Hello and welcome to my blog, Author Interviews. My name is Fiona Mcvie.
Let’s get you introduced to everyone, shall we? Tell us your name.
Weston: I’m Weston Kincade, horror, paranormal, and fantasy author.
Fiona: Where are you from?
Weston: I live up in Cleveland, Ohio currently, but I grew up in El Paso, Texas and spent a great deal of time in southern Maryland and southwest Virginia over the years.
Fiona: A little about your self (ie, your education, family life, etc.).
Weston: Well I have a Bachelor’s Degree in English, a Master’s in Education Technology, teach by day and write on nights and weekends. It’s a fairly busy existence, especially with my wife and Maine Coon cat Hermes.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news.
Weston: The latest news is about my recently released A Life of Death trilogy. It just came out May 31st and the reviews from 70+ readers and bloggers so far have been stellar.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
Weston: Stories have always been a passion since my father read me Robinson Crusoe as a kid. I was drawn to poetry initially, the raw, visceral nature of it. Some of mine are up on my blog. Stories and ideas were inspired by everyday things, and by the end of college the short stories were mounting in a file on my computer. The need to jot those stories down, to tell the tales of the characters bouncing around my head, stemmed from there. In hindsight, I’m not sure I could have avoided writing. Call it a passion or obsession.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Weston: That didn’t really come until I’d finished my first book, which later became The Priors: To Kill a Priest. But it wasn’t until a few years later in 2013 that the second and third books I wrote, books 1 and 2 in the A Life of Death trilogy, were picked up and published by Books of the Dead press. That stands out more in my mind because for an author it’s validation. It was the first time I considered myself a novelist.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
Weston: My first book didn’t truly come together until I’d written the main characters. In fact, To Kill a Priest started out as a collection of character introductions. A few I wrote didn’t fit into the story and were left out when I discovered the overarching storyline of Madelin and the black-ops agency known as PASTOR. It took root in my mind. For television buffs, The Priors has most creatively been described as, “Sliders meets Fringe, on crack.”
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
Weston: That inspiration actually came from my old publisher. He had agreed to pick up that series too, which unfortunately never came to fruition, and asked me to do some brainstorming. It took 40 or 50 ideas before we agreed upon To Kill a Priest and The Priorseries. I kept the name when I later wound up releasing the series.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?
Weston: I’m a cross-genre author. My style doesn’t necessarily fit into traditional horror, science fiction, literary fiction, or fantasy. My books tend to be a blend of sci-fi and fantasy, and sometimes mystery, with a touch of suspenseful horror thrown in. Enough so that a horror publisher picked up my A Life of Death series and the Horror Writers Association (HWA) accepted me into their community. The hardest part of my style of writing is describing it to publishers and readers. You often have to tie it in with a story or movie many readers already know. For example, one of the best descriptions I’ve been given was from New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Joan Reeves. After she read book 1 in my A Life of Death series, she described it as what would happen if the boy from the Sixth Sense grew up to be a detective.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Weston: I have based a few characters on people I know, consciously or unconsciously. Sometimes I don’t realize it until afterwards. I have to do research sometimes to make sure the realism is there, but my stories are fictional.
Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?
Weston: My stories stem from inspiration. Although I don’t tend to travel specifically for research, I have done quite a bit of travelling and that has transitioned into my stories. I grew up all over the US, so those locations have provided settings for my stories. For instance, The Priors starts out based in El Paso, Texas. A Life of Death is set in a fictional town called Tranquil Heights that is based on the quaint town I taught in for years, Abingdon, Virginia. Over the last few years my wife and I have travelled to Japan, France, England, Luxembourg, and even spent a thirty-minute stopover in Germany on a bus ride between locations. I expect the catacombs under Paris and other sites we saw will make an appearance in future stories. You never know where inspiration will strike. For instance, the bus driver of that ride I mentioned was evidently obsessed with German country music and played it aloud the entire time, so that was interesting, however small. Who knows? That small, humorous experience could make an appearance in a future story.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
Weston: Simon Critchell designed the covers for my first series, The Priors. The covers for my newest release, the A Life of Death trilogy, were done by New York Times bestselling cover artist Claudia McKinney with Phat Puppy Art.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Weston: Most of my novels have a theme or message, often a few. Each book in the A Life of Death series focuses on a message about family. However, I primarily wrote book 1 in the trilogy to show people with depression and teens that there is always a way out. Things may seem bleak, but if Alex can find his true calling, they can too. As a teacher, the difficulty students often have trying to define themselves is obvious and some teens give up. If this entertaining book can give people hope, I’ve done my job.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest? Who is your favorite writer, and what is it about their work that really strikes you?
Weston: There are quite a few authors I have come to respect and enjoy: Mark Matthews, Scott Rhine, Benedict Jacka, Brent Weeks, George R.R. Martin, and Neil Gaiman to name a few. However, my favorite author growing up was Robert Jordan. I love his Wheel of Time series.
Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.
Weston: Well, I guess my wife counts as family in this case. The most support I’ve gotten is probably from friends and other authors. Narrowing it down to one isn’t really possible. Scott Rhine and I started publishing about the same time and met on Authonomy.com. Since then we’ve supported and helped each other. Along the way I was introduced to Simon Critchell, Mark Matthews, and others who have helped through friendship, advice, and brainstorming. It’s surprising who you get to know the longer you write and publish.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
Weston: Yes. It takes too much time not to be.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
Weston: Always. There are always things you second-guess after hearing from reviewers, but considering that most reviews seem to be 5 stars, I must have done something right. Changing anything might actually affect that unintentionally, so I try to fight that desire and just apply any learning experiences to new stories.
Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
Weston: Yes, that writing a trilogy is difficult. Consistency is key. Things as small as the color of a character’s eyes have to be consistent from book to book, and by the third book you start to forget those things if you haven’t made note of them somewhere.
Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
Weston: I’d love for the series to be made into a TV show or movie. If I had my choice, I’d probably go with Josh Hutcherson (PeetaMellark from The Hunger Games) or Chandler Riggs (Carl from The Walking Dead). I also have always though, although he’s a little older, that Sam Jones III (Pete Ross from Smallville) would be a perfect fit. His acting and personality would be great in the role as Alex and give him the flexibility to fit into the sequels as the adult Alex Drummond.
Fiona: Any advice for other writers?
Weston: There are tons of things I’ve learned over the years, but my best advice would be to jump headlong into both writing, marketing, and learning. Be open to the advice of other more situated writers, and take advantage of courses great authors are offering. There is so much to learn that will save you time and money in the long run.
Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
Weston: I’d just like to thank my readers. They are loyal and very supportive of my stories. I sometimes still can’t believe what so many have said about how my books impacted them, but I hope they continue to find such touching moments in future books.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
Weston: I am currently reading The Phoenix Endangered by Mercedes Lackey.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
Weston: The first legitimate book I “read” was actually read to me by my father. It was Robinson Crusoe. I was far too young to appreciate the controversies within it, but I loved the story itself. My sixth-grade English teacher read us The Hobbit, which got me hooked on Tolkein and fantasy. I think I started reading books I checked out in the school library in middle school. The first that I can remember is Anne McCaffrey’s Dragon Song.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
Weston: Well, I enjoy gaming with friends (D&D and the like) and usually get a few good laughs as our story unfolds. I don’t cry much, but I will say there are a few movies that can do it, out of sadness or happiness. The one that comes to mind is The Princess Bride.
Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?
Weston: I’ll give both.
Past: I would like to meet one particular author people have said my writing in A Life of Death is similar to, William Golding, author of Lord of the Flies. Or, to fulfill a childhood ambition, Robert Jordan.
Present: I have met quite a few well-known authors in the convention circuit like Gene Fox, Scott Nicholson, J. Thorn, David Gerrold, Eric Flint, and so many others. It’s great and wonderful getting to know them better later on, but there are still many I would love to meet. One in particular is Neil Gaimon. I loved American Gods, and so many of his stories are similar to mine in genre and style. It would be great to pick his brain.
Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?
Weston: I am a people person, so I love hanging out with friends. I also enjoy fishing, camping, playing board games, roleplaying games, and TV and movies.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
Weston: I’m pretty eclectic. I enjoy sci-fi shows like Star Trek, Serenity, and Fringe. I also like more unusual series like Pushing Daisies and more recently The Orville. I also like fantasy and horror like Game of Thrones and The Walking Dead. However if you take a look at my Hulu and Netflix lists, you’ll also see that I like some reality television like Hell’s Kitchen, Property Brothers, and the like. I even took a chance on America’s Got Talent this season for the first time and was astounded by the different skills and talents featured there. I’m all over the place.
Fiona: Favorite foods, colors, music?
Weston: Asian foods of all types, blue, and I tend to listen to 90s grunge, country, and classic rock like the Eagles. It just depends on my mood. As I mentioned, I’m a bit all over the place. So much so that my SAT category scores back in the day were also evenly divided, if that tells you anything. Most people said that was very unusual, if not impossible. I’m not sure if that’s true. I just think it makes me the most average person around. 😀
Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?
If I wasn’t teaching like I do in my day job, and I couldn’t write, I’d make movies. It’s just a different way of telling the stories banging around in my head.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone?
Weston: Interesting question. I actually wrote an ode in high school and always thought it would be great on my tombstone. Although I haven’t added it to the poems on my blog, I have quite a few available I’ve written over the years.
Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?
Weston: Yes I do, and I’d love to see everyone there.
A Life of Death: http://amzn.to/2z8tzGw
The Priors: http://amzn.to/2y9tVOz
Strange Circumstances Anthology: http://amzn.to/2fWPEQ3
Join Weston Kincade’s E-Mail List: http://strangecircumstances.gr8.com/