Author Interview of Kellie Doughtery for “Curling Vines and Crimson Trades”

This has been a long time in coming. We interviewed Kellie back in 2019 for her first book Sunkissed Feathers and Severed Ties, which we loved. Interview here

Now she’s back with a new tale in the same universe!

Here is our interview for Curling Vines and Crimson Tides:

How long did it take to write this book?

Curling Vines & Crimson Trades took about seven to eight months to write cover to cover. I’m not the fastest writer, and it was going through my fabulous critique group at the time, too, which helped with revisions but also lengthened the overall writing time.

How long do you have to write for each session before you get “in the groove?”

Oh, great question! It takes me about 15 minutes to get back into the writing groove. I have to put on my Lord of the Rings soundtrack on YouTube, briefly re-read the prior scene to figure out where I’m starting from, and then start writing the next scenes. It takes me some time to sink into it, like when you take those first few steps into the too-cold pool before submerging completely. Once I’m in the writing groove, though, I can go for a few hours.

Hawk has started novels based on a picture and every scene Young writes is based on a song. How do other mediums of art influence your work?

I love that idea! For me, if I get stuck on a scenery idea I definitely look at photos of places that look similar to the idea I’m trying to convey (for example, in CV&CT my characters have to walk through caves and caverns and tunnels and for a while that setting was hard to write until I looked at in-real-life photos of some caves and tunnels). I always listen to Lord of the Rings soundtracks when working on my fantasy stories because that kind of epic journey music with the quieter moments from the Shire really helps me set the mood of being in a fantasy world. I also glean inspiration from various art I see on Twitter or Pinterest for the designs of my armor and weaponry and clothing styles.

What do you use to overcome low levels of motivation?

Motivation can be fleeting, especially now during the pandemic when everything seems overwhelming and you just want to watch something funny on YouTube. However, writing is a job and you gotta go to work, whether you’re motivated to do so or not. So I trick myself! I have a couple of tricks that work well for me. I tell myself I’ll “only write for 15 minutes”—if I keep writing, great; if I don’t, at least I wrote something down in those 15 minutes. Note how long it takes me to get into the groove answer above? Around 15 minutes. More often than not, I’ll want to keep writing after those 15 minutes are done! It works well for me. I also motivate myself with cookies, like if I finish this one scene or this one conversation or this one battle, I get a cookie. It’s SUPER childish, but I also love cookies so…it works for me! Sometimes I get the motivation back by watching my favorite fantasy scenes in Critical Role (a show where nerdy ass voice actors play D&D) because I find their stories captivating and the narrative inspiring and I want to get better in my stories. I also find that reading in the same genre helps with getting motivation back as well.

If you were in exile with only five books what would they be?

I’d want some variety, so Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon since that’s an absolute tomb and is a high fantasy world, Record of a Spaceborne Few by Becky Chambers since that’s a quiet character-driven science fiction, The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by VE Schwab and Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas because I haven’t read them yet and I’d want some new material, and then my “novel” of worldbuilding materials for The Broken Chronicles so I could finish writing the next three books in that series.


Curling Vines & Crimson Trades
book two of the Broken Chronicles

Publish Date: November 30, 2020
Publisher: Desert Palm Press
*Imadjinn Award Finalist 2021
Honorable Mention in the Rainbow Awards 2021*

About the Book:
Rare goods trader, Orenda Silverstone leads a happy life with her wife and friends. She’s an Elu—a race whose crafting is centered on protection—but her power is broken. Now, her sword is her strength. When her wife gets kidnapped and Orenda has to use her trading skills to complete some nearly impossible tasks to get her back, a good sword arm won’t be enough. Orenda’s time is rapidly coming to a close. She needs help. But she’s been forced into silence. Two sun goddess worshippers, twins Lan and Lyra, decide to join Orenda’s quest in order to guard one of the rarer items to its destination. Orenda’s not sure she can turn her back on either one, but with no other options, she competes against the sunrises to complete her tasks before her wife is killed. Then, the unthinkable happens. Orenda’s best friend, Jax, tries to kill her. Between racing against the coming dawns and battles at every turn, Orenda’s list now seems insurmountable. No longer certain of who is friend or foe, she must come up with a plan to save them all before the sun rises on her wife’s final day.

Get your copy on Desert Palm Press, Barnes & Noble, Bella Books, Amazon (ebook and paperback), Smashwords,, and local Alaskan bookstores like BOSCO’s on Spenard in Anchorage and Black Birch Books in Wasilla. (Check back often for updated lists.)

Learn more about Kellie.

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