suppose it's simply the joy of writing and having folks enjoy reading my work.

submitted by Ronald Kelly

4 August 2014

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Just the facts:
Born: Nashville, Tennessee / November 1959.
Resides: In a backwoods hollow in Brush Creek, Tennessee, U.S.A.
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