The Debutante Ball Welcomes Lynne Kelly!

Today we welcome debut author, Lynne Kelly, to dance with us and on the day of her launch party!

The official bio: Lynne Kelly grew up in Houston, then lived in a couple of colder and windier places before finding her way back to the Houston area. When not tweeting, reading, or writing books for kids and teens, she is often seen flapping her hands around in front of a room full of people. But don’t be alarmed–she’s actually paid to do that, as a sign language interpreter.  CHAINED is her first novel.

About Lynne’s book: CHAINED is a middle-grade novel about ten-year-old Hastin, who takes a job as an elephant keeper in northern India to pay off his family’s debt. He thinks it will be an adventure, but he isn’t prepared for the cruel circus owner. The crowds that come to the circus see a lively animal who plays soccer and balances on milk bottles, but Hastin sees Nandita, a sweet elephant and his best friend, who is chained when she’s not performing and punished until she learns her tricks perfectly. With the help of Ne Min, a wise old man who seems to know all about elephants, Hastin protects Nandita as best as he can. Still he wonders–will they both survive long enough to escape?

Sounds amazing, right? Note from Deb Joanne – this book is amazing. You want this really bad.


And now, for the interview:

Share something that’s always guaranteed to make you laugh.

This bit from The Jerk, which I quote every time I see my name in an article or book:

What is your advice for aspiring writers?

It’s important to read a lot, especially of the kinds of books you want to write. I think we absorb good storytelling skills naturally by reading good books. Find time to write every day, even if it’s just for a few minutes on an especially busy day; keep a notebook with you to jot down ideas that occur to you or a bit of dialog you’ve overheard (it’s not eavesdropping, it’s research). Find a good critique group to show your work to and listen to their feedback. Even if you don’t take every bit of advice they have, at least consider it. If writing is really something you want to do and you believe you have a great story to tell, keep working at it. This is kind of like running a marathon while not knowing where the finish line is, sometimes with bystanders throwing things and tripping you along the way, but you don’t want to give up at mile 25.

Which animal would you like to be, and why?

An elephant, of course! They love their families, remember old friends, and they’re pretty chill but they’re tough when they need to be. The 22-month pregnancies wouldn’t be so great, but at least you get an adorable baby elephant out of the deal.

What three things would you want with you if stranded on a desert island?

Is it cheating to consider people as “things” for this? ‘Cause my first thought was Martha Stewart, Dr. Oz, and Bear Grylls so I don’t die overnight. And I don’t suppose having a library with me would be feasible. If it has to be objects and I’m truly on my own, I’d say giant survival handbook, a Swiss army knife, and a phone with a really good signal.

Do you have any phobias?

I’ll cross the street to avoid a clown. But that’s normal, right? If it’s a mime I’ll run into traffic to avoid it. Actually I do have a fear of large birds. When I was four I used to get attacked by a duck pretty regularly, so that’s probably why.

Thanks for being with us on your launch party day, Lynne!  If you want to find out more about Lynne, you can find her at:

website –

blog –

twitter: @lynnekelly


Lynne has generously offered up a signed copy of her hardcover book CHAINED as a prize for one of our commenters (open internationally). Just tell us what YOU would take with you onto a desert island.

19 Replies to “The Debutante Ball Welcomes Lynne Kelly!”

  1. Hi, Lynne! Great to see you here at the Ball. I’ve heard such good things about CHAINED, and I have to say it really does sound amazing!

    That bit from The Jerk makes me giggle. And I’m totally with you on clowns and mimes. *shudder*

    Thanks for spending time with us on this special day! 🙂

  2. Thanks for being with us today, Lynne! I LOVE The Jerk – Steve Martin is amazing, isn’t he-writer, actor, comedian, etc, etc.
    Congrats on the launch of CHAINED – such a beautiful book that I know will find an elephant-sized audience!

  3. What a great concept for a MG novel. Having just spent the last week doing school tours I am convinced you’re going to have kids loving this. Congrats on your release!

  4. Welcome, Lynne! Happy Launch Day!! CHAINED sounds so compelling–we really appreciate you visiting us on your book’s big day!

    Oh, that clip from THE JERK is perfect–I never made the connection to a writer’s dream before with that scene–brilliant! And as for those phobias…You are in good company.

    Wishing you all the best with CHAINED!

  5. I would *have* to bring my husband with me to a deserted island. He’s who would keep us alive and get us rescued and, of course, I’d enjoy the time I get to spend alone with him until we were rescued. 😉 It wouldn’t hurt having one of those giant survival handbooks as well too though … and a raincoat so we can collect water.

    Congratulations on your book debut! Elephants are SO AMAZING!

  6. If I could have three things on a deserted island, I’d want my e-reader loaded with engaging books, including Chained and that survival handbook. I’d also take my solar charger and a Swiss Army knife. When a rescuer finally arrives, I’d probably ask him to wait a minute until I reach a good spot to stop reading. 😉

  7. Congratulations on Chained!’s launch, Lynne! I’m all about bringing that solar-powered e-reader! And, a solar-powered iPod stocked to the gills from Abba to Zappa. And… Superman (who could rescue me any time – but, you know… maybe we’d want to be alone for a while) 😉

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