Daughter of a scientist, Rachael Kelly grew up loving science fiction, and she has always written.
“I wrote my first book at 8 years old, and I finished three or four novels when I was in my teens.”
After university Rachael worked for a film production company in County Down.
“Then I drifted. I travelled, and I studied journalism but it wasn’t for me.”
She spent a summer in Holland, then followed a boyfriend to Australia, before deciding to take a PhD.
“I tried to work in Academia, but my speciality wasn’t a good fit.”
Meanwhile Rachael continued writing fiction, and over the years, worked on more and more drafts of her debut.
“I tried to find a publisher. Then I took advice and got some good critical feedback from two friends; one a writer. I worked on their notes, and the resulting draft won the Irish Writer’s Centre Novel Fair in 2014.”
Who is RB Kelly?
Date of birth: 1978 in Belfast.
Education: Methodist College, Belfast. University of Ulster: Media Studies. PhD Film Theory.
Home: Hollywood, Co Down.
Family: Husband Jesse, a musician. “We got married in June.”
The Day Job: Arts Administration. “And I teach film theory and creative writing.”
Interests: “I love film theory. I’ve written a screenplay which was optioned by a local production company.”
Favourite Writers: Terry Pratchett; Ben Elton; Patricia Cornwell; Philippa Gregory; Jodi Picoult; Ian McDonald.
Second Novel: “I have a fully sketched out outline. It features the same characters, but isn’t a sequel of the debut.”
Top Tip: “Have a set word count for the day, and stick to it. I set myself 1,500 words.
Web: RBKelly.co.uk Twitter: @Rachael_B_Kelly
The Debut: Edge of Heaven. Liberties: €13.99.
It’s May 2119, and the world is shrinking. Danae Grant lives in Creo, a city on two levels in France, populated by the dispossessed. She has a secret, but she can’t keep hidden forever. When plague hits the city, Danae might hold the answer.
Rachael was 14 when the idea first came to her.
“I was sitting in the back of Dad’s car when an image of a city in two layers appeared.
It’s been 22 years since I wrote the first draft!”
The Verdict: A clever, multi-plotted futuristic novel.
Published in The Irish Examiner on 27th August,
© Sue Leonard. 2016.