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Author DiVitto Kelly visits the Captiva Memorial Library to discuss new horror novel

By Staff | Jul 20, 2016

South Florida author DiVitto Kelly. ASHLEY GOODMAN

DiVitto Kelly describes his first novel, “Seal Cove,” as a throwback horror story with just the right mix of humor, smarts and monster gore. The book takes place in Nova Scotia, a place he has never been, but somewhere he and his wife, Andrea, have always dreamed of going.

The novel is about a monster that washed up one stormy October night on the shores of Seal Cove, Nova Scotia. Marine biologist, Michael Keating, transfers the creature to an empty pool to determine what it is. Later on that night, the creature awakens and turns into a flesh-eating predator.

“I love monster movies, horror movies. I wrote it as something I’d love to see, so that was kind of how I started the idea of it,” Kelly said.

Kelly wrote “Seal Cove” by writing out 40 to 50 scenes, then filled in the blanks. Kelly said it took him about three years to write the book. The process was very off and on. Six months after he finished the book, he was published by Severed Press, which won an award this year for best Horror Publisher. The book came out December 2014.

Kelly said that he became an author by accident. Previously, he was the editor of the Seminole Tribune. Right now, he works as a reference librarian at a library in South Florida.

DiVitto Kelly discusses his new novel, Seal Cove. ASHLEY GOODMAN

Shortly after getting his job at the library, he joined a writer’s group, where he met weekly with other members. This was where he got his taste for fiction writing.

“It gave me an opportunity to start writing fiction. I relied on a couple of the members who were steady and very, very helpful. I was talking to a friend about my novel and he said ‘Go for it.’ So, I just started working on this short story. I went from 10 pages to 20 pages. I was dumbfounded. I thought ‘How does someone write 300 to 400 pages?’ I kept going with it, and that’s when I started breaking down the scenes,” he said.

Kelly likes to think “Seal Cove” as a PG-13 novel. He incorporated a lot of comedy into the story so it’s not all gore. He also took bits and pieces from his own life and injected it into the story.

For example, the priest was modeled after the priest at his church and Emilio was modeled after a co-worker at the library.

“I wanted to take out the stereotypes and make the characters more human,” he said.

DiVitto Kelly discusses his new novel, Seal Cove. ASHLEY GOODMAN

Kelly said he sells approximately 30 to 40 digital copies of “Seal Cove” per month. In addition to his novel, he has a handful of short stories that he has written and plans to publish on his own soon. Kelly is also a papier mache sculptor. He has held papier mache workshops at the Captiva Memorial Library in the past.

Recently, he completed his second novel, “Finley.” He describes the book as an offbeat comedy with no horror involved.

For more information on Divitto Kelly or to purchase his novel, go to divittowrites.com.