Interview with Author Kelli Sue Landon

My guest today is Kelli Sue Landon. Hello! Welcome to Writing in the Modern Age! It’s such a pleasure to have you here.

Can you tell us a little bit about your latest book? When did it come out? Where can we get it?

Christmas Past is about a girl, Nikki Thomas, who lost her best friend at the age of ten. Her holiday spirit has dwindled and when her mother gives her some old Christmas ornaments, Christmases of the past come back to her memory. She accidentally goes back in time to the year 1988, which was the holiday where her friend, Kat, vanishes. Kat’s mother was convicted of the crime, but no body was ever found. Nikki starts questioning if the girl’s mother was wrongly convicted, and hopes to uncover what happened during her short time travel journey. 

This is book one of a “holiday series”. It will not be released until Fall of 2016 for the holiday season, but will be available on Amazon. I’m also planning for this to be downloadable in audio.
Wow! It sounds fascinating! 

Is there anything that prompted Christmas Past? Something that inspired you?

My mom also gave me some old ornaments that we had from the seventies, when I was a child. Hanging them on the tree every year makes me remember the house we first lived in and my relatives who are not with us anymore. I often wish I could go back and relive past Christmases when I look at the old ornaments.

Christmas is certainly a special time...
So, when did you know you wanted to write? Or has it always been a pastime of yours?

Since I was a teen. I would sit in my bedroom, bored, so I just took a piece of paper and started making up plots. Many were really bad horror stories, but it was something to do. I did this more and more through the years and ended up selling my first short story to a local magazine for $50 when I was in my thirties.
Interesting! I love to hear about an author's journey!
Do you have any favorite authors yourself, Kelli?

Yes. Stephen King, Mary Higgins Clark, Sandra Brown, and Janet Evanovich to name a few.
All right.

Do you write in a specific place? Time of day?

My house is so small, so I write in my living room when I’m the only one home, which is normally after I get home from work – early afternoon. My husband also sleeps late on the weekends, so I use that time to write.
Are there any words you'd like to impart to fellow writers? Any advice? 

It helps to have someone read your chapters or scenes as you write. I email some to people I know who love to read and they reply with feedback. That really keeps me going. They end up getting hooked on the story, so that pushes me to write more until the work is complete.
Sounds like a good plan. That's great advice! Thank you for offering those words of wisdom. 

And thank you so much for stopping by to visit us here today at Writing in the Modern Age.  It was so nice having you!  :)

Readers, here is the blurb for Christmas Past (A Willow Creek Holiday Mystery).

Just before Christmas, Nikki Thomas lost her childhood friend, Katherine, when they were ten years old. The case rocked the neighborhood of Willow Creek in 1988. Kat’s mother was convicted of her murder, but no body was ever found.
Now, twelve years later, Nikki works two jobs and moves into her own house. Hoping to bring Nikki’s holiday spirits up, her mother, Joyce, gives her some old Christmas decorations. One in particular, a bright white tree topper, takes Nikki’s memory back to Kat Rogers. Kat loved spending time at Nikki’s, since her mother, Monica, never took proper care of her. As the memories continue to haunt her, Nikki decides to visit Kat’s childhood home, but finds that her house is no longer in existence. Before she knows what hit her, an accident sends Nikki back in time.
Thinking she is either dreaming or deceased, Nikki is forced to live as a ten-year-old child with an adult mind. She finds herself in the year 1988, just prior to Kat’s death, and has the privilege of seeing her father again, who died when Nikki was a teenager. As much as she enjoys being with her parents, her mind starts reeling. Was Kat’s mother wrongly convicted? Nikki thinks she could learn the truth about the crime since she knows when it will happen. Could she prevent it from happening or perhaps, witness who was responsible for Kat’s disappearance? If Nikki’s trip back to 1988 is just a hallucination, would the mystery be solved? Find out in this holiday time travel mystery!
Here is an excerpt.
         After school let out, Nikki finally had some work to take home. "I can't believe we have to write definitions," she told Kat.
“Vocabulary is easy,” Kat said. “Just copy it from the book.”
         “I know, which really makes it pointless when you think about it.”
         Nikki found Joyce’s car as Kat scanned the lot for Monica’s.
         “You wanna go with us?” Nikki asked her.
         “Oh, no. My mom will be really mad, since what happened on Saturday.”
         Nikki had a flashback of Kat waiting for her mother outside the school after the Christmas Pageant. Kat would tell Joyce and Don this same excuse about Monica being mad that she left with them. “Well, is she here to pick you up?”
         Kat shook her head. Strands of her long dishwater blonde hair had come out of her ponytail at the sides. “I don’t see her, but I can wait.” Kat followed Nikki to Joyce’s car.
         “It’s cold!” Nikki told her. “And snowing.”
         “I love the snow!” Kat said. “Don’t you?”
         “I guess.” Nikki remembered how much she loved making snowmen and snow angels when she was a kid. The cold weather never bothered her and Joyce would always be after her for not wearing a hat or earmuffs. Kat never had anything to wear on her head, so Joyce would give Kat an extra hat of Nikki’s. That went the same for gloves.
         “I can wait inside anyway. I will talk to you later if I can call you.”
         “Mom!” Nikki acknowledged Joyce while holding the car door open. “Is it okay if Kat stays over with us on December sixteenth?”
         “Nicole, her mother will have to approve of that. I’m not stepping on her toes again. Get in here. You’re letting the heat out.”
         “Could you ask your mom?” Nikki asked Kat. “You can stay with us on the night of the play if you want.”
         “Okay, I might.” Kat turned and went back inside the school.
         Nikki got into the car and put her tote bag next to her on the floor.
         “You wore your gloves and hat!” Joyce said with surprise.
         “I had them on this morning.”
         “Doesn’t mean you will keep them on! Your bag was empty this morning. You must have homework,” Joyce observed. “You need any help?”
         “No way,” said Nikki. “This is freakin’ easy.”
         “What did you say?” Joyce stared at her daughter, dumbfounded.
         “Uh,” Nikki stammered, “It’s really easy.”
         “That’s not what you said!” her voice became stern.
         “I said freakin’.” Nikki forgot to watch what slipped out of her mouth around her parents.
         “I don’t care! Don’t use that word! Where did you hear it?”
         Nikki thought for a few seconds before lying. “Timmy Sherman.”
         Joyce reminded Nikki not to use the word anymore before continuing on their way home.
         “Do you think it’s odd for someone my age to still believe in Santa?” Nikki asked her mother.
         “Oh I don’t know. I guess it’s okay to hang on to fantasies you have as a child. Why?”
         “Well, Kat still thinks he is real, even the one at the mall. Now they are hiring one for our Christmas play, I think the same one from what Vickie Graham tells us. Miss Know-it-all.”
         “Oh what’s the harm in it?” Joyce asked.
         “Nothing, Mother, but it’s embarrassing around other kids. And I’m not talking embarrassing for me, but for her. People make fun of her.”
         “And does it bother her?” Joyce asked.
         “No, but I wouldn’t want other kids making fun of me.”
         “Well, if Katherine doesn’t care, then let her believe. It’s Christmas and many people still make that Christmas wish. Why don’t you try it?”
         Nikki suddenly had a realization. She was taken back to when she decorated her own Christmas tree with the vintage ornaments that Joyce gave her. Nikki made the wish that she would go back and see Kat again. Was this her Christmas wish?
         Joyce pulled into their driveway as Nikki just sat in the passenger seat, thinking.
         “Nicole?” Joyce asked. “Time to go inside.”
         “Huh?” Nikki asked, bringing her out of her thoughts.
         “What’s with you?” Joyce asked. “Stop daydreaming!”
         “You know Mom, you’re right.”
         “I am?” Joyce asked with a chuckle.
         “Yeah. I mean we should all believe in something. You never know when it might actually come true.”
This book sounds interesting! 
Remember, readers, Christmas Past comes out in the fall, so mark your calendars! Or follow Kelli's Amazon author page, and you just might get a notification about her next release! ;)
Author Bio
Kelli Sue Landon was born in Peoria, Illinois. She is a short story author and mystery novelist. The themes of her novels are written in the New Adult and YA genre, centering around characters at the age of eighteen, either graduating high school or starting college. They are usually NOT suitable for children. The themes of her books all involve some sort of trip taken within the story.  


Kelli's Books:

Coming Soon:



Available Now:


  1. I love the last line: "We should all believe in something. You never know when it might actually come true." Enjoyed the Interview, and the book certainly looks interesting.

  2. Kelli Landon is a wonderful author with fresh ideas and many twists and turns in her books. Can't wait for Christmas Past to be released!


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