I had the pleasure of meeting Kellie in Orlando at the 2010 RWA conference, and I've since had the pleasure of reading some of her gymnastic based contemporary stories. So without further ado.......Take it away, Kellie!
1.How Long have you been writing?
All my life I've kept journals with short stories, poems, and musings on my life - a diary of sorts. I won a poetry contest in school when I handed in a poem I wrote about a foster child who left our home. Poetry writing is like therapy for me. I only entered that poem because I fooled around in English class and didn't write anything! I went home and chose that one from my private collection so I'd have something to hand in. The teacher, unbeknownst to me, entered it in a contest, so along with my good grade, I won a bit of cash, too. I love to read romance and as well as write it. I've always wanted to write a romance novel, and have written several in the past 4-5 years. I just think the world needs more happy endings!
2. Have you always wanted to write?
I've always written, but for myself. Someone told me once that I'd never make a living at it, and I was at an impressionable age then, so I didn't pursue it seriously, until I began to show my poetry collection to people (10 years later) and someone told me I should consider publishing it. I toyed with the idea for a few years until I finally decided to just go for it! I had friends who self-published a book and did quite well, so with their encouragement, I went that route with my poetry collection SIMPLY REFLECTED. I had no knowledge of the publishing world at that time, and even though the easy part was getting the book printed, I learned a lot about marketing, promotion and what it takes to sell a book. Now that I'm a part of the Romance Writer's of America, I've learned so much more about the publishing industry. Digital versions and possibly audio versions of SIMPLY REFLECTED will be available in the next couple of months, so I'm excited about that! For updates, you can check out my site www.kelliejwin.com, or join my fan page on facebook (Kellie J. Winzinowich), and you can check out some of my newer poetry, too.
3. What genre do you write?
Right now I write contemporary romance. My first series of books deal with people in the gymnastics profession. All of my critique partners, and beta-readers have loved them, so I'm crossing my fingers that an editor or agent will, too.
4. Which author influenced you?
My favorite author is Eloisa James, not only because of her exquisite writing, but because she was instrumental in getting me to join the Romance Writer's of America. She has always answered all of my questions, and it was a real thrill to meet her this past summer! If I hadn't taken her advice, I never would have met my fellow Ass Cheek Angels. When I grace the stage (notice how positive I am) for a Golden Heart or RITA award, she will be one of the first people I thank.
5. Tell us about yourself.
I live in Manitoba, Canada - right in the middle of my country! I live with my four kids (2 boys, 2 girls), and my prince charming. I've been a gymnastics instructor for 23 years now (I started young), and taught everything from preschool to elite athletes. I gave up coaching for more of a normal family life, but I taught university for 3-4 years, and I still teach seminars for teachers and university students. The sport won't let me retire! My motto is: Keep dreaming, keep believing, and I instill this in my kids and others I meet. I believe you can do anything if you set your mind to it!
Thanks for being my guest, Kellie!
For more info visit Kellie at: http://kelliejwin.com/