Most of my authors, I have meet through facebook. Kevin is such an author. Witty, all around great guy, giving, family man, teacher. Just some words to describe Kevin. He is all that and so much more. Writer of horror books, and the Clifton Heights Tales (which some are FREE on Amazon.com for Kindle). Kevin also has stories in multi author books… The Outsiders, Shock Totem 9.5, and Cthulhu Mythos just to name a few. Kevin’s stories are nail biting fun, creepy, suspenseful, edgy, spookishly delicious.
The one book that I have read, is The Way of Ah-Tzenul (a Clifton Heights Tale). What a fun read. A story of a farmer who’s desperate to improve his crops, and discovers a book in a land fill that delves into ancient secrets, and blessings that the farmer finds the price a bit easy to pay to get the crops he wants. The story was captivating, intriguing, and the ending took me by surprise. I loved it. The Way of Ah-Tzenul is currently FREE on Amazon.com
Be sure to follow Kevin on facebook …
Kevin’s current release THROUGH A MIRROR, DARKLY… It’s only $0.99 right now
Kevin took time out of his schedule …. School is back in session and being a high school teacher, father, husband, writer keeps him extra busy …. to answer a few questions.
Thank You Kevin!! You are the best.
1. Did you read a lot growing up?
Absolutely. My parents started reading to both my sister and I at a very young age. I couldn’t read enough, it seemed. By the time I was in 6th grade, I’d read almost every book in the elementary school library, so I was allowed to walk over to the high school to sign out books from there. By the time I was a senior, I’m sure many of the books in the high school library had been signed out by me multiple times.
2. Did you have a favorite book growing up?
Several stand out in my mind. The Moves Make the Man, by Bruce Brooks. A Separate Peace, by John Knowles. Watership Down, by Robert Adams. House of Stais, by William Sleator. And the Robots, Empire and Foundation series by Isaac Asimov.
3. Did you write as a kid?
Yes. In 8th grade, we were supposed to print a school newspaper. I had a sudden inspiration to write stories for the newspaper. The newspaper never got printed, but that’s when I started tinkering with telling my own stories, usually Star Wars fanfiction (though with no internet to post it to), because this was before Timothy Zahn’s new Star Wars trilogy, and there weren’t any Star Wars stories on the horizon.
4. When did you know you wanted to be a writer?
My senior year in high school, I wrote my first “novel” in a spiral MEAD notebook. I found myself consumed with writing the story, staying up late a night. That was when I got hooked.
5. I know you’re a teacher, and saw the reading list for your students. Pretty amazing. If they wanted to read one of your books, would you let them? Which book?
For the most part, my students could probably read all my books, especially because I teach high school. My style is reserved and on the quite side, so you’re not likely to encounter a lot of gore or sexuality in my work. And, as it happens, though I do my best not to talk about my writing to my students, there is this thing called GOOGLE, and they discovered my website pretty quickly. A large number of them bought my first two books, Things Slip Through and Devourer of Souls.
6. How do you think the classics inspire today’s authors?
What I find in many classic works of literature – mainstream/literary classics and horror classics – is a greater attention to descriptive detail (though sometimes through dense prose) and focus on character. I always tell my students that great works of literature comments on the human experience. When I think of Charles Dickens, Flannery O’Connor, Samuel Clemens, John Steinbeck…I think of people writing about what it means to be human.
7. What are you currently working on?
I’m currently polishing my first novel, a weird-western featuring Billy the Kid and flesh-eating monsters. It’s great fun, though I wonder how readers will receive it.
8. Main Stream Authors vs Indie Authors ~ Do you think one is more popular then the other? Why?
No. I think the dichotomy is misleading. People read what calls to them. I have my favorite “mainstream” authors whom I trust will deliver me good stories time and again, and I’ve enjoyed the work of several “indie” authors. I believe what’s popular is TALENTED authors. Be they “Indie” or “Mainstream,” if they’re talented, if they’ve written well; people will talk about them, and word will spread.
9. Were you always drawn to the horror genre?
No. For a long time, I was a rabid science fiction fan. However, somewhere in my twenties, I lost interest in science fiction, both reading it and writing it, for no reason in particular. Then I read The Stand and Desperation by Stephen King, and something inside me said: YES. THIS IS IT. Haven’t looked back since.
10. When you read, what type of book to you reach for?
Depends on my mood. Obviously, I love horror, so there’s that. Stephen King, Peter Straub, Ronald Malfi, the late Charles Grant, T. M. Wright, Mary Sangiovanni. However, sometimes I want something more filled with hope. Then, Dean Koontz does the trick. Over the summer, I’ll tackle bigger works like Grapes of Wrath, Great Expectations, East of Eden, those sorts of books.
11. Who are your influences?
Again, Stephen King, Dean Koontz, Ray Bradbury, Peter Straub, Ronald Malfi, Charles Grant, T. M. Wright, Norman Prentiss, Mary Sangiovanni, Norman Partridge, Ramsey Campbell.
12. How long does it typically take you to write a book?
ABSOLUTELY FOREVER. Seriously. Billy the Kid has been in the works for several years now…
13. What does a day of writing look like?
I’ve scaled back quite a bit. I used to get up at 2:30 AM and write for several hours before everyone else does. I know longer do that, and I write mostly during my lunch break at school now. Sometimes I’ll tinker with things before bed. I’m at my most productive over the summer, when school’s out.
14. What is your favorite swear word?
Don’t have one. My characters may swear occasionally, but I’m conservative by nature, and really don’t like swearing myself. Plus, I teach at a Catholic High School, and as a parent, I try to set a good example for my kids in this area, as in others.
15. Name 1 thing we would be surprised to know about you.
I attend Bible College for several years, majoring in Counseling. I ultimately gave in to my love of English, however, and transferred to Binghamton University for my BA in English/Literature.
16. What is a favorite thing you like to do in your free time?
Read. And during the winter, build model cars. Someday, I’ll build that model HO train set I’ve always dreamed of building…
17. What do you love most about being an Author and a Teacher?
Author: making stuff up that, apparently, some folks like. That folks fine my imagination entertaining/worthwhile reading tickles me to no end.
Teacher: I love spending my day with teenagers. They force me to stay young and flexible. And I love finding that one book or short story that will nudge them in the just the right place, make them look at the world a little differently than they did before.
18. When you do write, do you like it quiet or some noise / music in the background?
When I’m writing from scratch, absolute quiet. I always prefer quiet no matter what, but if I’m polishing a story on the computer, I can stand a little noise.
19. What are you currently reading?
The Immaculate, by Mark Morris, and Phantastes by George MacDonald.
20. If you don’t mind sharing, do you have a favorite family memory?
Spending summer Saturday nights by the campfire, watching lightning bugs, listen to re-runs of The Shadow on AM radio. Going to stock car races with my father.
21. How many books do you have available?
Both ebook and paper:
Hiram Grange & The Chosen One: Book Four of the Hiram Grange Chronicles
Things Slip Through
Through A Mirror, Darkly
The Way of Ah-Tzenul
A Night at Old Webb
*Devourer of Souls is currently out of print, but is available in audiobook, and will be returning in ebook and paperback form from Crystal Lake soon.
22. Any advice for future authors?
READ. All the time. My favorite writing quote is from Stephen King: “If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have time to write.”
Don’t be afraid or rejection. Get out there, submit, and collection rejection emails. Get critique from trusted, credible sources. It’s the only way you’ll get any better.
Awesome answers Kevin. Thank You again. I’m so honored to have you on my blog this month. It’s a pleasure to know you, call you friend and read your words.
I hope, dear followers and readers, that you give Kevin and his books a try. You won’t regret it, that’s for sure.
HAPPY READING !!