Interviewed by Michael McHenry
First and foremost, tell us a little about yourself.
I’m a writer and I work in the film and television industry in Canada. I work on a variety of projects including some podcasts and a horror anthology called Welcome to Shalebridge. I have acted in the past, as well as worked behind the scenes in films, but I consider myself a writer first.
You wrote “Sanguinary” and it was by far one of the most interesting stories I have read in a long time. How did you come up with the idea?
“Sanguinary” is one of a few stories that take place in the same world and they all stem from a similar idea. As I kept reading fantasy, I was getting tired of them always being set in a medieval-like time. They never seemed to progress; a thousand years ago in Middle-Earth was the same as a thousand years later. This eventually got me reading a lot of urban fantasy. I was really interested in taking more concepts from fantasy stories and bringing them into a different time period. “Sanguinary” came from me imagining how a blood mage would fit into a modern (or in this case more futuristic) world. Turns out it’s pretty bloody.
If you could pick the cast for the characters in Sanguinary, as a film adaptation, whom would you pick?
After watching Luther, I would love to see Idris Elba as Djimon. He has a serene intensity that is unparalleled. As for Duke, I’m tempted to say Aaron Paul. It may be typecasting from his previous roles, but he has the smug, punk thing down.
How long have you been writing? Any plans for a novel in the future?
I wrote my first stage play in 2008. Then, for a long time, plays and other scripts. It wasn’t until 2013 that I decided to try writing short stories and novels. I have plans for many novels and actually already completed one called “Endless Hunger”. I am in the process of shopping it around to be published. It’s another story that takes place in the same magical future world as “Sanguinary”. In fact, there may be some references to each other if one ends up reading both.
Tell us a little about your writing process? How do you begin? What do you do when you get stuck? Are you especially careful in any certain areas?
I tend not to plan out my stories before I start writing. Usually, once I have a concept, I sit down and write out a few pages to make sure it’s still interesting to me. It’s only after those first few pages are written that I start planning out what else is going to happen. What it comes down to is I like writing but I don’t like planning, so I tend to just write.
If I get stuck on a part I will distance myself from the work: take a walk, play some video games, or watch a movie. Sitting around and tearing your hair out about it tends to do more harm than good. I spend a lot of time on action scenes I’ve created. Getting them to make sense in a physical space is very important to me, so I’m careful about not having a character, let’s say, suddenly warp fifty feet without explanation.
What did you read when you were growing up? Any favorite short stories or authors?
I read a lot of Animorphs when I was younger, they were probably my favorite book series. I also was also really into Goosebumps, then I got into Piers Anthony and then next the Wrinkle in Time series. I didn’t grow up with the classic speculative fiction writers like Jordan and Pratchett and I sort of feel bad about that. These days I find myself leaning toward authors like Brandon Sanderson and Jim Butcher. As for my favorite short stories, I don’t know if I can pick out one. If I could, I know it would be a horror story. Scary stories do so well in a short story format and there’s this very interesting trend of internet published shorts. The first one that comes to mind is The Russian Sleep Experiment.
Any advice for writers wanting to start writing their own short fiction?
My advice for short fiction writers would be the same as my advice for any writer. Start writing and finish it. Don’t get all wrapped up in your head about how to do it or leave half-finished stories. You’re not going to like your first draft, but if you like the story then you can go back and rework it to make it better. I think it’s a Jodi Picoult quote that says “You can’t edit a blank page.” So just make sure you finish the story.
Give us a nano-ultra-micro flash fiction piece of 50-100 words, which uses the initials of your name. In any genre that works for you, send us a character, setting, and monster using your initials.
I think I see what you’re on about. My initials are K.G.W. so I will choose Killer. Guts. Worm.
He thrashed against the fleshy prison, but it was tight around his body. The girl seemed like easy prey, alone in that dark alley. Her mouth opened too wide though, and her skin turned slick and grey. He tried to run, but she had filled the space–all pulsing and slimy. There were eight bodies he ensured would never be found, only seemed fair his own should dissolve into nothingness.
Lastly, give us a sign off blurb as to who you are, how fans can find your work, follow your progress, and get in touch with your website/social media.
I am on twitter @StrawmanKWeir where I try to keep people updated on my work. I also have two podcasts. A weekly comedy one called The Third Space is where my co-host and I take fictional tropes and put them in the real world. I also run Level Zero, an irregular D&D podcast with people who have never played D&D before. Both of those are on iTunes and can be found at my website www.ThirdSpacePodcast.com.