Author Interview: Kelly Oram

We are excited to welcome author, Kelly Oram, to the nest today.

Andrea @ Reading Lark: How long have you been writing? 

Kelly: For as long as I can remember. I completed my first novel at age 15, but I didn’t start taking my writing seriously until I quit working to stay home with my first child. He turns 9 next month. Yikes! This question makes me feel old. 

Andrea @ Reading Lark: Can you describe your novel in five words? 

Kelly: Fun. Romantic. Honest. Playful. Sexy. 

Andrea @ Reading Lark: Where did you get the idea for this novel? 

Kelly: Funny story, actually. I was brainstorming ideas one day, and my little brother stopped by to say hi on his lunch break. I asked him what I should write about next and he said I needed to do a story about how he was a rich and famous, super hot rock star that got all the chicks. (You know, his autobiography…) I had a good laugh, but it didn’t sound like a bad idea for a character so I said I’d indulge his delusions but that he’d have to be a total player. Sadly, he was thrilled with the suggestion. So I had a character, and I even had a band name, thanks to Kyle. Yes, “Tralse” was his suggestion. (I know, he’s weird.) Now I just needed a story. I didn’t want to write another one of those “starving artist finally gets his big break” stories, so I decided that since Kyle “got all the chicks” and all, my story would be about that one girl he couldn’t win over. Then I needed a reason why Kyle couldn’t win over said girl and Virgin Val was born. After a while it became obvious that this was actually Val’s story and she became the main character instead of Kyle. My brother only pouted a little. 

Andrea @ Reading Lark: Which character is the most fun to write? 

Kelly: Kyle and Val were both a lot of fun for different reasons, but I think I had the most fun with Val’s best friend Cara. I loved her sassy, fierce, wild attitude and I loved being able to make her so selfish. You can’t always get away with that in a character because even though it’s realistic to human nature, it makes characters unlikable. 

Andrea @ Reading Lark: Do you write with music? If so, can you share a few songs from your playlist. 

Kelly: I actually don’t. I need silence to write. I get too distracted by music because I’m a bit of a junky and will always end up singing and dancing instead of getting work done. But if you want to get an idea for the kind of sound I imagined for Kyle’s band, check out the band Head Automatica. They were the inspiration behind Tralse. “Beating Heart Baby” is Kyle and Val’s theme song. 

Andrea @ Reading Lark: What are your top 3 favorite YA novels? 

Kelly: I have to narrow it down to only 3? Okay, how about the Darkest Powers series by Kelley Armstrong. (I know that’s technically 3, but it’s like one continuous story so I think it should still count as one.) Graceling by Kristin Cashore, and Leaving Paradise by Simone Elkeles. There are many, many others. I could go on for hours. 

Andrea @ Reading Lark: It's a Reading Lark tradition, so I have to ask: What is your favorite bird? 

Kelly: A cockatiel. I used to have one growing up. His name was Corky and I taught him how to say all kinds of stuff. 

 This or That: 
- Cats or Dogs? Dogs. 
- Outside or Inside? Outside. Unless it’s Phoenix in the summer. 
- Halloween or Thanksgiving? Halloween!!! 
- High Heels or Flats? Heels. 
- Facts or Fiction? Fiction!

About the Book:

When Val Jensen gets dumped for her decision to stay a virgin until marriage, the nasty breakup goes viral on YouTube, making her the latest internet sensation. 

After days of ridicule from her peers, Val starts a school-wide campaign to rally support for her cause. She meant to make a statement, but she never dreamed the entire nation would get caught up in the controversy. 

As if becoming nationally recognized as “Virgin Val” isn’t enough, Val’s already hectic life starts to spin wildly out of control when bad boy Kyle Hamilton, lead singer for the hit rock band Tralse, decides to take her abstinence as a personal challenge.

How can a girl stay true to herself when this year’s Sexiest Man Alive is doing everything in his power to win her over?

About the Author:

Kelly Oram wrote her first novel at age fifteen–a fan fiction about her favorite music group, The Backstreet Boys, for which family and friends still tease her. She's obsessed with reading, talks way too much, and loves to eat frosting by the spoonful. She lives outside of Phoenix, Arizona with her husband and four children.