Kelli Jae Baeli


Bestselling author Kelli Jae Baeli began writing as a child, exploring poetry and journaling, and eventually moving on to short stories. After a romantic fling in the military with another female soldier, she decided to write a book based on the experience. The story that evolved took on a life of its own, but it became her first novel, As You Were. This was followed quickly by Armchair Detective, a book she said she wrote because she couldn’t find other lesbian fiction she liked at the time, and so wanted to write something she would want to read. She's been doing that ever since.

Believing in mastering every aspect of the business, she is also an editor, webmaster and blogger, all after eight years of University, to include pursuing a B.A. in Professional Writing & Editing. Formerly a managing editor for two small presses, and a freelance editor since 1995, Baeli has also done book cover design, typography, and formatting since 1998.

Creativity comes as easily as breathing to Baeli. Living a life around words, books, art, and music not only fulfills her, but defines her. An independent publisher, she has authored and produced 37 books, both non-fiction and fiction, in a variety of genres.

Constantly mining the world around her for literary tidbits, Baeli is always to be found with iPhone in hand, recording or thumbing in notes, a self-confessed story magpie who sees everywhere the fodder for her work. She is a talented singer-songwriter with over 200 songs to her credit, and loves pottery and clay sculpture, as well. A canny mix of business woman and artist, Kelli Jae Baeli is delighted to spend each and every day relentlessly feeding her muse.

Formerly a managing editor for two small presses, and a freelance editor since 1995, she blogs on a regular basis, founded Kindred Ink Writers Initiative, Kind Red Ink Editing, and has currently co-founded Lesbian Literati Press and Sapphica with her partner, fellow author Kate Genet. Baeli migrated from Colorado to New Zealand, where they currently make their home.

Smashwords Interview

What's the story behind your latest book?
I just blogged this pretty thoroughly.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I like having creative and technical control over my work--I hate most cover art, for example, that publishers use, and it makes me very uncomfortable to end up with a cover that's not to my liking; I like making 80% royalties instead of, say, 15%. I guess I don't like anyone else telling me what to write, how to write it. I write what I feel needs to be written, or I am interested in or enjoy, so having some entity controlling these things is a repugnant idea to me. It's also too hard to get work published with major houses, and the process becomes prohibitively expensive--and I don't feel it makes sense to let work languish in a drawer, gathering dust, when the whole point is to get your work into the hands of readers. The readers, after all, should decide whether or not a work has merit, not some publishing person who doesn't know me or my work.
Read more of this interview.

Where to find Kelli Jae Baeli online

Where to buy in print


This member has not published any books.

Kelli Jae Baeli's favorite authors on Smashwords

Smashwords book reviews by Kelli Jae Baeli

  • Remnant on March 16, 2012

    Rich in eloquence, authenticity, and sweeping tragic beauty I choose my books wisely, as I don't have near enough time to read all the books I'd like to, so I will not even waste my time with one that doesn't immediately engage my senses, my interest, my fascination. Remnant was one of those books that did all of that and more. New Zealand author, Kate Genet is one of those writers who deserves a major publishing contract, along with an insanely generous advance and a multi-book deal. Her book, Remnant is just a masterful piece of work. It isn't easy to handle basically one character for most of a book, but she pulled it off beautifully. Not once, did I lose interest in Cass and her plight. One reason for her mastery, is that she did not create a hero, so much as an average woman in beyond-average situation This book has a great deal of exposition, but necessarily so, considering the plot. It takes a lot to keep me from skipping forward on long narrative passages, merely because many writers aren't very good at handling them, but Genet has a firm grip on moving a story along and making it engaging and compelling. There's a lot to be said for the economy of words, (notwithstanding this review) and often other authors will fall into purple prose--as if to say "look at me I'm in love with my words." Genet, however, is in love with her craft. She doesn't slip into verbosity, yet never skimps on eloquent and succinct prose to illuminate character, move plot, and engender emotions in the reader, often primal emotions, at that. The horse, Ezzy, she befriends--or who befriends her-- is as much a main character as Cass, and just as easily engaging. Along with her eloquence and ability to create such tension, her plot is not at all predictable; it's clever, with a few twists that are quite satisfying and clever. She stays true to her characters, her concept, and her plot, the whole way through. We are taken on a journey along with the characters, so that it does feel visceral and authentic. One thing Kate Genet does not do is cop out on her stories. Nor does she spoon-feed or take the easy way out. Remnant is rich in eloquence, authenticity, and sweeping tragic beauty. To qualify this is a book as "going back to nature" would be understatement, because we do realize in the poignant exposition, how powerful nature can be, and how insignificant we ultimately are as a species, against such a formidable force. It's challenging enough, in today's luxury-oriented society, to lose all those conveniences--but another thing entirely to be thrust into a world where even the basic necessities like water, food, shelter, and safety are a constant question, a continual struggle. Many, if not most people who might found themselves in such an apocalyptic situation, would simply break out the razor blades and send themselves to oblivion. But here, we find a character who has a well of inner strength, a fortitude that allows her to keep going, keep hoping, keep searching for those two elements crucial to the health and well-being of the human species: hope and love. Without these two, as Genet illustrates in Remnant, there is little cause to survive. Remnant is a beautiful, epic tale of one woman's courage and strength, amid the most oppressive and hopeless of circumstances. Truly an examination and exaltation of the human spirit, and a reminder that our lives are only as satisfying as we decide to make them.
  • The Comfort of the Shriek on April 01, 2013

    As all discerning readers know, many people are publishing themselves these days, and some should spend more time on learning the craft before they do--not so with this author. I am looking forward to reading some of his full-length work after reading this, as he has a firm grip on the art of storytelling, even amid difficult subject matter. His skill is spot-on in this story, and it's refreshing to find a talented writer like Scott Crowder; akin to finding that ten dollar bill in a pair of pants you haven't worn in a while. I would love to see this story expanded to novel length, as it has some very intriguing possibilities. Keep up the good work, Mr. Crowder!
  • The Song of the Sea on June 04, 2013

    I am always thrilled to find writers who know how to craft a story, know how to make language work for them...and thus, for the reader. Song of the Sea is that kind of story: beautifully rendered, expertly crafted, haunting, exciting...and such a refreshing discovery by an Indie writer who is, without question, the REAL DEAL. I applaud you, Mari. I will be seeking your other works, now, knowing that if this story is a representative example, I will be well-pleased.