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. What is your age?
My name’s Kevin Holton. I’ve got a ton of nicknames, but that’s my real one. I’m 25 years old.
Fiona: Where are you from?
Born and raised in New Jersey, USA.
Fiona: A little about your self (ie, your education, family life, etc.).
I have two degrees in English from a university over here—took out loans to get the first, worked to pay off the second. I’m from a smallish family, smaller now that my sister’s off at college. Also, as a diabetic with a few other chronic conditions, I spend a lot of time carefully balancing/budgeting my health, diet, exercise, etc.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news.
Just had a book release: At the Hands of Madness, by Severed Press. A small band of unusual people form a militia to prevent a psychic monster from destroying their city.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
Some refer to writing as more of a calling than a career, and that’s definitely how it was for me. I was a precocious little punk, reading full adult-level novels as a young kid, and one day, when I was nine, I just sort of knew I’d be a writer one day. Started actually writing for myself at fourteen, sought publication at nineteen.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I probably thought myself so when I was fourteen, but I knew it when I got my first story acceptance at nineteen.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
Haha, I wrote my ‘first’ book at fourteen, and it was awful. The first book I wrote when I was more serious, at twenty, also wasn’t good. The first book I got accepted was, obviously, a bit better. For all of them, though, I’d say passion. My inspiration was that I wanted to write them, plain and simple.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
At the Hands of Madness pays homage to H. P. Lovecraft’s At the Hands of Madness.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?
Well, I do a lot of horror and science fiction, so my style often blends the two. The challenge is keeping them separate when I’m trying to write a more specific story. If I’m doing a haunted house, rogue AIs probably shouldn’t show up.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
The whole giant four-armed monster bit is obviously imagination, but two characters, Grover and Steve, are based off myself and a close friend, respectively.
Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?
Nope. I can do everything from the modest square footage of my domicile.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
The Severed Press team. I’m not sure exactly who, but they did a great job.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Two characters discuss the possibility that this creature appeared because humankind kept making bigger problems—how we always need to fight someone to be at war, and we spent so much time demonizing other people, that this creature arrived to show what a demon really is.
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?
New authors, I’m not sure, but I have interests from all over. Christofer Nigro, Tiffany Scandal, Stephanie Wytovich, James Melzer, they all make my favorites lists. Doesn’t matter what they write, so long as it’s gritty and weird.
Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.
My professors were always very supportive. Stanley Blair, Michael Waters, Alena Graedon, Alex Gilvarry, Melissa Febos—they stand out among others.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
Yes. I don’t make a lot of money yet, but it’s my career, if not to say my life.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
Nope. I set up for a trilogy if it sells well, I had fun writing it, people have written to say they loved reading it—can’t think of what I’d do differently.
Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
While I didn’t learn anything from the process of writing it, I was living in Virginia at the time, and learned that if it’s over 90 and humid, you WILL get wasps in your bedroom. Guaranteed.
Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
The lead, Hennessy, an Irish-American, PTSD-ridden sniper, might be best played by Bradley Cooper, given American Sniper, or Norman Reedus/Sean Patrick Flannery.
Fiona: Any advice for other writers?
The best and only way to write is to put your hands on the keys and get it done.
Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
If you buy my book, please review it on Amazon! Reviews boost a book’s visibility, which means more sales, which means I can actually complete and sell the Longshot trilogy.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
Just finished Brothel by Stephanie M. Wytovich, now I’m reading Varying Distancesby Darren Speegle
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
Nope. I remember reading Robert Heinlein’s Puppet Masters in fourth grade, though. The teacher looked at the fact I was halfway through, wanted to see it herself for a second, then returned it and said, “Don’t read this in class anymore.” I ignored her.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
Life is Strange got me real tearful, until the last three minutes. Puppies elicit both reactions. Puns. I also got scared/cried a bit writing These Walls Don’t Talk, They Scream, coming soon from HellBound Books.
Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?
Stephen King, because obvious reasons. Or Buddha. The first one, I mean.
Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?
Yoga, searching for a job, and… does sleeping count?
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
Anything strange, esp. blending sci-fi and horror, as I bet you can guess. Residue was the last great movie I watched. The Cube franchise was cool, too.
Fiona: Favorite foods, colors, music?
In order: Spinach (or any orange foods), Purple, and I’ve really been into Ice Nine Kills lately.
Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?
Roam Mars as its warden, having converted my body entirely to cybernetics, and I reign over The Red Planet, overseeing human colonists in the year 2240. A reality in which I’m no longer human is the only one in which I no longer write (and even then, I’d probably still be writing).
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone?
That last pun was a grave mistake.
Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?
Yes! My website is www.kevinholton.com, where I post weekly updates, news, and events. I also have a Patreon, where subscribers can get a story a month for as little as one dollar, not to mention MP3 readings, videos, and signed copies of books at higher tiers. That’s at www.patreon.com/TheHoltoning