MY INTERVIEW WITH AUTHOR K.C. FINN
What’s your name and what genre would you consider your books to be?
My name is K.C. Finn and my latest novel, released with Odd Voice Out press, is Fallow Heart. It’s a dark urban fantasy novel with plenty of horror, suspense and a little murder mystery. I love to bend genres when I work, and this one is no different.
Tell me about your book. How did you come up with that (story, angle, idea)?
Part of the appeal in writing Fallow Heart was to create a new kind of hero, the kind that really didn’t believe she was one. In Fallow Heart, Lorelai is an overweight and unpopular seventeen year old who’s already having a difficult time at college (that’s age 16-18 in the UK for those of you from the USA!), and things get even worse for her when a demon selects her as its next victim, piercing her heart to grow a new demonic force within her. As Lori deals with her interior changes, the story develops to discuss how much our outside appearances really matter in the end.
How did you get interested in writing this particular genre (historical novels, mysteries, sci-fi, children’s books, etc.)?
I have always written horror, and you’ll find the macabre, grotesque and frightening in all of my books. Despite the fact that I span genres from science fiction to historical, paranormal, fantasy and dystopia, the most bleak and frightening elements of our world always form the beating heart of my action. I think it’s because, at the end of the day, if you’re not frightened of something, you can’t prove yourself against it, and that’s what my heroes do on every page.
What kind of research did you do for this book?
The book is by no means anti-religious, and I did a lot of work on the representation of angels and demons across different faiths. Lori’s grandfather is a devout Catholic in the tale, and the Catholic beliefs in Hell and fighting darkness do have a place in the plot of this and the follow up books in the series. That said, I don’t put such a fine line between good and evil, and I do believe that human beings are a combination of both, with their actions deciding which label they adhere to in the end.
What’s a typical working day like for you? When and where do you write? Do you set a daily writing goal?
I’m one of those lucky few that gets to be a writer full time. I do have a busy schedule of appearances, teaching posts and workshops, and I spend a lot of time working on our brand new press, Odd Voice Out. But the rest of the time I can turn off the phone and settle down with a cup of tea to explore the worlds inside my head. I can write most anywhere, and sometimes take myself to a café or a different city to escape the temptations of home comforts or friends and family dropping by, but ideally I like to be in my big black armchair at home, which had been in my family since just before I was born. It helps with the writer’s backache!
Do you have a new book in the making and if so, what’s the name of your upcoming book?
So I’m working on two great projects at the moment now that Fallow Heart is ready for release. One is the final part in my Legion series, a gender-focused science fiction dystopia, Legion Reborn, which will be released on Christmas Day of 2018. The other is the final instalment in my five-part Shadeborn series, which I’m excited to announce will be re-released with Odd Voice Out alongside the newest part in the summer of 2019!
What is the hardest part of writing for you?
The physicality of spending so much time still and in one place. I have M.E. and Kyphoscoliosis, which are both crippling conditions that take their toll on your muscles and spine, so I haven’t picked the ideal job really! Everything else about the creative process, I adore.
What do you consider to be your best accomplishment?
Launching my own press house, Odd Voice Out, with my dear co-author Kell Cowley. In my six years as a professional writer, I have fought with agents, editors and publishing houses over what’s diverse-but-not-too-diverse and what an audience ‘should’ read. With our ultra-diverse aspect, we sincerely hope to help turn the tide of diversity in teen fiction alongside some of the other great trailblazers of our time, like Angie Thomas and Tomi Adeyemi.
What’s the best thing about being an author?
The flexibility to live life to its fullest. Sure, I go through times where I don’t have as much money as other people, and sometimes you stress yourself up the wall chasing the next big deal, but at the end of the day I have my time to control, no job holding me down. Being able to take off and explore the world, or even just a new city for the day on a whim, is a rare luxury that most people don’t get, and I’d make an sacrifice to keep my creative dreams alive.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Pretty much where I am now! I’d love to still be travelling the world and coming up with tons of new stories. At this rate I’d be likely to have about 60 published works by then, and I would hope that they would represent a new movement in diversity where unusual heroes are championed rather than questioned. I’d definitely like to see more disabled characters on my bookshelf, both of my own creation and in the wider scene.
Have you always liked to write?
Yes, I’m one of those kids who you’d find talking to herself, inventing stories from the moment I could speak. I used to rush through my schoolwork to get the chance to have free time to create in the back of my book at the end of my lessons, something which taught me to do my work fast and get it right first time. That academic spirit has also stuck with me, and it really lends itself to my creativity all the time, so I really value the combination.
What writing advice do you have for aspiring authors?
Get out there in the world. See things for yourself, experience new cultures, foods, beliefs and ideas. Find what it is that makes you different from those around you, and explore that angle for its downfalls as well as its beauty. Be true to your representation, and be open and respectful of those of others. And don’t be afraid of living poor for a few years. Seriously. It’s going to happen if you’re going to make it!
Of all the characters you have created, which is your favourite and why?
I think recently I really enjoyed creating Marax, who is a demon god in human form that Lori meets during Fallow Heart. He’s derived from a previous character who I created in a popular short story of mine, The Maybe Man, who was a powerful creature with a wry humor and a true streak of evil that only comes out when it’s needed. I’m looking forward to developing Marax as the sequel to Fallow Heart, Leven Scythe, progresses next year.
Does writing energize or exhaust you?
Both! Mentally I love to create, and I could sit and develop ideas and work on things indefinitely if food and water were being delivered! It’s when you stop that you feel the actual toll the work has taken on you, making you brainless for a few hours afterwards and giving you serious strain in your back, arms and neck!
Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?
If I was writing for other people, I wouldn’t be writing. It’s the passion of telling my own stories which drives me to create, complete and perfect them, so they have to be my own and come from a place in my heart. That place is highly original and diverse for me, presenting characters from backgrounds of mental and physical disability, ethnic and gender diversity as well as various sexualities and political views. I find that readers do enjoy it when they dive in, and you’d be surprised how diverse that readership is, and how many people are just bored with the norms of fiction nowadays.
What other authors are you friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer?
My dearest author friend is Kell Cowley, co-founder of Odd Voice Out Publishing. In the years we’ve known each other we have always encouraged and enthused about one another’s talents, which is a boon when life is not going so well. She doesn’t know it, I don’t think, but it’s her faith in me that has stopped me packing the whole thing in several times over the last two years in particular.
Where can your fans find you and follow??
There are plenty of places to find me! On Facebook, Twitter and Instagram you’ll find me @authorkcfinn and you can check out my official site at http://www.kcfinn.com. Buying takes place at Amazon, simply search K.C. Finn to go straight to my many worlds of fiction.
And, as a special bonus right now for those interested in Fallow Heart, you can get yourself an advanced copy at rock bottom prices in our Kickstarter campaign, closing midnight December 14th:
Thank you for taking your time to do this interview ❤️