Name Kindra Sowder
Where are you from I am originally from Los Angeles, CA but now live in Spartanburg, SC
A little about your self `ie your education Family life etc
Kindra Sowder was born and raised in Rancho Palos Verdes, CA until the age of 12, when her family moved to Spartanburg, SC. She graduated from high school in 2006 Me with full honors and as a member of her high school Literary Club and the Spanish Honor Society. In January 2014, she graduated with her second degree in Psychology, earning her an AA and BA in the field. She began to write long before this though, forming the basis for the Executioner Trilogy at the age of 15. She got married to her husband Edd Sowder in May 2014 and still lives in Spartanburg, SC where she is basing Burning Willow Press. “Follow the Ashes” has earned her nominations in the following categories: Best YA Author, Best Cover Art (cover art by Lisa Vasquez), and Best Female Indie Author in the IAFC Awards! Her work “Hello, My Name is…: A Miss Hyde Novella Volume 1” has also been recommended for a Bram Stoker Award for 2015 and was nominated for Book of the Day’s 2015 Summer Book Awards Best in Horror Award.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news?
Kindra: I do have news I have been dying to tell everyone, but my lips are sealed on that one till I get the okay to let the news out. I did realize today that my work will be included in a total of five different anthologies this year alone. It will be six once one story receives its final acceptance. I will also be in Myrtle Beach, SC for X-Con World, a large convention in the area as a literary guest.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
Kindra: I started writing when I was fifteen. Why? I had a story to tell. This was when I developed the premise of the Executioner Trilogy. I loved Buffy and Angel, but I wanted it to be different than the vampire hunter stories you already see out there. Robin, Beth, and their journey were foretold by Gypsy legend and Robin has some nifty super powers. Now I can’t stop writing and, when I’m not writing, I’m thinking about writing.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Kindra: That’s a tough one to answer. I guess I could say I didn’t really consider myself a writer till my first publisher acceptance in 2014. I left that publisher later that year because we did not seem to have the same goals for my work, but I have grown so much since then and love what I do.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
Kindra: My first book was “Follow the Bloodshed: Book 1 of the Executioner Trilogy” which is the book series I talked about in one of the previous questions.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?
Kindra: I would say that my style can change depending on the genre, but I try not to define my style too often. Some say witty, some say smooth, some say vibrant. I like all those words.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
Kindra: I do have to say that titles sometimes are the bane of my existence, but I am getting better at them. The title for “Follow the Ashes” used to be “Flowers of Evil” inspired by the book of poetry by Baudelaire. I changed it later on when I realized there were so many works out there with the same title. I was listening to a band one day called Icon for Hire and a line in one of their songs struck a chord and that was when I changed it to “Follow the Ashes.” The rest of my books, well, those ones were easy to name.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Kindra: No, but if there is a message in there that they see for themselves that inspires them or gives them solace then I feel like I have done my job and done it well.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic ?
Kindra: While it’s dark fantasy I do believe that anything, including the fantasy aspects, are extremely realistic. I didn’t want them to be so outlandish readers put the book and asked themselves what they just read. I want them to be able to envision the events without thinking to themselves “Wait, that’s impossible.” I can’t stand that. So, even with the creatures in the book that weren’t exactly based in reality, they are as realistic as I can make them and could live in our world.
Fiona: Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Kindra: I do base characters off of people I know and I do use some of my own experiences in my writing. Robin, the main character of the Executioner Trilogy, is based on my mother. Her name is also Robin. I did use some personal experience in “The Deliverance of Desiree Tanner” which I am hoping gets its final acceptance into an anthology this year. Something I have experienced or an aspect of me is in every single story and character that I create.
Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most? a mentor?
Kindra: I can’t say there has been one that’s influenced my life really, but they have influenced my writing. One of my favorites as a pre-teen was the Giver. Love those books to this day and adore the genre.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
Kindra: Unfortunately I don’t get a lot of time to read. I am not only a writer, but I am a Remarketing Analyst with American Credit Acceptance and the CEO/President of Burning Willow Press, LLC.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
Kindra: I find new ones every day that I would love to get into. Aimee Shaye is a big one and we are actually collaborating on a book together. I am drawn to so many these days I don’t even really know where to start. I am a fan of Mike Evans and S.K. Ballinger as well as so many others.
Fiona: What are your current projects?
Kindra: Would you want the short list or the long list? I am currently working on a story called “Animus” that is being included in an anthology titled “A Horde of Dragons” this year. Also a short story called “Of Sound Mind” where I will get to be included with Mike Evans and so many other brilliant names in zombie horror. I am working on a Dystopian series as well as a dark fantasy with religious elements (not in the way you think), continuations of the Executioner stories, plus so many others. One of those is the collaboration with Aimee Shaye where we change the world of demon hunters forever.
Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
Kindra: I feel I have so many that encourage my work, but there are two in particular outside of family. My beta reader Tom Leeland is one of my biggest supporters as is my PA Samantha Achaia. I adore them both.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
Kindra: Absolutely. I put as much work into my writing, if not more, than my day job.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
Kindra: Not a thing.
Fiona: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
Kindra: I really don’t. I just remember that one day I decided I wanted to write a book and I did.
Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?
Kindra: You bet. This is a small piece of my current work “Animus.”
“Where are you going? There’s nothing else we can do here. We have to get back to Archer’s State and report this to the Sentinel’s Council.”
“Then go, Victor, but I’m not leaving without her.”
“This is crazy,” he said.
I had only made it a few paces, so I turned back to him, rage filling me, and stalked towards him. He didn’t move or even flinch despite my anger.
“You can turn back and report this without me if you want, but I am not leaving without Apep. When she chose me, we made a vow that we would never leave one another, and I will not break it now. She trusts me.”
“How are you even sure she’s still here?”
“Because of that vow, and this,” I answered as I pulled up the sleeve of my coat. There was a tattoo etched there that had been imprinted by Apep depicting circular flames in black. “We are one, in life and in battle, and I must find her. She would do the same if I were missing.”
Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Kindra: Stopping once I start is my biggest hurdle.
Fiona: Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
Kindra: If anyone ever sees my living room you will know instantly who my favorite author is. Stephen King. His work has always resonated with me for some reason and I love his style. Also, horror is one of my favorite genres.
Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
Kindra: Not as of right now. I have only done one convention this year which was just in the next town over in Gaffney, SC. The next one is in May in Myrtle Beach, SC. I am working on scheduling book signings and many more events.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
Kindra: Lisa Vasquez designed the cover for the first two books in the Executioner Trilogy. Loraine van Tonder designed the last book in that trilogy and designs the covers for the Miss Hyde Novellas. Currently, L. Bachman (also an author) designed the image for my work “Animus.”
Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Kindra: The editing process. I absolutely cannot stand editing but do it because it needs to be done. There isn’t a writer alive that doesn’t need to edit their work. None.
Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
Kindra: I learned that I’m much more creative than I originally thought. Now I can’t shut my brain off. With that first book I opened a dam I can’t close, but I don’t mid it at all.
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
Kindra: Write every day, even if it’s crap. Also, read…a lot.
Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Kindra: I adore all of my fans. They are the best and I only hope they love me enough to share my work with others.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
Kindra: I don’t, but I do remember a book I had when I was little based on Cinderella which was also my favorite Disney movie (sorry you had to watch it about a million times, Mom).
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
Kindra: Depends on the mood I was in to begin with. If I’m emotional already it’s pretty easy to make me cry and it can happen in an instant. Same thing if I’m tired. My husband makes me laugh.
Fiona: Is there one person pass or present you would meet and why?
Kindra: Do they have to be someone I don’t know? If I can do that I’d love to be able to see my grandmother on my mother’s side again. She passed away from pancreatic cancer when I was young and I would love to talk to her again.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone and why ?
Kindra: I think if they can just put “Professional badass” on it that would be great. That’s how I sign some of my emails.
Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies ?
Kindra: I am largely preoccupied with writing, but I do have other things I love to do. Mostly, I love to read even though I don’t have the time. I used to draw I charcoal quite a bit.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
Kindra: I am currently watching Supernatural, Two Broke Girls, Hemlock Grove, American Horror Story, and Criminal Minds. There are lots more but these are the ones I keep up with regularly.
Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music
Kindra: My favorite food is Indian food, which I can’t get where I love. My favorite color is red and my favorite music is hard rock.
Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?
Kindra: If I wasn’t a writer I would be working for the FBI. When I started college I had a goal. I was going to get my Ph.D. in Criminal Neuropsychology and work for the FBI’s Behavioural Analysis Unit in Quantico, VA. I am still even thinking about doing it and am throwing my hat in the ring to become a special agent.
Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it?