So gather your zombie-killing weapons and crucifixes and holy water and all other manner of demon-repelling equipment, give Kindra some encouraging words in the Comments section below this post, give her Facebook Fan Page a "Like", give her a click on the Facebook "Like" button below, follow her on Twitter, share and Tweet a link to this interview and her various author and publisher links below, and quit ogling her pix and help me give a hearty welcome to the beguiling and talented Kindra Sowder!
I write to tell a story, whether it be one others enjoy or not. While I do want my stories to be adored by millions of fans across the globe, I know that that’s unrealistic. I write for the joy of it and can only hope that others see the same thing in them that I do.
Tell us about your current or most recent writing project, and what you wish to accomplish with it.
My current writing project is the Executioner Trilogy. The first of the three, Follow the Ashes, was just recently published on January 10th with the next coming in July and the last coming in December through my own business Burning Willow Press. I am currently working to finish the last of the trilogy. I also have some other works in progress. I have a short story introducing everyone to a dystopian world that I have been working to create over the last year, and I am almost finished with the first of five books of the series entitled The Permutation Archives. The short story bringing this world to you for the first time is entitled “Permutation: A Story of Emerson King” and will be released in February in the New Year’s Day anthology that I am working to produce with Lisa Vasquez. I also write for Horror Geeks Magazine.
I would have to say my greatest accomplishment is my marriage. Why yes, it is a great thing to be published and own an independent press, but I am the most proud of that.
In your mind, what is your biggest failure?
My biggest failure? I would like to believe that it was the small setback in my writing career in 2014, but that is something I don’t wish to discuss at this time.
If you could be one fictional character—it can be anyone, modern or classic, movie, book, TV show, legend, myth, or even comics—who would you be, and why?
Right now, if I had to choose anyone, I would love to be Katniss from “The Hunger Games.” I mean, who wouldn’t want to be? The fashion, the boys, the adventure, and making the world a better place just because I am too stubborn to quit. Yeah, that’s who I’d want to be.
My ideal writing environment is in my own office with my computer, my desk, a cup of coffee, and my thoughts. Do I get to attain this? Not at the moment, but soon I will be able to do so and I can’t wait.
What is your primary writing inspiration? It can be anything: people living or dead no matter their occupation, or places, concepts, groups, inanimate objects, etc.
My main inspiration in writing is my mother. I even have two writing inspirations. My husband is number two. They have supported me and told me to keep going no matter how hard the road has been, and I continue to write for them. Plus, I told my husband I was going to make him a trophy husband, which he is perfectly fine with.
You’re stranded on a deserted tropical island full of life-sustaining fish, game, and flora, and don’t know when or even if you’ll ever be rescued. You get to choose three people to be stranded with you, and it can be anyone, whether you know them or not. Who would those three people be, and why?
First off, I would choose my husband because he is extremely smart and I can’t think of anyone better to be stranded with. He has those survival skills that I don’t have. I have the instinct, just not the skill. I mean, I’m a writer for crying out loud. And I say this, hoping I can choose fictional characters, I would choose Sam and Dean Winchester because well, who doesn’t need more eye candy and they’re hunters. I’d be surrounded by three strapping men who can take care of me and they can even teach me a few things.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years? in 10?
In 5 years I will still be writing and I do see myself still working with my company, Burning Willow Press. We are in our first year and going strong so I know we can make it. In 10 years of course still writing and still working with my press, and I definitely hope I can quit my day job by then to focus on these things. I technically have three jobs at this point in time and would like to quit at least one of them.
You can speak briefly with any one dead person, and ask them one question. Who would that person be, and what would you ask them?
I would want to speak to my maternal grandmother who passed away from pancreatic cancer when I was very young. I wouldn’t ask her a question so much as tell her that I love her and miss her with everything I have every day. She is one reason I write and continue to do so.
Share one weird dream you had with us, and what you learned, if anything, from it.
Well, since I’m a writer I know I have tons and tons of very weird dreams. I’ve had some about being at work staring at a computer and sending repossessed cars to auction. I’ve had dreams where my baby nephew was possessed by something not from this realm. You say it, I’ve probably dreamt about it at some point.
What advice do you have to share with other aspiring writers?
Don’t give up on your dreams. NEVER under any circumstances. If I did I wouldn’t be where I am today. Also, read. And read a lot.
In your mind, what is the most rewarding thing about writing?
The most rewarding thing is seeing that your work has inspired others. I have been on the receiving end of those “you’re so inspirational” speeches lately, and I lost count. That is the most rewarding part of the whole process.
The most frustrating thing about writing is those days where you just can’t seem to get a single word typed. I can say that over the years this has happened to me numerous times and I’m sure every other writer can say the same.
How do you respond to negative criticism, including bad book reviews?
While it does sting a little, I say that you’re not making it in the industry until you have a bad review and move on because there are plenty reviews with five stars on them.
Both members of a married couple are close and well-loved friends of yours, and you discover beyond doubt that one is cheating on the other. What, if anything, do you do? Does sex (gender) enter into your decision, and why?
While I try not to meddle, cheating is something I don’t tolerate. I would persuade the cheating partner to speak to their spouse about their indiscretion and hope they can work past it, but that’s all I can really do. It’s really not my place to make that decision for them by spilling the beans. You lose friendships that way. Gender doesn’t factor into this for me. Never has.
Do you listen to music when you write, and if so, what are your favorite flavors to listen to?
I listen to quite a lot of music when I write and as some may notice, I have specific playlists I make for each work. My tastes can vary depending on the work, but normally you will catch me listening to rock.
You’re our lone ambassador, the one delegate chosen to represent all the people of the Earth. You must speak with an advanced alien species that wants to colonize our planet, and we have no idea yet whether their intentions are hostile or peaceful. What will you tell them?
The old stand-by “We come in peace” comes to mind, but heck, I’m one of those who doesn’t like to just give in. I’ve found the only way to see the true intentions of others is to see how they react to your denial. A common practice I use in my own books.
The biggest distraction while writing is, as I’m sure others will agree, Facebook. I find myself drifting away from my book to check things on Facebook, which I have admittedly done a few times while answering these interview questions. Writers are the best procrastinators.
Does time and the world around you ever “disappear” when your muse is upon you and you’re “in the writing zone”? If so, describe the feeling.
It does from time to time when I become so lost in my plot and what will happen next that it’s all I can focus on. It’s almost like tunnel vision and my husband even has a hard time getting my attention when this happens.
How often do you edit, and when, and how many rounds of edits?
I don’t edit until I am completely finished with my book and never before. I find that it can impede the story itself if you stop to edit. I do at least three rounds of edits afterwards.
Google is a wonderful thing. Once I find an agent or publisher I have a tendency to research the hell out of them until I feel I can trust them or not. As we all know, there are some fishy ones out there and sometimes you have to weed through them to find one that is legit.
You’ve been traditionally published, describe the feeling you had when you received and accepted your first contract/ offer.
Not sure if it counts as traditional, but I am published with my own independent press. I had a past offer that did not pan out, but when I did receive that contract I was elated and so excited. I am even more excited now because I get to grow my own company and help other writers feel this exact same way.
You have one paranormal or psychic superpower. What is it, and what will you do with it?
I would love to be a fire starter. I’m not sure what I would do with it, but I’m sure it would be awesome. My main character in The Executioner Trilogy is a fire starter, and she is one kick-ass lady.
Not so much really. I am a very superstitious person, but not when it comes to writing. I don’t have a special object that I have to have around me to write. No special necklace. But I can admit my mom bought me a special blanket for Christmas she called my writing/inspiration blanket that I am becoming quite attached to.
You have to commit a major crime to save the life of someone you love. Will you do it, and if so, how far will you go?
I will, and I will go as far as it takes to ensure their safety.
In your mind, what is the ultimate sin?
As someone who is more spiritual than religious this is a very hard question to answer. If you ask some people I am full of sin, but I mostly ignore them. I think someone would say the ultimate sin that I am most guilty of is wrath. I am a very vengeful person and I know a lot of people would agree.
In your mind, what is the ultimate blessing?
My husband and being able to share my life with him. There is nothing better than to watch someone grow.
Who is your favorite literary character that you’ve ever written/ created, and why?
This is another tough one. I have three amazing characters that I have created. Those are Robin from The Executioner Trilogy, Emerson King from “Permutation: A Story of Emerson King,” and Mila from The Permutation Archives. Robin because she is a "take no prisoners to save the world no matter what" kind of person. Emerson King because he takes what he wants with no remorse. Mila because she wants to change the world for the better. These are all attributes I admire.
Wow, I have dealt with this on more than one occasion. The most recent, which I won’t bore anyone with, is one I gave one chance after she had really hurt me. With me, one chance is all you get after the first time you have lied to me. Then, once she performed one more discretion, she was kicked to the curb. People have learned very quickly that I don’t play games.
You’re faced with a horde of desperate, hungry, potentially violent people in a world where the trucks and trains no longer deliver the goods. What do you do?
My survival instincts kick in. When people get violent I have a tendency to hide so I would hoard as much as I can and hide out until things die down. Probably the best thing to do. Then, once things die down, you can live in the woods and learn how to keep yourself alive.
Why should people read your work?
I think people should read my work because, well, it’s different and that’s something I can say with confidence. I was told by more than one person that Robin is “Buffy with more snark.” My beta reader, Tom Leeland, even called her a female version of Dean Winchester, which I find to be highly entertaining. If not for the characters, the story line is something people would really enjoy and it is truly unique. If you want a good read, you’ve found it.
Kindra's Author Website
Burning Willow Press website
Kindra's Facebook Fan Page (give it a "Like"!)
Burning Willow Press - Facebook Publisher Page (give it a "Like"!)
Kindra on Twitter - @KindraKinnaman (follow her!)
Burning Willow Press on Twitter - @Burning_Willow (follow them!)
Kindra's Author Page on Amazon
Follow the Ashes on Goodreads
Everyone be sure to keep an eye out for books 2 and 3 in Kindra's Executioner Trilogy, coming from Burning Willow Press in July and December 2015. And be sure to show Kindra your support by sharing this interview and her links on all your social media sites, and by posting your reviews for her works on Amazon and Goodreads.
My hearty best wishes to you, Kindra, for success and happiness in all your writing endeavors, and keep up the great work!