Hometown girl Kelly (Coleman) Fletcher, a graduate of Dunwoody High, has always pursued her dream to be a performer. Marriage, motherhood and a career detour didn’t deter her.
She and her dream have found their way into the pages of the Crier quite a few times. The first time she made the paper, her picture landed on the front page when, as a singer/dancer at Hersheypark in Pennsylvania during high school summers, she was chosen to go to China as part of the Hersheypark group.
Her dream took her to Valdosta State University as a Theater Major, where she says, “I got incredible training as an actor and singer.” After graduating with a BFA, hitting the Big Apple, performing on cruise ships, and then in Nashville with her singer/songwriter husband Ladd, she returned to Dunwoody to raise a family.
She was the creative programming director at Dunwoody Community Church for 14 years, and the production of “Narnia,” in which she played the White Witch, was featured in the Crier, as was her performance in “The Taffetas” at the Stage Door Players.
In shock when her church position went away in 2011, she was invited to join the national tour of “Remember When Rock Was Young — the Elton John Tribute” as a back-up singer and travel the USA. With the dream still intact but taking a back seat, and with her sons entering college, she took a corporate job with the understanding that she’d also be playing rock star on the weekends.
Fast forward a few years, and you’ll discover Kelly’s latest incarnation as the “Singing Author.” While touring and working her day job, she began writing romance novels under the pen name, KG Fletcher. She published her first book, “Unexpected,” in 2016 and has now published another six, one of which hit No.3 on the Amazon bestseller’s list last December. www.kgfletcherauthor.com
But wait, there’s more. This year, Kelly was invited to be one of the guest artists at her alma mater, Valdosta State University, for the 30th season of its Peach State Summer Theatre. She’ll perform in three rotating musicals; playing Donna in “Mamma Mia,” Marmee in “Little Women,” and Mrs. Childs in “Crazy for You.” The season kicks off June 7 with “Mamma Mia” and runs through July 21. Visit https://www.valdosta.edu/colleges/arts/communication-arts/psst/ for information and tickets.
With that opportunity on the horizon, Kelly took the leap of faith to quit her day job and follow her dream fulltime. She calls this her second act. She’ll continue writing throughout the summer shows, and when the season ends, she’ll rejoin the Elton John tour and release another two books by the end of this year.
What’s next for Kelly? When she returns to Dunwoody, she’ll start booking her cabaret act, “The Novel Romantic ~ an unexpected evening of sweet & spicy love.” Her website says it best:
“There’s a story behind everyone’s journey, and KG Fletcher would like to invite you to spend the evening with her as she performs classic standards and Broadway favorites. Her story of determination and second chances will leave you breathless and wanting more! KG has combined writing with her years as a professional singer to bring you a musical evening filled with romance, heartache, love, and suspense.”
Speaking with Kelly brings to mind the song “The Impossible Dream” from “Man of La Mancha,” though she’s never, ever seen her dream as impossible. I’m humming that tune as I consider the message from Kelly’s amazing story — We’re never too old to follow our dreams!
Kathy is a Sandy Springs resident. Find her books, “Lord Banjo the Royal Pooch” and “The Ink Penn: Celebrating the Magic in the Everyday,” at the Enchanted Forest and on Amazon. Contact her at email@example.com, follow her on Facebook, www.facebook.com/KathyManosPennAuthor/, and/or read her blogs at https://theinkpenn.blogspot.com.