Today’s guest is Kelly Nelson, author of The Keeper’s Calling. Kelly was raised in Orem, Utah, and now resides in Cornelius, Oregon, in the heart of the beautiful Pacific Northwest. She enjoys life on a ten-acre horse property with her husband, four children, and, of course, lots of horses. Kelly has a bachelor’s degree from Brigham Young University. She worked as a certified public accountant for several years before opting to stay home and raise a family. As a young girl, she was an avid reader and had a passion for creative writing. Her travels to England, France, Egypt, Israel, West Indies, Mexico, and across the United States sparked a love of history, adventure, and exotic places. This led to the inspiration behind her debut novel, The Keeper’s Calling, the first book in The Keeper’s Saga.
List three people you admire and explain why.
My dad, Owen Cherrington, taught me through example to work hard and to dream big, and he always believed in me. His confidence in me gave me the courage to pursue my dreams.
My husband’s cousin and best friend, Dave Clemens recently passed away from the effects of ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease. In spite of this devastating illness, Dave’s never-ending optimism and good natured humor was always present. He showed me how to live life to its fullest and enjoy every good thing life has to offer up until the moment we are called back home.
My mom, Kristin Cherrington, gives hours of behind the scenes service and kindness to so many people. Since I was a little girl she has always been a great example to me of Christ-like service and of putting other’s needs above her own.
That’s easy. My favorite quote is from the Bible and I tell myself this all the time, (especially when I was querying my manuscript). “For with God nothing shall be impossible.” Luke 1:37
What are your top three favorite books and why?
Deathwatch by Robb White—as a 13 yr old this suspenseful novel gave me my first taste of intense reading, and I still love it to this day.
Anthem by Ayn Rand—my daughter’s assigned reading assignment sophomore year. She finished the book, declared it her favorite and handed it to me. I read it in one day and loved it. The message of free agency, proper level of government control in its citizen’s lives and the value of individual worth and identity is timeless and powerful.
True Colors by Kristin Hannah—one of the most impactful books I have read. A story of love and loss, of never giving up—this book kept me thinking for days. I’ve never been able to get it out of my head.
What is your favorite thing about writing?
The feeling of excitement and exhilaration I get from knowing I created something. The year I spent writing The Keeper’s Saga was the happiest year of my life—I was healthier and had more energy than at any other time. I absolutely love completing a novel and then reading it through from start to finish for the first time—so enjoyable.
What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever found in one of your rough drafts?
This makes me chuckle even now. Two years ago I entered my first three chapters in the PNWA writing contest. On the last edit before I sent off the entry I decided to change “surrounding” to “around.” I made the change, or so I thought, printed the designated entry pages and mailed it off. The next time I opened the document I realized I had changed “surrounding” to “arounding.” My sister and I still laugh about my “arounding” error.
Pick a character from one of your books and tell us about him or her:
Chase Harper is my leading man in The Keeper’s Calling. A close physical resemblance would be actor Liam Hemsworth in The Last Song. Chase is a typical 17 year old high school senior whose life turns upside down when he discovers a strange gold device—a counter—buried in a cave during a summer camping trip. He opens the device and touches one of the buttons, unknowingly transporting himself to 1863. When he leaves the cave he soon realizes something is terribly wrong. By using the counter he has become the next Keeper—a calling with both perks and demands far beyond his wildest imagination. Through his story, we experience his coming-of-age journey and see the process of self discovery.
What are you working on now?
The Keeper’s Quest, the exciting sequel to The Keeper’s Calling, as well as an LDS romance.