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Interview with John J Kelley, author of The Fallen Snow

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Tell us what The Fallen Snow is about.
The Fallen Snow tells the story of Joshua Hunter, a young man returning from WWI France to the expectations of a dying boomtown in Virginia’s western highlands. While the plot centers on Joshua’s struggle to recover physically and emotionally, the tale also explores broader themes – the nature of love, the indelible ways people shape each other, how we learn the life lessons we need from those we meet along the way.

What genre is it?
Oh, goodness. That’s a question I wrestled with forever because there isn’t a simple answer. I describe the novel as a blend of historical, general and gay fiction. Readers and colleagues have called it literary fiction, but that label scares me a bit. I think it can scare readers too, who simply want a compelling story . . . which it is.

What kind of readers will it appeal to then?
Those who enjoy coming of age tales or journeys of self-discovery. Gay men who’ve ever wondered how they might have coped in earlier periods of history. Women who’ve pondered the social and cultural limits they’d have faced in the past.

And of course anyone who’s experienced, or longed for, a great love.

Complete this sentence for us: if you like _________________, you’ll love The Fallen Snow.
If you like character-driven tales and enjoy escaping into vivid settings of past eras, you’ll love this book.

Have you written any other books that we should read next?
None currently. I have a collection of stories collecting dust from before I devoted myself to the writing. Perhaps something will come of them in time.

Tell us a bit about yourself.
I’m a 40-something gay man who took a long, rambling path into writing, though I dreamed about it from the time I read my first book as a boy.

Do you have a website where we can keep up with your work?
www.thefallensnow.com is focused on the novel at the moment but will transform into my official author website as time goes on.

How can we follow you on Twitter and/or Facebook?
I’m a novice on twitter @johnjkelley. The closest thing I have to a blog is on Facebook at www.facebook.com/thefallensnow. Again, the posts mostly relate to the novel for now. But it’ll serve as my author blog going forward.

What’s next?
Currently I’m working on a collection of human, nonpolitical short stories set in my adopted home of Washington, DC. A couple of novel ideas are also competing for my attention.

We can’t wait to see what wins out. Thank you for talking to us.
Thank you for the opportunity to discuss the novel and for sharing it with your audience. While I can’t speak for all authors, I’ve found that a key motivation for my writing is ultimately to discuss the stories. I love connecting with others through them. So thank you for that.

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