Interview by Gwen Reyes, Editor
Kelly Bennett Seiler's' latest novel, SHIFTING TIME, tells the story of a
young woman who wakes up one morning to find her long-lost first love back
from the dead. The author stopped by to answer a few questions about her
novel and preview whatās next for her.
Gwen Reyes: Tell us a little
about yourself. How did you become a writer?
Seiler: Iām a Jersey girl living in Austin, TX. I have three kids
ā including a teenager who may be the early death of me. I hate cold
weather. Love enchiladas. Miss good Chinese food. My goal is to read 40
books this year ā Iām on 11. I became a writer by wring and writing and
writing and eventually, I showed my writing to some people. I authored
hundreds of content articles for sites like eHow and Livestrong. Then, I
wrote a screenplay and sent it to an agent. She told me I needed to write a
book and said if I would, sheād sign me. So, of course I wrote a
book. She sold it to Simon and Schuster two years later. She sold another a
year after that. I finally changed my occupation on Facebook to āAuthorā
this past fall.
GR: In SHIFTING
TIME your main character wakes up and finds herself face to face with
her previously dead boyfriend. What is it about revisiting the past that
you found so compelling?
KBS: I donāt think itās
so much visiting the past that I find gripping as much as taking a piece of
that past, changing it a bit, and following it through to see āwhat ifā
would have happened if life had played out that way instead of the
way it did. Everyone has a āWhat if?ā in their life. Who wouldnāt welcome
the opportunity to know for certain how it would turn out?
Meade is trying to put herself back together at the beginning of the book.
She hasnāt been able to move on from her the death of her high school
boyfriend, but sheās trying. Can you talk about finding the right balance
when it comes to creating a grieving character that so desperately tries to
move on with her life?
KBS: Thatās a tough one.
It was important for me to show the reader that Meade was āstuckā in her
life. She couldnāt get past the loss of Daniel ā picking all the wrong men
to fill a void she had deep inside. Yet, I didnāt want her to seem
unlikeable or even stupid. I tried to show that she was unconsciously doing
so to protect herself from every experiencing such unbearable pain again.
GR: How much, if any, of your story is pulled from real
KBS: When I was sixteen, a boy I loved very
much passed away. Iāve always wondered āwhat if heād lived?ā Would we be
friends? Would we just be Facebook friends? Would he have led a happy and
healthy life? Had a career? Had kids? Iām still close to his family. If
heād lived, would that have changed? I think Iāve been writing this story,
in my mind, for the past twenty-five years.
GR: What moment from
your past would you like to revisit?
love to go back and spend time with my grandmother. She passed away sixteen
years ago, before I had my first child. Iād do anything for the opportunity
to tell her how my life has turned out ā especially about my kids and my
writing. Thereās also so much Iād love to ask her. It wasnāt that I didnāt
take the time to talk to her when she was still here. Itās that now, as a
woman in my (cough cough) forties, the things I would ask and
discuss are so different from the topics I found important in my twenties.
GR: What sort of books do you like to read?
KBS: I love any story that wonāt let me put it down. I
tend to lean towards fiction, but I just finished Shonda Rhimesā YEAR OF
YES and it held my attention from page one until the end. What a
fantastic book ā one I recommend all women read! My favorite modern-day
series is THE GIRL WITH
THE DRAGON TATTOO trilogy. I was thrilled when Stieg Larssonās family
hired a writer to continue on with it āand I devoured the fourth novel this
past winter. My all-time favorites, though, are JANE EYRE
and TO KILL A
MOCKINGBIRD. As a former freshman English teacher, Iāve easily read
Harperās Leeās classic thirty or more times and it got better with each
GR: Tell us about your next book, THE PLAN
KBS: I am so excited about THE PLAN. Itās a story Iāve had
on my heart for the past seven or so years and the fact that Iāll soon be
able to share it with others is thrilling to me.
Itās about Claire Matthews
ā a woman whose entire worldāthe one she shared with her husband and three
childrenāshattered into a million pieces on a dark, winter road the day
after Christmas. The only survivor of a brutal car crash that claimed the
life of her entire family, she struggles to find a reason to wake up each
On the other side of the Atlantic, Irishman Callum Fitzgeraldās
actual birth was deemed a tragedy. Born a trilateral amputee, no one
expected his life to amount to anything. Now in his thirties, Callum has
defied the odds. Victorious over his own limitations, heās built a life and
a career around encouraging others to find a purpose for their pain. He
assures the tens of thousands who flock from all around the world to hear
his inspirational message that nothing occurs by happenstance; thereās
always a greater plan.
Claire and Callum are two individuals with seemingly
little in common ā separated by years, physical abilities and half a world.
Yet, their lives unexpectedly converge, thus beginning a love story so
profound and enduring, it turns the darkest tragedies into spectacular
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