InD'Introduces: Kallie Clarke


Kallie Clarke is the alter ego for my foray into the contemporary romance world. My real name is Melanie Martin and I live in one of the most exotic parts of the world—St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada—a rock hanging off the edge of North America. We have 183 fog days per year and two seasons: winter and less wintery, BUT we also have whales and icebergs, fjords, and the fierce North Atlantic Ocean. Settled for over 500 years by the Irish and English, we’re gifted with incredible musicians and host kitchen parties that stretch into the wee hours of the morning. We’re known for our side-splitting humour and when the music stops the stories start.
I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember and have boxes of notebooks chocked full of half-written stories. If you asked me in which genre I wrote ten years ago, I couldn’t have answered. Now, I realize the common thread between these stories was romance. My unique career spans diplomatic protocol and I love it. It takes me around the world and I’ve met some interesting folks; politicians, foreign diplomats, ambassadors. I’ve even dined with a princess when my work crossed paths with members of the Royal Family! As I sit back and sip my wine, no one knows I’m inventorying these experiences to shape characters, settings and situations in my novels.
I have a Master’s degree in history and my first novel was published in 2016 under my real name, Melanie Martin. “A Splendid Boy” is a historical romance set during the First World War. Voted runner up in the Historical-Victorian 20th Century category at the 2017 RONE Awards, it’s the story of young lovers torn apart by class and family, complicated by the outbreak of the First World War. Writing historical romance was a rewarding and interesting learning experience, particularly creating that balance between fact and fiction.
Even though my heart belongs to historical, an idea for a contemporary romance hit me a few years ago while watching a bunch of strangers win big at a roulette table in Las Vegas. I hurried to my room and banged out the first 2,300 words. The first pass turned into a short story, but during Nanowrimo 2017, an intense marathon-writing session I never believed I’d finish, “The Keeping Kind” emerged. This is the story of Cassie Kennedy and Dax Carter who share a chance encounter in Las Vegas while she’s on a girl’s weekend designed to cure her broken heart. When fate throws them together again unexpectedly, Cassie falls hard and fast. Dax wants her, but having her means opening up his past and exposing secrets that are not his to tell.
“The Keeping Kind” is Book One in the Kilkenny Chronicles, a new contemporary romance series set around the Kennedy family from Kilkenny, Ireland and their extended family and friends. I had great fun bringing my own Irish-Newfoundland sayings and humor to the characters in this book. Book Two entitled “Playing for Keeps” is set for a fall release.