Louisa Kelley writes fantastical stories of unusual romance, intrigue and magical mayhem, often with modern day characters based in Portland. The Shift Series, is her latest fantasy series, featuring the fantastical, romantic adventures of dragon shape-shifters living in secret in a hidden world.
Louisa resides in Portland where, in a strangely perfect combination of rainy winters and urban skyline, her writing inspiration abounds. She’s also slightly obsessed with dragons.
Member of: Romance Writers of America, Willamette Writers and the Golden Crown Literary Society
How Did I Get Into All Of This?
What got me started on all of this, you ask? What is it with me and dragons, anyway?
It all begins with the beloved author of Little Women, Louisa May Alcott 1832- 1888 – an amazing, inspiring woman of her time. She was my earliest example (I first picked up a copy of Little Men in 3rd grade!) of a strong, independent minded, career choosing woman, who wasn’t afraid to challenge the authority of men and the societal norms of what women should do and how they should behave. She believed deeply in justice, was an abolitionist and later, active as a suffragette. I read everything she wrote, then her biographies. She stood as a shining example of how I wanted to be when I grew up. By age ten, when adults would ask me what I wanted to be, I simply answered: “A writer like Louisa May Alcott.”
This is Orchard House in MA, where the Alcott family lived and Louisa wrote Little Women.
Her tender, sweet romances were my first introduction to the genre of romance and the beginning of a lifelong affair with happily-ever-after. In 2013 I visited and toured Orchard House in Massachusetts, the old home of the Alcott’s, now restored and maintained as a museum. Louisa had lived there with her family and written Little Women in that house. I saw the actual room she wrote in, and the desk she sat at. It was like going to church.
After Louisa May Alcott, there came the stunning influence of the great author, feminist, activist, speaker and educator, Ursula K. Le Guin. I’ve been lucky enough to breathe in a little of her influence in the Literary Arts here in Portland the last 13 years, as she lived here in the Pacific Northwest. I mourned when she passed away, and went to her joyful, inspiring, dragon-image filled memorial in downtown Portland. Ursula was another woman who stood strongly for justice, and later, her essays and speeches became as inspiring and inflaming to my heart as her fiction. Here’s an example of an inflaming, fabulous commencement address she gave in 1983 to Mills College in Oakland, California. http://www.ursulakleguin.com/LeftHandMillsCollege.html
Her influence on my love of fantasy stories was pivotal. The Wizard of Earthsea series came into my life soon after the Narnia books by C. S. Lewis, and that was it, really. Fantasy and science fiction took hold of my mind and heart and never let go.
I was born in the Chinese year of the dragon. My little dragon heart didn’t know that, however, for quite some time. When the flames of my dragon nature finally triggered as the writer I’d always wanted to be, it was like a volcano. My romantic heart jumped right into the exciting, hot cauldron of fantastical happily-ever-afters and said, “Finally!”