Y staffer Estrella Young, left, and Y CEO Linda Daly, right, congratulate author Laura Kelly on her new book. Courtesy photo
The Family YMCA is hosting a book signing for local author and Y fitness instructor Laura Kelly, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Friday, Dec. 9 at the YMCA, 1450 Iris St.
In a recent interview, Kelly disclosed more about her new book, “Splintered Reflections”.
Q: Besides being a new author and a world-class, fun, engaging fitness instructor at the Y, what do you do in the real world to pay the bills, and how long have you lived in Los Alamos?
A: I have worked at LANL for over 27 years. I am proud to say that I started out as an Analytical Chemical Technician and eventually became a project leader. I am now responsible for planning and overseeing the emergency exercises.
Q: So you took a writing workshop class in Santa Fe a year ago, and got hooked. You wrote the novel, “Splintered Reflections,” in Sedona? How long did it take you, and what was your writing regime like?
A: The writing retreat in Sedona was a weekend retreat designed to write your best seller in one weekend. And I did! However, I like to say that I wrote the foundation of the story. The writing process taps into the right side of the brain and focuses on writing and not correcting. I was typing 600-700 words every 15 minutes during the process. The story was basically flowing from my fingertips onto the keyboard.
Once I got home, I had to revise the book by correcting the spelling errors and adding the correct punctuation. I remember a number of times reading a sentence I had typed wondering “what the heck was I trying to say.” I also had to develop the characters and added dimension to the book by tapping into the five senses.
I would get up most weekday mornings around 5 a.m. to spend about 30 minutes on the book. I would also spend my off-Friday and weekends revising the book.
Q: Does your novel have a genre/category type? Fiction/ romance, mystery, fantasy, comedy, drama, horror, modern exposition?
A: “Splintered Reflections” is a fictional story about a young girl struggling to find herself. It is a tale that many can relate with. There is a touch of romance and a twist at the end of the story.
Q: You’ve said the book is about discovering the ability to be what we want, via a fictional character. Many in your classes have enjoyed your instruction and observations and what you have shared about your life in your classes. While we all know that characters never (wink, wink) resemble anyone living or dead, and are purely fiction, was any of the plot or characters inspired by anything you saw at the YMCA?
A: Unfortunately not. However, my next book “The 47 Days of Me” does contain many segments about the YMCA.
Q: You proved to yourself that you could write. Did you get something more out of the experience? Did you solve any questions for yourself? What do you hope people get out of the book?
A: I did. I met a number of wonderful people during the workshop in Sedona. I also developed many strong friendships. I learned that I really can accomplish anything that I set my mind to, and that those obstacles along the way are there for a reason. Each obstacle I encountered when writing and publishing my book made the book better and me stronger.
I hope that anyone reading my book gains the courage, power, and the wisdom to understand that they can be whoever they want to be and it is never too late to make your dream come true.