Everyone, welcome Gretchen Kelly to our Contributor Interview series, a routine blog feature that introduces you to the wonderful writers whose work will be featured in our upcoming anthology, Byline Legacies.
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“Gretchen’s writing is woven with such delicate strands of intimacy that one can’t help but feel touched by the unidentifiable element that makes life seem more magical than mundane.”
— Jaime Dill, editor for Cardigan Press
[E] Welcome, Gretchen, to our interview series! We’d like to kick off by asking — what genre/age ranges do you typically write for?
A lot of my writing is focused on social justice issues, grief, and parenting. I never set out to write for a particular age group, but these topics lend themselves to adult audiences. My current work-in-progress (a novel) will hopefully appeal to young adults, as well as an older audience. It’s an immersion into the world of an awkward kid growing up in the ’80s, absorbing the culture of the time and dealing with adult issues — not the least of which is her younger brother’s cancer diagnosis. It sounds heavy, but it’s a nostalgic coming-of-age story steeped in self-awareness and self-deprecation. I hope to have the first draft completed by summer’s end and will be shouting it from the rooftops when I find a home for it.
[E] It is so encouraging that you are writing a coming-of-age story that applies beyond the typical YA spectrum. Adulthood has numerous eras during which we must embrace our age and its inherent issues. How is your submission for Byline Legacies different or similar to that project?
While my article and blog writing is typically issues based, I do occasionally write from a more personal perspective, as I did in my Cardigan Press submission. Exploring a meaningful time and person from my past was a balm to me. Wrapping myself in memories and reliving those moments was so comforting in these uncertain times. It felt like a visit with an old friend, a refreshing break from writing about current hot button topics.
[E] A great many of us were influenced by specific teachers, much like Ms. Abraham in your submission “Keep Going”. I have no doubt that readers will get the same nostalgic feeling you had while drafting it. Thankfully, the release date for Byline Legacies‘ is drawing ever closer! How can readers can best support you in the meantime?
I share all of my writing on social media – the rooftop from which I shout. Readers can follow me on Facebook, or on Medium, and if a reader is interested in political hot takes and writer’s angst, they can find me on Twitter.
[E] Thanks so much, Gretchen, for hanging out with us and being part of the Byline Legacies debut!
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