Friday, November 3, 2017

The Gal's 2017 Halloween Frivolities Day 13: Among the Stacks with Kit Power


I always get excited when an author wants to be on The Gal... but there are some that, when they want to come back on, I just can't control my giddiness.  Kit is one of them.  Not only is he a creative and talented author, but he is just an awesome dude, with a great sense of humor... and so much fun to talk to.  


The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Hey, Kit.  Welcome back!!  It's been awhile since we sat down together.  What's been going on since we last spoke?

Kit Power:
Blimey!  Quite a lot.  I've had a few short stories accepted into various anthologies, which are either out or due out by the end of the year; I'm working on a novella length non-fiction project on commission for Electric Dreamhouse Press on the movie Tommy; there's a new novella that desperately needs moving to D2; and the manuscript for My Life in Horror Volume 1, which I'd like to get in shape by the end of the year.  I've also started podcasting, with Watching RoboCop with Kit Power now 13 episodes strong, and Wrong with Authority, a project I am one quarter of where we watch movies based on history and discuss the accuracy (or, more often, lack thereof), and which has just recorded our 6th regular episode, with many more shorter footnote/commentary episodes also available.  Oh, and there's A WARNING ABOUT YOUR FUTURE ENSLAVEMENT THAT YOU WILL DISCUSS AS A COLLECTION OF SHORT FICTION AND ESSAYS BY KIT POWER, which is out November 3rd.
            Also, my wife and I recently got a puppy :).
            So, you know, keeping out of mischief.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Who are you outside of writing?

Kit Power:
Husband.  Father.  Son.  Dog owner.  Podcaster.  Singer.  And there's a day job, too.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
How do you feel about friends and close relatives reading your work?

Kit Power:
I'm okay with it for the most part, though it's always a little nerve wracking if it's someone whose opinion I respect.  That said, I'm very lucky to also have some people around me who are supportive of my work, but not that interested in it.  It helps to keep me grounded.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Is being a writer a gift or a curse?

Kit Power:
It's a gift, no question.  It is also a compulsion - or at least, it's become so for me - but I think that being in a position to have the time and resources to do this is a huge privilege. 

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
How has your environment and upbringing colored your writing?

Kit Power:
Oh, in all kinds of ways, much of it not even conscious, I'm sure.  My parents are very, very different people, so I've had windows into two very different worlds there.  I think being raised without a TV in my early childhood, and having been taught to read at a young age, were also crucial in shaping me as a reader, and later a storyteller - prose has always been the way I am most comfortable receiving a story.  Not that I don't also enjoy movies and TV - especially TV lately, where some astonishing storytelling is happening - but I think being a kid whose only real means of escapism was books was probably the single biggest factor that led me to becoming a writer.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What's the strangest thing you have ever had to research for your books?

Kit Power:
Oh, loads of stuff.  The propensity and types of swearing in the 1920s US.  The effects of immersion in cold water on the body.  Different types of industrial car crushers and how they operate.  Never a dull moment. :)

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Which do you find the hardest to write: the beginning, the middle, or the end?

Kit Power:
The Middle - which is, of course, most of it :)  .  I’ve normally got a beginning before I sit down, and along with that, typically I have an idea of how things will shake out, but it’s the middle bit that contains both the joy and pain of discovery for me.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Do you outline?  Do you start with characters or plot?  Do you just sit down and start writing?  What works best for you?

Kit Power:
I outline as little as I possibly can - ideally not at all, though with the novel, that wasn’t possible (and for the collection, because of the unusual framing device, that needed a bit of mapping out also). Generally, I agree with Stephen King that plot is just what happens when character meets situation, so I try and just visualize both as best I can, then write down what happens. It works okay for the first draft, but I also end up going through a huge amount of drafts before I’m really happy.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What do you do when characters don't follow the outline/plan?

Kit Power:
Celebrate - it means the process is working properly.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What do you do to motivate yourself to sit down and write?

Kit Power:
I really don’t need motivation to sit and write - finding time and space to do so is the real challenge. I’m getting this done on a train, for example - since starting writing, I’ve come to really love train journeys and flights. Finding - or where needed, stealing - uninterrupted writing time is a constant challenge.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Are you an avid reader?

Kit Power:
Absolutely, and again, time in the day is the biggest challenge. The Kindle has been a lifesaver in that regard, being able to carry a medium sized library in my pocket or bag really allows me to maximise unexpected reading time.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What kind of books do you absolutely love to read?

Kit Power:
I read widely and enjoy a big range of genres and styles, but my absolute favorite reading experiences are the very well paced crime or horror novel that just grabs you by the lapels and refuses to let go.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
How do you feel about movies based on books?

Kit Power:
I feel like books are books and movies are movies. They are both storytelling mediums, but they have different strengths. A novel can allow you behind the eyes of the character in a way other storytelling cannot, and of course a novel has an infinite effects budget, because it’s really only limited by the imagination of the author (and perhaps, to a lesser extent, the reader). That said, there are strengths to movies and TV, also, in terms of visceral action and so forth. I think a good movie adaptation of a novel recognises the strength of the two mediums, and translates the story to take advantage of those differences. Over-faithful adaptations are often failures for this very reason, I think.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Have you ever killed a main character?

Kit Power:
SPOILERS! :)

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
*laughs* Do you enjoy making your characters suffer?

Kit Power:
No, but also I don’t feel like I do ‘make’ them suffer. It’s more that they’ve been unlucky enough to wander into Kit Power stories :)  Going back to plot being ‘character meets situation’, I feel like once I’ve collided the character with whatever nasty thing my imagination has been worrying at, I’m as along for the ride as the characters, to be honest.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What's the weirdest character concept that you've ever come up with?

Kit Power:
Probably K-POX, from A WARNING ABOUT YOUR FUTURE ENSLAVEMENT THAT YOU WILL DISMISS AS A COLLECTION OF SHORT FICTION AND ESSAYS BY KIT POWER - though as I say that, I think it’s less that he’s unusual and more that his circumstances are so strange. There’s a guy called Agent Wood from a short story that may or may not be appearing in a forthcoming anthology who is a bit more atypical, I guess. But generally, my characters are pretty normal. The weirdness is what happens to them.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What's the best piece of feedback you've ever received?  What's the worst?

Kit Power:
I think one of the pieces of feedback I am happiest with is when people tell me they feel a story is authentic or plausible - I tend to write about fairly extreme situations, so it’s always pleasing to me if people feel like they ring true to life, because I am always aiming for that kind of immersive reader experience - my aim is to put you there, to the best of my ability. As to worst, there’s the odd two and one star reviews out there for GodBomb!, but everyone is entitled to their opinion.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What do your fans mean to you?

Kit Power:
I mean, it’s kind of surreal. To have people asking me when the next book is coming out, to have people attending readings at conventions, to be getting requests for signed books… Writing is at it’s core a solitary experience - it’s just you and the endless blank page. To have enough work out in the world that people enjoy enough to reach out and let me know, leave reviews, and nag me for more work, back me on Patreon to get early access to my writing… it’s an incredible feeling, and one I hope I will never take for granted.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
If you could steal one character from another author and make them yours, who would it be and why?

Kit Power:
James Bond - Fleming’s Bond, the racist, misogynist dinosaur of the mid 50’ to early 60’s. What a fabulously flawed creation he is, and what a window into a world and mentality he represents. I’d love someday to write someone that vivid. that alive on the page.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
If you could write the next book in a series, which one would it be, and what would you make the book about?

Kit Power:
Heh - see above. I do actually have a plot mapped out for a Bond story, but I don’t want to talk about it because I’m hoping against hope that it might somehow actually get written and see print one day.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
If you could write a collaboration with another author, who would it be and what would you write about?

Kit Power:
I’m in discussion with a couple of authors about collaborations right now, and if any of those projects come off, I'll be a very happy man. Beyond those project, I mean, it’d have to be King, right? And I’d write about literally anything he wanted to :)

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What can we expect from you in the future?

Kit Power:
Loads! Two non-fiction projects - one is a commissioned manuscript for the Electric Dreamhouse imprint on the movie Tommy, which I’ve already started and can’t wait to get finished - plan is for a draft by the end of the year - and My Life In Horror Volume 1, collecting the first 30 of my Gingernuts essays, along with some other non-fiction blog posts I’ve done. Then there’s a new novella, short stories popping up in anthologies all over the place, and more ideas than I have time to write. Busy times. Which is nice.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Where can we find you?  (STaLKeR links.)

Kit Power:

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Do you have any closing words for your fans or anything you'd like to say that we didn't get to cover in this interview or the last?

Kit Power:
Just thanks for reading, and for your continued support.  It means everything.


About the author:
Kit Power lives in Milton Keynes and writes horror and dark crime fiction, with occasional forays into dystopian science fiction, though he insists you shouldn't read too much into that.  He has a novel, GodBomb!, and a novella collection, Breaking Point - both available on Kindle and in paperback, and published by The Sinister Horror Company.  His debut short fiction and essay collection, A Warning About Your Future Enslavement That You Will Dismiss As a Collection of Short Stories and Essays by Kit Power is out soon.
            In his increasingly inaccurately labelled spare time, he podcasts - on his own show, Watching RoboCop with Kit Power, and as one quarter of the legendary Wrong With Authority team.

 
About the books:
Kit Power did not write this book.
            Sure, the stories and essays are his - 21 pieces culled from the very best of his fiction and nonfiction work over the last four years, including previously unpublished work - but as to the rest...
Kit Power has no idea who (or what) K-POX is.  Or The Ministry of Information, come to that.  He doesn't know what The Information War is/was, or when it is supposed to have happened.  He has no idea at all why a book that appears to have been sent from the future is so insistent that his stories hold the key to recovering the history of that time.
            Kit suspects it may all just be an elaborate prank of some kind.
            Still, it probably wouldn't do any hard to read it.  Just in case...


Somebody wants answers.
North Devon, England, 1995.  A born-again revival meeting in a public building.  The usual mix of the faithful, the curious, and the desperate.  And one other - an atheist suicide bomber.  He's angry.  He wants answers.  And if God doesn't come and talk to him personally, he's going to kill everyone in the building...

A Cyclist is knocked unconscious on his way home and wakes up in a nightmare...

A devoted husband begins to suspect all is not well with his marriage...

A desperate family man, running out of time and options, turns to an old schoolmate from the wrong side of the tracks - looking for work - any work...

A young man's world is thrown into chaos as his father is abducted...

Four tales of people pushed to Breaking Point.

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