Fiction Fest: ‘Safe Passage’ author Carla Kelly talks about music, typing, time travel

carla-kelly“Safe Passage” is award-winning author Carla Kelly’s latest romance novel and was released on Aug. 13.

Kelly recently took a few minutes to field some lighthearted — albeit strange — questions in our Fiction Fest hot seat. We’re grateful for her willingness to play along.

Let’s cut to the chase.

You’ve been around a year or two as an author, so you’ve probably fielded just about every question there is about your novels and writing, so let’s keep it light and off the beaten path, shall we? What’s your preference, hard copies or e-books?

I like ebooks for fiction, and real books for research.

What item on your bucket list would surprise your fans most?

I still harbor lingering ambitions about matriculating at Oxford in one college or other. I’d probably study the American Revolution from the British point of view.

How fast do you type and is it fast enough to keep up with your thoughts?

I’m a journalist and I type like most journalists – hunt and peck, but fast. It keeps up with my thoughts.

Who is your favorite musical artist(s)?

Some days I like Ian Tyson and Michael Martin Murphey, and other days I like Bryn Terfel a lot. My son gave me a cd of the East Carolina Chocolate Drops for Christmas, and I love that, too. Eclectic.

What is your favorite travel destination and why?

I like northeast New Mexico around Taos. It’s the setting for The Double Cross, my recently published novel about a 1780s brand inspector. I love New Mexico, scenery and food. I also like to visit eastern Wyoming, where Borrowed Light is set. Many friends there.

Is Carla Kelly a Comic-Con or Book Expo of America type of gal?

Neither. I’m not nuts about crowds.

Do you own a smartphone and, if so, what guilty pleasure app is on it?

I have a smart phone, but no guilty pleasure apps. Doesn’t interest me.

If you could go back in time, like Marty McFly and Doc Brown did, what era would you most want to visit?

I’d drop in on Sherman’s headquarters during his march to the sea. And maybe have dinner with Chief Justice John Marshall. Then I’d round it out with a day’s travel with Company D, 3rd Cavalry, Capt. Guy Henry’s troop.

Today marks the 12th anniversary of the infamous 9-11 terrorist attacks. Where were you and what were you doing when you first heard that the World Trade Center was under attack in 2001?

Interesting question. I was a ranger at Fort Union Trading Post National Historic Site on the North Dakota-Montana border. All national monuments and historic sites were put on high alert. That’s when I had my least favorite job. For a month, the first ranger on duty got to raise the flag then lower it to half staff. Tore at my heart every time.