Kelly Zimmer


Kelly Zimmer doubles as a corporate worker and an indie author of fantasy, adventure, and mystery stories and novels. Her readers love her unique stories for their combination of unlikely protagonists and injections of humor.

Be sure to read Kelly Zimmer’s short story, “Meisner the Magnificent,” featured in Madhouse Book’s upcoming steampunk anthology, The Clockwork Chronicles. Release date to be announced this April!


Q: When did you first begin writing?

A: I started writing when my job got so boring, I thought my brain might melt. As I worked in a corporate environment, I envisioned the office populated with people with special powers or gifts. Emi Watson, a clueless clairvoyant intern, was born. Creating Emi’s friends and her world was so engrossing, I had to get it down. My first efforts were abysmal, so I took time out to learn more about plotting and structure. As I grew as a writer, Emi’s world grew, too.

Q: How many stories and books have you published? Which is your favorite?

A: I self-published three Emi Watson novels and traditionally published half a dozen short stories. I love my three Emi books, but the first one, The Magic in Me, will always be my favorite despite its faults. My favorite short story is “Crossed Off,” published last year in an anthology of cozy mysteries. I’ve expanded the story into a novel that I hope will become a series.

Q: Do you have an all-time favorite character you’ve written?

A: Leo Meisner, from Meisner the Magnificent, was a total surprise. I usually write female protagonists and was shocked that Leo came so easily to me. However, Emi Watson will always be my favorite because she was the first.

Q: Which comes first, the plot or the characters?

A: For me, it’s character first. You can create elaborate plots, but you don’t truly have a story until you have a character for your reader to see the world through.

Q: How would you describe your book’s ideal reader?

A: Anyone looking for a bit of fun with their mystery and adventure.

Q: What is your writing process like? Are you more of a plotter or a pantser?

I’m a hybrid. I sketch an outline then start writing. When I’m about one-third of the way through a project, the ending clarifies. At that point, I prepare a detailed outline using Plottr. The outline helps me fill in the plot holes before I get too far along.

Q: Describe your writing space. What do you need in your writing space to stay focused?

A: I started jotting ideas on a legal pad at my office, so I can work with distractions. At home, I have a corner dedicated to my writing, but I’m surrounded by my work computer, hobbies, pets, and a nifty view of my garden. Getting started is hard for me, but I can stay focused for hours once I get in the zone.

Q: What is the best money you’ve ever spent in regards to your writing?

A: Grammarly and ProWritingAid. I won’t write an email without their help.

Q: What’s the most valuable piece of advice you’ve been given about writing?

A: Read it out loud. Errors and awkward phrases not evident on the screen will tangle your tongue.

Q: How can readers follow you for updates on your upcoming releases?

A: My website is, and I’m on Instagram (@kellyzimmerauthor).