I met K.G. in one of the Google plus (G+) communities geared towards indie authors. I posted a mini vent/rant about how marketing on social media is a pain (you can read a piece of that here). He was one of the first people to comment on my rant. His advice was helpful and informative (take away points: there’s no concrete answer on what works, don’t stress out, and don’t stretch yourself too thin on these platforms). I really like his “live and let live” vibe. We could use more of that in the world today. What’s also cool about K.G. are the visuals he shares; he’s always posting interesting (and sometimes creepy) thought provoking artwork on G+. Get to know a little more about him below:
Question 1. Name one surprising thing about you.
Answer 1. Despite the fact that I’m primarily a horror writer, I don’t watch a lot of horror movies. I find many of them lacking in substance. There’s no there there. I want a story, not just some maniac chasing a bunch of clueless kids around with a machete. Notice I didn’t say all horror movies. One rare such exception is Let the Right One In, a vampire tale that’s almost Shakespearean in its depth of story.
Q2.What is your favorite movie and why?
A2. The Shawshank Redemption. It’s just a great story. It has elements of horror, suspense, mystery, and humor. I love the idea of Andy Dufresne’s struggle against, and eventual triumph (albeit bittersweet) over the injustice done to him, and the commentary on the evil that men do. The Godfather is a close second.
Q3.What advice would you give your younger self?
A3. When it comes to your dreams, don’t listen to the naysayers, the people who don’t have skin in the game. They’ll lead you astray more often than not, then be conveniently absent when you’re left to deal with the results of their advice/criticisms. It’s your life, not theirs. Live it your way.
Q4.Who is your favorite author and what is it about his or her work that resonates with you?
A4. This is a tough one. But I’m going to have to go with Richard Matheson (The Incredible Shrinking Man, Somewhere In Time, What Dreams May Come). He was so versatile and eclectic in his storytelling, from horror and sci-fi, to fantasy and suspense. His imagination was boundless. He was one of a kind. Stephen King said that, without Matheson, there would never have been a Stephen King.
Q5. What do you think makes a story good?
A5. People. To be more precise, making the reader care about your characters. Whatever the genre, a story will fall flat if nobody cares what happens to the people in it. They have to be real in every way possible, they have to live and breathe. A character’s reaction to the monster is more interesting than the monster itself. Another thing that makes a story good, in my opinion, is to introduce as much realism as possible in the beginning, so that it will be easier for your reader to suspend disbelief later on.
A6. I’m always writing short stories. At the moment, I’ve got a number of them on the burner. I also plan to release a collection of short horror stories, called 13, in the not-too-distant future. And I’m up to my neck in my novel, Threads, right now. It’s the story of a reluctant hero who finds himself with the ability to move between alternate realities, and who must use his gift (although it’s more of a curse) to prevent the destruction of the multiverse. I know it sounds a little mystical, but the story is based in the real world, with all the grittiness and problems that entails.
Q7. Where do your ideas come from?
A7. L. Ron Hubbard. Just kidding. I think the best ideas just come from life. The things that go on around us every day. From watching people on the street, or listening to the news, or even reading other people’s books. We’re all influenced by our heroes. Of course, you have to have a bit of imagination and a lot of curiosity. And you have to always be paying attention, always staying alert.
Q8. What is the hardest thing about writing for you?
A8. Getting started. It takes a lot of discipline to begin a task when you don’t have someone looking over your shoulder. But waiting for inspiration is a waste of time. The muse comes when you’re working. I’ve found that to be consistently true over time.
Q9. What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk, if any?
A9. That’s a good question. I wish I had a good answer. But I’m pretty average, even boring, when it comes to any kind of writing ritual. The only thing I can think of is that I prefer isolation and silence when I write. I know some writers like to listen to music, but I find any outside noise distracting. I like to be in my head.
Q10. How can readers discover more about your works (e.g. Goodreads, Amazon, website, etc.)?
A10. My blog is at kgarndell.com, where I mostly write about the horror and dark fantasy genres, events and ideas that inspire my stories, and where I write the occasional book review. My work is also available on Amazon and Smashwords. Just search K.G. Arndell.
Thanks for participating in the interview K.G.! Check out Stones (pictured above) and his other stories if you’re in the market for a good horror read.