Author Interview with Alex Kimmell
I’m interviewing Alex Kimmell on my blog today, author of fantasy horror “the Key to Everything”. Welcome to my blog, Alex, and thanks for answering my questions.
When did you know you wanted to become an author?
I’ve always been an avid reader. As a musician I composed music and wrote lyrics for longer than I can remember. Due to unforeseen circumstances I haven’t been able to play music the way I used to. Stuck at home, all I did was read and complain about my inability to create. Being incredibly lucky, my wife chose to be supportive and encouraging rather than upset with me. She suggested I try writing prose instead of lyrics and poetry. At first I scribbled a couple short story ideas for my own eyes only. Eventually I put up a blog to send the words into the ones and zeroes and see what might happen. I gained a couple readers here and there. They told some people and I guess more strangers were enjoying what I was writing.
Through social media I reconnected with an old friend who happened to work at a fledgling independent publishing company called Booktrope. They asked me to expand on one of my short stories and build it into a novel. That was the birth of “the Key to everything”. I’ve been immensely fortunate all of those circumstances occurred. I truly was in the right place at the right time.
I never really considered myself a “real” author until I held a copy of the book in my hands. I’m not going so far to say that it was a fluke because I’ve always been a writer. The work I did before happened to be in a different technique. Writing songs and music is far removed from composing a novel. The lag time in feedback is an adjustment for sure. Playing music in front of an audience provides an immediacy you don’t get from the solitude of sitting at the keyboard and typing. However, the creative spark is very much the same thing and I find it to be rewarding and similarly exciting.
Where did you get the inspiration for the Key to Everything?
The story evolved from a nightmare. The idea of being “sucked into a good book” came to life with very dangerous and terrifying results. I remember fleeting images of an old diary bound in human skin buried beneath a tree. Turning the pages and finding the words describing my actions until there is nothing of me left other than what is written. An intricate keyhole shaped tattoo filled with labyrinthine lines that never stop moving.
About half way through writing we moved to the east coast. Obviously living here in a small town is a big change from the throbbing sprawl of Los Angeles. Looking through my window one day while writing, a squirrel hopped on the brick wall between our house and the neighboring property. I realized how unafraid I was of these cute and fuzzy little animals. Immediately my thoughts turned to distorting them into menacing and unsuspecting symbols of a mysterious evil.
My entire thought process was centered in fear of the unknown. Fear of not understanding where, why and how these things are happening. I find that if I can understand something in horror fiction, it usually does not frighten me. It’s the confusion and the enigmatic that crawl under my skin.
What is your editing process like?
I usually edit while I’m writing. After a few paragraphs I find myself going back over what I’d just written and make changes if needed. I’d prefer not to break the flow if I could help it, but I can’t. It feels natural to me. Whenever I open a WIP in the morning or if it’s been put away for a time, I’ll read through it to re-familiarize myself and make edits then as well.
The editors at Booktrope have been fantastic to work with. They’ve made observations and suggestions that I might not have caught on my own. Having an extra set of eyes go through the work makes a huge difference. Whether to make alterations that I agree with or to solidify my intentions, other trusted points of view are a necessity.
What was the most challenging part about writing the Key to Everything?
“the Key to everything” was the first novel I’d written. I found staying committed a single idea for an extended period of time difficult. My thoughts would constantly drift to new story ideas. I’d leave the manuscript and begin writing other short story ideas or mapping out plots of different books. Characters would develop in the back of my mind that had nothing to do with tK2e. Learning the self-discipline required in forging ahead with blinders on to keep myself on task was the highest hurdle I found in writing the book. Now that I’m forging ahead on new stories, the same issues of distraction, procrastination and social media addiction seem to be rearing their ugly heads again.
What are your writing goals for 2014? Are you working on something? If so, can you tell us more about it?
Since they essentially cover the same ground, I’m combining answers to these two questions. My current project is a new book titled “The Idea of North”. A young man trapped by familial obligations he no longer wishes to continue. A woman enters into his life throwing everything he thought he knew into turmoil. Escaping toward an unpredictable future, they are hunted by an ancient, terrifyingly powerful force that will stop at nothing to bring him back into the fold and prevent her from discovering the truth about her brother’s mysterious death.
About the Key to everything
Title: The Key to Everything
Author: Alex M. Kimmell
Genre: Fantasy Horror
Cracked and weathered binding, hiding mysteries on pages tied closed by a bloodstained string. A happy young family enchanted by dreams and possibilities. A barren, empty room. A boy with no friends obsessively drawing angles, edges and diagrams. In his debut novel, Alex Kimmell captures a vivid and startling tale of fear. Auden’s journey begins when he discovers a curious leather-bound book whose contents will soon endanger his entire family. The pages of this book draw him into a prison that cannot be breached, a place that can only be unlocked with a very special key. In The Key to Everything, fear is explored and heightened through jarring imagery and a terrifying, unique menace, ratcheting up the tension until the novel’s gripping climax.
Alex kimmell (the squirrel whisperer/twodoggarage/daddy not-so-much-bucks) is an accidental novelist, anti-rhyme-ologist, oxygen inhaler, carbon dioxide exhaler who often generates harmonious sounds with various instruments of different historical importance. his work has appeared on cool places around the 1’s and 0’s like Black Lantern Press, Front Row Lit, Dumb White Husband and The Wordcount Podcast. His novel “the Key to everything” and collection of short, horrific tales “A Chorus of Wolves” were released by Booktrope Publishing. come and join the neurosis at alexkimmell.com.
Purchase the book: http://www.amazon.com/Key-Everything-Alex-Kimmell-ebook/dp/B008BW98WA/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1397495502&sr=8-1&keywords=the+key+to+everything