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Interview with Alex Kimmell, author of The Key to Everything and A Chorus of Wolves

Today, we continue our author interview series by speaking to Alex Kimmell, the author of The Key to Everything and A Chorus of Wolves and a fellow writer from the Forsaken horror imprint of Booktrope.

You can find out more about Alex Kimmell on his website, or follow him on Facebook and Twitter. Watch the interview below, or read on to find out more…

 

 

I have to tell the story the way I want to tell it.”

We speak to author Alex Kimmell

 

Like many other members of the Forsaken horror ensemble, Alex first joined the imprint after releasing some work through Booktrope“When they started the Forsaken idea,” Alex explains, “Jesse James Freeman came to me and asked if I’d be interested in it for the project that I’ve been working on. He introduced me to Maddie Von Stark, and here I am.”

That project is a book called The Idea of North, which Alex says is “almost done”, adding, “it’s out with the beta readers right now. Every Thursday, I’ve been posting little snippets from the book on my website as a preview for people who might be interested in it, and I’m pretty excited about it. I still have some work to do, but it should hopefully be done in the next month or two, and then we’re shooting for an October release, which is good for horror.”

The Idea of North will build on Alex’s success with his first two books. “My first book was called The Key to Everything,” he explains. “And that came out about three years ago. My second was a small collection of some short stories called A Chorus of Wolves, and that came out about two years ago. I’m excited about both of them and they’ve both done really well, at the shows I’ve taken them to as well as online through Booktrope.”

 

Alex Kimmell - The Key to Everything

Alex Kimmell – The Key to Everything

 

Of course, the author’s job isn’t done when they finish writing – they still have to promote the book if they want anyone to read it. As for the promotion of The Idea of North, Alex says that they’re still figuring that out. “I would imagine we’re probably going to do some blog tours,” he says. “And there are a bunch of book shows that I’ll be doing, and some local bookstores that I’d like to get involved with. I’m actually going to be at the Barnes and Noble in Southeastern Rhode Island in June!”

He explains that he’s known Booktrope’s Katherine Sears for a long time, although before he joined the publishers, they hadn’t talked for a long time. “We connected with each other about it,” he says, “and it just seemed really exciting to get the team model in, where people have more of an impetus to continue promoting the book even after their work is done. For example, the cover artist is still going to share in the profits of the book, and so it behoves them to keep promoting it.”

A lot of people have the perception of writers as solitary creatures, but for Alex at least, a lot has come through making connections and networking. “When the actual writing is occurring, it definitely is a solitary activity,” he explains. “But once you have a book finished, in order for it to get out into the world, you need to interact with other people.”

 

Alex Kimmell - A Chorus of Wolves

Alex Kimmell – A Chorus of Wolves

 

“Having this team approach is a really good way of doing that,” Alex continues. “As opposed to a publisher throwing it out there and just hoping that someone will read it. The internet has exploded to a point now where everybody and their brother-in-law is putting out a book or a record or something. It’s hard to get noticed in that type of world, so when you have a larger group of people trying to promote it and get the word out, it makes more sense to me.”

Most writers are readers, and Alex is no different. “I read everything,” he explains. “But I really like to read thrillers and horror. I like to read the Bizarro stuff, I think that’s fun – weird and crazy. My favourite author is a British guy called Michael Marshall Smith – he’s done a lot of screenplays and stuff like that, but some of his books have really influenced me, and The Strawman trilogy in particular. Another author I like is Mark Danielewski, who wrote House of Leaves and Only Revolutions.”

Alex explains that he tends to prefer experimental writing – “not traditional literature, more 21st century stuff.” He says, “Telling stories in different ways is interesting. It has to be a good story first of all, no matter what, but finding new ways to tell it is interesting as well.”

 

Alex Kimmell Bio

Alex Kimmell Bio

 

In some ways, that’s reflected in Alex’s work, although there several other things that set his work apart. “I try to create an atmosphere,” he explains. “Rather than saying ‘this is exactly how it begins and ends’. I like to leave questions unanswered, to leave it in the mind of the reader, so each reader gets their own impact from the story. I find I like books, movies and television shows that do that, and I’ve seen through my reviews that that pisses a lot of people off, but to a certain degree, I can’t really care about that. I have to tell the story the way I want to tell it.”

As for the last book that he read, something that we ask each of our writers, Alex says, “It was a book by Jeremy Robert Johnson called Skullcrack City, and it’s unbelievable. He’s hands down one of my favourite authors – it’s his first novel, because he’s primarily done short stories until now. It’s just an amazing book – totally mindwarping, you’re reading the book and it feels like you’re on acid or something. It’s really visceral and amazing how he creates another world.”

Alex’s own career as a writer is a little like Johnson’s – he’s written both a full length novel and a collection of short stories. “I try to give the reader the same kind of experience with the short stories as I do with the long form,” he explains, referring to his love of the vague. “I’ve definitely written the short stories faster than the novels, and that’s not just because of the length but because the idea itself is more compact in my head.”

 

Alex Kimmell

Alex Kimmell

 

“Some of the short stories in that collection – for example, Cody – really came together in a satisfying way,” Alex continues. “There’s another one called The Loneliness of Left Field – my younger son was playing little league and I was watching him play, and that story popped into my head. Those two stories in particular came together in a way that I enjoyed.”

As for what’s next, Alex explains that the promotion of The Idea of North will be his main priority. “But after that,” he says, “I’m plotting out a new series in my head, where all of the stories take place in the same location, and that’s what makes it a series. They don’t necessarily need to be read in order, but they’re all going to take place in the same place and they’re going to interweave in different ways. I’m excited about that, and I’m curious to see what kind of scary stuff I can weave into it.” 

 

Forsaken Promo

 

Alex Kimmell is the author of The Key to Everything and A Chorus of Wolves and a fellow writer from the Forsaken horror imprint of Booktrope. You can find out more about Alex Kimmell on his website, or follow him on Facebook and Twitter

 
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