Tuesday, November 25, 2014


#England #Alberta #Snow #Cockney #Pajamas #Woman of Honor @MarlowKelly
When I read this excerpt from Marlow's blog, "After being thrown out of England for refusing to drink tea," I knew this interview would be fun. Thank you, Marlow for taking time today to be my guest author and for answering my crazy questions. So let's get started with IF I WERE YOU...

If your were me and wrote historical stories I would take you to the doctor and ask him to check your sanity. After he’s confirmed that, you are rational, I would then question his credentials because how could you possibly be sane when you spend all day just making stuff up?

So when Lynda asked me to write an interview for her If You Were Me Blog I had a good laugh because there are many days when I wonder how can any normal person do this and at the same time I can’t imagine doing anything else. I write because I have to. The characters call to me and force me to write their stories.

1. IF I WERE YOU AND WROTE BOOKS, What would my writing space look like?

I live in a tiny house. There are four of us, and one bathroom. In fact, our house is so small we all have an allotted bathroom time, in the morning, and no one can deviate from that schedule. If they do its chaos.

My writing space is whatever room is quiet and available. Normally I get up early, around 5 am and write in my living room.

2. IF I WERE YOU AND WROTE BOOKS, Where would I live?

Northern Alberta, where it normally snows by Halloween, and you would love it. My husband and I came here for work eighteen years ago, and despite the harsh climate, fell in love with the people and lifestyle. Most of the people here are hard working blue-collar workers. And as the daughter of a construction worker it was a community I understood and could relate to. Most of the people who live in the North are here to work and that work has afforded them a better life than they could have elsewhere. What’s a little snow compared to that.

3. IF I WERE YOU AND WROTE BOOKS, Would I speak a different language, dialect, or local slang?

Oh yes, you would be fluent in cockney rhyming slang. It is the street slang of London, England and that’s where I grew up. Although to be honest I’m probably not fluent any more. Cockney is always growing and changing. I moved to Canada over twenty-five years ago so I’m out of touch with the latest sayings.

But I’ll never forget when I was first in Canada. I showed my friend a newspaper article and said, “‘ere, ‘ave a butcher’s at this.”

I wish I had a photo of the look on her face. It was priceless. That was the moment I realized I couldn’t hold onto my accent. I had to adapt, otherwise I would live in a world where no one and I mean NO ONE could understand a word I said. And for those of you who are wondering what I actually said it was, “Here, have a look at this.”

4. IF I WERE YOU AND WROTE BOOKS, What would I snack on while writing?

Sometimes I stop writing to have a banana, but as a rule I don’t eat while I write. I’m not good a multitasking and can’t use my hands to put food in my mouth and type. How do you guys do that?

5. IF I WERE YOU AND WROTE BOOKS, How would I be dressed while writing?

First thing in the morning I work in my pajamas. You gotta love working in your PJs. Once I’m up and have taken the kids to school, a long sweater and leggings. I always, always wear comfortable clothes. I would rather buy a size larger than squeeze into something just to look good.

6. IF I WERE YOU AND WROTE BOOKS, Would I be writing alone, or do I allow others in my space while writing?

Alone, alone, alone. I write in the morning when the kids are asleep or when they’re at school. I’m out every evening with extracurricular activities, so that time is not available to me. And as I said earlier, I can’t multitask. I can’t think about one thing and do another. I can’t even concentrate enough to read the guide on the T.V. if I have the sound turned up. Crazy huh! But that’s the way my brain’s wired.

7. IF I WERE YOU AND WROTE BOOKS, What things would inspire me?

Research, history, people, and the eternal what if. Sometimes there are so many stories in my head it’s hard to focus in the one I’m writing. Then I take a breath and remember not every idea can be developed into a story. My Honour, Love and Courage series of historical novellas were inspired by my research. I love reading about history. At the moment I’m particularly fascinated by how natural phenomena has changed the course of human history. For example there was a catastrophic volcano eruption in 534AD in South America. That eruption is believed to be responsible for the Irish conversion to Christianity, Wide spread famine across Northern Europe, the first recorded instance of the plague in Europe, and the fall of the Roman Empire.

You can purchase Marlow's historical romance novella A Woman of Honour in Kindle and Nook formats.

You can connect with Marlow Kelly here:

Follow Me on Pinterest


  1. Lynda,
    This was such a fun interview. Thank you for having me.

    1. You're so welcome, Marlow. And it's nice to know that someone else is writing in their pajamas. Best of success with your writing endeavors.

  2. Loved getting to know more about you, Marlow. I admire your living in the snow-swamped north. Sounds like you found a terrific community there to make it worthwhile. I grew up in North Missouri, which usually gets lots of snow and ice in the --but not quite as much as your picture showed! One winter day, the snow was so bad, our boss sent a snow plow out to pick up the staff (I worked at small daily newspaper at the time.) Hope you're at work on another nifty historical!

    1. Thank you so much for visiting, Barbara. Wow, a snow plow to pick up the staff, that takes the fun out of a snow day.
      And yes, I am working on several new books. And all the editing's done for my next release, so I'm in wait mode.

  3. Loved your interview, Marlow. I have to wear comfortable clothes while I'm writing and it's usually a long sweater and leggings, too. If I'm too chilly, I'll toss an Irish wrap around my shoulders. Happy Holidays, Lynda and Marlow! :)

    1. Mary, I hope you have a great holiday. I could do with an Irish wrap myself at the moment. But you've got to love the leggings and sweater look. Thank God it's in fashion.

  4. I'm with you regarding buying clothing a size bigger. Comfort comes first! My critique partner doesn't understand, but then, she's at least seven years younger and has no extra bits jiggling when she walks. (smiling) Thanks for an enjoyable post.

    1. Thanks for stopping by Ashantay.
      No jiggly bits. What's that like? Even when I was young there were always jiggly bits :)
      Have a great Thanksgiving

  5. The story about your accent reminds me of the research I did for my War Bride story. A war bride told a story about how her neighbor went suddenly cold when she said to her that "her husband makes a good screw", which in English slang at the time meant he made a good living. The Canadian government had to create a glossary of terms for the war brides to translate English terms into Canadianisms. Pretty funny that we both spoke English but couldn't understand each other!

    1. That's a great story, Jana. Thanks for sharing.

  6. Great interview, Marlow. I'm having trouble relating how you handle the snow and the tiny house! Although that makes it cozier in the winter. Being a life-long Texan and originally from South Texas, I don't like the cold. And when my son and his wife and my granddaughter and their two dogs moved in with us for a few months, even though we have a three bedroom house, it was crowded!!! Especially with all the baby stuff, so I'm in awe. But I think it's wonderful that you relate to the people so well where you live, that's really the important thing, isn't it?
    Great Interview!

  7. Thanks Hebby. To be honest, I don't even think about the cold anymore. As long as the sun shines I'm good. Growing up in London, there were a lot on rainy, grey days when I thought I would never see the sun again. It was so depressing. What's a little snow compared to that.