Monday, March 05, 2012

Charming Canucks: Interview and Giveaway with C.K. Kelly Martin

Charming Canucks is a feature I’ve created that will be posted every other month in an effort to spotlight more Canadian YA authors and their books. 
Today, I'd like to welcome C.K. Kelly Martin.

A bit about C.K. (as found on Goodreads): After graduation C.K. headed for Dublin, Ireland and spent the majority of the nineties there in forgettable jobs meeting unforgettable people and enjoying the buzz. She always thoughts she'd get around to writing in earnest eventually and began writing her first novel in a flat in Dublin and finished it in a Toronto suburb. By then she'd discovered that young adult fiction felt the freshest and most exciting to her. You have most of your life to be an adult but you only grow up once! She's currently residing near Toronto with her Dub husband, became an Irish citizen in 2001 and continues to visit Dublin often (although not as often as she'd like!) while working on teen novels.

If you had to pick one character from among all those you have created, which one would be your favourite? (I know I'm being evil ;) 
You are devilish indeed; you know we shouldn’t play favourites! Before I answer, I have to say I love being asked these questions with proper Canadian spelling. So far all my books have been published to match up with American dictionary spellings but it still doesn’t seem right to me to see words like neighbour and colour missing their U’s. Anyway, generally my favourite character is whichever one I’ve worked on most recently but overall I’m probably fondest of Finn from One Lonely Degree because she’s a lot like me right down to her introversion, fondness for music and burning desire to go to London (I’ve been six times now and am still crazy about it). 

You’re known for writing intense realistic YA contemporaries. Is there another genre you’d love to try your hand at someday? Is there a genre you could never see yourself writing? 
YA contemporary is my favourite but I enjoy variety. My upcoming YA book has some sci-fi elements and I think it could be fun to write more books with either paranormal (like My Beating Teenage Heart) or sci-fi elements sometime. Maybe even horror. I’ve also written a book with a twenty-year-old main character who is grieving for her boyfriend when she becomes physically involved with someone else (more on that later in this interview). I’m really not in traditional type mysteries so that’s something I can’t ever see myself diving into. Also, although I enjoy reading about older characters it’s difficult for me to envision writing about character over the age, say, twenty-five or so. 

What is your writing process like? Are you a pantser or a planner? 
I let the story unfold in my head in a sort of vague way first and then I usually write a chapter by chapter outline (a couple of sentences per chapter). So I usually have a pretty good idea of where the story is heading by the time I sit down to type it out, but sometimes I’m wrong and things take a different turn! 

Describe your writing space. 
The den is a mess. It’s a very small room to begin with and the bookshelf behind me is totally overcrowded. There are also notebooks and bits of paper strewn everywhere (the futon is always covered with stuff). I have a couple of Beatles posters on my wall and a Jane Austen action figure, that I can see from my computer, to inspire me. The big things I need are quiet and solitude. I’m not one of those writers who can write in a coffee shop or while listening to music (although I like to listen to music before and after writing and while working on my website and stuff). 

I know Yesterday is coming out in September 2012, but do you have any other writing projects currently planned? If so, can you give a hint of what to expect. 
I’m rewriting the first YA books I ever wrote (which were a trilogy but which will now be one book) and am also planning to release the book with the twenty-year-old main character I mentioned earlier as an e-book.

Quick Questions: 

What’s the best thing about living in Toronto? 
Often when I’m in the city (I actually live in the burbs but near enough to Toronto to take advantage of all it has to offer) it’s to go to a concert, the theatre or watch movies that don’t make it out to the suburbs so I have to say the best thing about being near Toronto is the arts scene. 

You go on a cross-country trip across Canada. What is the one place you have to visit? 
Lately I’ve been feeling really intrigued by Labrador because it seems so unspoiled, remote and breathtaking. 

What's your favourite book by a Canadian author and why? 
Crow Lake by Mary Lawson because she's amazingly perceptive about people and the complex nature of family relationships. 

A huge thank you to C.K. for taking the time to answer my questions!

C.K. can be found on: [her blog] [her website] [Twitter] [Facebook] [Goodreads]
Click here to find out more about C.K.'s books!
For this giveaway, C.K. has generously offered to give away a signed copy of My Beating Teenage Heart to Canadian readers. If you have a Canadian mailing address and are over the age of 13, you can fill out this FORM.

In addition, one person will get the chance to win one copy of any of C.K.'s books. To enter, fill out the Rafflecopter form below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Great interview! I absolutely adored I Know It's Over and The Lighter Side of Life and Death, so I can't wait to read this new trilogy. I really appreciate authors who try to dabble in other genres, going outside their comfort zone, and I'm sure this will play out wonderfully for Martin.

    Thanks for starting this new feature. Yay Canadians!

  2. Great interviews, ladies! I like how C.K. tackles the difficult questions in YA with an unflinchingly, honest outlook. I've only read three of her books but my favorite is still "I Know It's Over". That book blew me away.

  3. I love Crow Lake, too--and just loved reading this interview! Really, we should ALL have Jane Austen action figures--how have I gotten along without one for so long?

    Looking forward to Yesterday, and you don't hear that every day.

  4. Ooo! A twenty-year-old main character?! That sounds right up my alley.

    And how cool to have a Jane Austen action figure close by for inspiration.

    P.S. I'm loving this feature, and I love that Canadian spellings include the U.

  5. My husband and I got engaged in Toronto, it's such a gorgeous city! We're hoping to visit sometime in the next few years to celebrate an anniversary and I can't wait to go:) And I'm with Missie, I'm super excited at the prospect of a slightly older YA character!

  6. C.K. is a Canadian author I haven't read any books from yet so I will have to try one of her books. Is it bad that I have never heard of Crow Lake before but I'll look it up right now to see what its about.

  7. I LOVE Toronto for the arts scene too! <3 I'm more of a small city girl than a big city girl, but I just love all of the cool things you can do in Toronto and that's my reasoning for wanting to live there! It's like a Canadian opportunist city LOL. And YES!! I always miss the Us in books when I read them too! x) I find it so weird how they're different here than in the US!

    Amazing interview, you two! :) I'm absolutely in love with this Canadian feature and I can't wait to find out about more awesome Canadian authors like C.K.! <3

  8. I've been on a cross-country trip across Canada a few years ago and the best thing was seeing the changing but still beautiful landscapes. I do love the mountains. I would love to visit Ireland one day. I'm always glad to discover a new author, especially a Canadian one. Great interview.

  9. I have been meaning to check out this author's books forever, and this post just reminded me I need to bump them up Mt. TBR. :) Great interview!

    Wendy @ The Midnight Garden


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