On the blog today, we have a special guest, fellow 2020 debut author Kelly Duran to talk about her new release Can’t Take it Back and author journey.
- Tell us a little about yourself!
I am one of those authors who has always been a writer. Ever since I was a little kid I like making up stories. As an adult I write contemporary women’s fiction and have finished three full manuscripts, one of which—CAN’T TAKE IT BACK—has been published…so far. I live in beautiful Vancouver, Canada with my husband and two daughters. For my day job—the one that pays the bills—I have my own marketing consulting company.
- What is the premise of your book?
CAN’T TAKE IT BACK tells the story of four close female friends each hitting a major crossroads in their lives and how they lean on each other for help during their most difficult moments. It’s told over the course of a kindergarten school year and each of the stories intersect, sometimes in surprising and shocking ways. It really is a celebration of female friendship and the support we give each other when we really need it.
- What inspires you?
Great question! I’m inspired by connection. This can mean so many different things. Love, friendship, motherhood, these are all important connections that shape our lives and who we are.
- What are some of your favorite books, movies, and/or television shows?
Oh boy, how much time do you have? Like most writers I’m an avid reader and some of my favourite writers are Katherine Center, Jennifer Weiner, Celeste Ng, Karma Brown and Camille Pagan. All of these women write stories in my own genre (contemporary women’s fiction) and they do it with just beauty and grace. I aspire to write like them. My family and I are big movie lovers and while they (and my husband) prefer big action movies I like love stories I can lose myself in. Love, Actually is my all time favourite.
- What does your writing schedule look like?
It used to be truly chaotic. All over the map in terms of times and locations as I’d try to fit it in wherever and whenever I could. Now, I have a beautiful home office that I write in and I’ve become an early morning writer. I get up around 6:30 and write for a few hours before my family gets up. It’s quiet and peaceful and perfect. I can do editing and outlining and revising while sitting in the chaos of my kitchen but the writing part requires my deeper concentration.
- Any writing rituals or “must-have” conditions?
A cup of coffee and my Spotify playlist of movie scores. The music has to be instrumental, no words to distract me and the coffee needs to be hot. I’m pretty basic really.
- Favorite place to write?
Pre-pandemic answer? Coffee shops.
Current answer? My home office.
- What are your non-writing hobbies?
I dread this question because it exposes the fact that I don’t really have any. I love reading & writing (obviously) and wandering through bookshops with a latte. So whenever I have any free time that’s how I like to spend it. That said, I do also love walking and hiking and my family and I spend as much time outside as we can when it’s not raining here. Which is not often. I’m also a very slow runner.
- What are you working on now?
I just finished my next book and my agent is prepping it for submission. It’s a little different than CAN’T TAKE IT BACK in that it’s a first person POV story that focuses on a woman who loses her son and must rediscover herself. It sounds sad but it’s really a story of hope and growth. I love it so much and can’t wait to share it with the world.
- What are some of your writing dreams for the future?
I’d just really like to be able to keep writing books that I get to share with the world. I don’t need bestseller lists or movie deals (although both would be nice). I just want my books to connect with people.
Kelly Duran writes contemporary women’s fiction and her debut novel—CAN’T TAKE IT BACK— released in April 2020, as an Audible Original. Kelly lives in Vancouver, BC and when not writing or reading, can be found spending time with her husband and two daughters with—depending on the time of day—either a cup of coffee or a glass of wine in her hand. Learn more about her at bykellyduran.com and follow her on Twitter & Instagram at @bykellyduran.
Debut Novel Synopsis:
A perfect next listen for fans of Abbi Waxman and Katherine Center, Can’t Take It Back is a fast-paced and relatable debut telling the interconnected stories of four women over the course of a kindergarten school year.
Huddled on their favorite park bench in a quiet Seattle suburb, Holly, Avery, Zoe, and Sasha might look like they’ve got it all figured out – but there’s more to their stories than meets the eye. When Avery’s husband Carter suggests they open up their marriage, she’s shocked and appalled – but could this new arrangement be the breath of fresh air she never knew she needed? Zoe and Aaron, whose connection has long been the standard by which their friends measure their own relationships, feel that their lives are taking them in different directions, but worry over how a divorce might affect their two young boys. Zoe turns to her best friend Holly for guidance, but as it turns out, this year has tested her own marriage to Jake in ways neither of them ever anticipated. And meanwhile, Holly’s sister Sasha – the no-nonsense PR executive and eternally single girl of the group – must decide if joining the ranks of motherhood is the right step for her.
Captivating and immersive, Can’t Take It Back is a deeply emotional novel that celebrates the complex bond of female friendships.
Release date: April 16, 2020
Social media links:
Twitter: https://twitter.com/ByKellyDuran I
Publisher’s website: Audible.com: https://www.audible.com/pd/Cant-Take-It-Back-Audiobook/B084Z6WYJT