About

Kerry Valkyrie Baldock Kelly writes for her life, to relieve the symptoms of Bipolar disorder. Kerry has not only overcome the symptoms of this debilitating illness, but has excelled academically and in all aspects of her life. Please read the articles written about her in the media below.

Email: howemaryellen@gmail.com

Website: http://valkyriekerry.wordpress.com

https://www.facebook.com/Kelly-Media-1586490094976589/

https://twitter.com/HoweMaryellen

Notes from an article in the local newspaper June 2015

Kerry Kelly of Lacken, Mayo astounded the literary world last weekend when she completed The International Poetry Marathon event. Instead of publishing the anticipated 24 poems in 24 hours Kerry produced 100 poems spanning 6 different languages and over 15 poetical styles and forms including: Acrostic, Tetrarchy’s, Haiku, Limerick, Tyburn, Echo, Epigram, Trident, Diamante and Triolet. The poetry marathon began at 2pm GMT on Saturday 13th June and poets were expected to upload at least one poem every hour until completion at 2PM on Sunday 14th June.

Kerry Kelly is, however, no stranger to pushing boundaries. She was first published in a fanzine when she was 13. In 2001, five months after giving birth to her 3rd child, she successfully completed the 5KM Swimathon to raise cancer sponsorship and awareness. Kerry did not train for this event. A year later she received media attention, including a 3 page spread in ‘Bella’ magazine for graduating from multiple universities simultaneously. To date she has accrued over 100 professional qualifications, over 20 from Higher Education and her degrees include; Humanities, Science, Law, Psychology, English and Creative Studies. Kerry also holds vocational qualifications in Motor Vehicle, Counselling and of course Writing. Additionally she has received sporting awards in; Yoga, Martial Arts, Dance, Drama, Badminton and Horse Riding.

Prior to settling permanently in Lacken Kerry travelled five continents with her five children; Ashley, Melissa, Emily, Charlotte and Bayley, all of which achieve well in school. At present she is finalising her PhD and has recently had her short story ‘Sid’ published by ‘Entropy.’ Her writing collection, ‘Tackling the Bear,’ is due for release later this year (watch this space).

In 2008, following ill health and brain scans, Kerry was diagnosed with Bipolar and Epilepsy. She believes that some of her inspiration comes from the emotions attributed to Bipolar. Kerry also praises her husband Declan for the wonderful support he has given her in writing comedy and her children for reviewing her writing. She feels that dreams, friends, emotions and snorkelling inspire her to write. She intends to keep challenging herself in the near future.

Notes from a local Newspaper June 2015

Following her success in the 2015 Poetry Marathon Kerry Kelly of Lacken, Mayo has launched her own online journal ‘Tackling the Bipolar Bear’ to raise awareness for mental health disabilities. Kerry was diagnosed with Bipolar, OCD and epilepsy in 2008 and believes that writing gave her an outlet and helped her to overcome the extreme mood shifts by turning emotion into imagery so that others can understand the illness. In May 2015 Kerry succeeded in the 2015 Poetry Marathon producing 100 poems in 15 styles and 6 languages within 24 hours. Kerry also has over 20 higher education qualifications giving her poetry a unique vocabulary and style.

‘Voices,’ Ireland published her chapbook of emotive poetry last month. The chapbook consists of highly charged poetry to allow others to understand the feelings or symptoms of the condition. Thereafter ‘Tackling the Bipolar Bear’ was launched on WordPress and Facebook, her twitter account is Valkyrie Bipolar where she posts snippets of poetry. Kerry is actively encouraging others with invisible disabilities to contribute to the sites with their own outlet; writing, art, photography even yoga!

Within two weeks of launching the site Kerry has had contributions from three guest writers and is actively connecting with creative artists around the world. Her book ‘Tackling the Bipolar Bear’ is available for pre-order on Amazon and her short term goal is to complete her PhD in Psychology and produce a positive self-help book for others based on her research.

Kerry’s children and husband Declan Kelly have been supporting her work and sharing her sites. Next week Brian Hartnett will be interviewing Kerry on Limerick Radio to discuss both her writing and her work in raising awareness for individual differences.

Notes from Magazine interview October 2015

Kerry  Kelly raises Mental Health awareness through the creative arts
Blossoming Lacken writer and photographer Kerry Kelly is changing the face of mental health awareness in Mayo through her creative talents. Kerry, who lives in Lacken with her husband Declan and five children, began to write after being diagnosed with Bipolar mood disorder in 2008. Her diagnosis also extended to epilepsy and obsessive compulsive disorder, which had manifested in the accumulation of multiple degrees and sporting awards. Although she has a BSc in The Natural Sciences the majority of her degrees focused on writing, psychology, literature, Egyptology and law. ‘Bipolar had a peculiar side effect,’ she tells Mayo Now, ‘The extreme emotions result in the development of creativity. It is a way to healthily express those feelings.’

Kerry spent seven years writing short stories and poems which reflected her emotional interpretation of the world. In 2012, shortly before moving from England to Ireland Kerry and her children spent several months travelling across five continents and experiencing local water sports. In total awe of the beaches in The Caribbean Kerry started to take photographs with the hope of sharing her appreciation for landscapes.

Within six months of moving to Ireland Kerry fell in love with local Lacken man Declan Kelly and felt that she could trust him enough to share her writing. ‘Declan gave me confidence,’ she explains, ‘He made me realise that it doesn’t matter what other people think. He was eager to introduce me to his many friends and I found that I was growing in confidence because people accepted me in spite of my illness.’

Following their wedding in April 2015 Declan and the children supported Kerry when she participated in the International Poetry Marathon whereby participants are expected to write 24 poems in 24 hours. Kerry surpassed expectations and produced 100 poems in six languages and fifteen styles. Her poems were well received and Kerry merged her writings from the previous seven years into one document, but publication without purpose seemed pointless, ‘These poems and stories are the outpouring, purging of extreme emotion and to empathise, to understand the poem the reader must be aware of my condition and place these ravings into context. I want to raise awareness for mental illness so that other survivors do not feel ashamed to be open and seek help. I also hope that the public will overcome prejudice and recognise that illness is illness whether mental or physical.’

Voicesireland.com, a mental health awareness site published Kerry’s first chapbook of poetry ‘Bipolar Moods: Pole to Pole.’ Thereafter between June and August 2015 journals across the globe accepted Kerry’s submissions resulting in the publication of six stories snd twenty poems. At the same time she connected with a group of poets from the marathon in a secret group known as ‘Some Poets’ who published an anthology, each contributing two poems called ,’19,751 words’ which has a five star rating on Amazon. A second anthology ‘Wicked Words’ will be launched within two weeks. ‘This project encompassed photography in addition to poetry so we were able to widen our field of creativity and take beautiful photographs to accompany our poems. I have two brand new poems in this book, only the editor, Declan and my mum have read them. One is a modern version of E.T.A Hoffman’s tale of a groom who is lost in the mines of Falun on his wedding day, his bride revisits the site every year. I relocated the tale to the beach and added an undead twist as well as a photo of Lacken back strand, an area of natural beauty.’

In September Kerry published two of her own anthologies which convey the Bipolar moods through fiction. ‘Tackling the Bear’ and ‘Ravings of a Bipolar Survivor’ are both available on Amazon, but Kerry intends to merge the two into one definitive edition ‘Tackling the Bear: Ravings of a Bipolar Survivor’ which will be available in print by Christmas. ‘The obsessive compulsive in me likes perfection I want the final edition to be just right. I have another project running, a non-fiction piece examining universal religious ethics. I like diversity in my work, there will always be an aspect of the psychological. It is important to raise awareness in this still stigmatised condition.’

Kerry Kelly told Mayo Now that she intends to continue to write and publish in this field and hopes that her portfolio of work will grow, ‘I have just been asked to submit to another anthology in the new year, the theme is love, it is emotional and very relevant to me. I hope to have my existing projects complete by Christmas so will have time to dedicate to this new anthology.’

Mayo Now wondered what Kerry does when she is not writing, studying and taking pictures, ‘Housework, homework, make dinner and all of the other mum and wife stuff, strim lawns, turn turf, shop, sing, spend time with friends, read, paint, spend time with friends and handle our snake Kevin.’ Life is exceptionally busy for Kerry Kelly, ‘Like this illness my life is a rollercoaster and I want to live not exist. Every second counts,’ she explains. Kerry is not yet forty and yet she has had an eventful and productive life to date converting a serious condition into positive creativity and raising public awareness.

‘Tackling the Bear: Ravings of a Bipolar Survivor’ will be available on Amazon by Christmas.

Notes from newspaper article December 2015

Kerry Kelly was initially featured in The Western People earlier this year after composing over 100 poems in 6 languages and 15 styles for the poetry marathon. She was featured again in the summer having had 20 poems and 5 short stories accepted for publication and at that time Kerry stated that she intended to have her book Tackling the Bear published by the Autumn. She exceeded this expectation and currently has four of her own anthologies published and is featuring in two anthologies by a mysterious group known only as ‘Some Poets.’ This week Kerry has given her first exclusive print interview to The Western People.

Kerry was born in England and graduated from six universities achieving over 100 professional qualifications including Two Master’s Degrees. She has been received several awards for sports including a gold medal for swimming, a yoga teacher’s diploma and numerous martial arts presentations. she has travelled across five continents with her five children and now lives in Banagher, Lacken with her children and her husband and “Soul Mate” Declan Kelly.
Kerry`s success was not easy. She was born with severe ear, nose and throat problems and was unable to hear until she was eight following several operations. During this time she was partiallly excluded from school due to her hearing and spent that time learning to read with her mum. Her brother David was also ill with leukemia and sadly died in 1984.

Kerry suffered what the doctors initially believed to be depression, anxiety and OCD as a child, but she was later diagnosed with epilepsy, bipolar disorder and OCD and depends on a range of medications to retain her health. After school she attended several universities, had six children (one of whom sadly died from spina bifida) and ran a business with her mum. She spent time writing throughout to vent her feelings in a creative manner.
Today Kerry writes both independently and within a private group known only as `Some Poets.` Her publications include the anthology `The Ravings of a Bipolar Survivor,` which she hopes will raise awareness for mental illness. This interview focuses heavily on the relations between her bipolar illness and creativity.

Q. Two of your anthologies `Tackling the Bear` and `The Ravings of a Bipolar Survivor` were published with the intention of raising mental health awareness and yet they are anthologies of fiction, can you tell us how they can raise awareness?

A. I started to write primarily as an outlet for my feelings. To purge my frustrations and depression and conversely to share my manic, positive and sometimes hypersensitive reflections. Bipolar has two extreme spectral ends; extreme elation which results in overt empathy and naive poor judgement and extreme darkness, depression and angst that clouds the mind. I wrote the bulk of my work after diagnosis during episodes of either highs or lows. At this point through research into the Bipolar illness and extensive study of Psychology I had greater insight into my own mind and was therefore able to turn those feelings into scenarios or written images that others can relate to.

I do not edit my work as I fear that the feeling will be lost or distorted. I want to keep the emotion original and undisturbed. I want the reader to empathise with my precise feelings at the point of writing and in redrafting the script at a later date I may not be able to convey that particular emotion with such clarity again.

In my own anthologies I deliberately alternate poems and stories between high and low moods to show the reader how rapidly the mind of a Bipolar Survivor can change. Initially I did not expect to publish, I was almost talking to myself, keeping a record of my own state of mind. The majority of my poems were written over a span of seven or eight years and the thought of publication was not relevant. Some of the work was sadly lost, but the majority I retained and one old poem that I did lose a good friend in England kept for an amazing 20 years believing it to be of good quality and returning it to me this year via Facebook.

In short the poems and stories are energies burst onto paper stemming from a given feeling at a given time and I hope to raise awareness by inviting people to empathise with the depth and range of feeling and fluctuating mood within my works.

Q. In addition to your own publications you are a member of `Some Poets` and contribute to their anthologies. Can you tell us how the group came into being.

A. Probably the same way as Coleridge, Wordsworth and Byron, a shared love of writing. The group is extremely private, our facebook page is secret and initially the poets joined together after the poetry marathon where we shared an absolutely tiring 24 hours of non stop writing, sharing and reviewing. We gave each other strength and support. Not all participants are involved, in fact less than one fifth of the marathon participants are members of the group. Our first anthology 19,751 words is available on Amazon and the second book `Wicked Words` is due for release imminently.

I have penned two new poems for ‘Wicked Words’ and only my Mum, Declan and my Editor have read them so I don’t want to say too much except that I am particularly proud of my second poem as it pays homage to the true father of science fiction, a little known writer in today’s world called E.T.A Hoffman and was inspired by his short story ‘The Mines of Falun.’ You would probably know of Hoffman’s work if I mentioned ‘Coppelia.’ This is the most mimicked but I always preferred ‘The Mines of Falun.’

The premise of Hoffman’s story is that a groom is killed in the mines and each year his bride returns hoping to find him. Of course I wanted to update this and add a few twists, so I am looking forward to that particular poem being published immensely.

Q. You have a broad academic knowledge; several degrees, two Masters and you are working on your Doctorate. How did you end up writing?

A. There are two methods of learning; doing and reading. The wider you read, the greater your general knowledge. Practical skills, on the other hand give you dexterity and confidence. I love learning and I love sharing, always have done.
When I was young there was less tolerance for individual differences, so at times my hearing trouble resulted in exclusion from school. My family never took that attitude. My Mum taught me to read, my Aunt to sign, my Dad French, my Step Dad Maths and German. I travelled, I was taught to horse ride, ski and swim and I was experiencing these mood swings at an early age. mood swings combined with the ability to think up hugely emotive stories, so I began to write both fiction and non-fiction. I like to share ideas and philosophies.
I had a huge knock at 13 I wrote a short story at school called, `Armageddon,` I spent weeks researching and taking notes. The plot consisted of five individuals experiencing their own personal Hells as part of a sacrificial ritual. It had ghosts, lycanthropes, vampires, voodoo and more. I drafted and redrafted until it was perfect. My teacher rejected it on the grounds that the vocabulary exceeded the expected ability for my age.

Subsequently I was transferred to a grammar school and had my first piece published in a journal. This was a non-fiction piece about the mythical history of vampirism. I find the idea of offering eternal life through a sensual death as somewhat fascinating and three of my poems address this subject, one ends quite tragically.
I continued to write, purely because I enjoyed creating. I kept scrawling and retaining pieces throughout my university years and my children’s early years. This resulted in a large accumulation of notes and once I had email a well stocked memory!
After the MRI in 2008 and the diagnoses I continued to write. It was cathartic, my symptoms had an outlet and I understood my urges to release these levels of emotion and could therefore pinpoint those emotions with greater accuracy. By 2014 I had a wealth of compositions on my desktop. I initially only shared them with Declan and my Mum largely because sharing them publicly meant baring my emotional soul to the world and at that point I needed to know that I could take criticism from the two people whose opinions mattered the most.
I did not attempt publication until this year as I had to be in a place emotionally where I had the strength to be brutally honest and admit my diagnosis openly and at the same time I needed to feel confident enough to publicly share those inner most feelings that scream out from the poems and stories. Once I had shared with the two people closest to me I realised that what other people thought really did not matter. What did matter to me was that others understood bipolar as an illness and the writings, behaviours and thoughts as symptoms thus removing the ignorance and prejudices.
Being with Declan built my confidence immensely, certainly enough to take part in the poetry marathon. This of course bought Some Poetstogether and gave me the strength to submit for publication. I was overwhelmed when one after another after another my pieces got accepted and I received positive reviews. Since that time the publication process has snowballed and it feels unbelievable.

Q. You have spoken about the Bipolar in terms of diagnosis and raising awareness, can you explain what bipolar is?

A. In simple medical terms it is a mood disorder. For diagnosis purposes the patient, or survivor as I like to say, experiences alternating extreme moods. At the highest point of mania the mood results in risk taking, poor judgement, irritable excitation and insomnia. I have heard of an extreme case of someone in a state of mania leaping naked across car roofs in a parking lot. That wasn’t me by the way!
But when the high subsides the mood crashes to an unreal and devastating sadness. These are of course the clinical approaches in real terms bipolar is so much more.
Bipolar survivors are extremely empathetic, they can gauge the feelings of others with acute sensitivity, they experience emotions with painful depth and euphoric clarity. A survivor can be naive and lack judgement because they implicitly trust others assuming that all people experience the same spectrum of emotions. Most survivors experience some level of obsessive compulsion, child-like innocence and unusual creativity.
Of course survivors also suffer the bleakness and sadness of depression, feeling isolated, a sense of futility and fallibility, the polar opposite of the manic confidence and lack of judgement.

Q. How do you manage to overcome these emotions?

A. I don’t always! These emotions, behaviours or moods these are symptoms like the wheezing of asthma or the sugar surges of diabetes. Survivors do not manifest these symptoms intentionally and this is where awareness needs to be addressed.
To punish a survivor for manifesting poor social skills is the same as punishing someone with a broken arm for having to wear a cast. Bipolar is believed to have genetic and therefore physical origins and survivors should be treated as people with symptoms.
Public awareness, tolerance and support could help reduce suicide levels. The medications, though partially effective, do not entirely reduce the symptoms. To date I have tried four mood stabilisers and seven antidepressants. I am currently titrating my stabiliser and this experimental practice is common among survivors. I belong to a number of Facebook groups such as Bipolar Warrior Crew and Bipolar Rollercoaster and experimenting to get the right medication is an ongoing discussion as it is an ongoing practice for most.
On a positive note the online groups allow us to compare and share real life experiences of medication as all options have side effects, some harsher than others. We also discuss triggers, triggers are sensory stimulants that effectively cause the symptoms, things that set you off. A song, a smell, something that triggers a hurt of some description and the Bipolar mind automatically switches to an extreme probably as a defence mechanism to protect the survivor from emotional pain. Family and friends of Survivors must learn to spot the triggers and responses in order to prevent extreme and dangerous behaviour. So much support can be given by loved ones if they understand the illness.

Q. How do you cope with five children and this illness?

A. I take an active role in their education, learning and homework. My son Ashley has just started NUI Galway having been offered his first choice in the Arts. I have two girls Melissa and Emily working towards their Leavers, Emily is taking hers two years early and Melissa is taking Double higher maths. I also have Charlotte a good swimmer who loves Irish and Bayley who is into maths and of course GAA.
They have all travelled five continents, skied, horse rode, swam, jet ski, rock climbed, snorkelled. I have tried to give them every possible experience. We are very close and they are well aware that I have Bipolar and know that I have to take medicine. They also know when they come home from school dinner will be ready.
I keep a routine and everyone is used to that. Charlotte did recently mispronounce my condition and kind of gave people the impression that I have Ebola instead of Bipolar!

Q. Do your children read your books?

A. I think given a choice they would rather not, joke. The girls have read some of my poems. I think they have enough of literature at school. Melissa likes a few pieces of my writing. Charlotte wrote a short story of her own that was published in an online journal. I was very proud of her. I hope she does more, but ultimately that’s her choice.

Q. How does your husband Declan respond to your illness?

A. The first time Declan saw me fit he was very upset. He is used to that now and it’s not been so bad since I changed meds. Declan is a truly understanding, loving being. He has made a genuine point of understanding the mechanisms of my mind, my medical routine and use of creative writing as an outlet.
Our marriage gives me confidence as Declan supports me, he has read my writing, introduced me to so many wonderful people, understands my empathetic naivety and even takes me to work. I never thought I would drive a tractor or use a strimmer, but Declan never doubted.
I think Declan helped me to gain enough self awareness to be confident enough to initially submit for publication. He certainly bought my confident side to the forefront.

Q. Do you worry about people knowing that you have this illness?

A. No I don’t, not anymore. I worry that people do not understand it, I worry that people punish me for my symptoms and wonder how they would feel if punished for the symptoms of an illness they may have. In these enlightened times there is no excuse for being ignorant to mental illness and should be no stigma attached. Sometimes I think between my epilepsy and bipolar I would have been locked up in a bad place some 150 years ago! I hope that as a society we have past that sort of nonsense.

I do not feel I have to explain my symptoms or justify my moods as I would not expect someone with asthma (I have asthma so i am speaking candidly) to justify taking an inhaler. It is down to the public to gain awareness, it is down to the survivors to raise awareness. Currently there are 40000 diagnoses of Bipolar in Ireland and Ireland has one of the highest suicide rates in the world so clearly there is a great deal of work to be done. Remember that is 40000 diagnoses not everyone with mental health issues will volunteer that information, not even to a doctor due to a needless stigma.

I think once Stephen Fry stepped forward in the UK and other celebrities followed the stigma was somewhat reduced and people understood Stephen better. I wrote to Stephen after he released his documentary, he wrote back and for a time I was involved in a study that he was promoting. That was in 2009 I think and since then I have only moved forward in addressing this illness.

Q. Do people misunderstand you?

A. All the time, always. Misunderstand, misjudge, malign you name it! Its easier than gaining insight and knowledge. I love the work of the D’alai Lama and he feels that it is better to say nothing than to emit bad speech. I am open to discourse, willing to talk to anyone about this illness. I am very pleased to say that since the publication of my first chapbook through voicesireland.ieand the pieces in The Western PeopleI have had numerous survivors contact me and talk to me on facebook and I am really pleased that they feel able to do so. They share similar feelings of being misunderstood and unable to share and there are groups out there online to assist day and night. Other survivors who will help and listen. I would recommend Bipolar Warrior Crew and Bipolar Rollercoaster on Facebook.
Q. What do you hope to achieve in the future?

A. I have a lot of work in the pipeline. `Wicked Words` should be out in time Halloween and two brand new poems have been written for that anthology, only Declan, my Mum and the editor have read them and one I am particularly excited about as it was influenced by the creepy tales of E.T.A Hoffman.
I am also in the process of editing `Tackling the Bear` and `Ravings of a Bipolar Survivor` so that the two books are merged into one more comprehensive anthology. This should be available in print by Christmas. I hope to provide five signed copies to this publication for five readers.
I am also producing a non-fiction text analysing similarities between the diverse religious schools of thought, a universal ecumenical approach to ethics if you like. This I find extremely interesting, although complex and time consuming, but I like the challenges presented.
I hope to engage further in raising mental health awareness through social media and genuinely hope that any body wanting advice in terms of medical or group support feels able to contact me through my Facebook group Tackling the Bipolar Bear.

Q. Can you tell our readers the worst aspect of having bipolar?

A. People misjudge you, make assumptions that are normally incorrect and few people realise how easily hurt, how sensitive survivors are. That they are constantly battling.
The other BIG problem is sleeping difficulties, last night I was still awake at 4AM! We overthink everything you see, its a consequence of the oversensitive nature of our condition.

Q. Would you share a poem with us to complete this interview?

A. Sure, this is from 19,751 Words and is called ‘No One’s Ghost’

 

No One’s Ghost

Today I died,

I am no one’s ghost,

Life sapped my energy,

Each day I slowly ebbed away,

Life force drained by human vampires,

Scars of emotional pain thinned my skin,

My heart bled in confused, monstrous, silence,

The hole left by those forever departed can never close,

Exhausted by the overwhelming sense of eternal, sad servitude,

The need to belong replaced with forsaken desertion and abandonment,

Drowning in a melancholy reservoir soaked in the frosty waters of pure anguish,

Unable to communicate with these strange beings of similar form, but mercenary souls,

Perplexed and bewildered by the rush of complex sensation that crowds my fragile, tortured mind,

Unable to understand the social convention and dogma that entraps accustomed people,

Frustratingly falling into awkward situations, anger at my misapplication inverted,

Lost in a world I will never comprehend, unaided, plagued with suspicions,

Learning only from mortifying, life changing errors of judgement,

Detaching slowly from the perplexity of sad heart break,

Incapacitated by attachment’s crippling needs,

Moods and perceptions rapidly changed,

Until no more I could endure the pain,

The wounds became numbed,

The animated zest drained,

No one’s ghost am I,

Today I died………….

Q. We asked Declan Kelly for his feelings on his wife’s illness and creativity and he said,

A.’ She’s unreal, hard-working, can do so much and looks after so many people. Some people take her wrong, but I know her well. She’s overcome a lot and she has fought off a difficult illness to be a great wife, mum and writer. I love her more than anything.”

Newspaper article November 2015

Earlier this year The Western People published two articles about May writer Mrs Kerry Valkyrie Kelly who had 20 poems, 5 short stories and a book published after completing the International Poetry Marathon. Kerry Kelly, who was also featured in last month’s Mayo Now anticipated further publication prior to Christmas. As of this week Kerry has four books available in print. Two of the books are anthologies from the writer’s group ‘Some Poets,’ Wicked Words and 19,751 Words. Kerry originally had two seperate books published The Ravings of a Bipolar Survivor and Tackling the Bear, however she revised the two books merging them into one definitive edition Tackling the Bear: The Ravings of a Bipolar Survivor which is available from Amazon.com. ‘The book is one of it’s kind!’ Kery tells The Western People it combines inspirational quotes with poetic tales, short stories and advice for self-improvement.” Artist or Madman? is the title of Kerry’s new book and it is an anthology of poetic tales emanating from her Bipolar symptoms. ‘I chose to publish this collection to raise further awareness for mental health and I am hoping that this text will provide students of Psychological Sciences with some insight into the emotions felt on the Bipolar rollercoaster.’

Kerry explained to The Western People that although she is intent on continually raising awareness for mental health her writing is now taking a new direction, ‘First and foremost I want to provide support for those affected by unseen disabilities, however I love the creative process and am absolutely crazy about Science-fiction and horror. I am planning to spend January writing a selection of stories from these genres.’ Kerry’s first science-fiction story Anomalyaddressed the possibility of genetic time travel and examined the perceptions of those either enduring the uncontrollable leaps or witnessing it. Her peers reviewed her story in one word ‘Fascinating!’ Kerry explains ‘The scientific community label the victims of time travel as being mentally ill. I wanted to keep the tale short, but full of twists. The final twist confirms that the victims of this anomaly are indeed time travelling and inspiring physicists of the past! I hope to stretch my imagination and step deeper into the rabbit hole in the new collection of short stories.’

In addition Kerry has turned her hand to non-fiction and her next book due for release Dialogues examines what she calls ‘Universal spiritual principles.’ Moral codes that are shared across all major religions. ‘Religion has always been a cause for conflict because adherents focus on the history and not the message. In this study I argue that the principles of all religions are compatible and psychologically healthy.’ Dialogues is due for release before the New Year although the date of release has not been confirmed yet. The subject matter is particularly important for Kerry as spirituality and psychology have formed the basis of her PhD thesis, an area that she chose because ‘Humans have a tendency to make on another’s lives difficult. Understanding of ethics and spiritual guidance may assist in overcoming our differences. Life is so short it seems an awful waste to fill it with conflict.’

Kerry is not the only member of her family to have achieved success in the last year. Kerry’s son Ashley, 18 took his first choice place at university and is currently studying Politics and Psychology. Her daughter Emily, 15 passed her Junior Certificate 2 years early, Melissa, 16 achieved all honours and her youngest two children Charlotte, 11 and Bayley, 7 have started to show an interest in writing. In November Charlotte’s short story Adam and Eve was published in the Entropy journal. Kerry tells The Western People ‘Charlotte and Bayley both have fantastic imaginations. Charlotte’s story examined the rebirth of the human race after an apocalypse and Bayley writes great tales about battling monsters. The two are making a collection and I am hoping to submit their finished project for publication. They love making up stories and I fully support their creativity in as much as I do not push them, but provide the support for them to take their interest as far as they wish.’

Kerry cites her greatest supporters as her husband Declan Kelly and her mum Glynis. ‘My mum always reads my writing no matter what the genre. She always supports me in every aspect of my life and she is my rock.’ Her husband Declan provides support when she is working and assists Kerry with her Bipolar and epilepsy. ‘Declan is so very forward thinking, progressive. We have a fantastic bond and understanding, he gave me the strength to speak out about invisible disabilities in the first instance. He looks after me when I’m knee deep in paperwork. He can even recite one of my poems and shares all of my news on social media. Declan is a shining example of the perfect husband.’

Kerry has had an extremely busy year moving house, getting married, supporting three children through their exams, finishing her PhD, the Poetry Marathon, receiving 30 offers of publication, appearing in two print anthologies and having two of her own books published and a third imminent and supporting Charlotte in her endeavours. When asked about her future plans she explained,’ I have Dialogues due for release and my editor has asked for two poems and art for a new anthology, I hope to work on the short story collection and I am in talks with a friend from Ballycastle about a collaberation. Additionally I really would love to produce flash philosophies, one or two daily until I have reached 365 and can release the collection as an inspirational annual for 2017. Of course I have a lot of marketing to do and that may take some time and I would like to have the honour of editing Charlotte and Bayley’s stories before submission. It’s all very positive, this year has been truly fantastic every step of the way, so I’m looking forward to next year’s challenges

Extract from Kerry’s poem Cruel Embrace featured in Artist or Madman?

Resounding ringing of footsteps roar outside the door, bold, menacing,

The key turns with a vociferous clang and casually the door swings open.

I am stupefied by your chilling stature, tall, black clad, ivory skin and ebony hair,

Attracted by beauty, repelled by the demon inside, wanting you, wary of you,

Gradually you approach, a lion frightened of alarming the deer, gradually.

 

Struggling against the power of your ancient, wise mind I implore myself to leave,

Will myself to run, urge myself to fight, I am tempted to touch you.

Want you to touch me, you sit lightly besides me, fingernails stroke my face,

Caress my golden locks, rub my face, fondling my limp arms, our eyes locked,

You lean in, I know that your kiss means death or eternal purgatory, I resist.

Notes from Newspaper April 2016

Local writer Kerry Kelly signs a publishing deal

Last year Kerry Kelly of Lacken, Mayo was featured in The Western People for her amazing achievements. Kerry amazed the academic world by completing over 20 higher education qualifications and 100 professional qualifications between 1999 and 2007. She travelled the world with her five children in 2012 and then moved to Mayo.

‘I wanted a change. We had travelled a lot over the years and I hoped to fall in love with a place where we could settle.’ In 2013 she started to see Declan Kelly. Kerry, who was diagnosed with bipolar and epilepsy due to an inexplicable head trauma in 2008 used her leisure time to write tales and poetry. She married Declan in April, 2015 and entered the International poetry competition in May of the same year.

Kerry produced 100 poems in 15 styles and 6 languages.

‘I hadn’t anticipated writing that much,’ she smiles ‘but the challenge was there and I wanted to meet that challenge. Declan is a true inspiration to me, he supports my work and shares my writing with others.’ Within a month of the poetry competition Kerry had 25 poems, 5 tales and a chapbook accepted for publication. She was then invited to join the group Some Poets. ‘The group has two editors and a limited number of members from around the world. Every few months we release a chapbook of themed poetry.’ Halloween’s chapbook ‘Wicked Words’ holds a five star rating on Amazon and entered the UK chapbook charts at number 8. The following book ‘Love Letters’ entered at number 5 this month. ‘It’s a group effort. We have to work closely together and this means talking online on a daily basis. It’s a tight-knit group of talented and wonderful artists. Recently we have expanded and publish our own photographs and art.’

Kerry also writes as an individual. Her titles include ‘Artist or Madman?’ ‘Tackling the Bear’ and ‘Reflections of an Afterlife.’ The first title is an anthology of emotive and reflective poems. Kerry considers this her best title and chose only the grittiest poems for it. ‘Reflections of an Afterlife’ is primarily an academic piece originally published in an American journal, but edited for mainstream spiritual non-fiction. ‘I like to philosophise. I am an insomniac so my nights are often spent writing, thinking and researching. This book examines four case studies of Near Death Experiences. This is just the tip of the iceberg of course. The NDE foundation hold over 3000 detailed studies of personal experiences. My work is out there so people can just gauge the possibility of an afterlife.’  All of Kerry’s books now hold five star ratings on Amazon.

‘Tackling the Bear’ is Kerry’s largest project. It transcends the genres of poetry and self-help. By using her own writings and philosophical quotes she demonstrates simple methods for life improvement. The text is over 440 pages long and has just been snapped up by a large publisher.

‘I hesitated in submitting ‘Tackling the Bear.’ When an idea is presented for the first time it attracts criticism and most of that criticism will come from the writer. I had the book published prior to the additional material being inserted and I hold a five star rating on Amazon. I think because of the length and the nature of the material it is essentially a book that the audience examines slowly.’

Kerry submitted the manuscript to several publishers in January and was quickly given three offers of contract. ‘I chose the publisher Austin because I was happy with their marketing strategy. I want to have the final say in terms of editing and sales. I am an auteur more than I am an author. I want the reader to receive and comprehend my work as a whole. An overzealous editor can, potentially, reduce the meanings held in my poetry. That would be reductive and I would be misrepresented.’ Kerry has submitted the final draft of ‘Tackling the Bear’ to the publisher and has signed her contracts. ‘I am exceptionally happy with the outcome of a year of very hard work. It has opened up new avenues for me. I have dabbled with romance, but my heart lies in science-fiction. ‘’Anomaly’’ she tells The Western People ‘is without a doubt one of my best pieces. It examines the possibility of time travel through genetics and is layered to also suggest that people who appear insane may be the only ones viewing the world correctly.’ The review for this story simply reads, ‘Fascinating’ and can be read for free at https://shortfictionbreak.com/2015/08/18/anomaly/ .

Kerry Kelly hopes to continue her analysis of spirituality and is currently researching similarities between the words of Buddha and Jesus, additionally she is hoping to write a novella and a series of science-fiction short stories. Kerry is not the only writer in the family. Her daughter Charlotte Land has had one story and one poem accepted for publication. ‘I am very proud of all of my children,’ she explains. ‘Ashley is studying politics at university, Melissa hopes to study physics, Emily passed her junior cert at 14 and Bayley’s writing is exceptional for his age. I make a point, however, of letting them make their own choices. I am pleased that Charlotte likes to write, but I am equally pleased that Ashley made the grade to study politics.’

Kerry hopes to start a web vlog and actively participates in a number of online groups. ‘Writing is not a nine to five job and never will be. I can receive a prompt or call for submission at any time. Fortunately my insomnia makes accessing those offers possible. I have a number of sources and interested parties, in this way I am extremely fortunate and I recognise that. I also have a lot of friends locally who love to read my books and share them. A good support network gives confidence. At present I am discussing the possibility of co-writing a book with a good friend and I have Declan’s support on that.’

Kerry and Declan Kelly

Q&A 

To Kerry Kelly

Q. Most authors write within a particular genre, but you cross genre boundaries with your writing. Can you explain why.

A. A rudimentary study of my work may give the impression that my writings range between the fictional sub-genres of science-fiction, romanticism, horror and realism and non-fiction, however on closer inspection the audience will locate philosophical criticisms of life and spirituality in all texts. My poems, for example, address social injustice, politics, abuses as well as the esoteric and the paranormal. I present my interpretation of a situation, but I do not force them on the recipient. Media is a two way process, the encoding and decoding of information. I want the reader to form their own ideas. The same is true of my non-fiction pieces. I focus heavily on the spiritual, but use an academic approach to offer evidence and allow the reader to draw their own conclusions.

Q. Last year you were simply writing books. You have now formed your own media group with your husband Declan Kelly. Why did you take that step?

A. Writing has been a part of my life for years, it is my therapy and earlier on in my vocation I would not have dreamed of publishing or expecting to be published. That changed last year following the poetry marathon. I was recruited by Some Poets and literary journals started to accept my work. I understand that the hardest aspect of writing is the initial acceptance of a submission. That was achieved quickly and thereafter I found myself editing book after book, contributing to anthologies, journals and being offered the role of guest author. As a consequence my work seemed scattered and disorganised.

I found myself working with a multitude of publishers, editors, writers and outlets, but the ever growing collection seemed random. I decided that the best way forward was to set up my own media company and draw all pieces together under that umbrella. I found myself drowning very quickly in the workload and asked Declan if he would be willing to come on board and help me. He was only too happy to. He designed the logo for our company and we started launching trial runs. We also hope to open a Youtube channel and a VLOG, a video blog.

Declan and I have made a few humourous personal videos on Facebook, so we both have had a little practise. Each step forward, each new connection is all part of the learning curve. Hopefully we will grow dramatically over the next year.

Q. What type of videos do you intend to create?

A. To start with more of the same! Socio-political and philosophical debates, current affairs and of course mental health as my first book was written to raise awareness for mental illness. This is a cause that I hope to continue to promote. I may read some of my poems or make book trailers. As said this is a learning curve and in a way it’s a little haphazard. We will have to see what works and what draws an audience.

Q. Do you ever work with your children?

A. At present I am putting together a chapbook in remembrance of my grandparents. It is called ‘Stan and Ellen’s Opus.’ I am the editor, but many family members are contributing to it including my children, mum, aunt sister, cousins and nieces. All of my children contributed, Charlotte, 11 and Bayley, 7 contributed numerous pieces to the book. I try not to interfere with their writing as it is their project or collage. I do not amend, I simply proof read. Proofreading and formatting is part of the editorial process and it is perhaps more complicated than the writing itself. Charlotte also has a poem published in writer’s café.

Their writing focuses on their individual interests. Ashley, 18, who is studying politics focuses on war, Melissa, 16 focuses on Greek mythology and Emily, 15 on the cosmos. Charlotte has a good range of ideas in her work and Bayley likes his cops and robbers tales.

Q. What is Declan’s role in Kelly Media?

A. Declan joined me because I was snowed under with work. He reads through my work with fresh eyes to ensure that the work is consumable. He facilitates online operations and marketing, which is still an area requiring improvement, Declan and Emily have both modelled for book promotions and he works on logo and copyrighting.

Q. What plans are in the pipeline?

A. Within the next six weeks we hope to set up the internet VLOG and submit all materials for publishing under the company umbrella, re-released in an organised manner. I am in the process, and it has been a lengthy process, or writing a book on interfaith relations. Aurelius’ ‘Meditations’ has inspired me to write a similar selection of notes on social injustices and improvement. I also hope to continue writing science-fiction stories. Some Poets have retained me on an on-going basis as a contributor to their anthologies and I am working with a number of publishers. My mammoth book ‘Tackling the Bear’ has been taken over by a main stream publisher. Its over 400 pages long and I HOPE it will be a bestseller. This book is a combination of reflective poems, inspirational quotes and life coaching advice given in simple, digestible steps. It is something different, new, innovative and I hope influential.

Q. How do you cope with the pressures of work and family life?

A. I integrate the two, encourage my children to contribute whilst exploring their own interests. There is little pressure in the writing aspect because I enjoy expressing myself. The editorial process and the whole publishing and marketing are somewhat less interesting and more difficult, but ultimately satisfying when that book is on the market or in my hand.

Q. Do you work in other media?

A. Some Poets have published my artwork and photography. I would certainly like to take photography and film making further. This is why we hope to set up a Youtube channel. Some Poets have also opened up the avenue of composing poems in a foreign language. We expect this particular anthology to be released in May or June. As a group we like to diversify, so that our anthologies attract a wide audience. Two of our chapbooks have topped the chapbook charts and that is quite an accomplishment. If our group was looked back on as the Wordsworth, Byron, Coleridge and Shelleys of the 21st century then our goal would most certainly have been met.

Declan Kelly

Q. How do you feel about your wife’s achievements?

A. I am very proud of her, her work is very good. She has written a number of poems about me and one is comic. I looked after the house when she did the poetry marathon. It was worth it as so much good has come from her work.

Q. Why is the design of Kelly Media clogs?

A. I have size fourteen shoes, so clogs were ideal to represent my part in the partnership.

Q. What is Kerry like as a person?

A. She is hard working, loving, fun, well-loved and a caring person who advises and helps anyone who asks for it. She supports Amnesty and a number of mental health groups. One of the subscribers to the groups was seriously ill and based in England. Kerry stayed up talking to her, phoned the Samaritans and the hospital on her behalf and made sure she had help. That lady is now recovering well. For her supporting people is a natural instinct probably because she waited so long to get her own diagnosis and treatment.

Q. Do you think your own life has improved?

A. I have a family, I have a woman who loves me and we are taking off in a new business. I have been granted custody of Bayley, that was a long process. Yes, of course life has improved! I have post-traumatic head injury due to a car crash. Kerry is very understanding and helps me with my memory problems. She is also trained in massage and reiki and massages my scars and head so that I can relax. I can be myself around Kerry and we talk a lot and of course cuddle a lot. I also learn a lot from her.

Q. You worked in gardens and agriculture, so this is a huge change for you. How do you deal with that huge step?

A. It’s different, it’s fun and like Kerry said ‘it’s a learning curve’ for both of us.

Q. What do you do to relax?

A. We meet with friends or watch TV shows like ‘Lie to Me’ ‘The Mentalist’ ‘House’ and ‘Blacklist.’ If we want something a little less heavy we watch ‘Only fools n horses’ or ‘Father Ted.’

Q. What do you want for the future?

A. More of the same!

 

Further Notes from magazines and papers 2016

Mayo Writer Kerry Kelly Promotes Irish Artists

Kerry Valkyrie Kelly has, in the last year, established herself as a poet living in Ireland and it is a label that she is proud to wear. In May 2015 her first chapbook Bipolar Moods: Pole to Pole was published in VoicesIreland to raise awareness for mental health in Ireland. She has since published a number of books including the anthology Artist or Madman? Her new ambition is to bring writers from Ireland to the forefront of the cultural stage.

In addition to producing her own style of writing Kerry also works with a group of poets across the globe known only as Some Poets. The group has produced one anthology 19,751 Words and two chapbooks  Wicked Words and Love Letters both of which raced to the top of the Chapbook Charts. Currently the group are working on a multi-linguistic piece and Kerry states that she anticipates at least four poems will be written in the Irish language. Kerry will be promoting the chapbook, which is as yet untitled, in the Connaght  area.

This venture, as with her other ventures, now has a platform to advertise and share. Kerry and her beloved husband Declan Kelly have launched Kelly Media opening sites on Twitter and Facebook. The couple anticipate the development of a YouTube channel and a blog. Here they share not only their own work, but the works of other artists from a number of backgrounds; from yogists and dancers to needleworkers.

‘Art,’ Kerry explains ‘in whatever form is a method of healing, releasing our inner spirit and sharing our inner self.’ The Kellys offer free advertising to help promote all artists,not only in Ireland, but across the globe.  Kerry’s children Ashley 18, Melissa 17, Emily 15, Charlotte 11 and Bayley 8 have alos contributed poems and projects to Kelly Media and have been published in chapbooks and online journals. ‘I give them the option, open the door for them and they can contribute. Their work is based on what interests them. I support them in their personal aspirations. Ashley is studying politics at NUI Galway for example and Melissa wants to be a physicist.’

Kerry’s own books Artist or Madman? And Tackling the Bear received 100% five star reviews on Amazon. Artist or Madman? Has been re-released by Kelly Media and Tackling the Bear is in the hands of a large publishing house who were impressed by the work. When asked about the future Kerry states, ‘I hope to write an anthology of science fiction and horror stories.’ This is not surprising as her last science fiction story was snapped up for publication by Short Break Fiction and a one word review summed up the piece as ‘Fascinating!’

If you would like Kelly Media to share your work visit the Facebook page Kelly Media and email Kerry or Declan.

……………………………………………………

Last May, after seven years of writing to heal her Bipolar illness, Mayo poet Kerry Valkyrie Baldock Kelly submitted her first chapbook of poetry. It was accepted instantly. Today Kerry has solely published or been featured in over ten books. Her anthology ‘Artist or Madman? A Gripping Chapbook  From A Bipolar Mind’ received a 100% five star rating in its first edition.

 

What started you in writing?

I wrote poetry and short stories after my diagnosis with bipolar. I purged my feelings, pouring every mood swing onto the page. At that point I had no thoughts of publication because some of the tales are quite dark and reflect the worst aspects of the human condition.

How did your first publication come about?

The poetry marathon runs annually. About 350 poets from around the world are required to upload at least one poem an hour for 24 hours. I really pushed myself completing 100 poems in 15 styles and 6 languages. I found myself working alongside other supportive writers. Afterwards I decided to share my most emotive poems in an anthology called ‘Bipolar Moods: Pole to Pole.’ I submitted it to Brian Hartnett who runs a website called ‘VoicesIreland’ and has a radio show ‘The Other Side of the Tracks.’ Brian not only accepted my chapbook, but also arranged my first interview.

Did this give you the confidence to continue submitting work?

Definitely! I was elated and instantly started to submit my work to publishers, journals and anthologies. The acceptance rate was unreal. The last year has been a true rollercoaster.

Subsequently you joined a group called ‘Some Poets’ which has had three anthologies in the chapbook charts. Does working with others help your own work?

Always, writing can be an isolated profession. Our group publishes an anthology every three months now and we always talk online and help each other out. I am really proud to say that our next chapbook will have four poems written in the Irish language. We have not decided on a title yet! We are a small group spread across six continents. We share ideas, skills, promotional tips and other ideas.

You recently re-released your books under the Umbrella of Kelly Media. Why?

When I started publishing and being accepted for publication everything was haphazard. I was out of my depth and knee deep in work. I was fumbling around in the dark avenues of the publishing world. With the help of ‘Some Poets’ I was able to learn and develop publishing skills. The first editions were part of a learning curve. Once I had a better grip on things I was able to tighten up my editing and as such felt that keeping all of the books under one umbrella would help manage and organise distribution.

Your husband Declan Kelly is also involved in Kelly Media, how did this happen?

Declan helps with promotion and marketing. We also have a Facebook group ‘Kelly Media: Healing Through the Creative Arts’ and the Facebook page ‘Kelly Media.’ We are also in the process of setting up VLOGS on YouTube. I need an extra set of hands to manage all of the ongoing work.

Are any other family members involved in your work?

My children have all submitted poems to the webpage. Ashley, 18 studies politics at NUI Galway and did a piece on war. Melissa, 17 produced a re-telling of ‘The Odyssey.’ Emily, 15 wrote about the Cosmos and Charlotte, 11 and Bayley, 8 contributed a number of pieces. The older children are also admins on our web pages.

What are your plans going forward?

We definitely want to start a video BLOG addressing the social issues, stigmas and inequalities presented in the poems. Hopefully there will be a bit of humour too! I anticipate writing a non-fiction piece on interfaith relations and then a collection of short stories perhaps in the science-fiction genre. I also aim to write an adult romance called ‘Stockholm’ about a woman who falls in love with her captor. There is a lot to do, but the last year has seen a great deal of progression!

………………………………………………………….

Last year the name Kerry Kelly, or as she likes to be known Kerry Valkyrie Baldock Kelly, was unheard of. Today this writer from Killala, Mayo has authored or been featured in over ten books. Her anthology of poems and short stories: Artist or Madman? A Gripping Chapbook From a Bipolar Survivor received a 100% Five Star rating within months of releasing the first edition, but her poetic tales are not whimsical love stories, they are in fact alluring to all readers because they reflect the darkest aspects of the human condition and address the cruelties of social inequalities.

Kerry started to write as a therapeutic method after being diagnosed with Bipolar Illness and Epilepsy in 2008. As a mother of five she had to find a way to work through her moods without affecting her loved ones. ‘I started writing to release my anxieties,’ she tells The Mayo Advertiser, ‘Of course I had to take medication and an MRI revealed damage to my brain. I don’t know how that came about, but it does explain why I have to manage these symptoms. I never really got on with talking therapies. Everyone is different. Writing worked for me, so that is what I did!’ Kerry wrote continuously for seven years without any intention of publication, but that changed in 2015.

Having been offered a place on the International Annual Poetry Marathon Kerry pushed herself to the limits completing 100 poems in 6 languages and 15 styles within 24 hours. This was not the first time she surpassed expectations. Kerry has over 100 professional qualifications, over 20 of which are at University level. She is currently completing her PhD and has travelled five continents with her children and all engaged in outdoor activities and extreme sports.

‘I love a challenge,’ Kerry explains. ‘I like to push myself and I encourage my children to live their lives to the full.’ Kerry’s breakthrough came after the marathon. After connecting with other writers across the globe she decided to publish and in doing so aimed to speak out about her illness to raise awareness for others with similar conditions. ‘I put together a cross-section of my most emotive poetry. At that time I had no idea really about publication and formatting, so it was a bit haphazard. I have learnt a lot since then and that’s why I re-released my books.’ She submitted her chapbook to Brian Hartnett editor of VoicesIreland, a website that offers support to and raises awareness for mental illness. Brian immediately accepted and published her first chapbook ‘Bipolar Moods: Pole to Pole’ and offered her an interview on his radio show The Other Side of the Tracks.

Following the interview Kerry had over 25 individual pieces accepted by journals across the globe for publication and was invited to become a regular contributor to the anthologies of Some Poets. Their multi-author anthologies have topped the chapbook charts no less than three times to date and include the books 19751 Words: An Anthology, Wicked Words and Love Letters. With the support and guidance of Some Poets Kerry started to have her own chapbooks and anthologies published. The first edition of Artist or Madman? Was released in December 2015 to rave reviews. Tackling the Bear, a cross between a book of poetry, inspirational quotes and self-help was also released and has since been taken over by a large publishing company.

Kerry departed from her normal genre by writing a brief study of Near Death Experiences in January 2016: Promises of an Afterlife and then returned to her poetry thereafter releasing Dark Matter: A Brief Chapbook of Poetry. ‘I believe in a life after and before this one. For that reason Near Death stories hold some level of fascination to me.’ Kerry is currently working on an Ecumenical and interfaith text examining similarities in faiths and the importance of spiritual teaching. She also recently released a chapbook of poetry whereby her family members submitted pieces in remembrance of her grandparents entitled Stan and Ellen’s Grand Opus .

Kerry and her husband Declan recently re-released all of the works under the name Kelly Media. ‘There was no rhyme or reason to our publications prior to Kelly Media. They were all sort of haphazardly published with different companies and needed to be pulled together. It also gave us a logo for marketing and setting up websites and gave me the opportunity to improve the books’ formats and amend any errors. Declan came on board because the workload demanded it plus we do everything together. We are exceptionally close, the best of friends. Declan designed the logo and became admin to some of our websites. The children Ashley 18, Melissa 17, Emily 15, Charlotte 11 and Bayley 8 also contribute to our websites. It has become a family effort.’

When asked about the future Kerry explained that she is completing her Interfaith study and hopes to release a collection of short stories in the horror and science fiction genres. Her short story Anomaly was accepted by Short Break Fiction for publication. The story examines time travel as a genetic flaw in which the soul can cross into the bodies of ancestors, however in the present (which is the future) psychiatrists claim the condition is a form of schizophrenia, but is this what they really believe? One of the reader’s reviews simply reads ‘Fascinating!’

 

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