Kelly grew up in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. At 17, Kelly joined the Army Reserve. "I wanted something fun to do that summer and thought basic training would fit the bill." After earning her expert grenadier medal, Kelly visited Hawaii on vacation, resulting in an extended stay for several years working for Clarence Lee Design. Kelly returned home to Wisconsin in 1995 to snag a marketing analyst position with OshKosh B'Gosh. Four years later, Kelly moved to Sarasota where she has been working in the marketing arena for businesses large and small. In addition to writing, Kelly's interests include everything vintage, SAABs, adopting senior dogs and exploring new places.