I was the kid who hid books under her covers and read them with a flashlight after bedtime.
And I was the student with the tallest stack of books on her desk after every book fair or on library day.
One of my first jobs was in a bookstore and it was pure heaven to be surrounded by books…and getting paid to be there!
As well as reading, writing has been a passion of mine for as long as I can remember. I love to create characters and stories and see where my imagination takes them. When I was in high school I wrote a series of short stories that featured me and my closest friends fighting crime and then meeting for dinner at our favourite restaurant afterwards.
When it came time to decide on college and a career (gulp!) I decided to go the journalism route so I could do something where I got to write everyday. But I also wanted to be a sports reporter so I could cover formula 1 races and meet the drivers. I was 18 and very naive about such things.
The journalism thing never really panned out so I took my skills from J-school and went into marketing and communications instead. Along the way I married my high school sweetheart (awww…) and we started to built a life together.
When we had our two girls, my life was so busy I stopped writing for fun. The novel I started when my youngest was born was shelved because I simply couldn’t justify taking time just for me to write. It felt selfish. Surely my family needed me more than I needed to write. (Narrator: This was not true and her creative soul began to wither.)
Then in 2015, my oldest daughter and I did NaNoWriMo together. I pulled out that shelved manuscript and with her encouragement, managed to add 51,000 words to it in one month. She did 1,500 (by hand!) at just nine years old.
Once I reignited that writing spark in me there was no way I’d be able to put it out again. So I didn’t. Instead, I made my own dreams a priority and completed my second novel on New Years Eve 2018; meeting my self-imposed deadline by just a few hours.
2019 was the year my publication dreams started to become a reality when I got an offer for my book through #PitMad which then led to me signing with my literary agent. In November 2019, my debut novel deal was announced and CAN’T TAKE IT BACK released in April 2020.
I’m back in the habit of regular writing and I feel truly lucky to be able to do what I love everyday. It’s even more special when my daughters join me and we write together. Because is there anything more special than sharing a passion with your children?
A shorter and more shareable bio:
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.