The path of Mississippi native Kelly Stone is one that men and women can both appreciate and learn from.
At the end of 2013 she published her first book I DANCE FOR YOU, and already the love story that encourages the readers along with the characters to follow their dreams is resonating with readers around the country.
Conversations Book Club was excited to host Kelly's first book signing in Pearl, MS in early March of this year---and event that thanks to her family, friends and eager readers was a sold-out event!
During an interview with Conversations LIVE I asked Kelly in her first radio interview was the experience has been like. "It's been exciting," she told me with a smile in her voice. "It's a scary process, because it puts it out there," but the fact that people are reading words that she wrote is a dream come true for her."
Having known Kelly for most of her life it was just last year that l learned she had an interest in writing. I asked her when she first discovered the gift within herself. "When I was in 5th grade my grandmother noticed I liked to write poetry," she explained. From there she went to writing things for church and different events. "I thought it was just something fun to do." Growing up reading a lot, Kelly says she looked for books that would resonate with her and things that she felt. When she couldn't find that kind of book she decided that she could write it herself.
When it comes to the message of I DANCE FOR YOU her mission was a simple one. "The direction that I wanted the story to go in was one that people could relate to whether they came from the South or whether they come from New York. It doesn't matter where you come from. Everybody has situations that they deal with in life and everybody has a path they have to go on. It's up to you to decide. You have that choice to find your own path, find your destiny. I wanted people to see that whatever you want to do in life you can do it."
With being in the public it's easy to be swayed by what others expect from you. I asked Kelly how important it was for her to stay true to her own beliefs. "It's very important to be yourself as you write, because a reader can tell if you're sincere," she explained. One of her biggest fears in the beginning was letting her mother read the book. She wasn't sure how she would react. Thankfully, she got the encouragement she needed. "Sharing with my mom gave her the courage to share with the world," she says. "I was able to say 'This is who I am. This is how I write. It's okay to be yourself.' "
Kelly also received encouragement from her older sister. "I set out to inspire people, but I didn't have the confidence that I needed," she revealed to me in the conversation. Her sister pushed her and planted the seed that people would want to read her story. "I started to believe it myself," she says.
Though it is a love story that deals with issues of race, acceptance and the power of the dream, I DANCE FOR YOU is all of our story in some way. "We all have problems," Kelly says. "We all are dealing with different issues."
She hopes the courage that the characters and even she has found will resonate with anyone who wonders if they can achieve their own dreams. "When you have a dream it initially seems impossible, because it's so far off," Kelly admits. "It's important for us to realize it's not impossible. You have a choice to work towards that dream. You have to be the person that decides this is my dream, and this is what I want to do and I'm going to see it through from beginning to end. A dream can come true."
I DANCE FOR YOU and her new book CHASING BLOSSOM are available on Amazon in both print and electronic forms. Stay in touch with Kelly at www.facebook.com/authorkellystone and www.twitter.com/authorkstone.