Let's start with you telling us a little bit about yourself, Mina.
I like bad puns, and tea, and knitting, and knitting and tea based puns. A medieval wall runs passed the windows of my flat (which is too small for all my books and DVDs, so is inevitably a mess). I'm learning to like football (soccer) the only way I know how: by reading books about it. I go paddling every time I get near the sea, even in winter.
What would people be most surprised to learn about you?
Probably that I write m/m erotic romance! Really, I'm a very ordinary person.
When did you start writing, is it something you've always been interested in, or did it develop later in life?
The first story I remember writing was when I was about four or five, on an Amstrad (good old green text on a black background) about a family of foxes. My love of writing grew out of my love of reading; when I couldn't find the story I wanted to read, I'd write it.
Has it been everything you thought it would be or not?
Part of me is still waiting to turn into one of those writers who gets up at 6 every day to write for half an hour before work, since apparently that's what real writers do, but I've come to accept I'm just not wired that way. Honestly, if you tried to make me leave my word processor when I've just got into the flow for something as trivial as paid employment! I'm a feast or famine writer; either I fail to get a single word out or I'm spitting 10k a day onto the page.
How did it feel when you realized that your very first book was going to be published?
It felt like the appropriate end of a process. A process I'd started multiple times before, but never carried through far enough to reach the real end.
What's your favorite part of writing a book?
Editing. I know, I know, but the hardest part of writing for me is figuring out how a book ends, so if I'm editing I've made it past that point. It's the bit where I get to polish and buff those words until they shine.
Do you get time to read for pleasure? If so, which books do you enjoy?
I average about a book a week across the whole year, though like my writing that tends to come in clumps. I read the whole Hunger Games trilogy in two days (and had a book hangover that lasted for a week!).
Are there any other genres you'd be interested in writing?
I have a story in me for every genre, but after romance I think it's going to be Young Adult. My other half and I are working on a plucky girl detective series together that I hope to finish the first book of in 2014.
Please tell us a little about your most recent release.
Flirt is the second book in my selkie series, though the plot is unrelated to the first book (Tease) so you don't have to read that one to know what's going on.
Toby's happy with his life in the small fishing village of Haggenby. At least, he thought he was. When he rescues a selkie who identifies himself as Flirt in sign language--not so much a name as a warning label, as Toby's father notes--he's forced to recognise he's withdrawn from the world. When Flirt is kidnapped Toby must attempt a daring rescue if he wants to keep his lover. He just hopes his lover wants to be kept.
What can we look forward to in the future from you?
There's a third selkie book in the works, in which Toby and Flirt guest star, and there'll be a sequel to Inescapable as well.
Anything you want to say to your readers?
Thanks for reading!
Mina Kelly's recent releases:
Flirt (Under my Skin 2)
Toby's happy with his life in the small fishing village of Haggenby. At least, he thought he was. When he rescues a selkie who identifies himself as Flirt in sign language--not so much a name as a warning label, as Toby's father notes--he's forced to recognise he's withdrawn from the world, and the world thinks it's because he lost his hearing in his teens.
Stung, Toby takes Flirt out on a date, but that attracts the wrong kind of attention from the wrong kind of people: scientists keen to dissect Flirt and prove the existence of the supernatural. Flirt is kidnapped and Toby must attempt a daring rescue if he wants to keep his lover. He just hopes his lover wants to be kept.
Tease (Under My Skin 1)
When Barnabas rescues a stranger from a storm, he knows he's in for a tempestuous time. Lust wars with more altruistic feelings to paralyze Barnabas until the stranger makes the first move for him -- and then there's no stopping either of them.
Inside, outside, against the wall, and even occasionally on the bed. But Barnabas starts to wonder if the sex is a distraction from something more important, something his English language challenged new lover isn't saying. When the truth is finally revealed, the betrayal cuts deep, and for Barnabas, it may be too little, too late.
When a theft goes wrong and Jared finds himself under arrest, his daring escape results in an extra passenger. Richard Kuiper the Seventh does not appreciate being magnetically handcuffed to a common criminal, even if he does enjoy the chance to indulge his sexual appetites guilt free.
Hiding out with some old friends of Jared's while they attempt to unlock the handcuffs, a bond grows between the two men that's more than magnetic, but Jared's initial mistrust comes back to haunt him. When the cuffs are removed Richard storms off, straight into a trap, and now Jared must decide what he's willing to risk for a man he's barely known for a week: his life, certainly, but his heart? He's never risked that before.
Excerpt from Flirt:
“What’s your name?” Alfred asked the selkie. He spoke aloud. Toby watched his father’s lips to see what he was asking, though he knew the man well enough to guess his line of questioning.
The selkie glanced around the table and pointed at himself, frowning quizzically.
“Yes, you,” Alfred said. “I know mine and his.”
“Man seal,” the selkie signed.
“No, that’s what you are. Well, it’s what Toby says you are,” Alfred corrected himself, casting a sideways glance at his son. “Personally, I think it’s like that whole thing in Ireland last year with the drug mules. And I ain’t judging you if it is, because it’s a hard enough life, but taking Toby for a ride just because he left school young to work in the shop ain’t fair of you.”
“I was fifteen,” Toby protested. “And I went back and did my exams after. Lots of people leave school after their exams, especially if they’ve already got a job lined up. I’m not ignorant and... and... and naive!”
“Toby,” the selkie signed.
Alfred sighed, resting his forehead on his hand. “Lord help me. Yes, that’s Toby. I’m Alfred.” He signed it letter by letter and pointed to himself. “We’re Yorkshiremen.”
“Human,” Toby corrected.
The selkie considered this. Toby became aware of a deep hum, but it was obvious from his father’s face the selkie was making a lot more noise than that.
“Scottish,” his father said. His right elbow moved up and down, out from his body like he was pumping bagpipes. Toby realized the infamous drone was probably the sound the selkie had been imitating.
The selkie nodded.
The selkie nodded again. “Fish,” he signed very small. “Sea,” he signed very big, nearly knocking his plate off the table. Peas scattered across the tablecloth.
“Mmm, overfishing. And your…pod?”
The selkie held up a single finger, then pointed at himself.
“He might not have a name,” Toby said to his father, “if there was no one to name him.” He signed without speaking, but the selkie rapped on the table and frowned at him.
“I think that means mind your manners,” Alfred said, lips curling up. The selkie nodded.
“Do you have a name?” Toby asked him.
The selkie brushed two fingers across the palm of his other hand so gently it was almost sensual.
Toby and his father exchanged a glance.
“Pardon?” They spoke together.
The selkie did it again.
The selkie cocked his head to one side.
“Where did you even learn that sign?” Toby asked.
The selkie gestured at himself, repeated the sign, then at Toby and Alfred in turn, finger-signing their names as Alfred had.
“‘Flirt’ isn’t a name, it’s a label. A warning,” Alfred said.
Flirt shrugged, a smile playing around his lips. Toby’s stomach tightened. He feared it was a well-deserved warning.