We had the good fortune of connecting with Kelsey Clifton and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Kelsey, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
Essentially, I was tired of waiting for permission. I had been querying agents on and off for six years, and I came really close to signing with a particular agent before they ultimately turned me down. Conversations with friends both in and out of the industry convinced me that self-publishing was worth a look and I’ve never looked back! Even though it comes with its own challenges and setbacks, I really enjoy the creative freedom it allows me.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
What sets me apart is my refusal to compromise the story I want to tell for a set of guidelines. My sci-fi series A DAY OUT OF TIME doesn’t follow a traditional story structure; it’s more episodic, almost like a TV series or a quest-style fantasy novel. That format doesn’t work for everyone, but I’m not writing to please everyone. In the same vein, I think the way I write sets me apart from many writers. I see a lot of writing advice about story structure and making conscious decisions to build tension or establish character development, and my first thought is always the same: Just tell the story. Embellish it, edit it, do whatever you want along the way, but your first priority should be the story itself, not what everyone else expects of it.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I would honestly try to give them a little bit of everything, because Houston has so much to offer. A nice day might mean checking out Hermann Park or the Houston Zoo, then maybe lunch at one of Houston’s amazing craft breweries. I’m a huge fan of Under the Radar and Urban South. I’d take them down Main Street in Downtown, stop in at Bovine & Barley for margaritas and wings, and then Underground Food Hall. Over the week we’d have to check out Buffalo Bayou and the historic houses in the Heights, and if they were fans of Latin music I’d find one of the numerous salsa or bachata socials going on every week. If they were giant nerds like me, the Museum District (especially the Museum of Natural History) would have to be a stop, after we fueled up at the breakfast klub and stopped in at Sig’s Lagoon in Midtown to go record shopping. We would probably spend a solid two days just exploring all the shops and sights in Montrose, including my favorite spot for fancy brunch: UB Preserv. And of course, every Houstonian knows that a visit wouldn’t be complete without lunch at Irma’s – and I do mean in the original back room, with all the posters and knick-knacks.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I’d love to dedicate this shoutout to Christine De Melo, a fellow author who tried to tell me about self-publishing way back in 2013 even though I wasn’t ready to listen yet. Since I started this journey in earnest in 2018, she’s been a source of wisdom, love, and support.

Website: https://kelseyclifton.com
Instagram: @kelsey_writes
Twitter: @kelsey_writes_
Facebook: facebook.com/kelseycliftonauthor
Other: Tumblr https://sassypandacandy.tumblr.com

Image Credits
Kelsey Clifton

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