Here on Diane Capri Reveals, we’ve featured some of the biggest names in our genre, including my friends and colleagues Lee Child, the father of Rambo, David Morrell, my colleague at the Bar, Steve Berry, the dynamite writing duos Maxine Paetro (and James Patterson), Grant Blackwood (and James Rollins), and more. You can check out those posts by clicking HERE.
For the next few weeks, by popular demand and as a service to our readers, we’re introducing Licensed to Thrill readers to new authors and new voices in this continuing series because the marketplace is crowded and finding good new authors is more confusing than it needs to be. So check out our entire series and see whether you’ve missed a few authors and books you’d like to sample for yourself or gifts for your favorite readers.
We love to be entertained here, and I often suspect we’re just big kids at heart. Which is one of the reasons I’m happy to introduce you to my friend, Lynn Kelley. She tries her best to keep her overactive imagination in check and was successful at that for a good long time. Although she worked as a court reporter for 25 years while she and her husband, George, raised their four children, these days (and like the kids she writes for) it’s not easy to get Lynn to sit still for very long —
What the heck is that???
Lynn Kelley: Woo hoo! I’m so thrilled to be here with the awesome Diane Capri that I’m doing my Happy Dance (in my silly Funny Bones skeleton getup)!
Diane Capri: *laughs* Good grief, Lynn, you scared me! That is absolutely the first time I’ve ever seen a court reporter do such a thing!! Let’s first show folks that you’re a normal looking writer before we take their breath away, okay?
Lynn Kelley: *laughs* If you insist!
Diane Capri: When you’re not dancing your happy dance, you’ve told me most of your time involves books: either writing books, reading books, or making altered art books. Your first chapter book, Curse of the Double Digits, for ages 7 to 10, debuted on October 10, 2012. You also coauthor the spooky, fun Monster Moon mystery series for ages 8 to 12 under the pen name BBH McChiller. Do you have some sort of mental mind meld with short people?
Lynn Kelley: *laughs* Absolutely! I started writing for children when I turned 40. It’s one of the most rewarding parts of my life. The highlight of my life is the days spent with my grandchildren.
Diane Capri: Grandchildren?? You’re scaring me again! You can’t possibly old enough for grandchildren! Okay, tell us three more things we’d be surprised to know about you right this minute and get all this frightening stuff out of the way! What the heck are you doing to this kid?
Lynn Kelley: At 41, I joined my daughters’ karate class, never dreaming I’d ever achieve black belt, but that became a reality not quite five years later. Regular attendance, constant practice, and perseverance paid off.
Diane Capri: *backs away* Well, that didn’t make me feel more relaxed. You are mortal, right?
Lynn Kelley: *sighs* I’m not the fastest reader in Cyber Ville, and I often get eyestrain. I use the text-to-speech feature on my Kindle to keep up with books on my to-be-read list. The voice sounds like a robot, but I’m able to block it out and enjoy the stories.
Diane Capri: But you do like to have fun, don’t you? How do you unwind and relax?
Lynn Kelley: Playing around with special effects for photos and video clips helps me relax. Here’s one of the still photos I created with Photobucket’s editing features. I started with this photo of my husband’s birthday cake… and ended up with this cake for Becky’s 10th birthday. Becky’s the main character in Curse of the Double Digits.
Diane Capri: All kidding aside, Lynn, I’m in favor of anything that gets kids interested in books and reading. Maybe because I became enthralled with reading as a child, or maybe because we know that reading can literally save our lives. I really hate it when I hear about kids that never learn to read. But what the heck is this??
Lynn Kelley: Kids learn better when the process is fun. It took me a year and a half to discover the special effects in iMovie. Since then I’ve made some strange and fun clips that the kids love, like this one called Pirate Jokes For Kids:
Diane Capri: What one word best describes you?
Lynn Kelley: Goofball! If you need any more proof, here’s a photo I love:
Diane Capri: Well, I love the earrings, but the cigarette?
Lynn Kelley: *laughs* Relax! I’m not a pirate or a skeleton either, remember? I don’t smoke, but I love bubble gum cigarettes! Those candy and bubble gum cigs added a touch of childhood nostalgia and extra fun at my hubby’s 60th birthday party (hippie theme) in July 2012. As Anonymous once said, “You know how it is in the kid’s book world; it’s just bunny eat bunny.”
Diane Capri: *laughs* And they say the mystery/suspense/thriller book world is violent! Thanks for sharing with us today, Lynn Kelley. I’ll bet your books are as much fun as you are. No wonder kids love ’em! Here’s the great covers and links to more information about her books:
Connect with Lynn Kelley on her website: LynnKellyAuthor.com or check out more of her talent on her You Tube Channel: LynnKelleyAuthor
A black belt in karate?!! Why didn’t I know that? Diane, your interviews are reveling and fun. Lynn, you continue to amaze me.
Thanks for stopping by to read my Reveal, Pat. I don’t usually talk about the black belt, but Diane has her ways, you know! Thanks, Pat!
I know, Pat! Jeezzee — after I read that, I was afraid to mess with our Ms. Kelley! 😀 Thanks for reading!
Super cute interview!! LOVE the skeleton, Lynn!
Aw, thanks, Elena! I’m glad you got a kick out of my nutty getup!
Thanks for reading Elena. That skeleton is pretty amazing!
You are such a hoot Lynn! A black belt? Dang!!! I love the joy in your face with your Punkin’! Great interview ladies!
Thanks, Ginger! I never could have imagined the depths of joy being a grandparent could bring.
Thanks, Ginger! Good to see you here. Appreciate the comment!
OMG Lynn, I realized you were a lot of fun when I first started following you but … a black belt, too? Awesome! Great interview, Diane!
Thank you, Patricia. I took karate for self-defense to start with, but I loved it. It was great taking it with my daughters.
Thanks, Patricia, for stopping by. Kind of makes you wish Lynn was our grandmother, hmmmm? 😉
Thank you, Diane, for this opportunity to be part of your Reveal series. We all know you have super powers, so maybe one day you’ll Reveal them to us. I think you’re up there with Wonder Woman, with your novels, your networking, putting together this cool blog series, and so much more. You rock, Diane, the Wise & Witty Wonder Writer!
Thank you for being here, Lynn! This has been a very popular post. Obviously, folks luv luv luv you!
Hmm, Diane… “normal” and “writer” in the same sentence seems like an oxymoron to me! Thanks for sharing some fun things about Lynn (black belt? Yikes!). Her posts always make me smile!
“Normal” and “writer” in the same sentence!” Haha, Jennette, so true! Thank you for all your support!
You may be right, Jennette! Maybe I should have said, “what passes for normal in us writers!”
Wow! A black belt skeleton Super hero! Love it lol. You are so full of energy…can you please bottle that and sell it?
Wow, Melinda, you make my life sound super cool! You’ve got a way with words. Signs of a writer, for sure! 🙂
No kidding, Melinda! I’d love to have a pantry full of that bottled Lynn Kelley energy myself! 😀
Lynn does have a great sense of humor!
And do they still make candy and bubble gum cigarettes?
Thank you, Alex, for hopping over to read this Reveal. Yes, they still make candy and bubble gum cigarettes. Some ice cream trucks sell them! Kids still get a kick out of them!
Ice cream trucks? I thought those went the way of the bubblegum cigarettes. . . . sheesh! Thanks for reading Alex. Please visit us again!
Black belt????????? Say what???????? I love what anonymous once said. Ha ha haaaa.
I love me some bubble gum ciggies. *wink* Love you, my funny lady bestie! You make me laugh all the time.
Robyn – Yes, that quote from anonymous is the best, and I have you to thank for it! I’ll have to send you some bubble gum cigs, but I have to worn you that the gum lasts for about 3 seconds! Haha! Love you, too, Robyn, and your bodacious sense of humor!
Thanks for coming by to see us, Robyn! Do come back!
I’m blown away by the black belt too!! Very awesome. 🙂
Aw, thanks, Coleen! I hope you get to take a peek at the book before wrapping it for you niece! Thanks so much.
Thanks for reading, Coleen, and for the comment. Good to see you here!
*Giggling.* Such a fun interview Diane & Lynn! I’ve known Lynn for about 10 years and I’m tellin’ ya, she really is a hoot and fun to be around. And her book “Curse of the Double Digits” is such a crack up. Over the years at our critique group, everyone laughed out loud each time she polished/revised and read it to group. You’ve worked so hard, Lynn. And I just know kids, parents, grandparents, and teachers are going to laugh bucketfuls of chuckles when they read your book. All the best! 🙂
That’s a mighty awesome shout out, Maria! You’ve been there for me through this whole journey and it’s been a blast hanging out with you. Two quirkies always make for good laughs. I appreciate all your support.
Thanks for reading and for supporting Lynn so we could all get a chance to read Double Digits. Good to see you here and thanks for signing up for our mailing list! Hope you’ll be a regular visitor!
So great to see more of Lynn here! Great interview, Diane. Wish I had a kid of appropriate age to give the books to — they look exactly like what I’d read at that age. Wait, maybe I should just be a kid again and read them myself 🙂
Thank you, Debra! Yes, I think you should be a kid again and read Curse of the Double Digits. And if you have any hair disaster stories you’d like to share, I’m writing a guest post for Christine McKenzie’s blog. When she read one post about what inspired the story, she asked if I could write a similar post for her blog. The main character, Becky, has a streak of bad luck, which starts on her 10th birthday. Her BD is October 10th, so it’s supposed to be magical, but the curse of the double digits strikes instead! Haha!
Love that idea, Debra! Oh, to be a kid again…but wait! Does that mean we’d have to be teens and twenty-somethings and thirty-somethings again, too? yiyiyiyiyiyiyiyiyi! Not sure my heart could take it! 😀
I never knew a skeleton with a black belt. I love the way you changed your husband’s birthday cake into Becky’s birthday cake. Very talented. Fun interview, Lynn and Diane.
Karla – Thank you! I’m tickled that you like the birthday cake. Here, I save a piece for you! 🙂
Thanks, Miss Darcy. I thought the cake was pretty amazing, too. But I was thinking of eating the original….. Should have known Miss Darcy would be above such temptations. 😉
Lynn! How did I not know you earned a black belt? Like everyone else who’s commented I’m awed by that, and I’m pretty impressed that you’re so creative with photo-altering and video. Good job and congratulations!
Thanks for stopping by for my Reveal, Pat! I don’t talk about the black belt much. How cool that you’re impressed by the photo-altering and video! I just play around and see what different effects I get. Your compliment means a lot, knowing how artistic you are! 🙂
Thanks for reading, Patricia and for your comment. We Reveal all sorts of things here. Hope you’ll come back and join us!
That was so fun ladies and Lynn, you kept the black belt quiet. I have one too, we’ll have to meet up and have a spar lol. I am so buying all of these 🙂
Wow Catherine! You need to write a PB about that!!
Catherine – Ha! You’re just like me. It’s not something black belts go around telling people, huh? Yes, we’d have a good time sparring, fer sure! I agree with Julie Hedlund, you should write a PB about it! I hope to write a MG novel one day with a karate character!
OMG, Catherine — maybe you could be my “second” if Lynn ever gets angry with us? 😀 Thanks for reading and do come back again!
Such a fun reveal! Lynn, I CANNOT BELIEVE you are a grandmother! I thought that picture was you with your own child. WHAT is your secret, woman??
Secondly, I can’t wait to share your pirate jokes video with my son. Brilliant!
Aw, Julie, thank you! Believe me, I look like a grandma in person. The wrinkles and old age spots don’t show up in the pics, but they’re there! Lots of them. 🙁
Okay, you made my day saying you’re going to share my video with your son! Hope he gets a kick out of those silly jokes!
Seriously, Julie! I’ll tell you, my grandma never looked like that! (We loved her to bits, but still…..)
Luckily, I know from Maria and Robyn’s interview that you don’t always scare your interviewers…LOL! Don’t forget us little folks now that you’re in the big league. 😉 I guess the only book of yours I haven’t got/read yet is Secret of Haunted Bog…does that make me a Lynn Kelley collector?
Teresa – You crack me up! I’m only scary when I take my skeleton makeup off! Big league? I’m no closer than you are, my friend! Thank you for all your support! You rock!
<3 You rock harder, my dear! 😉
Hi, Teresa! Nice to meet you and glad Lynn didn’t kill me with that black belt thing before I had the chance. 😉 Do come back!
Nice to meet you too, Diane! I will definitely be back…if only to make sure Lynn hasn’t scared you any more. LOL!
What a hoot! I too am mightily impressed by that black belt. Thanks for the chuckles, ladies.
Thanks, Kassandra! I have to say, Diane is a hoot and made this Reveal so much fun. I can’t wipe the smile off my face!
Thanks for reading, Kassandra. This post was fun!
Great interview Lynn. Those pirate jokes were truly Arrrgh-ful
Thanks for stopping by, Sarah. Thanks for the giggles about the “Arrrgh-ful” jokes! Yep, I’m sitting here laughing out loud over this. I’ll remember that line!
No kidding, Sarah! Here in Florida we get invaded by Pirates every February for our Gasparilla Pirate Festival, so we know how scary Pirates can be! 😀 Thanks for reading and come back again!
Candy cigarettes?! Those are the best. I haven’t had one in… ahem, well, a long time.
You have to do a blog on how to moonwalk. I want to learn. No costume – unless you want to dress like the zombies in MJ’s Thriller video. Just a suggestion… 🙂
Really enjoyed this interview – so much fun!!
Sophie – Don’t those candy cigarettes bring back so many childhood memories? They’re a great ice breaker! We had a blast with them at hubby’s party.
Oh, how tempting, to do a blog or vlog on how to moonwalk, especially dressed as a zombie. My zombie character is Zombie Loo! No kidding. Now if I can get my rickety old bones to cooperate!
Hi, Sophie. Thanks for stopping by. Moonwalking has always amazed me. How DO they do that???
Well, now I know not to make Lynn angry! 😀 I have to agree that you don’t look nearly old enough to have grandchildren, Lynn. And you remind us all about the importance of staying young at heart. Thanks for another great reveal, Diane 🙂
Glad you enjoyed it, Marcy, and I couldn’t possibly agree more!
Thank you, Marcy. Yes, staying young at heart is good for us. I agree Diane did a wonderful job with this Reveal. Her comments had me laughing out loud, and she’s gifted at interviewing people.
Diane, you made this sooooooo much fun. I can’t thank you enough!
Coming a bit late to the party, but thoroughly enjoyed the interview. Diane, thanks for interviewing Lynn. And Lynn, thanks for giving me the chance to laugh. Like everyone else, I love your pirate jokes!
Thanks for reading, Lynn, and please come back and laugh with us another time. Enjoyed having you!
Lynn – Thanks so much for stopping in to read the Reveal. So glad you enjoyed the pirate jokes, matey!
Two of my favorite people in the same place!
I just met Lynn and love her energy and zest for life! It really comes through in her blog and videos. It is a great goal to get young readers interested in books and they look fantastic!
Thanks so much, Susie! I loved meeting you in person. You’re a hoot and I could listen to you for hours on end. Just like your posts, you’re fun and interesting and an awesome friend!
Lynn, you are amazing! Writing, illustrations, black belt, grandkids! I love that you take care of your grandson during the day. My in-laws have such a connection with my kids because they did the same for us. Such a blessing that you can do that!
Thank you, Diana! I’m so glad you hopped over to read the Reveal. Yes, you know how wonderful that connection is between grandparents and grandchildren and what a blessing it is. That’s awesome that your in-laws cared for your children.
Yippie Lynn! Good to see you in the spotlight! You are my fav goodball. I think that’s what makes a children’s writer great– the ability to see through a child’s eyes and be silly, daring, brave, goofy, and positive. Enjoyed the interview a ton!
PS LOL, Lynn, I meant to write you are my fav GOOFball! LOL!
Oh, wow, hi Annie! I’m honored to be your favorite goofball! Thanks for stopping in to read Diane Capri’s Reveal! Great to see you here!
What a fun interview! LOLOL!
OK, now I have to dig up some kids to read Lynn’s books. I was hooked from the pirate dance on. Do you have to have a black belt to dance like that? Fun post.
What a hoot, Lynn! So funny to see you prancing around as a skeleton 🙂 You have worked so hard to make Double Digits a reality and I’m delighted to see it doing well. Great interview! I would have said so even if you hadn’t threatened to kick my b with your black belt 😛
Thank you, Rilla! Threatened to kick your butt, never! You’re so funny! I appreciate your support.
Great interview, ladies. Ice cream trucks, candy cigarettes, pirates, skeletons, moon walking, black belts, grandparents, and jokes – who couldn’t love this interview? Fun, fun, fun!
Aw, thanks, Lynette. I’m so glad you enjoyed the interview. Diane sure made it easy to have fun with this!
Lynn, every time I read one of these, I find out some new jaw dropping thing about you…
Blackbelt?! You have my respect 🙂
Alarna – Thank you so much! You’re such a cool friend/cyber daughter. Always here to support me. I feel the same way about you, amazing girl, every time I read one of your blog posts!
Hey, Diane and Lynn! What a fun interview! Lynn, you need to eat a little more and put some meat on those bones. 😉
This makes me wish I had small kids because your books sound like a blast. Of course I’m always striving to remain immature, so maybe I’ll check them out anyway.
Kristy – You crack me up. Thanks so much for stopping by for the Reveal!
You couldn’t have more talented guest here! Congratulations Lynn! And keep up the fabulous work.
Aw, Lee, you always leave such inspiring comments. Thank you, sweet friend!
What a fun post! Love the happy dance. (And you look way too young to be a grandmother!)
Sherry – Thank you! Glad you got a kick out of the happy dance! You’re too sweet!
What a terrific reveal/interview! And see Lynn? I’m not the only one who thinks you look way too young for grand kids!
Aw, thank you, Angela! You’re too kind. Thanks so much for stopping by to read my reveal!
What fun! Great piece, Lynn and Diane.
Thank you, Ruth!
Hey Diane, we are new to your blog, finding it while visiting Lynn’s. Enjoyed both, especially the banter between the two of you. I can clearly see why Lynn would be successful in writing children’s books with a spirit like that of a child. The energy jumps off the page at you as does her love for life. Looking forward to reading future posts on both blogs.