Helping me wrap up the week is YA sci-fi author Kelly Pawlik. We’re talking about her new dark fiction, Yesterday’s Gone.
During her virtual book tour, Kelly will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Nobel (winner’s choice) gift card to a lucky randomly drawn winner. To be entered for a chance to win, use the form below. To increase your chances of winning, feel free to visit her other tour stops and enter there, too!
Kelly Pawlik dabbled with story writing from a young age. She spent her childhood reading, dressing her beloved cat, Midnight, up in doll clothes and hunting garter snakes in the backyard. Her childhood dream was to be an author and she is proud to have made her fiction debut with the Olympic Vista Chronicles novellas.
Kelly is a tabletop roleplaying game (TTRPG) writer and has released multiple RPG supplements with her husband under their micro-publishing company, Dire Rugrat Publishing. She has also contributed to several best-selling works with Kobold Press.
Kelly lives on Vancouver Island, BC with her husband, their three inquisitive children, and two lazy cats.
Yesterday’s Gone is available FREE at your favourite ebook retailer.
Songs from the Wood, book two in the Olympic Vista Chronicles series, is available now.
Costumes & Copiers, book three in the Olympic Vista Chronicles series, is available now.
Welcome, Kelly. Please tell us about your current release.
Yesterday’s Gone is the first book in a series of novellas set in the fictional town of Olympic Vista.
It’s the end of the summer of 1986 and Darius Belcouer, a rich kid from Boston, has just moved to the strange, small town, where he meets Adelaide and her friends. When he hears about a haunted house in town, he’s ready to be a real-life Hardy Boy and check it out.
The Olympic Vista Chronicles are full of adventurousness kids, weird happenings, and everything that goes hand-in-hand with coming of age in the 80s. (Like no cell phones and riding around on bikes all day in a neon windbreaker.)
What inspired you to write this book?
I love the 80s. I love kids-on-bikes adventures like The Goonies, Stranger Things, Super 8 and, more recently, Rim of the World.
As I’ve gotten older and had kids of my own, I also have a shorter attention span. This means reading longer books can seem daunting at times. I’ve heard people joke that if you can’t find the book you want to read, you should write it. So, I did!
Excerpt from Yesterday’s Gone:
The houses were dark and bushes loomed like monsters on the front lawns as the kids made their way to Hyacinth Street. Sophie and Tetsu had proper bike lights, but Adelaide had had to improvise, using duct tape to affix a flashlight to her handlebars. Kurt stayed close to her and Sophie so he could use their lights to navigate his way.
“I can’t believe I scared you,” Tetsu said as they pedaled down the dark and deserted street.
“You did it on purpose,” Adelaide pointed out.
“I didn’t think you should be alone. Always good to have a friend.”
“Mm-hmm,” Adelaide answered. Despite the initial scare, she’d been relieved to find Tetsu waiting on her porch. They biked on in silence for a few minutes.
“He’s pretty cute, right?” Sophie asked, making reference to Darius.
“If you like rich kids, maybe,” Tetsu scoffed.
“Adelaide?” Sophie asked.
“We should probably be quiet,” Adelaide suggested. There was something different about Darius and it wasn’t just how his Boston accent made him drop the “r” on some of his words. He made her excited and nervous all at once. The only person who’d made her feel like that before was Andy. Just the thought of Andy made butterflies flap in her stomach. She missed seeing him on the bus, even if he never sat with her. She wondered if Andy had a girlfriend now that he was in high school.
They pedaled on in silence until Adelaide heard a sound in the distance.
“Get off the road now,” she directed. She zipped her bike onto a nearby lawn and hid behind a giant rhododendron. She flicked off her flashlight and the others followed her lead.
“What are we––” Sophie started to ask.
Beams from a car’s headlights illuminated the street. Adelaide put her finger to her lips and looked at Sophie. The four of them balanced their bikes and stood in silence as they waited for the car to pass.
What exciting story are you working on next?
There are still so many more adventures in Olympic Vista! I’m working on book four right now, which takes the kids just outside of town to farm house. Adelaide overhears a conversation at The Diner, and it spurs her and her friends into checking the place out.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I am always amused at this question. I’m not sure, honestly. Sometimes I think I’ve always been a writer. I’ve been writing as long as I can remember. Sometimes I think it’s since high school since I let people read my short stories back then. Other times I think it was this year since my first novella was published. I’m not sure there is an exact answer.
Do you write full-time? If so, what’s your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
I wish I could write full-time! I wear many hats, so to speak. I work part-time in an administrative capacity for a non-profit association. I am co-owner of a table-top role-playing-game (TTRPG) company. I also do freelance TTRPG work. And I’m a mother to three kids.
No day is quite the same as the next, though most start with getting out of bed and getting the kids to school. I go through spurts of writing. I’ve used the NaNoWriMo camps several times. They aren’t an intense as the November goal of writing a whole novel in one month and are perfect for getting the rough draft of a novella crafted.
What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I’m not sure I have one. I often put in notes like “ADD MORE DETAIL” or “COME BACK AND FINISH THIS” if I am stuck on a scene and want to move on.
As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
An author! I felt like it could never happen, and I started to move toward the idea of being a journalist, but I don’t like the spotlight and I’m not always great in social situations, so chasing down the lead and interviewing people seemed really overwhelming. I job shadowed at a newspaper office in high school, but my heart just wasn’t in it.
Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
This month is my birthday (for real!) and it would be the best birthday gift ever if you wanted to check out Yesterday’s Gone, the first book in the Olympic Vista Chronicles series (it’s FREE right now!), and maybe even consider picking up the book two, Songs from the Wood, to see where the adventures go next.
FREE SHORT STORY: Sign up to receive Kelly’s newsletter and get access to sneak peeks of upcoming novellas, behind the scenes information and other exclusive content. PLUS, you’ll get “Snow Day,” a short story set in the Olympic Vista Chronicles universe, right away! Sign up now.