Kell Frillman was one of the first authors that I found and followed on Kindle Vella. Her character building is AMAZING! If you have been following my book reviews then you know I love a good character. Or, a bad character. It’s the characters who come alive in front of you that carry stories. Ms. Frillman is also a fantastic member of the author community, freely offering advice and commiseration,. cheering other writers along.
Why are you writing?
How did you know you had this series in you? The general idea for “Beechwood” has been in my mind for a few years, but I knew that a traditional novel series wasn’t going to be the right fit for how this story would be paced, so I kept it on the backburner until I found the right platform. I had first considered Wattpad, but I believe authors are creators that deserve to be compensated for the blood, sweat, and tears that we put into building our worlds and breathing life into our characters. Wattpad just puts everything out there for free, which is fine for fan fiction, but original work deserves more in my humble opinion.
Hopefully, readers feel the same. We all like free, but hard work deserves to rewarded.
Why did you choose to use a series format?
I didn’t want to tell this story from just one character’s point of view, I wanted the viewer to have a window into many characters, and many subplots. The worldbuilding and the characters intertwining with each other is intricate. Think of serial fiction being shown and paced like a TV show, rather than traditional novels being paced like movies. You can go so much in-depth with twenty-two episode seasons than you can with an hour and a half on film.
As I said above, I love your character building. Your world building is just as detailed!
The Nitty Gritty
What is your greatest challenge in writing? Finding the time! I work full time, I’m an equestrian with a horse in training, and I have nine dogs and three cats. I try to squeeze in a tiny social life, too. But when you’re really passionate about your writing, you’d be surprised what you can accomplish with just an hour of free time!
What surprised you in the writing process? I’m a pantser. I have the general idea of my story, but I don’t know the ending ahead of time and I can’t plot before I write to save my life. I feel like I’m constantly surprised by my writing! At the moment, a character whom I’d planned to be a big-name antagonist is having a shift, an eye-opening experience if you will, and I’m not sure that he’s going to remain an antagonist. It’ll be hard for him to win over the readers because he was a huge *ss when I first introduced him, but I think he has redemption in him.
I can plot first, but that’s just so I know where the story won’t go! lol I think readers like “bad guys” who turn into “good guys”. I mean, almost always those are my characters on tv series.
Is there something in particular, (a tool, a song, a planner,) that you found particularly helpful? As I said, I’m a pantser, but I make sure that I write down each new character in a separate word document as they are introduced, and then every time an important detail emerges, I write that down where their name is so that I don’t contradict myself or forget to follow up on an important clue or character trait.
Yes, I have both a word document and a spreadsheet to reference!
What was the coolest or most surprising thing you learned while researching? I had to do some medical research! The story’s world is the result of a doctor with a God-complex doing illegal human experiments, and although the premise of said experiments is fiction, I wanted them to at least be based in accuracy. Think the mosquito from Jurassic Park; although they proved that theory about extracting DNA to be non-viable, it was a sound theory to work off of and merge into the land of fiction.
When it has some truth woven in, it is far more believable. All the little details that build the “maybe” into “plausible”. I have Pinterest boards for a WIP that has pictures of some of the settings I used, just for the readers who know the places so it is (mostly) accurate.
What else can you describe in your writing process? I saw a meme recently that said, “I don’t write my characters, I just watch them make poor choices and I type up the incident reports.” That describes my style quite well, I don’t always know what my characters will do or how they’ll react ahead of time. Often I’m practically yelling at my screen telling them they’re idiots, but they’re going to do what they’re going to do… 🙂
It’s amazing how they come alive…
Ready for Readers
How do you know your piece is ready to be shared/complete? With serial fiction, when the chapter flowed effortlessly and fits like a perfect puzzle piece into the last chapter, it’s ready for edits. Once the edits are complete, it’s ready to post. I have a specific editing procedure, but once that’s done I have to trust the process or I’d be editing and re-editing infinitely and I’d never consider anything “finished.”
There’s a point that you just have to send it. A year from now you’ll look at it and see changes you want, but as long as it’s a good experience for the reader (good can be painful or angering or ….happy), then it’s a good episode.
Who is your expected audience? At first I assumed fans of dystopian fiction, but as I started to write “Beechwood” I realized that it’s a drama / mystery rather than a dystopian story of rebellion or anything like that. I’d say fans of James Patterson, Mary Higgins Clark, and even modern drama shows like Pretty Little Liars, Dynasty, or an old favorite of mine, Dark Angel, might enjoy this mixed-genre Vella.
Mentors, Cheerleaders, and Inspiration
Who has been your strongest supporter? A good friend of mine, Emilia, has been reading along with every chapter and then gossiping about them with me as soon as she finished each one, and that’s super helpful because it’s how we’d talk about a TV show we were watching together. It helps me gauge how people react to character shifts and if I feel like the characters and the plot are still heading in the right direction.
If you could have any author (alive, dead, or fictional) read your book, who would you like to read it? Gaaah, that’s a tough one! Maybe Mary Higgins Clark? James Patterson? Or even Sara Shepard.
Hmm, I don’t know Sara Shepard *makes note*.
What author, or book, or series most influenced you? Combination of the ones I mentioned above! I feel like “Beechwood” has elements of all of their writing styles combined.
I think most writers are influenced by their reading just as much as their life experience. It’s hard to nail it down to just a couple things, books, or events.
We Want More!
Other details from your life you might want to share? When I’m not writing, I work in animal rescue. I also have nine rescue dogs of my own (not including fosters!) three rescue cats that I raised from bottle babies, and a rescue horse that I ride two to three days a week. I’m very passionate about humane education.
We don’t have the space for more animals yet (need another outbuilding) but I love fostering animals until they’re ready for their forever homes.
What else is important to share about your book? It’s not for kids and I don’t shy away from darker aspects of the characters, but there is nothing gratuitous in the prose. (I have NOTHING against erotica, that’s just not the audience that I particularly write for.)
When can we expect more from you? I update Beechwood every Saturday! I also have a second Vella coming soon… a dark fantasy that I hope Game of Thrones fans will dig.
OOOHHH! I’m looking forward to it! I think you have three available right now (April 2022) and they all have stunning characters!
Where can we find your book? “Beechwood” can be found through the Kindle app, or it can also be read on your desktop. https://us.amazon.com/kindle-vella/story/B096K8P2K4
Where can we find you? Find lots of extra info about my series’ on my website at www.kellfrillman.com
Share any links you want for your books or your business. Go ahead and use an affiliate link if you want to.
You can also check out my dystopian series on Amazon / Kindle Unlimited here: https://us.amazon.com/Kell-Frillman/e/B01CN3FFJ2
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