This year, I decided to give back to all the amazing writers who play a part in helping me improve my craft and get my books published by featuring them here. First up is fellow Stonehenge member, Kody Kline. He is constantly pushing me to broaden my horizons and challenging me to step outside my comfort zone in my writing. In fact, wemade a deal that he would join me in ditching the soda drinking habit (he’s a self-professed Mt. Dew fiend) and I would write a story geared toward adults. We’re both still going strong.
So, I sent Kody a bunch of questions to get to know him better and here are his replies:
Q2. If you could have dinner with anyone, living or dead, real or fictional, who would it be, what would you talk about, and what would you eat?
A - I can’t limit the answer to just one person: Nick Cave, he’s a true musician, and has influenced my life; Gary Oldman, an amazing actor; Audrey Tautou, she’s just the most adorable person ever; Jean-Pierre Jeunet, my favorite director, who makes beautiful films, and I would love to crawl in his mind; and Andrew J. Robinson, because he played my favorite antihero of all time, Elim Garak. We would talk about anything, conversations go where they desire, not where you desire, and we would eat food.
Q3. What is your favorite book as a child and as a man and why?
A - My favorite children’s book was There’s a Wocket in my Pocket, by Dr. Seuss. I couldn’t say why, I just loved it. As an adult, the Count of Monte Cristo is my favorite book of all time. The story is impressive in that no part is superfluous. Every piece is a part of an amazing puzzle, and the way it is written, well, it’s just easy to fall in love with. The characters and world are vivid and tangible. And not only is it a revenge tale, but the way Edmond obtains his revenge is stirring. A masterpiece of literature, to which I can’t even begin to wrap my mind around how Dumas organized the story in his head.
Q4. When and how did you discover you wanted to be a writer?
A - I’ve always had an overactive imagination, and an ability to carry my created worlds and people in my head. The Etherium is something I’ve held for fifteen years or so. It is hard for a pesron to look into themselves and see their weaknesses, but I went through a point in my life that was extremely difficult and faith breaking. When I emerged on the other side, I recognized I lacked the courage to write my stories. While reading a Philip K. Dick story, I said to myself, I can do this: and I just started– haven’t looked back.
Q5. Who are your greatest influences when it comes to how you write and/or what you write about?
A - For fantasy, my favorite author is David and Leigh Eddings. Their work is what I, at first, modelled my style after. Their worlds and characters are well devised, and every time I read their stories, I still laugh, cry, and enjoy the experience. This is what I set out to create myself. But as I continue to evolve as a writer, I let my own voice take over, and honestly, most of my inspiration comes from the aether, dreams, and the blessed spirit.
Q6. Why do you think Alan Rickman is one of the best actors of all time?
A1 - I don’t.
Did I mention he can be a smartass? Let’s try that again. A2 - haha! While I do think Rickman is a great actor, he’s not on my personal list of best ever. Don’t get me wrong, I love his work, and will always look forward to watching one of his films. But there are just several other actors who I find more enjoyable. That is personal taste and what makes our world superb.
Q7. If I challenged you to write a story that was neither science-fiction nor fantasy, what genre would you write and why?
A - Probably a suspense, murder story. When it comes to movies, one of my favorite genres is serial killer stories, mind trip movies, and it would be fun to see if I could make my own skin crawl, and write a character who is extremely calculating, methodical, and horrible.
Q8. Are there certain characteristics that you believe all great heros should posses, or all memorable villains?
A - Heroes should be selfless, willing to sacrifice themselves to do what is right, what is necessary. They are humble, honest, sincere, and virtuous. Villians, well, they are the fun ones! No remorse, passion, and intelligence are the factors I look for in a memorable bad guy. But I move towards Antiheroes, personally.
Q9. I like to write stories about strong female characters who don’t need a man to rescue them. Is there a common theme or message central to all your stories?
A - I love strong female characters, and I think it’s a shame there are not more of them. But, we are slowly awakening as a society. Hopefully, this will become more prevalent. In my fantasy world, woman are on equal footing as men, and they join the ranks of Raithian Knights. My main character will actually fight a woman, who is both strong and sensual. While I appreciate a strong woman, I don’t think this excludes their feminity, their grace, and their beauty, so I still pay attention to this as well. Overall, woman are amazing…
If you’d like to learn more about Kody, visit his blog.