Welcome: Collin Kelley

December 9, 2012

A little about Collin…

Collin Kelley

Collin Kelley is the author of the novels Conquering Venus and Remain In Light, which was a 2012 finalist for the Townsend Prize for Fiction. His poetry collections include Better To Travel, Slow To Burn and After the Poison and the forthcoming Render. Kelley is also the author of the eBook short story collection, Kiss Shot. A recipient of the Georgia Author of the Year Award, Deep South Festival of Writers Award and Goodreads Poetry Award, Kelley’s poetry, essays and interviews have appeared in magazines, journals and anthologies around the world. He lives in Atlanta, GA. For more information, visit www.collinkelley.com, find him on Facebook at CollinKelleyWriter or follow him on Twitter@collinkelley.



The Writing Life by Collin Kelley

Early in my career – meaning the ‘90s – I found most of my success in poetry and playwriting. I’d had numerous poems published in journals and had written a successful play, The Dark Horse, which won a number of awards and was staged regionally. I was also dabbling in screenwriting and went through a series of agents trying to get a script picked up in Hollywood to no avail.

However, my real dream had always been to write a novel. My file cabinet was filled with half-finished books that ran out of steam after the first 50 or 75 pages. I was an author in search of a story. In the summer of 1995, I finally found one.

I received a phone call from one of my best friends, who happened to be a teacher. She was chaperoning a group of seniors on their high school graduation trip to London and Paris and needed another adult to go along to keep the kids in line. The trip would cost next to nothing and I thought getting out of the Atlanta suburbs where I’d spent my whole life might be the catalyst I needed to spark my writing.

Little did I know that my summer in Europe would spawn not one book, but three. Remain In Light is the second book in a trilogy that began with Conquering Venus. The lead character is an agoraphobic widow and book editor named Irène Laureux who lives in an apartment on rue Rampon in Paris. In the summer of 1995, she meets an aspiring young American writer staying in the hotel across the street and they are caught up in a murder mystery and all sorts of international intrigue.

These books have given me a great excuse to travel back to Europe almost every year for 17 years. I love London and Paris and I had the opportunity to finish Remain In Light there in the summer of 2010. Next summer, I plan to spend two months in London, Oxford and Paris working on the final book. I have made so many friends during my travels and they always open their arms and offer so many opportunities to make my writing life such a pleasure.

Conquering Venus
By Collin Kelley

Remain in Light
By Collin Kelley


Conquering Venus and Remain In Light are available in ebook and trade paperback formats from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Powell’s, Smashwords and through your favorite local bookstore.



 A final word (enticement!) from Collin

Collin will giveaway an eBook edition of each of his novels, Conquering Venus and Remain In Light, via Smashwords to a lucky winner. The eBooks will be available for download in multi-formats including versions for the Kindle, Nook and other devices. Make sure to leave a comment and Collin will randomly draw a winner, which will be announced at his Modern Confessional blog (www.collinkelley.com) on Dec. 12.


Thank you so much, Collin, for visiting today. So nice being on tour with a poet!

AND – Don’t forget Buster, Dobie, and Mugs (the latest) are each drawing a name from comments for free copies of Lies of Convenience (or a M.M. Gornell title of your choosing)


11 Responses to “Welcome: Collin Kelley”

  1. engraved gift said

    I love it when folks get together and share
    ideas. Great blog, stick with it!

  2. Thanks, everyone. I’ve tried to post all day here but kept getting an error message. Thanks so much for reading and commenting!

  3. W.S. Gager said

    Collin: What a great break. I received a similar deal from my college roommate but it was white water rafting and not Europe. Still met my husband so it was well worth it. Can’t wait to read your books. I feel like I know Irene.
    W.S. Gager on Writing

  4. Great blog, Collin. Loved your “writing life” story.

  5. Collin,
    Isn’t it amazing how the decision to go to Europe changed your life? Already, you have three published novels as a result of it and who knows how many more to come. Good things happen when we say “yes” to life!

  6. How exciting to have your play performed, Collin. Sol Stein said that the best way to write good novel dialogue is to first write plays, so your’s must be great. 🙂

  7. Thanks for hosting me today, MM. 🙂

  8. This was a great insight to an international traveler. Something i’ve never done–and adds to the romance of your persona.

  9. Jake said

    Playwrite, poet, novelist sounds like a great career. Looking forward to a win so I can enjoy your creativity. Thanks for blog information.

  10. mmgornell said

    Welcome to the Mojave, Collin. It’s supposed to be a beautiful winter day today!

  11. Sounds like great writing to me, Collin! Nice to get to know you on the blog tour!

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