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?
Hi. My name is Kenneth Kohl, author of The Remover series, as well as some compilations of short stories and articles that I have written for literary magazines (and e-zines). My age is… well, older that you might think.
Fiona: Where are you from?
OriginallyCleveland, Ohio. I now live in Columbus, Ohio but it was not as simple as a one-hundred-fifty mile move. I arrived here via Austin, San Antonio, and Indianapolis. My family and I moved south back in 2003 and, after realizing that we were yankees at heart, have been slowly making our way back home. We’ve set down some roots and I think that we are here to stay now.
Fiona: A little about your self (ie, your education, family life, etc.).
Twelve years of Catholic school, picked up a couple of degrees at the University of Akron and Cleveland State University, married in nineteen-ninety-nine, and now have two wonderful sons. Oh, and can’t forget my shepherd dog, Daisy.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news.
I just released my latest novel, Mamzer, the second in The Remover series.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I have enjoyed writing for as long as I can remember. I first started writing “properly” in high school composition, and Warriner’s was my best friend in college. I suppose that, given my love of books and reading, writing was the next logical step.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Not when I published my first book, as one might think. No… Since I write for myself first and foremost, I have considered myself a writer since I first put pen to paper. (Of course, at my age, it was chisel to stone tablet.)
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
That is a great question, and I honestly cannot answer it. I started a little creative writing project and it just sort of snowballed. Someone – I don’t even remember who – said “You should turn this into a novel and get it published.” (Easier said than done.)
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
If… no, WHEN you read The Remover, you will find out. It’s not as simple as you might think, either. There are two reasons and one has a hidden meaning. Sorry, but I cannot give it away without it being a spoiler.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?
My style of writing is to begin and let the story go where it wants to. I rarely do anything more than a bare-bones outline so I do not really know what the story will end up being about until it’s done. Just like normal conversation with me, you will find that my stories diverge from the central theme quite often.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
In my formative years, I associated with friends who were… let’s just say “not average.” Much of The Remover and its characters are based upon that culture.
Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?
As I said, The Remover was based on a culture I already knew, and the same goes for all of its setting and locations. Fans thought it odd and even refreshing that vampires could existing right there in the midwest; but why not? If they are real, just like humans, then they don’t all live in New York and Los Angeles.
Many of the exotic locations that the protagonists visit: caves, old cemeteries, churches, etc. are all located in Ohio and I strongly recommend visiting them. Once you have read the book and done a little research, they can be found fairly easily
I did find myself doing quite a bit of research for the second movel in the series, though. Most of the story in Mamzer takes place in 17th century Romania and involves the Romanichal people. I knew nothing about any of those topics, so I did a lot of reading and interviewing people of that culture.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
I am fortunate enough to have a beautiful wife who is a graphic designer by trade.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Nope. I am not going to make up some drivel about wanting to send an inspirational message to our next generation. I just want to provide readers with a little escape to a fun place.
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?
Well, since I do enjoy the classics, I have always held Fyodor Dostoevsky dear. His tales explain the most basic qualities of humanity, but in a detailed and beautiful way. My favorite modern day author is hands-down Umberto Eco, although Iain Pears comes in a close second.
As far as a new author, I have recently come across the works of Bernard Cornwell who is, fortunately, an intriguing and prolific writer. I could sit back for a while now, content that I will have one of his next books to look forward to.
Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.
Early on, I connected with a group of six young, aspiring authors. We all seemed to enhance each others’ skills through criticism and the exchange of ideas. One particular author has been Ruth Paradis, who has been of enormous help on my recent projects, and whom I hope to continue working with in the future. I suggest looking her up. You can find a link to her information on the contact page of my website.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
I don’t write for a living. I don’t even write for acclaim and praise from others (although it is nice to get an atta’ boy every now and then). I suppose that I write for ME. It’s almost as much fun as reading.
Writing is not a job for me. It is more of a hobby. I never intended to make any sort of income from it. In fact, I threw away my first few small royalty checks, thinking that they were a fluke. It was only when they started coming in monthly and for significant amount that I began to take writing (for others) seriously.
I have no daily writing goal. If I did, it would not be enjoyable for me anymore. At this point, it is a guilty pleasure that I treat myself to when the mood strikes me. I suppose that is why Mamzer, the second in the series, took me nearly two years to crank out.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
Not yet but it’s only just been released. Give it time and I’m sure that one day I’ll smack myself in the forehead and think “Crap! I missed —-!”
Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
I did find myself doing quite a bit of research for the second movel in The Remover series. Most of the story in Mamzer takes place in 17th century Romania and involves the Romanichal people. I knew nothing about any of those topics, so I did a lot of reading and interviewing people of that culture.
In Mamzer the character names have meaning, and by looking into their traditional origins it becomes obvious why I chose them. In some cases, I explain the meanings throughout the story.
Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
If The Remover were made into a film, I could easily see Benedict Cumberbatch as the main protagonist. Mamzer takes place over such a long period of time, no one actor could fill the role.
Fiona: Any advice for other writers?
Don’t listen to your mother. You are not that special. Hard as that may be to swallow, you are just not, so be prepared for some really rough criticism. You need to have a tough skin and forge on in your writing. Don’t get discouraged when you get such vague comments as “This was horrible,” with no constructive criticism to go along with it. Fact is that most readers are not very kind.
Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
Definitely. If you have not already read The Remover, pick up a copy. The ebook is free for a limited time to celebrate the release of Mamzer. I guarantee that once you read it you will be hooked and wanting more.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
Fools and Mortals by Bernard Cornwell.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
Hmm… given my upbringing, it was probably the Bible.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
Not much anymore. I used to be a very emotional person, but I think that I have about used them all up.
Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?
No. I have everyone that I care to know personally surrounding me right now.
Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?
Hiking, biking, or traveling the world. I also like to climb, fly, and go horseback riding occasionally.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
Unfortunately, I do not have time to watch much television. I am a sucker for Monty Python, though!
Fiona: Favorite foods, colors, music?
Buffalo wings, deep purple, and trance – in that order.
Fiona: You only have 24 hours to live how would you spend that time?
Well, I imagine I’d be running around screaming “I’m gonna’ die in twenty-four hours!” 😉Sorry, I have a dark and dry sense of humor.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone?
“And I will give you rest.”
Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?
Friend me on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kohlkenneth
Follow me on Twitter: http://twitter.com/palegirlpress
Visit my website: https://kennethkohl.yolasite.com