Author Interview: K.D. Keenan

Hi, beloved Brain-Babies readers! I’m back with a new author interview! And again- you’ll love this one! 🙂 I am truly lucky to be contacted by such interesting authors who write even more interesting books!

Don’t forget to check in soon, as I will be posting my review of “The Obsidian Mirror”!!!

You can find K.D. on Facebook

You can find The Obsidian Mirror on Goodreads and on Amazon

And here’s the interview. Enjoy! 🙂

The Obsidian Mirror on Goodreads

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1. How did the idea for “The Obsidian Mirror” form?

In 2007, I read one of the “Wheel of Time” novels by Robert Jordan. I enjoyed it, but it suddenly made me wonder why so many fantasies are set in a pseudo-European, pre-Industrial Age world or venue. There are thousands of legends, mythologies, folk tales and traditions in the New World; why are these seldom used as source material? I grew up with an appreciation of Native American culture because my mother was a sort of female indian Jones, an archeologist who excavated in Arizona, the Yucatan, and Guatamala during the 1930s.

I am a professional writer (high tech marketing mostly), so as an experiment, I began writing a story based on New World traditions. Before long, I fell in love with my characters. Something else happened that I always thought was just authorial BS—my characters came to life for me and began taking the story in directions I hadn’t intended. For example, Chaco was supposed to be an ambiguous character—the reader wouldn’t know until near the end whether he was a good guy or a bad guy. Chaco firmly asserted that he is a very good guy indeed (if a bit lecherous). Fred was supposed to be merely a transition that carried the plot forward, but he refused to go away and insisted on becoming a key character (my readers have told me frequently that Fred is their favorite).

So I had to finish the book because I cared so much about the characters.

2. Tell me about your writing process- any rituals you always follow while writing? A certain band you listen, a certain food you always nibble on? A place?

I work in my home office. I don’t have any rituals—I write for a living, so it’s just business as usual.

One thing I WILL do in the future is outline the plot before I start. I started “The Obisidian Mirror” casually, not really intending to write a whole book, so I didn’t do a plot outline. That landed me in some real trouble, so from now on, a plot outline will be mandatory, even if I wind up changing it.

3. Did you agree (with yourself?) on the audience you wanted to target with your book before you started writing?

Yes. I quite consciously wrote the kind of book I enjoy reading. So the audience is people like me. I enjoy action and drama—but also love humor. Humor is engaging and relieves the tension created by the central conflict of the story. Fiction without humor is like pancakes without butter and syrup. Not worth the calories/time.

4. Is there a certain fear-factor in publishing a book?

Well, I’d always heard how hard it is to find a publisher, but I wasn’t actually afraid. I knew “The Obsidian Mirror” was a fun read and well written (she said modestly). As it happened, I approached about 15 or 20 publishers before I ran across AEC Stellar Publishing. I found out about them because I was reading a blog I follow, and the blogger, Lord David Prosser, was interviewing Sorin Suciu, author of “The Scriptlings,” a humorous fantasy (and well worth reading!). Sorin mentioned AEC and said they were very author-oriented and supportive. I queried AEC online and received a request for the first chapter the next day, which I sent. The day after that, I got a request for the entire manuscript, and four weeks later, I had a contract. So it wasn’t that hard after all.

5. What did you find to be the most difficult part of writing “The Obsidian Mirror”?

Trying to end it! I wrote myself into a corner and had a terrible time figuring out how to fix it. (Hence the burning desire to write plot outlines.) I was stuck for months. It wasn’t really writer’s block—I had no problem writing—it was how to move the plot forward from the place I got stuck. Finally, I reread the whole thing. I got to the point just after the cave-in. I had thought it would be cool to throw in a couple of forest rangers discovering the little band of survivors in the forest. I finally realized that the rangers were the problem, because now the worldly authorities were involved, and I couldn’t think of a plausible way to resolve the plot. The fix was easy—I fired the forest rangers and deleted everything after that point. The rest just poured out of me and I finished the book in a week.

6. Ancient Gods! Who’s your favourite from “The Obsidian Mirror? I must say I’d love to meet Fred!

I’m not sure you really would like to meet Fred. He’s got trouble written all over him (even if he is adorable). Chaco is my favorite supernatural character. I envision him looking like Gael Garcia Bernal (but taller). Except for when he’s a coyote, of course.

7. Any tips for emerging writers?

Read everything you can. I learned to write because I was/am an avid reader, and I don’t think writing fiction is something you can necessarily learn from school. Seek out criticism from people who write well. Listen to critiques carefully—and then make your own decisions (it’s YOUR story). Every writer needs an editor, though, so find a good one. Finally, don’t be afraid to go for the gold ring. You have nothing to lose.

8. Show off your unique writer-brain and make a sentence using the following two words: “icicle”, “envelope”

“As I slowly opened the odd black envelope, an icicle of fear lanced down my spine.”

9. What will you never write? Something you absolutely despise reading about and therefore will never ever include them in your books? If any?

I really hate reading about dysfunctional families and their never-ending hangups. It’s boring.

10. What next?

I’m researching the sequel to “The Obsidian Mirror.” It will be set in Hawaii. Chaco will discover what it’s like to be a mere mortal, and Fred will discover some cousins. Sadly, I will need to visit Hawaii to complete my research, but no one ever said the writer’s life was an easy one.

**

That was fun, wasn’t it? I must say- I really am sorry K.D, that you have to travel to Hawaii! How unfortunate, indeed 😀 By the looks of it the second book will be full of surprises and I can’t wait to read it. Do come back soon, my readers, I’ll be publishing the review of The Obsidian Mirror very very soon 🙂

Ta!

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