My fellow Turtleducker Kit Campbell’s novel Shards released yesterday. She agreed to an interview. So here we go!
1) What inspired you to write Shards?
The main storyline of Shards is based off a dream, actually. I have this habit, when I realize I’m dreaming, of turning the dream into a narrative. The dream narrative appealed to me because it had a neat strand of mystery running through it. And it allowed me to do a lot of really fun research.
2) Who is your favorite character in Shards? Least favorite?
I love everybody, really. Lily is probably my favorite. She pretty much does whatever she wants whenever she feels like, with no care of whom she might be pissing off. And her hair always looks amazing. As for least favorite–hmm. I really don’t think I have one. I love all the main characters and the side characters for various reasons. I’ll pick someone who isn’t really there, like the barista at the coffee shop. She’s cheating on her exams and spits in people’s coffee.
3) Are you a plotter or a pantser (or both)?
I’m a mix of both. I start a new story by pantsing–I usually only have a premise and some characters–and then, about halfway through, I’ll sit down and start outlining the rest of the story, though not in a lot of detail. Rewrites and edits are always extensively outlined.
4) How long have you been writing? Did you always know you’d be a writer, or did it happen by accident?
The first story I remember writing was when I was about eight. Around then, maybe even before, I’d take things I liked–computer games, books, movies–and expand on them. Make new stories with the same characters, or take the same premise and go a different way. A lot of times I added female characters. And I wrote short stories and several aborted novels throughout my teens, but it wasn’t until my early 20s that I was like, oh, wait, I can actually make something of this. Apparently my family always expected it, but it was kind of a surprise to me.
5) What is your zodiac sign?
I’m a Libra, cardinal air. I think that probably explains a lot.
6) What’s your all-time favorite book? Favorite movie?
I absolutely adore Agnes and the Hitman by Jennifer Crusie and Bob Mayer. It’s not a genre that I typically read or like, but the character interplay and the wit is so perfect. I mean, it’s hard to choose a favorite book, and I have a lot that rank right up there–Pride and Prejudice, The Phantom Tollbooth, Return of the King–but Agnes hits all the right notes for my life right now. I’m sure, in ten years, some other book will hit closer to home.
As for movies, my favorite is probably Jim Henson’s Labyrinth, not necessarily for what it is, but what is had the potential to be. I am a crazy person and I judge a lot of things based on their potential.
7) Did you go to college? If so, what did you major in? Sum up the college experience in one word.
I did, and I double-majored in Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering. Other writers are always a bit surprised to learn that, but engineering requires a lot of creativity too. Sometimes we were a little too creative, like the time we overheated that satellite. Luckily it was still able to complete its mission successfully.
Let’s see: Long nights, little sleep, and as much insanity as we could stuff into a 24-hour period. Engineers are an…interesting bunch.
8) What’s this about landsquid on your blog?
I really like cephalopods–squid, cuttlefish, octopuses. I realize that I am an odd cookie in that regard, but I think they’re amazing. The Landsquid itself is a squid that lives on land. He likes Cheez-Its and hot chocolate. He’s the official mascot of my blog, and gives me an excuse to write and draw silly posts when I can’t brain enough to write something real.
9) How do you handle writer’s block? Or its opposite, too many ideas all at once?
When I have writer’s block, I find it’s best to just write through it, but normally I have to change mediums. I tend to handwrite when I’m having a hard time making forward progress (I normally type everything). And sometimes it’s better to just sit on it for a few days and ponder. As for too many ideas–I’ll write down ones that seem viable, but I’m afraid I never make it back to most of them.
10) Have you ever had a crush on a fictional character (yours or someone else’s)?
Oh, sure, tons. Colin Firth’s Mr. Darcy. Mr. Spock. Han Solo. I try not to crush on my own characters–that feels a bit incestual to me.
11) Can you tell us what’s next writing-wise for you?
I’m going to return to working on a high fantasy trilogy I’ve been working on and off for several years. I’m not quite sure if I’m going to finish writing the third book, or if I’m going to start submitting the first book. Actually, knowing me, I shall probably try to do both at once.
12) Are you a coffee drinker, tea drinker, or something-else-drinker?
I drink a lot of tea and hot chocolate. I used to drink more coffee, but then it and my stomach started having disagreements, so I tend to leave it alone.
13) Team Feline or Team Canine?
Team Feline all the way. I am just not a dog person. They are sweet animals, but cats and I get on much better.
14) If you could take only 1 book with you to an isolated island for possibly forever, what book would it be? And why?
D: Only one? Hm. I can’t decide if I should take something ginormous–the complete works of Shakespeare, or all the Sherlock Holmes stories, so that I’d have more variety, or if I should take a favorite along to comfort me in my isolation.
Eva Martinez isn’t sure why she’s pursuing a master’s degree in religious studies, except that something about the material resonates in the depths of her soul. But when her dreams start to be invaded by lost gardens, forbidden fruit, and a strangely familiar mystery man, even she has to wonder if she’s taking her schoolwork too seriously.
Then Eva starts to notice the strangeness seeping into everyday life. The man from her dreams is real and Eva feels a curious connection with him. Her classmate, someone she’s known for years, starts to act increasingly volatile. And it seems like everyone, including her bosses, is keeping secrets…secrets that have something to do with her. Eva’s determined to find out what’s going on, how it involves her, and why she’s transforming into someone buried deep in her memories.
The deeper in that Eva gets, the more she feels like she should understand what’s happening around her. The secrets conceal real dangers, and if she can’t untangle them and find the truth in time, she–and all those she’s come to care for–will face defeat at the hands of an ancient enemy, one who recognized Eva long before she learned to recognize herself.
Where to buy this amazing book:
On Turtleduck Press website
Print Edition (Amazon)
You really don’t want to miss this book, so go forth and buy!