Interview with Keith Keltner

Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up on a farm in Western Tennessee and went to college at a small rural school. I was quite the traveler even then and had spent considerable time throughout the Southern states. The diversity of the people I encountered taught me basic manners, respect for others, and civic responsibility. I try to reinforce these core values in my writing.
What's the story behind your latest book?
While I was in college, I had the distinct honor of having an American History class with a professor who was a fabulous speaker. Dr. Lonnie Mannes would hold students spell-bound while he verbally painted graphic images of the struggles of our founding fathers, settlers, and pioneers. He was a great inspiration to me and I wanted to write a story that portrayed a character with similar attributes. His love and pride for our nation is unparalleled and his knowledge of our Constitution is legendary.
How do you approach cover design?
A dear friend of mine is an artist in central Tennessee. Susan LaVelle-Lowery, was an excellent collaborator when it came to designing the selected cover. She read the story and we discussed several themes that resonated throughout the book. Once we agreed upon the sub-story regarding the rock, she took off like a whirlwind and created the winning creation. Susan has already started working on cover art concepts for my next book.
What are you working on next?
My next book is a story about a young man who grows up during the multiple yellow fever epidemics of Memphis in the 1870s. Years later, it is learned that he is the chief suspect in a possible murder. The story follows the investigation into the victim’s death. Nuns, a newspaper editor, painted ladies, eclectic widows, and a police sergeant all play a part in the search for the truth. I have completed the story and it’s currently being edited. I hope to have it ready for publication by late autumn.
What motivates you to get out of bed each day?
My adult daughter once expressed that she admired and respected me. Hearing that from your child, regardless of the level of sincerity associated with it, is extremely humbling. Ever since that day, I have been motivated to live each day in an effort to continually earn her admiration and respect. Sierra has not only been a tremendous blessing to me, she has also been a constant source of motivation for me.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
For me, another word for writing is catharsis. Sure, parts of the writing process can be very stressful; such as writer’s block and researching obscured details. However, it is very therapeutic once I feel a scene or concept has been described just the way I want. Sharing knowledge is also very rewarding for me. For my book The Lady from Hoback, I researched the Electoral College process in detail and learned a few things of which I had been previously unaware. I strive to pass along some of these revelations in my story. I believe the exhilaration of sharing knowledge with others is similar to the excitement a teacher must have when they see that look of understanding on their student’s face.
Published 2016-07-21.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Lure of the Outlands
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 36,230. Language: English. Published: December 30, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Historical » USA, Fiction » Mystery & detective » Historical
Surviving multiple yellow fever epidemics in Memphis, a young man goes on to become a war hero of the Spanish-American war. However, is he a war hero or has his murderous past caught up with him? Battling malaria confuses his story, as he suffers fever-induced delusions. Follow along as an Army doctor travels to Memphis to try to discover the truth.
Lady From Hoback
Price: $5.99 USD. Words: 146,790. Language: English. Published: August 25, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Historical » USA
A professor inspires students with a unique view of American government. Surprisingly, these admirers tear him away from the comfort of the classroom and thrust him into the world of politics. Undaunted, he tackles the task willingly. However, when he believes his term is ending, he gets sucked back in due to an obscure provision in the Constitution. Seizing the chance, he charts a unique path.