Ronald Kelly was born and raised in the hills and hollows of Middle
Tennessee. He became interested in horror as a child, watching the local
"Creature Feature" on Saturday nights and "The Big
Show"---a Nashville-based TV show that presented every old monster
movie ever made ---in the afternoons after school. In high school, his
interest turned to horror literature and he read such writers as Poe,
Lovecraft, Matheson, and King. He originally had dreams of becoming a
comic book artist and created many of his own super heroes. But during
his junior year, the writing bug bit him and he focused his attention on
penning short stories and full-length novels.
Following high school, he entered the workforce and found employment as
a welder. During a twelve year period, he wrote in his spare time,
polishing his writing skills and seeking publication. He wrote mystery,
science fiction, and western fiction, but found no success in those
genres. Then, upon a whim, he returned to the horror and suspense genre
that he had loved so during his earlier years. In 1988 he sold his first
short story to Terror Time Again for $20. Afterward, his short
fiction appeared regularly in small press horror magazines and Kelly
became known as one of the few Southern horror writers of that period,
setting his dark rural tales in Tennessee and other southern locations.
His work was published in legendary publications such as Cemetery
Dance, Deathrealm, Grue, Noctulpa, and New
Blood. In 1989, he sold his first novel, Hindsight, to Zebra
Books. It was published in 1990, and during the next six years, seven
other novels were published by Zebra: Pitfall, Something Out
There, Moon of the Werewolf, Father's Little Helper,
The Possession, Fear, and Blood Kin. Also during
that time, Kelly put out an audio story collection, Dark Dixie,
which was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best non-musical recording.
He also had numerous short stories in major anthologies, such as Cold
Blood, Shock Rock, Hot Blood, Borderlands,
The Earth Strikes Back, and Dark At Heart.
Then, in autumn of 1996, the bottom fell out of the horror market and
Zebra Books closed down their horror line. Kelly was left without a
publisher and, since many mass market publishers had also abandoned the
horror genre, he found little prospect of finding one. He grew
disillusioned and discouraged, and decided to retire from writing.
During the next ten years he returned to the workforce, building a life
with his wife and raising two daughters. He also embraced his Christian
upbringing and became involved in his local church. For years he
believed that his career as a horror writer was a thing of the past and
that he would never return to it.
Then, in 2006, concerned fans began to ask about Kelly over the
internet, wondering what had become of him. Before long, a renewed
interest in his brand of Southern Horror fiction emerged and new readers
began to search for his old novels on eBay and other internet outlets.
Close friends and fans urged him to return to the horror genre and give
a career at writing another shot. In the summer of 2006, Kelly gave in
and, while apprehensive, decided to try his hand at writing once again.
Nearly a year has passed and Kelly's second career as a writer of
Southern Horror is gaining momentum. In 2008, his first novel in twelve
years---Hell Hollow---will be published, as well as his first short
story collection, Midnight Grinding & Other Twilight Terrors. He also
has numerous short stories scheduled for publication and some limited
edition releases of his previous novels---such as Undertaker's Moon
(Moon of the Werewolf)---are now in the works.
He currently lives in Brush Creek, Tennessee with his wife, Joyce, and
his two daughters, Reilly and Makenna (Chigger),