Welcome to my blog interviews with novelists, poets, short story authors, biographers, agents, publishers and more. Today’s is with science fiction / erotica / horror author Ian Kidd. A list of interviewees (blogged and scheduled) can be found here. If you like what you read, please do go and investigate further.
Morgen: Hello, Ian. Please tell us something about yourself, where you’re based, and how you came to be a writer.
Ian: I’m an English ex-pat who now lives in Australia. I’ve been writing fiction since I was a kid, and seriously tried to get published in my late teens/early twenties. That went well (not) and I ended up spending many years chasing after “ordinary” jobs, all of which I utterly loathed. Happily about four years ago I managed to start making a living as a freelance writer (non-fiction) and this last year I decided it was time to make a serious effort to get my fiction noticed.
Morgen: What genre do you generally write and have you considered other genres?
Ian: I usually write science fiction or horror. Basically, I’m a total nerd for those genres anyway, so it makes sense to write what I’m interested in. That said, my stuff often tends to blur genres anyway – the “Ian’s Gang” series has a lot of comedy in it at times, with the early ones bordering on Young Adult fiction as well, while I’ve even ventured into the realms of erotica writing as of late!
Morgen: What have you had published to-date? Do you write under a pseudonym?
Ian: My erotic horror novella “Bloodlust” has been published by Andrews UK Ltd under their House of Erotica Books division, and they’ve also accepted another in the same genre called “Whisper In Your Ear”. In May 2012 I started self-publishing my “Ian’s Gang” series via Amazon and Smashwords. I’ve also had a couple of short stories published in magazines and online. No, I write under my own name.
Morgen: If you’re self-published, what lead to you going your own way?
Ian: A combination of things – one was the endless submission / rejection cycle for “Ian’s Gang” and the other was the whole self-publishing zeitgeist that seems to be around at the moment. When I decided to give my fiction a serious push, I thought it made more sense to stop wasting time with publishers for “Ian’s Gang” (which is a very odd series, mixing genres as it does and in an odd format which only made it more difficult to place with “traditional” publishers) and do it myself. That also gave me the freedom to start writing other things and try to get them published as well, and not just be worrying about “Ian’s Gang”.
Morgen: Are your books available as eBooks? How involved were you in that process? Do you read eBooks or is it paper all the way?
Ian: Yes, my books are all available as eBooks so far. Obviously, I’m involved the whole way with the ones I’ve self-published, though with “Bloodlust” I was more than happy to leave the publishing side to someone else!
I’m happy to read paper and eBooks.
Morgen: Do you have a favourite of your books or characters? If any of your books were made into films, who would you have as the leading actor/s?
Ian: I have a few favourites, yes. I’m very fond of “Bloodlust” and “Whisper In Your Ear” – erotic horror wasn’t a genre I’ve written for before them, and they were a lot of fun to do and turned out really well, even better than I thought they were would. It’s always fun to do something you haven’t done before. In terms of “Ian’s Gang” I have many favourites. Most will probably be out by the time this interview comes out so I’m probably safe to mention a few. I’m very proud of the whole story arc in “Evil in the Night”, “The Hob’Gon”, “The Enemy Within” and “Hell on Earth”, which really turned the whole series upside down and inside out. It went much further in terms of horror and darkness and character drama than the series had ever gone before and it really opened up the scope of the series to a much greater degree. I’m not sure I’d still be writing it if that hadn’t happened. Other favourites include “Morton Clavell” and “An Instinct For Murder”, both novel-length horror-thrillers. “Instinct” isn’t even science fiction or supernatural horror at all; it’s a rather lurid crime thriller that just happens to be in the “Ian’s Gang” universe!
I have no idea who I’d pick for lead actors in “Ian’s Gang”. In “Bloodlust”, I did have someone in mind for Lucy, but I’m not sure I ought to say lol!
Morgen: Regarding the titles / covers of books, how involved were you in yours and how important do you think they are?
Morgen: Do you manage to write every day? Do you ever suffer from writer’s block?
Ian: I have to write every day or I don’t get paid lol! I don’t manage to write fiction every day, often because I’m too snowed under with other work, unfortunately – but unless or until the books really take off, that just has to be the way it is. Yeah, I’ve suffered from writer’s block though less so in the last few years now I’m writing for a living.
Morgen: Do you plot your stories or do you just get an idea and run with it?
Ian: Usually I just go with an idea. Once or twice (especially with the novel-length stories like those mentioned above) I had to plot it out or I would have gotten very confused otherwise!
Morgen: Do you do a lot of editing or do you find that as time goes on your writing is more fully-formed?
Ian: I tend to write on paper, and then do the editing when I’m typing it up. Primitive but effective I find!
Morgen: What point of view do you find most to your liking: first person or third person? Have you ever tried second person?
Ian: I prefer third person most of the time. I’ve written first person in short stories but it’s hard to sustain for longer or densely plotted tales. I have tried second person once – there’s a seriously barking “Ian’s Gang” story called “The Gingerbread Man” which seems to be written by a possibly lying (or possibly mad) writer (no comment).
Morgen: Do you write any poetry, non-fiction or short stories?
Ian: I’ve written a few short stories and had a couple published in magazines and online. I write non-fiction all the time but it’s pretty much always ghost-writing! I’ve never written poetry.
Morgen: Do you have pieces of work that you think will never see light of day?
Ian: My “Doctor Trek” stories will never be properly published because they mix ‘n’ match other people’s fictional characters! They were just written for fun, based on this very silly sci-fi video series I was involved in with friends as a teen, which will hopefully never see the light of day either lol! It’s a shame in a way, because they are pretty funny, but that’s the way it is! I could rewrite some of the ones which don’t do that sometime.
Morgen: Have you had any rejections? If so, how do you deal with them?
Ian: Endless. There’s nothing you can do about it but grumble to yourself for a few moments and then just get on with it again. I refuse to give up.
Morgen: Do you have an agent? Do you think they’re vital to an author’s success?
Ian: No I don’t, so I have no idea!
Morgen: How much of the marketing do you do for your published works or indeed for yourself as a ‘brand’?
Ian: I’ve started doing more this last year, getting a Twitter account and a blog and just trying to get promoted. It’s not something I really enjoy, but you’ve no option if you want to try and get noticed.
Morgen: What’s your favourite / least favourite aspect of your writing life? Has anything surprised you?
Ian: Being able to earn a living writing is my favourite. I spent so many years doing stuff I hated so much that just getting to write for money is a gift. The least favourite is not earning enough lol! I guess I’m surprised by how adaptable I turned out to be – once upon a time, “Ian’s Gang” was the only thing I wrote, and now I’ll write erotica, ghost-write fiction and non-fiction eBooks, and write articles about practically anything! Getting some script / dialogue editing work from an LA based director who found me on the web was a bit of a surprise too. The only disappointment was that neither of them ended up actually getting made!
Morgen: What advice would you give aspiring writers?
Ian: Never give up.
Morgen: Sounds good to me. 🙂 Where can we find out about you and your writing?
Morgen: Thank you, Ian.
If you are reading this and you write, in whatever genre, and are thinking “ooh, I’d like to do this” then you can… just email me and I’ll send you the information. They do now (January 2013) carry a fee (£10 / €12.50 / $15) for the new interviews on this blog but everything else (see Opportunities on the main blog) is free.
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