Author Interview - L.G. Kelso, FIERCE

Hey, gang! I'm coming to you with a rare weekend post to share an interview I did recently with author L.G. Kelso. L.G. is a good friend and a talented author, plus FIERCE is a truly unique book that features a tough as nails heroine. So I know you'll love her and it!



5 Questions With Author L.G. Kelso

EJ - Your novel, FIERCE, is about a woman chasing her dream of being an MMA fighter. It's a struggle for her both inside and outside of the ring. Any similarities between her journey and your journey to become a published author? (I know I've had my ass kicked in this business more than once. :)

LG - What a great question. I hadn't really thought of it, but I think you could say yes. Tori faces a lot of doubt and negativity from external sources, and I think that is something every writer faces, no matter what stage of the publication process. Both areas get a lot of criticism, and certain MMA groups are more respected than others (similar to the various kind of publishing and stigmas still attached to them). 

If I had to give one, solid answer it would be this: Tori had to fight to become who she is and she struggles with that identity. Publishing her story was a fight in some ways, because she isn't what the market "is" and doesn't fit the market mold. I think while Tori worked to accept who she is, I had to work to accept what I wanted for the book and strive to get it. Tori tries to fit in and it's rough, in both the MMA world and the "regular" world (as she calls it), and that's because of her history and her experiences, and that same characterization did add to the struggle of publication.

EJ - FIERCE uses a confrontational sport to take on some very real and complex social issues. (Notably, the struggles of women who wish to feel empowered and be respected for their actions--not necessarily categorized by their gender first.) As a writer, what were some the challenges in bringing that to the page? Anything you'd approach differently next time around?

LG - Confrontational sport. I like that term. It's very accurate, and women aren't normally associated with "confrontation". Actually putting those struggles and issues on the page wasn't an issue. The challenge was making sure that both the highs and the lows were there, that readers would see these very real problems but also see the very real beauty of it. For being one of the most popular sports in the US right now, MMA is often misunderstood. Does it have problems? Oh, yes. So do many other male-dominated sports. But there is also lots of beauty in it, and I didn't want people to judge it solely based off the problems, but I also didn't want to sugar coat it. I did in some ways as far as language is concerned, but I didn't want to sugar-coat the issues.

EJ - You box in real life. You get five minutes in the ring to take out your frustrations on any one part of the writing/publishing process What is it? Why?

LG - Can I pick two? I just can't pick one. What would I chose:

1) The stigma associated with the various forms of publishing. I hate this stigma of traditional verses indie. I hate the misconception that indie authors are forced to go indie and don't have choices. I know most of us do, and even those that feel like it is their only choice, well, that doesn't mean their work shouldn't be seen! If anything, this publishing journey has taught me how different our tastes are and that there is little reason to judge another work when it comes to things that are subjective, because it may not work for me but it may be the best thing ever for you. The stigma goes even deeper than just the indie vs. traditional. I've seen it with digital only imprints and so on. It needs to stop.

2) Marketing. I'm not a good self-pimper (yes, I said that, just go with it). I really enjoy certain aspects of marketing-like making teasers. Time suck of my life, people. Love making teasers. And I did a program on gender-stereotypes that was really enjoyable and could fall into the marketing side of things. Overall, though, I hate being like "BUY MY BOOK!" Also, I would prefer to be writing instead of pimping, so you know...

EJ - FIERCE is technically New Adult fiction (though it could definitely fit in upper YA, because it's not erotic or overly sexy). You encountered some interesting resistance creating the main character, Tori. What do you think a writer's role is in reshaping social and reader perceptions/expectations? Can we really walk a line between authenticity--or progressiveness--and mass appeal? Or do you have to sacrifice some of one for the other? 


LG - Yes, it is technically NA (college-aged kids with NA themes) but I do feel it fits into upper YA as well. Tori is not the mold, and that was one reason that I decided the publishing route I did, because changing Tori drastically enough to fit the mold would have meant not only changing the story on a huge scale, but also would lose the ave authenticity. Tori grew up in the fighting world, and that really did create her persona. 

I do think we can walk that line. I think we do have a duty to help reshape reader expectations. If we as writers don't give readers that diversity, then how will anyone know if anyone wants to read it or not? If that's not even an option, or a very limited one, of course it's not going to have mass market appeal just because of the fact it's not greatly available. 

I do think that if you want to fit into the mold of what is currently a big deal in the mass market, then sometimes authenticity does have to be sacrificed. I, for one, can't do that. Honesty is something that is important to my writing. I'm not saying that every big name book and author out there sacrificed any authenticity, but I do think some of them have had to. The only way to change that is for writers to not being willing to do that, and that's a whole different discussion since we're talking about peoples paychecks here.

In short, I do think we can walk that line and I think walking that line is going to be the way we can, even if gradually, help grow and diversify reader expectations.


EJ - Last question, and our favorite! Where can we find FIERCE and more information on your writing endeavors?

LG
All about FIERCE--

New Adult Contemporary Sports Romance 

Tori's MMA career was taking off ... until she beat the wrong man. Her training partner, nursing a bruised ego, snapped—shattering her trust and confidence.

Three years later, Tori’s keeping her fists to herself as she struggles to put herself through college. But when a group of gangbangers hassle her at work, old habits kick in and her fists fly. Max Estrada, a frequent diner customer, steps in and gets them out of hot water, but Tori is still fired... days before tuition is due.

With no other option, she’s forced to take a desk job at her old pounding grounds, where her demons still haunt the cage and the temptation to go glove-to-glove with familiar pro-fighter, Max Estrada, is too much. The sexy Colombian draws her back into the world of MMA and revives her dreams of becoming a professional face-puncher—until Will, her old partner and current Middleweight Champion, struts back into the gym. The secret they share is an unexpected liability to his career, and he's determined to keep her silent.

With her life on the ropes, Tori will have to face the past for a shot at winning back her future, or carry the weight of a loss even greater than before.


Praise for FIERCE

"A unique twist on the fighter trope-- FIERCE is a compelling, original read with my favorite kind of heroine (a kick-ass one)."

- New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Cora Carmack

"If you're looking for a strong heroine who stands out in the New Adult contemporary world, L.G. Kelso's Fierce is the book for you. Why I loved it: A complex heroine dealing with inner and external obstacles; a romance that isn't the character's main goal (though it is hot!); powerful voice and an authentic journey into the MMA world."

-Diana Gallagher, author of What Happens in Water (Fall 2015, Spencer Hill Press)

Fierce Links: | Amazon | Barnes & Nobles | SmashWords | Pinterest | GoodReads | Website

About the Author


L.G. Kelso is a fantasy and contemporary novelist. Having grown up watching Xena and Hercules with her grandmother, she inherited her passion for all things magic, paranormal and mythological. She also has a probably unhealthy obsession with martial arts, and as a boxer she strives to give readers an authentic view of MMA in her contemporary sports novels. 

LGKelso.com | Twitter | Facebook | Blog | NA Alley| GoodReads | Pinterest | Amazon




56 comments:

  1. *waves to a fellow L.G.* :)

    Cool subject. We definitely need more stories about women breaking out of traditional molds. Best of luck with this!

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    1. Hello L.G. !
      Thank you! and I totally agree.

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  2. This is a great interview, EJ! You ask such thoughtful, interesting questions that delve deeper into Fierce and make LG open up a little more about herself. Loved reading!

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    1. Aren't they awesome questions? EJ did a fabulous job!

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  3. An insightful interview, L.G. and E.J.

    That particular sport certainly does make an unusual backdrop for fiction. I can't recall offhand it being used elsewhere.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, William! EJ asks fantastic questions.

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  4. EJ, thank you for hosting me and having a really awesome interview!

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  5. Excellent interview! I think there's a lot of good points made here. I like Indie books because they break the mold. I can read a bunch of traditionally published books in a genre and feel like I'm just reading the same thing over and over with only slight variations. With Indie you never know! I also like that this is a clean NA, that can be hard to find and I appreciate that some authors are breaking out of that. I like reading about that age group but prefer no sex, so it's definitely a bonus for me!
    Thanks for hosting a tour stop E.J.!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, Candace! I agree--both paths have a lot to offer, and they do offer some differences.

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  6. It's always interesting to find stories about women in roles other than moms, sisters or wives. This is great. And I enjoyed your interview. Very well done.

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    1. Thank you. It was a fun interview to do!

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  7. Congrats. :)
    I really enjoyed this interview. You have an interesting perspective on publishing, LG.

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  8. Great interview! (I've never been a good self-pimper, either, haha!) Fierce sounds so intriguing, especially the character of Tori...

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  9. Ooh this sounds like a great read! And I totally agree that this culture of weighing indie vs trade publishing should stop.

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  10. Fantastic interview. Congratulations! And I add my table pounding with a "Here, here!" on the indie vs. traditional publishing. I chose to be an indie author, and it was a great choice for me.

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  11. Loved!!! EJ, you know the coolest people. You're always the center of the part saying and doing the coolest things. Fabulous interview. I love how much NA has taken off! :)

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  12. This sounds like a different sort of story than most of what is out there.

    There are so many options out there for publishing now with greater accessibility than ever before. The toughest part is getting wide distribution if one is self-publishing, but outlets like Amazon have made that easier as well. How to stand out in the crowd is the big question.

    Lee
    Wrote By Rote

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  13. Very cool, L.G.! We need more stories like this one.

    Thanks for hosting, E.J. :)

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  14. It is perfect time to make some plans for the future and it is time to be happy. I have learn this put up and if I may I desire to recommend you some fascinating issues or suggestions. Perhaps you can write subsequent articles regarding this article. I wish to read more issues approximately it!

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  15. This sounds like such a fun interview! Thanks for sharing this.

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  16. Congrats on your book release, L.G.! It sounds like a book I'd love to read. I really love reading stories with kick-arse heroines.

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  17. I was here already before realising ... you're the Blitz dude of the moment! :D So now I'm back to say Happy Blitz day to you ;)

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  18. Dropping by again to say happy blitz day.

    Lee
    Tossing It Out

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  19. I enjoyed the interview and the book sound really interesting. I like that it pushes some boundaries.

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  20. Hi E.J.

    I'm here to 'soak-a-bloke' as instructed by the Realms Faire hostess.
    So regard yourself duly drenched in special H2O!

    Plus it's blitzing time!
    HAPPY BLOG BLITZ DAY!
    Enjoy the barrage of bloggy love coming your way!

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  21. What a great interview!

    Happy Blitz Day!

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  22. Hello. Just called in to wish you a Happy Blog Blitz Day!

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  23. Great interview. Congrats to L.G. And Happy Blitz Day!

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  24. A very interesting interview. Fierce sounds like a very unique book. Happy Blog Blitz Day.

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  25. FIERCE definitely sounds like a mold breaker...in a good way. Best of luck with it LG. And thanks EJ for a very entertaining interview!

    BTW...you're being BLITZED! :) Enjoy.

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  26. Hi, E.J.! I hear you've been going through some difficult things lately, and I just wanted to say hello and send you virtual sunbeams and chocolate chip cookies. Happy Blitz Day!

    Happy reading and writing! from Laura Marcella @ Wavy Lines

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  27. I hope LG is having great success! And I hope you're doing all right lately took, E.J. Hugs for you along with a great soaking of blog love. (By coincidence, you're being blitzed AND you're the honored dunkee of the Realms Faire Soak-a-bloke event today!)

    Happy Blitz Day!

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  28. EJ, I hope being blitzed today brightens your week just a little. Sorry to hear you are going through a rough time.

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  29. Hey EJ! Guess what - Happy Blitz Day!!

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  30. Sounds like an interesting book. Good luck.

    EJ - So sorry for your loss. It's hard to say goodbye to our furry friends.
    A wise woman once told me when I was upset, 'You will get glad again."
    I hope you do soon.

    Thanks to you and your wife for your service.

    BAZINGA!

    You've been blitzed!
    Heather

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  31. I'm coming to you from the blitz team - enjoy the raid!

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  32. Stopping by from the Blitz to say hi and to wish you a good day! :)

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  33. The Blitz is on! May it be a blessing blitz. And, here's to our veterans. I know it's a bit early, but I'm going to throw in a happy Thanks Giving too!

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  34. A woman boxer - she's tough.

    Happy Blitz day!

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  35. You've been BLITZED!! :D Happy happy joy joy! ((hugs))

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  36. Happy Blitz Day! Now go do something crazy you've always wanted to do. Just don;t get caught!

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  37. What a fascinating story about Tori. congrats to LG! And you're soaked and blitzed today.

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  38. Fierce sounds like a great read- and I'm not particularly into fighting, so the blurb certainly did it's job! =) Also loved the line, professional face-puncher, heh.

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  39. Dropping in from the Blog Blitz Team. Hope you have a good day.

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  40. Hope this day finds you in warmth and contentment. Happy Blitz Day!

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  41. Fierce Looks like an excellent read and I'm glad to see all of the support!! Huzzaahh!!

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  42. What a terrific interview! It's always good to hear about a book highlighting a woman with strength. (Unlike me. It just about takes all I've got just to resist having a second piece of chocolate...)

    How ya feeling, E.J.? A little woozy, maybe? Understood. You SHOULD be, yanno, because you, my friend, are getting totally BLITZED today. Enjoy!

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  43. Looks like a good book. Congrats to the author.

    Happy Blitz day EJ. I hope life will be smoothing out soon for you.

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  44. Fierce sounds like a book I would LOVE! Thanks for sharing the author interview.
    Happy Blitz Day!

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  45. Happy belated blog blitz! That was a fun interview :-)

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  46. Well, heck, EJ. I commented but I don't know where it went. I like the analogy of writing and fighting--both take discipline and dedication to do well.

    Interesting interview. I enjoyed reading it and I do enjoy reading stories set in the MMA world.

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  47. Banned complain !! Complaining only causes life and mind become more severe. Enjoy the rhythm of the problems faced. No matter ga life, not a problem not learn, so enjoy it :)

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    ReplyDelete

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